On Writing

People are always asking me about becoming a writer. How did I start? How can they? What can I tell them about it? This is some of what I’ve learned. 

Writing is among the hardest things anyone can do. In what other profession would you create something – in this case, a word baby–so everyone can tell you how ugly it is? Rejections come to every writer, even the most successful. And after being published, reviews can sting. A serious writer takes many blows before, during and after the publication process. 

But true story tellers have a need within them to write, to tell their stories. And writers are some of the most generous professionals I know, encouraging others along each step of the pebble-strewn (some might say boulder-strewn) pathway to publication. 

How do you know what to write about? You write about something that matters to you – something serious, something heart-warming, something silly or maybe something seemingly impossible – whatever it is within you emotionally to create. Each writer must find his/her own niche. Like most writers, I observe people around me and listen to their stories, giving me plenty of possibilities. As J. S. Keim, I happen to write about kids who have fantastic adventures and learn to see the world in a different way. Writing as Judith Keim, such as in my Hartwell Women series –The Talking Tree, Sweet Talk, Straight Talk, and Baby Talk — and all my other books, I write about women who face unexpected challenges and find themselves and love along the way. 

Writing is a solitary business. It’s important to get out and talk with other people who are knowledgeable about what you are doing. It’s a never-ending learning process. With the emergence of e-books and social networking, writing for publication has taken on a whole new dimension. But no matter what the format is, stories need to be told and readers want to read them. 

You want to know about writing? It’s a long, arduous, exciting, rewarding journey. So get started, reach down within yourself and begin the adventure!!