Last night at the Northern Colorado Writers studio, YA authors Amy Kathleen Ryan and Laura Resau were hear talking about their books and their writing journeys. Amy is the author of four books, with her latest book Glow creating quite a buzz. Laura has seven books under her writer's belt and has made a positive impact in the school and library markets.
I have known both of these wonderful authors for a few years and I was surprised to learn that they both went to college to study anthropology. After receiving her Bachelors in this field, Amy wanted a change (plus she realized the jobs in this field required lots of camping time and a shortage showers) plus, she always wanted to be writer. She went on to get her masters in literature and eventually a MFA.
|Red Glass by Laura Resau|
They both talked about their writing routines and the trance-like state they have to get in to write. Amy said before kids, she would write for about five hours a day. Now she writes at least five pages a day. The hardest part of writing for her is going from reality to the fiction world she has created. It takes her anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to get in that head space and it is during these times when doubt and the urge to quit are strongest. She has to push through this in order to get in the writing zone where the rest of the world disappears.
|Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan|
For Laura, her best writing time is in the morning and she tries to get in several hours each day. She is very protective of this time and works hard to honor it. Like Amy, Laura's most challenging time is when she first sits down to write. She struggles for about 10 minutes before her stream of consciousness writing kicks in and she gets in her writing trance.
Laura shared about a tool she uses to help stay focused called Freedom. This program restricts your access to the Internet for an amount of time that you decide. Once that time is up, you can then access the Internet. For Laura, this gets rid of the temptation to check email during writing time (especially during that time before she gets in her writing zone).
One way Amy keeps her document organized in Microsoft Word is by using the Document Map feature. This allows her to create different header that enable her to navigate her document more easily.
In the end, even with the challenges of writing and the ups and downs of the publishing world, both women love what they do and are extremely grateful to be making their livings as professional authors.
Have you read any or Amy's or Laura's books?
Past Posts about Amy and Laura: