Monday, March 10, 2008

Why I write

Saturday I had the fortunate opportunity to hear the author Joan Bauer speak at my local library. I've never read any of Bauer's books but I enjoyed the last author I heard speak at the library so much, I thought why wouldn't it be interesting? I am so glad I went! Joan Bauer was not only interesting but extremely inspiring-& from the energy in the room I could tell I wasn't the only one who was being inspired. Bauer's smile & presence filled this rainy March afternoon with a positive light bringing out her audience's curiosity. This is no small feat when you consider the audience was largely 10-13 year old children. It turns out she writes for the young adult & the audience at the library was filled with this age group which was very cool to see. Many of the kids there had competed in our towns writing competition at our local library. Participants had to write a poem, essay or story that completed the sentence "I will always remember a time when I put my best foot forward and..." This sentence was inspired by Joan Bauer's book, Best Foot Forward.
Can you imagine how thrilling it was for the children there to see & hear the author share her personal story about what it is like to be a professional writer?

Joan Bauer also kept the adults interested as well. She spoke about character development & the basic structure of a novel. She gave us tips on how to do research- a valuable one being how important it is to be interested and informed about what you are writing about. When Joan talked about becoming a writer she told us how it was crucial to surround yourself with people who will encourage you, like a writers group. She said when writers gather to share and learn from each other the dialogue is amazing. She also referred to herself as a "new" writer in her early days. I loved hearing all this stuff because as a "new writer" myself I find it very encouraging-especially when she spoke of writing for the love of writing.
The best part was hearing her read excerpts from her books. You could tell she was a great writer because her story drew you in right away transporting you to the place she was reading about. I love that when that happens.
I came away from her talk feeling like a "new writer" who is on the right path. Thank you Joan Bauer.
Check her out at:

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