Monday, February 2, 2015

STRETCH THOSE IMAGINATION MUSCLES


By Patti J. Smith


I’m one of those late bloomers.  I started pursing a writing career two years ago at the age of sixty.   My first submission was a Christian devotional, A Mended Heart – Rosary Meditations on Forgiveness. It was accepted for publication and I was off and running. I followed up with three other devotionals with the same publisher and started on three more (I usually have three or more projects going at one time). 

My publisher contacted me one day and asked if I would be interested in working on a Light Romance series with four other authors, The San Francisco Wedding Planner. Without thinking, I agreed. Once I received the contract, panic and doubt set in. Writing devotionals was comfortable for me and they don’t require a plot, characters, etc. and I came very close to dropping out of the project.

All I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t. Although terrified at first, I put my fingers on the keyboard and started typing.  I found out I did have an imagination, it was flabby and weak because I had not used it. 

I realized that venturing into new genres helped me in my devotionals. After finishing with the first series of fiction, I went back to a devotional that wasn’t quite finished. Sadly, what I had written didn’t seem to have the same joy and heart as my prior works. I had been in a rut and didn’t know it.  Changing genres allowed me to go back with fresh eyes and spirit. It was as if I was being reintroduced to an old friend. Not only that, different genres reach different audiences which definitely helps with exposure.

I have since ventured into suspense/thrillers and am currently working on Volume 4 of my "Grave Obsessions" series as well as penning a volume for Anne Baxter Campbell’s “Christmases Past” collection. 

My advice to new writers is to set fear of change aside, broaden your horizons and stretch those imagination muscles. Staying with one genre not only results in complacency, it will eventually take the joy out of doing what you love.

As a side note: You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
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Patti J. Smith was born in Wimpole Park, England. She lived in England and Morocco as well as several state-side Air Force Bases and considers her father's last assignment, Moses Lake, Washington, her hometown. She audited for the Dept. of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, served in the U.S. Army Reserve (Transit Control Unit and Criminal Investigation Division) and recently retired as a background investigator. Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three granddaughters. She serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats and sings in her parish choir.  Her writing includes devotionals, light romance and suspense, and her strong faith is reflected in each genre. She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.You can follow her on the following social media sites: Blog:http://www.gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/
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