Have you ever had to stop to ask for directions? No? Lucky you! Well, let me tell you that it can be a humbling experience. I mean – at least that is what I have heard. 😉 When asking for directions, it is important to listen carefully to get all the directions just right. It turns out sometimes the person giving the directions may not actually know for sure, but they sound confident and certain so you just go with it and hope for the best. Giving directions is so much easier than following them. 😉 Thank goodness my dear friend Siri is on board these days so she can politely guide me where I need to go.
Recently, I had an opportunity to follow Siri’s directions to hear author, Lisa Bullard, speak to an audience at the Southwest Minnesota Reading Council fall conference. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with other readers and writers. From experienced teachers to beginning teacher candidates, we were fired up by Lisa’s story to get reading and writing and help guide the learners in our classrooms to do the same. “The more we read, the better writers we become” as Lisa shared is something I like to share with my own learners. “Reading and writing feed each other.” Oh – that reminds me… the meal at the SWMNRC conference was fabulous!
Lisa’s story doesn’t begin with her writing since birth – although she did start writing early on. Lisa is currently working on her 93rd book after first spending some time in the insurance field and then 16 years in publishing before turning to the dark side…authorhood. Her ideas and stories come from life experiences and research.
A few key ideas that Lisa shared with the audience include:
*It’s not the author’s job to share the truth or real story in fiction; it’s the emotional truth that they are responsible for.
*Nonfiction and fiction writers need to research.
*Stories can sometimes be deep inside us. We just need to research unusual facts and pay attention to life around us.
*Typically conflict needs to start right away to keep readers interested because of short attention spans.
*Perseverance is key. Start with a word, then a sentence, then a page, then a chapter, then a book.
Lisa shared a lot of great ideas and a lot of great books with us. You Can Write a Story! is a story-writing recipe for kids that I couldn’t resist purchasing – and getting autographed! Oh – and we cannot forget the best titled book ever, Turn Left at the Cow. You know you want to find out more about that one!
A major takeaway for me after listening to Lisa Bullard speak is to keep reading and writing – and to encourage others to join in on the hard work and fun. We are all writers in our own right. We just have to follow our directions to get where we are going – and to not be afraid to ask for directions when needed.