When I found myself holed up at home with my husband and our nine-year-old and twelve-year-old daughters, homeschooling through the COVID-19 Pandemic, simultaneously teaching my 165 students from my laptop, I needed a creative outlet to ease my anxiety.
Having already written a creative writing workbook focusing on older teens and adults last summer, it only seemed fitting for me to write another book geared towards my own children and students’ age group. Engrossed day and night in getting all my preteens and teens through that unsettling era in our lives, I dove headfirst into creating Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Tweens & Young Teens).
The result is a standards-based, creative writing book filled with poetic knowledge and practices. This workbook and journal is an ALL-IN-ONE place to pour one’s thoughts and feelings into using prompts, guided practice, fill-in-the-blanks, structured poetry exercises, and more. Only on AMAZON, this softcover book makes a great gift for teachers, students, creative writers, poets, homeschoolers, and friends.
I did a thing–a big thing. I broke a two-year stint of
writer’s block. As a romantic comedy novelist, I had hit a brick wall with my
emotional connection to letting the words flow. Sure, I’d managed to prepare to
write during that gargantuan span of time, but it was all busy work.
With multiple outlines for novels done and a plan in place
to wrap up one series then start two more, I was all set. All my characters
were holding their breath waiting … and waiting. I even had a partial
manuscript—we’re talking 20k words—suspended in limbo like fruit cocktail in a Jell-O
mold. What I just needed was my life to permit me to write unencumbered. I had
endless notes, lines, scenes, even oodles of research done, but the words were
trapped inside me bound by chaos, also known as, severe anxiety.
Writing has always been a balm to my soul, but during this
awful stretch of hell on earth, it was like having someone offer me cheesecake
when I have the stomach flu. I didn’t want to write even though it would be
wonderful. I couldn’t let my lighthearted romantic stories become associated
with the daily stress I was wrestling with due to circumstances in my life that
were (and still are) beyond my control.
I tried all the typical writerly techniques and even some
atypical ones to get back into the groove of writing despite my anxiety (which
I’m still battling), and they helped me just enough for me to heed my friend’s advice
on getting back to the basics with what I know. So, determined to tap into my
teaching skills, I pulled up my big-girl pants, parked my bootie in a hotel
room (long, hot story) and over the summer, I penned a How-To book.
Yes, I smashed my writer’s block with a How-To book. It’s worth repeating twice, because, even as I write this, I can’t believe it. I freaking can’t believe I’m sitting here typing this with yet another publication on Amazon! Is it ironic that I wrote a book about how to write in order to break my writer’s block? I’ll be writing a Part 2 blog on the techniques I used to bring myself to the threshold of writing this new book soon, I promise.
I’m a teacher by trade. I’ve got worksheets galore that I’ve created, as well as a full-blown smarty pants attitude that goes well with writing instructional materials. I crafted Come Write with Me: POETRY Workbook & Journal (For Teens & Adults) Vol 1 like I was sipping coffee and hanging with my invisible student. It was the best two months of anxiety-riddled fun I’d ever had with my imagination. As a result, the workbook is full of chatty ramblings, advice, quips, some of my gushy poetry, and I even loaded it with several QR codes that link to my blog with posts of additional content and exercises. Overall, this workbook & journal is sweet!
It took two months of writing everyday to accomplish this monumental feat in my life. I’m proud of the product. I’m proud of myself. I’ll be writing another blog about the techniques I used to bring me to the point that this workbook spilled out of me freely. It’ll be worth the read if you are or have ever been ‘stuck’ like me. Are you a writer? Does poetry matter to you? Would you like to learn how to write creatively starting with something simple like a poem? Are you a seasoned writer wishing to polish up on some poetic devices that you can tuck neatly into your work? I know the perfect book for you … come write with me.