Friday, May 6, 2016

Keeping (or Putting Back) the Joy in Writing guestpost & giveaway by Shannon L. Brown

Welcome, Author Shannon L. Brown! Shannon is giving away a copy of one of her three books! The winner gets to choose which one! Enter to win below!

 Keeping (or Putting Back) the Joy in Writing 
by Shannon L. Brown

The reality of being a writer today is different than it was not too many years ago. We still create new people and places, but we have to stop that to do social media. And then we can work on our website. Or do some more social media. If you’re an indie author, as I’ve chosen to be, you may need to consult with a cover designer or search for a copyeditor. And do some social media.

The end result is that the joy of writing can be suffocated—in a hurry if you aren’t careful. I found myself in this situation recently. If you have too, perhaps these ideas will help you as they’ve helped me.

1: Keep God first. Throughout the Bible, he tells his children not to fear or have anxiety. He reminds us to think on positive things. If we truly believe he wants us to write, then we should not be dwelling in these emotions. We must cast our cares on him. If we’re feeling overwhelmed, we know that can’t be God’s will.

2: If God doesn’t want us to stress out, then there must be a solution. But your solution might not be mine. Spend time in prayer. There isn’t a shortcut here so make the time to do this!

3: Peel back the process of how you’re working. Can you streamline anything? Stop doing anything? If you can afford to hire out any of your processes such as your website or social media or ________, would that help?

4: A favorite Bible verse of mine is “. . . the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh 8:10)  What is it about writing that brings you joy? (If nothing does, then perhaps being a writer isn’t your best choice.) I have written hundreds of nonfiction articles, but can lose myself in fiction. It brings me joy so I must need to write fiction more. I like creating plot and characters for books. I don’t mind editing—even though I’d rather be writing—because I love it when so-so writing becomes wonderful. I actually don’t even mind doing some social media, but we’re supposed to be more active than I am. I’m considering hiring a virtual assistant to help with social media.

5: When you start to stress out, stop and take a deep breath. Find the kernel of joy in what you’re doing. If you need to step aside from your work do it. Staying peaceful and joyful is important to yourself, those you love, and the writing itself.

6: Back to #1.

Amazing post, Shannon! Thank you! Now, let's get to know you a bit more. :) 

Tell us about your latest novel, writing project etc and any personal inspiration behind it.

The Treasure Key came out in March. I enjoy writing books for kids this age because they like silly things. In the middle of a page-turner mystery, I can add a fun scene and they love that. My favorite part about this book is the scene that wrote itself. I could see a place near the end of the book that was important to the story, but not how that place would be introduced. Thinking there was danger, the girls hid behind a big rock. When they stood, one of them commented on the trail behind them going off through the woods. This was totally unplanned. They took the trail and went to the place I needed them to go. 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers? I know they’d love a personal note.

I appreciate every reader. When they tell me they’ve enjoyed reading a book I wrote, it warms my heart. So I want to thank everyone who has read one of my books (or more than one) and hope that I get to meet you in person someday.

Just for fun! I’m a bit of a History Buff and Sci-Fi Geek. Oh how I’d love to time travel! If you could time travel, where would you go and why? 

I am a huge history buff. I’ve written quite a few articles about Tennessee history and even do historical research for people. When I speak to groups, it’s about either writing or history. Since I was a kid in Alaska, I’ve been fascinated with the Westward Movement in the U.S. so I think I’d like to go on a covered wagon to Oregon. Or maybe I’d rather visit be on hand for the Boston Tea Party. Or try to stop Lincoln’s assassin. There are too many choices.

If you switched genres in your writing, in which genre would you choose to write your next novel?

I would love to write suspense. I think about it from time to time, but I’m not sure I would sleep at night if I wrote edge-of-the-seat suspense. I may have to find out.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Tenacious, Hardworking, Kind

Let’s play a game of favorites! Feel free to elaborate. :)

Favorite Dessert: I love fruit desserts, especially something with cinnamon like apple pie. And I like chocolate.
Favorite Restaurant: My current favorite is Amerigo’s.
Favorite Branch of the Military (I won’t judge you if say anything other than Army, lol :)) : My high school was near both an army post and air force base so the school was half military. I spent more time on the Army post. So we’d get to the movies on time, I learned to tell time by the 24 hour clock.
Favorite Genre of Music: I like many types of music – country, bluegrass, pop, Christian, classical. I’m not a huge fan of hard rock or jazz.
Favorite Subject in School: I think I took every English class my high school offered. In college I spent more time in history classes.


Shannon L. Brown is the author of three books, two in the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series for ages 8-12—The Feather Chase and The Treasure Key—and the clean romance Falling for Alaska. An award-winning journalist who specialized in the jewelry industry, Shannon’s happy to now spend most of her time in the make-believe world of fiction. Born and raised in Alaska, she had fun writing Falling for Alaska and adding a hint of Alaska in The Treasure Key. She now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat. 


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ENTER TO WIN a paperback or eCopy of one of Shannon's books! The Winner gets to choose which book, and which format (paperback or eCopy).

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  1. I try to look at the job differently or focus on what I do like about it or the end results that will make it all worth while.

    1. I like the idea of looking at what you do you about it. Gratitude is always a good thing.

    2. Thanks for stopping by Boos Mum! :) Yes, a positive perspective is a good thing to have. Many Blessings to you!

  2. I take time for me a refocus what is important

    1. Yes! It's so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget.

    2. Hi Stevi Jo, Welcome! Yes, it's so important to refocus! Many Blessings to you!

  3. I take a deep breath and blow it out slowly. I then reflect on those times I experienced the most joy. I then pray asking God to help me reclaim my former joy.

    1. Wow. I will definitely do this. My reader's joy is my focus as I write my books.

    2. Hi Kathy! I have to agree with Shannon...WOW...I need to take a note from you page. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I try to be joyful at the task at hand and do it with a smile.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Nicole! That's great advice that we can all learn from! :)

  5. Take one thing at a time and determine what is stealing time that could be spent on a task. Always keeping God first and if it's His will for you to do something I believe He will give you the inspiration and strength to complete the task. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for stopping in Marilyn! :) BEAUTIFUL Advice!!!

  6. I think of all the positives instead of dwelling on the negatives. I also try to make it fun. :)

    1. Welcome to my site Sydney! Excellent insight! I remember making lists of all the positive things...there's really something to counting those blessings! :)