Monday, October 11, 2010

World of Writing, Interview #32

-- Quote of the Day --

"The coroner will find ink in my veins
And blood on my typewriter keys."

~ C. Astrid Weber

-- World of Writing #32 --

Today we have author, life consultant and relationship coach - Julie Wise joining us on the blog to share her writing techniques and her philosophy on the difference writers have on society. Julie knows from personal experience the challenge of starting over when your dream has fallen apart. Instead of giving up, she learned how to reinvent herself and discovered that there is always a bigger (and better) dream waiting to happen. In her new book, Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease, she offers a fresh, practical and hands-on approach to inspire readers to overcome their challenges and achieve their heartfelt desires. Find Julie at:

Q: What inspired you to write?

A: I’ve always worked with words in one form or another.  As a child, I created books with my own stories and illustrations and very proudly printed my name on the cover. My first career was as a professional translator, although I continued to dabble with writing as the author of a bimonthly newspaper column.  Later I became the editor of a community newspaper and started writing short stories, poetry (and the occasional novel) on the side. In December 2009, as I was writing a book about my travels in Ireland, the idea for my current book, Dream BIGGER, emerged and insisted on taking center stage.  It’s my first published book (although definitely not the last!  The Ireland journey continues to beckon....)

Q: How long will we wait for your next book? 

A: Now that Dream BIGGER is published, I’ve gone back to working on the book on my journey through Ireland. Writing is my favorite place to be because the outside world disappears and I become immersed in the stories. In Ireland, I traveled alone for three months by foot, bus and train, met amazing people and had extraordinary experiences. I lived in a cottage along the northern coast of Northern Ireland for a month, flew a glider plane on my birthday, sat in a tiny pub in the middle of nowhere tapping my toes while over thirty local musicians played breathtaking music, and stood on the shore in the seaside town my grandmother’s family came from. As I write, I’m there and all the sights, sounds, aromas, and tastes of Ireland surround me once again.

Q: Do you use any set formula when writing a book? 

A: Dream BIGGER is the first book I’ve published. I’ve written two others (one a novella and the other a fictional memoir) but set them on a shelf. I think they served their purpose just in getting me to take my writing seriously. When the ideas for Dream BIGGER came to me, I “saw” the title, subtitle and the outline for the book. I knew there would be three main sections, and I wanted to have a similar structure in each. After I wrote it down, I began to play around with ideas for content. My next step was to create a writing structure to keep me motivated and focused. I use an idea from Elizabeth George. Every time I sit down to write, I write first in a computer file called “writer’s journal”. I date the entry and write down where I am that day in terms of writing and ideas I have. Then I get into writing the book. When I finish writing for the day, I go back to the journal and sum up how it’s gone. It helps me track my progress. When I was writing Dream BIGGER, I wrote every day for 2-4 hours. My goal was to write at least 2,000 words per day. Within a few months, the first draft of the book was written.

Q: How do you come up with ideas for your writings and why do you feel you choose some over others?

A: I have to be passionate about what I write about in order to stay motivated and inspire readers. For example, I wrote a bi-monthly newspaper column on the environment for three years. It was in the late 1980s when there wasn’t much community awareness about environmental issues. Everything I was learning, I wrote about in the column and my goal was to provide simple steps that people could incorporate into their everyday lives. Ten years after I wrote the last column, I was still meeting people who said they had changed the way they lived because of the ideas I’d shared with readers. I think the reason it had an impact was that it was something I was passionate about. My excitement at learning new things was contagious. That kind of emotion when connected with solid information can be world-changing.

Q: What is the important role that writers play in today’s world?

A: I think writers hold a powerful responsibility in today’s world, whether they write fiction, non-fiction, work as journalists for print media, write documentaries or blogs. The written word holds a great deal of weight and is usually seen as being “the truth”. As writers, we have a choice. We can use this power for the common good, or not. For me, writing has always been a form of community building. In fact, that was my main goal as the editor of my community newspaper. I always made a point of having at least one good news story or photo on the front page of the paper to balance out all the unpleasant news I had to report on. In all of my articles, I tried to inform area residents about events so they could form their own opinions, or be inspired to take action. I see my books in the same way. I want to inform, inspire and empower readers to believe in themselves, recognize they have choices, and use those choices wisely, creating a healthier, happier future for themselves and their communities.

Q: What is your writer life philosophy?

A: To be true to myself, and to write from my heart. I think if I am able to do that in everything I write, readers will find themselves, their story, dreams and experiences in the pages of my books. For me, that would be the definition of success.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio program, newsletter, blogs, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, or purchasing a book - each book sold raises funds for charity as well!

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