Peg366's Blog

Article from Newsletter: Ginny Wierhardt

Posted on: October 17, 2009

Ginny Wiehardt’s writing has been published in journals such as the Notre Dame Review, Shenandoah, and Hotel Amerika. She has additional experience as an editor and a creative writing instructor.

ginny wiehardt



Writing in a Recession

Get Back to Basics with Your Writing

By Ginny Wiehardt,

For many of us, the recession means more time: there’s less (or no) work, and less (or no) money for entertainment. Within limits, this can be a good thing for a writing practice, which in turn is a good thing for our lives. Ready to find a silver lining in the gloom and doom? Read on.

1. Establish a New Writing Schedule.

Whether your schedule has changed recently, or you just want to carve out regular time for your most important, if unpaid, work, these suggestions will help you to re-imagine your days. You might start each day’s writing session with a prompt or exercise, or you might dedicate a portion of each day to your novel. Try to write at the same time each day, if possible. A regular schedule staves off writer’s block and provides a sense of stability and well-being.

2. Take Time to Research the Market.

You may well ask, “What market?” Well, journals are still being printed, and even small publishers press on (excuse the pun). Use this time to think about where your writing might fit — and even start submitting work. In addition to taking a first step toward publishing your writing, you’re likely to discover at least a few writers whose work inspires you.

3. Or Put Publishing on Pause.

Better yet, use this time to write without thinking about publishing at all. In taking publishing off the table, we open up to other possibilities. What will we write without that distraction? Might our work be more innovative, more original as a result?

Instead of writing for the market, write purely about what interests you, no matter how strange or seemingly unmarketable it might be. Writing has always been a tough career choice: even in the best of times, authors wrote out of some intrinsic need or a deep enjoyment. Touch base with your original impulses for writing now.

4. Read More.

Even if you have a lot of time on your hands, you’ll find that you can’t realistically spend a whole day writing — no matter how good it sounds. Stay motivated with books about craft or the writing life; or learn the old-fashioned way, from classic literature.

Not only is reading one of the most enriching ways to pass your time, it’s also one of the cheapest. After you’ve tried the library, turn to to swap books with Moochers around the world, or Abebooks, for used books. And if you do have money to spend, support our indie bookstores, which are hurting now more than ever.

5. Write a Novel.

Most everybody has one novel in ’em: you don’t have to wait for NaNoWriMo to get yours down. We’ll recover from the recession eventually, but you’ll have that accomplishment the rest of your life. And having a new project — and a fruitful new source of escape — will keep your mind off your troubles.

6. Be Inspired.

Now you have time for all those good, creative activities that fueled your imagination when you were young. Take long walks, visit museums and galleries, people-watch. If you can manage to turn off your worries about the future, you’ll find opportunities for daydreaming. This sort of unstructured time is essential to any art: it’s just that we don’t usually have the luxury of indulging it.

7. Find Community.

Volunteer for a literary organization, create a writing group, take a writing class, if you can find an affordable or free one. All of these things will get you into a community of other writers, and hopefully get you excited about writing. Communities are essential in challenging times; the value of your new support system will extend beyond your writing.

Indeed, anything you can do to focus on your passions, in this case, for literature and writing, will help you survive, if not thrive this year. While everything else may be in a downturn, you can foster a sense of forward momentum in at least one area of your life.


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I am an aspiring picturebook writer with some magazine credits just no picture book contract yet. I know it is coming and I am more than willing to work for it.

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July 2009

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My Favorites:

I love the children's movies Wizard of Oz and the Neverending Story. Both movies make me feel the lesson that hope is alive and well. After seeing UP this past week, it just might have a chance at being added to this list.

I love the cool colors of blues and purples.Those colors are peaceful for me.

I love The Velveteen Rabbit. Even as an adult, I still feel the urge to cry when he becomes real. I know, silly, but a good book can make me laugh and cry as it takes me on a magical journey.

Authors and Illustrators:

Authors, Author/Illustrator, Illustrators that I know and/or Like.


C= Children

MG= Mid Grade

T= Teen

YA= Young Adult

A= Adult


Bonnie Adamson *

Kathi Appelt *

Tedd Arnold


Natalie Babbit

Molly Bang

Bonnie Becker

Jan and Stan Berenstain

Judy Blume

Tracey M. Cox

Linda Crotta Brennan *

Jan Brett

Janie Bynum *

Eric Carle

Pam Calvert

Nancy Carlson

Beverly Cleary

Kevin Scott Collier

Sharon Creech

Doreen Cronnin

Tomie dePaulo

Kate DiCamillo

Kathleen Duey *

Dotti Enderle

Jan Fields *

Denise Fleming

Mem Fox

Kelley Milner Hall

Amy Heist

Kevin Henkes

Ellen Jackson *

Jeff Kinney

Jackie French Koller

Ursula K. LeGuin

Leo Lionni

Lois Lowry

Mercer Mayer

Robert Munsch

Laura Numeroff

Linda Sue Parks

Dav Pilkey

Patricia Polacco

Peggy Rathmann

Bethany Roberts

David Shannon

Aaron Shepard

Donna J. Shepherd *

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Jerry Spinelli

Diane Stanley

Chris Van Allsburg

Rick Walton *

Lisa Wheeler

Mo Willems

Karma Wilson *

Audrey Woods

Jane Yolen *

Favorite Websites:

Favorite Blogs:

• ShelfTalker: A Children’s Bookseller’s Blog
• Alice’s CWIM Blog
• A Fuse #8 Production
• Cynsations
• Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent
• Editorial Anonymous
• Miss Snark’s First Victim
• Writing for children and teens

Favorite Quotes.

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