- Guest Blogger -
Today I feature another enterprising young person who is a blogger - Sunny Smith. Welcome, Sunny ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BLOG’S JOURNEY.
A Splash of Ink started way back in February of 2011, a few years after I picked up an interest in writing. Originally, my motto was “A teen writer sharing writing tips (as she learns) with other teen writers”. However, after about a year I realized that I was crippling myself my a) limiting the age of my audience and b) only blogging about writing tips. The result? I changed my blogging niche. It was like a light had come back on for me, suddenly that first love of SOI (A Splash of Ink) had returned. I revamped the blog design and added some of my photography to the header, bringing SOI into a new, ever-changing era. That brings us to the present where now my blog is filled with writing tips, writing research help, and other bookish things that tickle my fancy. Two years later, I look back and see how SOI has evolved and continues to change; that makes me excited to see where SOI goes in the coming months.
WHAT IS THE AIM OF YOUR BLOG?
A Splash of Ink is where I blog about all things writing, reading and books. Occasionally I veer off topic to keep people on their toes, which results in a wide variety of posts: the odd book review, getting a job at the library, writing prompts, info-graphics that I find interesting, proper grammar, characterization, interviews, and even some of my photography finds its way in there. My main goal is to write content that I’d want to read.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE A BLOG?
For a few years before I started up A Splash of Ink , I wrote on a silly, but extremely fun blog, Super Hyper Human Beings(www.superhyperhumanbeings.blogspot.com) with a few of my very best friends -Dakota Densmore and Destiny Diddlesworth. This was my first experience with a blog and although I didn’t know it at the time, it primed me for SOI.
After I became more interested in writing, I started reading about writing technique. I found myself giving writing advice (often times unsolicited… okay mostly always unsolicited advice!) to Dakota and Destiny. They were very gracious to my ramblings, but I knew I needed another outlet. That’s when SOI was created in hopes that I might be able to help another struggling teen writer.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
My favourite part about writing is telling a story. Getting to create the characters and the settings gives me a thrill and a bit of a power trip; it’s the most exciting part of the writing process for me. I also love to see a work go from the first awful draft to the shiny, polished final edit.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
The hardest part about being a writer, especially a teen writer, is being disciplined. Life demands so much of you (school, work, family, church etc.) that it can be hard to find time. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it, but once I start writing a story, I’m sucked into it. When I’m not writing it, I feel this guilty pull towards my word processor. I always want –or rather need- to come back to it, no matter how busy life gets, which is proof to me that it is worth it.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOUR BLOG?
A student, only writing to scrape together a passing English grade.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT PROMOTING OTHERS?
I love it when people promote A Splash of Ink, whether it’s through a blog-hop or even just mentioning it to their friends. Since I’m so grateful for promotion, I always try to pay it forward when I get a chance. Speaking of which, a friend of my just started a music channel on Youtube, ElizabethRedaMusic, so I’ll take this opportunity to shamelessly promote her Once I heard someone say “Promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate” and since then I’ve been doing just that.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I’m working on a teen novel set in a fantasy world, about a girl, Gabrella, who works in a public library. Juggling the recent disappearance of her mobster father, and learning the ropes at the People’s Library is enough work, but then children start to go missing from the library. Gabrella and her boss start looking into the disappearances (with the help of a rooky city guard), which leads to a political scandal in a time of war. That’s the rough idea right now. Of course, it’s probably going to change, as it’s only in its first draft.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I can be pretty fickle when it comes to what inspires me. One day it might be the beautiful sunshine and another day it might be the crashing thunder. However, the one thing that never fails to inspire me is good storytelling –movies, books, T.V. shows, you never know where an intriguing story is hiding. Good storytelling and the promise of a finished project are my motivation.
ARE YOU A WRITER?
Yes? I suppose? It feels strange to label myself as a writer, but if I’m truthful with myself, that’s what I am. I write stuff and occasionally it gets published.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
I’ve written in a few different genres, but I always come back to fantasy/adventure, YA, and realistic fiction, each with a bit of romance thrown in.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
I have so much advice, but I’ll try to keep it brief (not my strongest point, if you haven’t noticed). The first is to read. Read a book from every genre, including non-fiction, and think about what you like and don’t like about them. Gather your thoughts about books, and decide what makes a good novel and a bad one; apply this to your writing.
My second piece of advice is to study writing technique. Use the internet (*cough*A Splash of Ink *cough*), read books on writing (808.3 is the novel writing section at the library, by the way) and talk to other established writers about good writing. Finally, write a ton and don’t get discouraged when the first draft doesn’t turn out, because writing is a process, not a one-time go.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
All the time, but I prefer to not think of it as an illness. It’s more of a door to go through, rather than a brick wall, to me. I’ve learned overtime that when I get writer’s block, it’s usually my story/current WIP crying out for change.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
I tend to hit my stride around ten-ish in the evening, once everything has quieted down and I’m home for work or finished with homework. However, it’s not set in stone. I’ll write whenever I have a minute.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
Not really. Somewhere with a surface like a table or desk to put my computer on is usually good.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
I really can’t say. I love so many books, and I often find myself enjoying just one or two books out of an author’s collection. However, I’ve got pretty high respect for Tamora Pierce’s way with setting, Kristen Cashore’s characters in the Graceling series, and Eoin Colfer’s humour with the Artemis Fowl series. Those are just a few ones that stand out to me as I look over my bookshelf, but there are so many good authors out there. If you really care to know, feel free to check out my Goodreads page.
P.S. J.K. Rowling is a master of her craft.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER OF YOUR BLOG?
My favourite comments are the ones that say that what I’ve written about has helped them as a writer or made them laugh.
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
I’ve got a bunch of lovely readers, so I can’t think of a terrible comment off-hand. However, I’ve gotten some pretty strange spam in my time. I’ve also had people laugh at my name, Sunny Smith.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
For sure. Especially by the unique people that I meet at the library and the issues/moral dilemmas that I face.
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I love my friends and my family. That’s your generic answer I’m sure. In regards of hobbies though, I’ve recently become interested in photography/video and I paint a little. Of course, I love books and reading as well.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST ASSETS AS A WRITER?
I’m young, so I’m enthusiastic and unjaded. I also think I hold a unique perspective as a teenager in today’s world; this thought became particularly evident to me when I wrote on a local paper’s editorial board.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
The dreaded question. Well, I have a tentative plan to go to university and become a librarian. I say tentative, because I’m always open to where God may lead me in the future.
WHAT FIVE BOOKS WOULD YOU TAKE TO HEAVEN?
Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, and Three by Ted Dekker. Those are what I’d currently bring, although it’ll probably change in a few months.
ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
I think I’ve said enough, tehe.
Clancy's comment: Thanks, Sunny. Nice blog.