Life and Writing: What Life Can Teach Us About Writing and Vice Versa

Hello Fellow Children’s Writers and Friends,

This post will be rather clinical but it is loaded with background emotion. Why clinical then? Two reasons:

1. No one wants to see someone else’s day to day emotional baggage, it’s boring! If you’re an empathetic soul, it’s also exhausting.

2. I want to and am ready to move on to a new year and bring into it only what’s good for me, my family and my creative journey.

Suffice to say, the writing journey doesn’t occur in a vacuum and the ill-health of an aging family member and the changes that necessitates sheds a stark light on the strengths and weaknesses of all those involved. That, plus navigating some of my own ongoing health issues, an uncommonly consistently busy year at work with little down time, as well as the hoped for opportunities to give Star (my debut PB) the chance it couldn’t get to sparkle and shine out in the world during Locked Down 2021, has left me very much needing this time of fallow I’d planned for at the beginning of the year.

October: One of the two books mentioned, published for my Parish Jubilee Celebrations. November: Christmas market stall and Book Fair Australia stall. Author friends at Book Fair Australia. November/ December Alfie and Noa book signing with a famous customer and fellow author (also famous) Belinda Murrell. January: StoryStorm participant’s badge

Again as with 2021, I forgot my Word of the Year partway through, but both circumstances beyond my control and self imposed time after Christmas has given me the year of fallow I felt my writing needed last year. That coupled with 12 Days and StoryStorm has meant that I’m now ready to embrace writing as an old friend, relieved of the pressure I was feeling this time last year. More on this later, but first some highlights from last year. (photo collage above) I published two books, but few if any of you will ever read them and I’m fine with that, it was never the aim, I helped out a colleague and took up the opportunity to teach some local young writers and I spent many hours over several weeks signing and selling copies of Star. A lot of these coincided, hence my need for some intense rest at this time. A time when I’d hoped and planned to do a whole lot of (what I thought was catch up) writing. See I really had forgotten my word, ‘WAIT!’ but life hadn’t.

Life; the universe, God, or whatever you chose to believe has a way of giving you just what you need at the time to ‘grow and glow,’ especially if you are attuned to it and to yourself; your body, mind and heart. I have found that just like life, writing has its ups and downs and you need to work hard and be grateful no matter which you receive at each turn, because it is likely just what you need.

No surprise then that my Words for the Year 2023 are WONDER and FUN!

After 2022’s joys and challenges I feel the need to capture these both personally and in my writing, just like a child. A fresh, joyful, open, precious gift of a child. I only hope my writing will reflect this. I guess we’ll see this time next year.

As mentioned earlier, undertaking Julie Hedlund’s The 12 Days of Christmas For Writers and StoryStorm (Tara Lazar’s January inspirational challenge) is already assisting me with this goal. After my year of fallow, ideas are flowing, lush green, plentiful and original as hoped. Let’s hope this year’s words will support and guide me to expand these ideas into awe-filled stories of fascination with life, and some silly stories simply for fun!

Farewell fellow travellers,

Savour the quest,


About Artelle Lenthall

Hi Fellow Children’s Writers and Friends, I am a published Picture Book author as well as a wife, mother and Primary School teacher. I am loving the new 'sites' on the continuing road to publication. I belong to the Fellowship of Australian Writers(FAW) Creative Kids Tales(CKT) Jen Storer’s The Scribblers and although I'd love to belong to more writing related organisations, I have found friends, support, critiquing and general encouragement with these, for which I am truly grateful. I also subscribe to Tara Lazar's specialist Picture Book website; How to Write For Kids While Raising Them, Buzz Words and The Duck Pond where I am one of the moderators. These inspire me in the development of my craft. Worth a look if like me, Picture Books and Children’s Writing are your passion.
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