Welcome to a very talented author, Bonnie Dodge. I asked Bonnie why she writes, what infuses her passion in her creative endeavors.
“This is going to sound cliche, Sherry, but I write because I can’t not write. For as long as I can remember words have floated in my head turning into dialogue between characters, or poems, or stories. As a child I used to role-play. My friends were always blown away, commenting that everything I said sounded so real. And it was because the characters in my head were talking. I just repeated what they said.” ~ BD
What kind of a journey has this been for you, Bonnie, inward and outward?
“I wrote as a child and in high school. When I married and found a ‘real job’, I put my writing aside. One day I was watching Dr. Maya Angelou on #Oprah. She was counseling high school seniors on career choices. she told a young girl who was struggling with her choices that her life was not a dress rehearsal, that we don’t get do-overs. Tears poured down my face as I watched, and the following Monday I gave my notice. That was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, to leave a secure, well-paying job and devote myself to writing. I closed the door to that career and never looked back, and I’ve never been sorry. I think people are born to be certain things and I believe I was born to be a writers. Who else writes poetry in their dreams? I also think it is important to listen to that voice inside of you, your gut or your head, and to follow your intuition. As children we know this instinctively, but as adults we try to logicize that voice away. Jumping ship to be a writer was scary, but growth comes from taking chances; it’s all part of the process we call living.” ~ BD
Bonnie, what have you found to be the benefits and drawbacks of being a writer?
“The benefits are getting to do what I love. Getting to play with words. Attending functions with like-minded people and talking about writing until I’m hoarse. An opportunity to continue learning. Seeing something I create bloom into something someone else enjoys. Getting to work in my pajamas. Getting to write off travel in the name of research.” ~ BD
“The drawbacks are that is doesn’t pay very well unless you’re a best-selling author. Most writers are introverts and spend large amounts of time in isolation as they create their stories. And then, just like that, they have to flip a switch and become an extrovert to sell those stories. Some writers do that very well. Others, like me, struggle with the marketing.” ~ BD
Bonnie, what advice would you give to others considering writing?
“Read, read, read, and then, write, write, write. Attend as many workshops and conferences as you can afford, but don’t make yourself crazy thinking you have to attend every one of them. I think it’s important to attend one a year to stay in touch with the industry and to also refill your well. The energy at writer functions is contagious and can carry you a long ways when you’re feeling down or non-productive. Join a critique group and willingly listen to feedback. Don’t chase the market, but write what you like to read. Write from the heart, not from some “how to” book. Trust the process, even on days when you want to throw your pages out the window. But most importantly, enjoy the journey.
Bonnie, can you give us a brief description of your newest book Waiting?
“Waiting is a book about three generations of Foster women-senior citizen Maxine, attention seeker Grace, and aspiring artist Abbie- think they are nothing alike. But they all share a secret. They wait. For love, for attention, for life, for death, for Idaho’s warm, but promising summer to return. In their journeys between despair and happiness, they learn there are worse things than being alone, like waiting for the wrong person’s love. with sensitivity and humor, Waiting carries readers into the hearts of three women who learn that happiness comes from within.” ~ BD
Thank you so much Bonnie, I hope everyone takes the opportunity to read this great new book, I know I will!