Trudi Trueit, Author of the Month: Weaving a Writer’s World

Last week, as I stepped out the door, I noticed a little brown and gold mottled garden spider hanging from the corner post of our porch. She had built her web on an angle by attaching one side to the highest part of the post, the other side to the eaves and the bottom to my fading geraniums. As the morning sunlight hit the web, I could see all of the different support strands and the intricate way she had strung them together to ensure the strongest possible structure in the best possible place. It was brilliant. Functional. Extraordinary.

Each day, as I came I went, I looked for the spider. She was always there, either wrapping up dinner, repairing a torn section of the web, or just chilling in the center of her masterpiece. One day was particularly windy, yet she did not abandon the web and it held fast. I thought, how did she know how to construct this amazing creation? It didn’t come with instructions. Certainly no one taught her. No. The knowledge was always within her from the day she climbed out of the egg sac. It was something she knew she had to do. Her very survival depended on it. I wondered, does she even know how spectacular her handwork is? Does she ever sit in the web at night and say to herself, “Wow, I’m good.” Probably not. She just does what she must. It’s her destiny. 

Doing a hard-hitting interview!

Like the spider, I have always felt writing was an innate part of who I am. I am a storyteller. Over the course of my life, I’ve written all kinds of stories about all kinds of topics. First, as a television news reporter, I told stories about other people, places, and things. Later, as a children’s author, I was able to tell my own tales. Now, I write fiction and nonfiction for children, so I get to do a little of both, which is a great fit for my personality. I enjoying connecting with students, doing Skype visits, and visiting classrooms. I am, on the whole, happy when I am hard at work. It’s only when I sit on my web late at night, when my mind has too much free time, that the doubts begin to seep in. I think things like: 
– I haven’t won a single award this year. I must not be a very good writer.
– A royalty check for $22? I really must not be a very good writer.
– How could the reviewer say my plot, “lacked depth and originality?”
– It was standing room only at Suzy’s book launch. What if no one comes to mine?
Then the dawn comes. And with a fresh day, there is a new web to spin and my fears vanish with the morning mist. 

When I do online visits with students, they will sometimes ask me questions such as:

A. How rich are you?
B. How can I be famous?
C. Do you sell a million books a year?
I gently answer their queries:
A. Oprah has nothing to worry about.
B. Start your own software company?
C. Uh … a little less than that. Yeah. A little less.
 
I try to delicately explain while these things may be what society values, if a writer spends time focusing on them or she can lose the joy in what she does (except the money part – we have to eat, too). Of course, I would like to be successful, but it’s not really why I write. And I think most authors would agree. We write for so many reasons, but fame, glory, and material gain aren’t usually an inherent part of those reasons. We write because we want to bring important issues to light. We write to change minds and hearts. We write because it’s fun. We write to learn about the world and ourselves and how we fit in it. We write because it fulfills us like nothing else can or ever could. We write because we love stories and we need more storytellers on this planet. We write because, like the spider, we are doing what we are born to do. 

We write, I suppose, because we must.

  
                                                              ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Trudi Trueit is the author of nearly 100 fiction and nonfiction books for children and teens. Look for her new middle grade novel, The Sister Solution (Aladdin MIX, for ages 9 to 12).

Trudi conducts Skype workshops for students and writers of all ages from her secret lair near Seattle, WA, and can tailor a presentation to fit the needs of your class, book club, or writers group. To learn more about booking a Skype visit with Trudi, head to the virtual visit page of her website, www.truditrueit.com.
 

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Author: Laurie Ann Thompson

I write books for curious young minds and open hearts, no matter what their age. BE A CHANGEMAKER: HOW TO START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, a teen guide to saving the world, will be published by Beyond Words/Simon Pulse in September of 2014. EMMANUEL'S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH, a picture-book biography, will be published by Schwartz & Wade/Penguin Random House in January of 2015. And MY DOG IS THE BEST, a heartwarming fictional picture book, will be published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan in May of 2015.

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