Karen Lange is a freelance writer, editor, and online writing instructor for adults and teens. Her work has appeared in print and online in business, parenting, educational, and writing publications. She is a fan of hockey, dark chocolate, walking, and spending time with family.
What five words describe you?
Good question! I don’t often describe myself (like you don’t call your own phone number, right?).The first thing that comes to mind is that I am a Christian. I am also loyal, a perfectionist, and reserved but friendly.
What are you working on now? What is it about?
I am working on Write for Life Volume Two, which offers ready to use lessons for grades 7-12 that guides students through the essay writing process. Suitable for homeschool families, co-ops, or other student groups, these eight lessons break down the steps from start to finish with helpful tips, instruction, practice, and encouragement.
Lesson topics include:Essay basics and structure
Choosing topics and sources
Taking good notes
Thesis statements and outlines
Revision and editing
MLA style source documentation
Preparing for the test essay
My philosophy is that no matter what we do in life, good communication skills are an important ingredient for success. Strengthening students’ writing enhances verbal and other interpersonal skills and helps prepare them for a lifetime of good communication.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I think I would have enjoyed writing Anne of Green Gables. Anne is spunky and ambitious, and learns a lot about life on her journey. She is down to earth, and her story entertains and inspires – that’s the kind of book I’d be proud to author.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me, it is the self-discipline. I have many other responsibilities, so when I do have time to write, I have to work hard to set aside distractions and keep my focus. So many things constantly clamor for attention, from marketing and social media to unexpected and necessary schedule changes. I’ve learned to prioritize tasks weekly, rather than daily. This helps me better stay on track.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
First, I pray for inspiration. Then I do a number of other things, such as go for a walk, bake, clean, read, or spend time with my grandson. Sometimes I work on other projects in my office or around the house; this helps me gain a sense of accomplishment, even if it’s in another area. There’s been times when I’ve had deadlines and had to push through and just write. That’s when I find myself praying more and trusting that inspiration will surface as I go. It always does, too!
Where would your dream location be for writing?
I’d like to write in a cozy cabin with a view of the mountains. Having a lake nearby would be nice, too. When my husband and I visited Wyoming years ago, we went to Jenny Lake in the Tetons. It had a nice blend of woods, mountain scenery, and of course, the lake. We even spotted a moose while there. A little spot in that area would do nicely, I think!
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I read all my reviews, but don’t respond to them at the site (like Amazon). If I happen to know the reviewer or can find their blog or site, I will thank them for taking the time to share their thoughts. So far, I’ve had one bad review. It stung for a bit, but I knew it was part of putting my work out there. You can’t please everyone all the time, nor meet all their expectations. Jody Hedlund, one of my favorite authors, said that our work won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. We take the good with the bad and stay true to ourselves and our convictions. Another favorite author, Ann Gabhart, told me in an interview that “Rejection is not fatal”. She is right! I figure that applies to bad reviews too. Their advice helps me keep a good perspective.
If you couldn't be a writer, what would you be?
I would like to be an interior designer. Or a photographer. Or maybe a graphic artist. LOL I have many other interests that have to take a backseat to writing.
What would you tell your younger self that would have helped you in your writing career?
Relax and don’t take yourself so seriously all the time. Stop, smell the roses, and savor the time with loved ones. Cultivate good self-discipline habits. Remember the big picture – what will really matter in ten years?
Where can we find you on Social Media?
Facebook Author Karen Lange
Thanks so much for inviting me over, Patti. It’s been a pleasure. I wish your readers all the best!
From Patti: The pleasure is all mine Karen!