Monday, August 13, 2012

Joys of Writing by Maggie Lyons

The Joys of Writing
Author Maggie Lyons

Stephen King once said that writing for him was about “getting happy.” That was his joy. For Truman Capote the joy of writing was about “the inner music that words make.” For Somerset Maugham, an author I greatly admire, the joy of writing is its “supreme solace.” Anne Rice said she loved words and had “fallen into the joy of writing them.” For Judy Blume, the joy comes from writing stories that are inside her “burning to get out.”

The joy of the perfect excuse is first on my list.  The perfect-excuse joy is what courses through my veins when I browse the stacks in the children’s section of my local library. I can borrow whatever treasures I find there without feeling like a grizzly at a teddy bears’ picnic because I have the perfect excuse: I’m a children’s writer. Years ago my excuse was that I was the mother of a young boy who loved having bedtime stories read to him. When that excuse was no longer valid because my son had the temerity to grow up, I was forced to come up with another one. Writing for children fitted the bill. Luckily, I have not, so far, had to wrestle with a child wanting to borrow exactly the same book I had my heart set on. Of course, I’d never do that … well, not without fair warning, anyway.

The joy of language: I’ve always loved language, including learning foreign languages and music. Maybe it’s the process of decoding that I enjoy most. I think most adults forget how difficult it is for very young children to learn how to decode characters. Once they do, they often revel in the sounds of words, and word play becomes an important part of their reading material. I’m having fun playing with words as I learn to write picture books. In my stories for middle-grade readers the word play usually takes the form of a joke. Whether it’s the sound of the words, or the game of choosing exactly the right words to form a joke, language is a joy for me.

The joy of escape: Children’s literature opens up a unique world of escapism, humor, imagination, and creative freedom, which is not without its own distinctive challenges, but if you’re a challenge addict like me, you’ll welcome them. The creative rewards make this literary medium’s difficulties worth the effort of overcoming them—a joy in itself.   


Maggie Lyons is a writer and editor who was born in Wales and crossed the pond to Virginia. With no regard for the well-being of her family and neighbors, she trained as a classical pianist. Then came a career of putting rear ends on seats—that is, orchestral management, marked by reams of marketing and fundraising writing and program note scribbling for audiences whose first priority was usually to find their names in the donors’ lists. Editing for academic publishers also brought plenty of satisfaction—she admits she has a fondness for nerds—but nothing like the magic she discovered in writing fiction and nonfiction for children. Several of her articles, poetry, and a chapter book miraculously appeared in Stories for Children Magazine and knowonder! magazine. She hopes her stories encourage reluctant young readers to turn a page or two.

Her middle-grade adventure story Vin and the Dorky Duet is available as an e-book at MuseItUp Publishing’s bookstore (MuseItYoung section), on Amazon at, and as a paperback at Halo Publishing International at Her middle-grade adventure story Dewi and the Seeds of Doom will be released by as an e-book by MuseItUp Publishing in October. Halo Publishing International will release a paperback version. More information at:, and


Virginia S Grenier said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing and hosting Maggie Lyons on your blog.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Amber, for having me as a guest blogger today.

Amber Lea Easton said...

I'm happy to have you, Maggy. I love your perspective on the joy of writing. I have to agree. If I don't write for a day, I'm all out of whack and irritable. Writing equals euphoria to me.