Readers, below you will find Sydney’s bio and social media:
Hello. My name is Sydney Anderson. I am currently a stay-at-home mommy-librarian who has a love of books and all things bookish. I work part time online as an adjunct professor for Southern Utah University (SUU) teaching Information Literacy. I believe there is a book out there for everyone, it is only a matter of finding the right one. I enjoy connecting with authors and readers online via social media and blogging and hope to one day write a novel of my own.
In addition to my love of libraries and books, I also enjoy group fitness and running. I am certified in Barre (via FiTour, Barre Above, & UpBeat Barre), Balletone, Advanced Pilates (viaFiTour), and Pumped Up Strength; I teach a few times a month. I am also currently working on completing a group fitness certification and Pre- and Postnatal Coaching Certificate via Girls Gone Strong AND I’m training for a 10K.
When I am not working, reading, or blogging, I enjoy spending time outdoors (especially hiking); attending group fitness classes (including: Barre, Balletone, Pilates, Pumped Up Strength, WERQ, Kickboxing, etc.); working on craft projects; singing; and spending time and going on adventures with my husband and our boys.
Social media: Instagram / Blog / Goodreads
Welcome to The Engrafted Word Sydney!
I am so excited to get to talk with you today, and I know our readers will love getting to know you and your wonderful family.
1. Writing is incredibly rewarding but the challenges are certainly there as well. What advice would you give to other writers who are feeling discouraged about their writing process?
Take time to better understand the writing process. And don’t underestimate the use of an outline. Even as a panster, a basic outline to keep everything from derailing is helpful. Attend writing conferences and learn all you can from the amazing authors there. And most important read, read, read books in the genre you want to write in. It will give you a feel of how the time period is supposed to be and how romance progresses throughout the story.
2. Who are some of your favorite authors and what genres do you enjoy reading the most?
I love reading a variety of genres and authors, so this is a hard question for me.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to become an author, and who or what would you say is your biggest influence in your writing journey?
I started writing when I was in grade school. I loved stories and the written word from a young age. I had some circumstances in my personal life come up with my special needs non-verbal Autistic son (he also has developmental delays and motor skill delays) and so I am not actually writing right now. But I’m hoping to get back into it in a couple years when both my kids are in school all day.
My biggest influence and ideas come from reading lots and lots of books in genres and by authors I adore.
4. As a writer, what has been your most memorable moment?
I have attended a local writing conference (Storymakers) a few times and learning from other authors is one of the most amazing and inspiring experiences ever!!!
5. When did you first start finding a passion for literature?
I’ve always loved reading. But I especially remember in 5th grade “earning” lots of books as “rewards” from my teacher, as well as my grandma who was a 3rd grade teacher at the time. And when I was in college I started working at my local public library and fell in love with the work and the community and decided to get my Master’s Degree in Library Science.
6. I love that you worked in a library! I’ve always thought that would be fun–I remember participating in the summer reading programs as a kid. What was it like working in a library and what were some of your favorite memorable moments?
I absolutely LOVED working at the library. I actually had the unique experience to work in both an academic library and a public library. One of my very favorite things was customer service. Especially in the public library where I came to know the community and always had fun chatting books and offering recommendations and helping patrons get on hold or request the library purchase certain books. In the public library I also adored helping with story time for toddlers. I got to put together my own kits and leave them behind for the use of others. Such a neat experience. I miss it so much! I hope to work in a library again some day once my kids are older and going to school all day.
7. I’ve only attended a few writing conferences, and it can be difficult to decide what conference to attend next. Can you recommend any to our readers?
It for sure can be hard to decide which writing conference to attend. So far, I have attended Storymakers which happens every May in Provo, Utah. It’s a 2-3 day event depending on what classes and intensives you decide to attend. And I also attended a writing conference put on by Richard Paul Evans in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. I mostly decided on these conferences, because I had heard good things about them, and they were close to home. I think it would be super fun to one day attend ACFW which is a lot farther away.
8. Blogging can be a lot of fun but also a lot of work! Why did you decide to start a blog so many years ago, and what tips could you give to someone who would like to start a blog?
At the time I started my blog, I had just moved to a new city in a new state and I couldn’t seem to get a job, even after multiple interviews. I didn’t have a job, and I didn’t have kids yet–I was bored being home alone all day while my husband was at work. I have always loved books and reading and discovered I could participate in blog tours and launch teams for various publishers and authors. So that is what became my “job”. I figured I was already reading anyway, so I might as well write a review and post on social media.
9. Experience is everything when it comes to life–whether that is writing a story or just talking to a friend. Are there any words of wisdom you would like to share?
I have always loved to read and use it as a way to explore other times and places. But ever since my oldest son was diagnosed with Autism, I’ve used reading a lot more as an escape and as self-care to help me cope with his diagnosis and all the therapies we do to help him, as well as a way for self-care to help with my mental health. It’s definitely a good outlet. And it teaches me to be a better writer along the way!
10. I agree with your advice–read as much as you can! And I know many keep up with their books and reading lists on Goodreads–myself included–but I’m always amazed at how people are able to read so much! What do you think is the best way to accomplish a high reading goal?
Honestly, I find the best of way to take a high reading goal is to be flexible in the type of book format you are willing to read. I do lots of audiobooks as I drive my kids to preschool. But I also read print and ebooks. I even go so far as to use my e-reader to do text to speech reading for me even though the voice is robotic. 😆 I also snatch little minutes when I’m waiting in line or waiting at the doctor’s or dentist’s office etc.
Thanks so much for having me, Heather. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you!!
Thanks for joining us, Sydney! Wishing you (and all you readers) a blessed day!