#stayinspired, Christian, life, writing

Advice from a Writer: Interview with Isabella Morganthal

Hello, everyone! So, as you might know already, I’m a huge fan of Isabella Morgenthal (and her book, I Dare You). It was so awesome to get to interview her–thanks, Bella! I hope you all enjoy this and her very wise advice 🙂

To date, how many books have you written?

 Well, as of right now I’ve written sixteen books (nine of them are novels). 🙂 However, not all of them are worth being read, haha! As of November 2017 I’ve only published four of them (all being non-fiction). However, who knows what the next month or two will hold? 😉

What is the writing process like for you? (What inspires you to write?)

A: Well, for me I draw inspiration most from three different things. Number one, my inspiration comes from God. Sometimes it’s things He teaches me in His Word, Scripture I’ve been studying, or circumstances He brought me through. The second things is reading other great books. Especially authors like Ann Voskamp or Katie Davis inspire me as a writer. And three, writing in coffee shops or little cafes is super inspirational for me and I can usually write a lot when I’m in an inspirational setting. 🙂

How long did it take you to write I Dare You? What inspired you to write it?

A: Well, it took approximately a year to write I Dare You. I began when I was sixteen and finished the last words a year later when I was seventeen. It took one more year, however, to finish editing and revisions. The inspiration behind I Dare You is simply that those were the words I wanted to tell my generation. Before I officially started writing the book, I felt God ask me the question, “If you could only ever write one more book, what would you want it to say?” And my answer turned out to be I Dare You. 🙂 I wanted to write a book that inspired my generation to not waste their lives, but to make them count for the glory of God. My own personal journey with Jesus was the inspiration behind all of it.  

What was the hardest part of writing it?

A: Ah, the hardest part of writing it was being vulnerable. 🙂 This book was everything I wanted to say to my generation, but because of that it required me to be vulnerable in a way that I hadn’t been in my writing before. I shared personal testimonies and stories in this book and just laid my heart out on those pages. I wasn’t sure how the book would be received and that was scary and hard. But God is faithful. And He has been so good to use this story and this book for His glory!

Do you have any tips about writing effectively? What are your favorite guidelines for writing an engaging article/blog post/book?

A: My number one tip for writing effectively is to be real and honest. Write as if you were writing to a friend. Write as if you were writing to your younger self. But write in a real and honest way. Don’t hold back. Be you. Some other guidelines I use for writing an engaging article/book is to start with a powerful first sentence. This is what will draw the reader in, so start with something that’s going to make them want to keep reading. Maybe share a personal story or funny analogy, something that keeps their attention. Always be personal and stay humble. No matter how many thousands may read your work, keep your mind on the one.

Favorite genre to read?

A: My favorite genre to read is mostly non-fiction, like the style I write. I love reading that genre because it inspires my own writing. 🙂

Which social media platform do you find the best to promote blogs?

A: I think that Instagram is probably the best and easiest for promoting writing/blogging. Facebook has been the most difficult social media platform for me to develop, however after two years of dedicated work with it, I’ve been able to build it up as well. Instagram developed much faster and grew much bigger. Instagram just seems to be more popular today than other social sites, so I would suggest starting with it for promotions and platform building. 🙂

What’s your favorite kind of articles to write? 

A: My favorite kind of articles are encouragement. I love writing specifically to younger teen girls, encouraging or inspiring them in whatever they are facing. I love sharing with them what I wish I would’ve known at their age about dreams, following God’s plans, and living wholeheartedly for Him.

You’re the founder of The King’s Princess Magazine. Tell us why you decided to start that and what you hope to accomplish through it. 

A: Oh, I’d love to! I founded The King’s Princess (www.thekingsprincessmagazine.weebly.com) in January 2013 when I was fifteen years old. Around the time I had begun seriously considering writing, but I knew it was my path to follow God’s purpose for my life to glorify Him. I was reading a friend’s magazine for Christian young ladies and I remember so clearly my mom asking me, “What about starting your own magazine?” So I did! Starting the magazine began my journey with writing non-fiction. My goal in starting it was to create godly, uplifting material for the Christian girl to read that would encourage her to walk as a daughter of the King. So much material is out there bombarding us with messages from the world, and I wanted to put out messages that pointed to the King. I pray through the magazine that God will encourage the young ladies who read it and draw them closer to Himself.

How do you stay organized?

A: Ah, great question. 🙂 I was born a planner and I’ve been planning everything in my life for as long as I can remember. To-do lists are a constant companion for me. Of course, I’ve certainly learned a lot over the years too about giving my plans and to-do lists to God, because sometimes His plans are way different than mine. 😉 However, organization is something that I always strive to keep in my life because it keeps me from going crazy when I have a lot to do. I stay organized, first by making lists. I prioritize the writing projects I have to do, I plan ahead, I schedule blog posts in advance, and I always try to make my writing deadlines way ahead of time. Another way I stay organized is by giving my yes’s and my no’s to God. I learn to say yes to what He is asking me to do and say no (even if the opportunity is good) to what He is asking me to pass up.  

What’s the most valuable thing to remember when writing anything? 

A: I would say the most valuable thing to remember is that your words have the power of life and death, and also that your words have the power to either glorify God or glorify yourself. You can either write something that will fill someone with encouragement, inspiration, and life, or you can fill them with hurt and discouragement. Everything you write will point back to someone or something. You can write to give yourself a name or point to some cause. But if you do, it’ll be pointless in the end. Only when you write for the glory of God, do your words contain the potential to impact history and change your world. Keep your focus on God and His glory, and you’ll do fine. Stay humble through the whole process. God will take you where He wants you with what you write.

Isabella Morganthal blogs at jesusisworthitall.weebly.com. She is the author of I Dare You, 

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