When Church Lady awarded me this honor, I was really pleased to receive it and the timing was wonderful for my soul. I was still recovering from Rosie's death and in the midst of large projects at work and preparing for my first vacation in a long time, so I didn't provide the 3 writing essentials as requested.
My grief is well in check, my vacation over and the nasty crud from which I've been suffering has abated enough to clear my mind and allow me to think rationally again. So, here are the 3 things in writing that are essential to me.
Whether fiction or non, if you're writing about a place millions of people know about and have visited - be accurate. If you're not sure of your facts, either do some research on the internet or just go there and see things for yourself. Otherwise, write about someplace else or make a place up because you will immediately lose credibility with those of us who live in a place if you can't write about it factually.
Write from your heart and from your own experience. If you're writing something you haven't experienced, talk to someone who has and question them in depth. It's difficult to have empathy or sympathy for characters who aren't well drawn and truly invested in the story.
Don't be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone or to tackle sensitive subjects or situations, but don't just do it to be sensational. Do it with intent - to educate and enlighten.
As for whom I would give the award to, most of them already have it and it was well deserved. If I could give it to one more person it would be our beloved Miss Snark who through her powerful words and sage advice brought most of us together and educated and enlightened us n the business of writing.
Come back Miss Snark. We miss you!