Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Not yet..

If you know me at all in real life, you know that my biggest obsession right now is the TV show Timeless. {If you haven't seen it, go check it out on Hulu!}

But that's not really what this is about. Well, not really. Bear with me.

So there's an episode in the first season called "The Last Generation". In it, Agent Christopher is talking to Wyatt and he is frustrated that the one thing he wants seems completely achievable, no matter what he does. Her response to him is: "Maybe the universe is saying there is something you have to do first."

I gotta tell you, this stuck with me all this summer. I can't tell you the number of days I'd cry or grumble in frustration, never feeling good enough, wondering if this is the wrong career for me to pursue. Maybe all the rejection was trying to tell me something. Maybe I'm not meant to be a writer and I need to just move on.

But then that phrase would sneak back in my mind, and it changed the whole way I saw things this summer. Maybe 'no' just really means 'not right now'. Maybe there are things in my life I'm supposed to focus on first.

So that's what I did. Of course I spent the summer writing, querying, entering contests, constantly finding ways to further my career. None of this will get done if I sit back and do nothing.

But I felt less pressure than before. I didn't sweat over waiting to hear back, and I truly began to enjoy the season I'm in. A season where I can write when it suits me and my life, not restricted by deadlines. I get to write the stories I want, tweaking and taking my time to perfect them. Also a season where my family and friends are my priority. The summer was incredible. So many visits with friends, road tripping and day tripping all up and down the east coast. Hours upon hours spend at the pool and more time spent exploring outside than in.

How lucky I was to have these times, letting go of the worry, anxiety, and fear for just a little while. And as summer fades into fall, I want to hold close to those words still. I'm going to keep writing, keep pressing on, never giving up...but also try and enjoy exactly where I am in life right now. Hoping that 'no' just means 'not now' and that something great lies around the corner from me when the time is right.



Thursday, June 7, 2018

After All

The whole point of this blog was to share my work and my writing journey. It's been hard to share about the writing journey, when it's nothing but rejection and not knowing what to do next, fumbling around in the dark. But I know deep down this is what I'm meant to do, be a published author, so I'm sticking with it and soldiering on so to speak.

In total I've written five novels {and one of those I just rewrote completely} The second novel I wrote is different than the others. It's more college-age romance, than the women's fiction like the others. It is a story I love, but not one I have any interest in having traditionally published.

Because of this, I've decided to do something a little different and share it on Wattpad. Wattpad is a website and an app where writers can share their novels, short stories, flash fiction, and fan fiction. Readers have the opportunity to read for free, star, and comment on these stories. I'm only starting to learn about it, but it's an incredible community.

So twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays ideally, I'll be sharing my second novel After All chapter by chapter. You can follow the story here.

This is the description of the story:
Burned by an ex-boyfriend and rejected from her dream school, aspiring artist Lily Collins has arrived for her first year of college in New England looking for a fresh start. But falling face-first onto the stage during freshman assembly is not exactly what she had in mind. It does, however, attract the attention of Ryan Park. The hot lacrosse player, who already has a reputation for being popular with the ladies, is exactly the type of guy Lily wants to avoid this year. She let herself get blinded by love before and refuses to let that happen again.

But eventually, first as friends, then as more, Ryan becomes the lead in all of Lily's stories. She can't help but fall in love with him. She finds her place with him and at school, finally feeling content in life.

Until out of nowhere, it all falls apart. Lily is left to pick up the pieces and put her life back together. But years later, when she runs into Ryan again, she is left to wonder what happened between now and then, and if the questions she seeks answers to will change the past, as well as her future.

So please check it out and feel free to comment and share! 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

If you find my motivation, let me know

I seemed to have lost my motivation somewhere in the waning weeks of 2017. For writing, for reading, for taking the necessary steps in this writing thing I hope to make a career. And I just can't seem to find it again.

I finished my fifth novel and sent it out to my beta readers. An accomplishment I should surely be proud of. And I am. But it's a little harder when you feel like you've been thrust back to the beginning again. I was prepared for ups and downs of the publishing world. But coming back around full circle again was tougher than I imagined.

I'm not complaining. This industry is tough, and it should be. As a reader I really appreciate that. But as a writer, it makes me question. Is it me, or them? Have I just not found the right person to get my work out there, or am I just not talented enough? Knowing when it's smarter to give up or keep going, is a balance I'm still struggling with.

But for now, I made the decision to try one more time. To edit, query, drink copious amounts of Diet Coke waiting for the rejections to roll in. I gave myself a few weeks off to breathe. Not think about writing, or reading, or anything to do with the industry. It was good, and more needed than I realized.

But with the start of the new year, I'm ready to dive back in {or at least fake it till I make it}. While waiting to hear from my readers, I'm going to tackle my query and synopsis. I'm gonna fall in love with books again. I'm gonna remember why I started this whole process to begin with. And how days sent writing are so much better than those I don't. That I've written 5 novels. And even if no one other than my family ever reads them, that's good enough for me. And most importantly, I'll never really know unless I try. Again and again and again.

So here's to 2018. May it bring all our publishing dreams come true. Or at least remind us all why we started this in the first place!

Happy writing, and if you're ever stuck and questioning it all, remember I'm right there with you, slogging through the muck with you.

And feel free to share your most recent favorite books! I'm always looking for something good.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Determination

I love a good inspirational quote. Something to keep you going when the hard times hit.


"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."
Thomas A. Edison

"If you fell down yesterday, stand up today." 
H. G. Wells

"Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough." 
Og Mandino

"Never, never, never give up." 
Winston Churchill

"It always seems impossible until it's done." 
Nelson Mandela


When I first started off on this writing journey almost three years ago, I would curl up in bed at night with my phone, scrolling through Pinterest, looking for inspiration. I would hold on to the words until I started writing again in the morning. There was nothing I couldn't do. I would become a published author, and become a stronger person along the process. I would not let myself get bogged down by rejection. I would swallow it down, try to find a lesson, and keep on writing.

Well let me tell you something. It is easy to read motivational quotes. It is not easy to live them.

Here we are three years later from the first time I sat down and started writing a novel. I've written four complete novels, and half of two others. And based on some recent events, am starting a whole new one. Which to be honest, I wasn't sure I wanted to at first.

It's not that I hadn't had rejection before. Trust me, I don't have enough fingers and toes to count up the amount of agent, then editor rejection I have gone through. Each time, I'd cry a bit, wipe away the tears, then sit right down and write something else. But after a while, even the most determined person can get beaten down.

After a while you wonder how much of it is determination, and how much is you not being smart enough to realize this isn't the job for you. Making that decision is definitely not an easy one.

But for now, determination won out. I'm going to go through this process one more time. With help from my agent, I am crafting a book I am really excited about. Something very different than what I've been working on in the past. Something I hope will be the one to work.

So if you're so inclined. Cross some fingers for me that this book is the one that sticks. The one that becomes the first step in what I hope will be a long novel-writing career.

But at the very least, throughout all this time, I have learned one thing. No matter how hard it is, no matter how long the days feels, no matter how often the word "no" is thrown my way, I'm a lot more determined that I ever thought I could be

Friday, April 14, 2017

What I've Learned

When I first embarked on this writing journey, I really had no idea what to expect, in a lot of ways. I knew that I'd learn a lot about what it takes to write a novel and endless new information about the publishing world. Because when I started, I knew very little.

And those things are true. I'm far more knowledgeable now about self-publishing vs traditional. Knowing what genre you're writing and how your book fits into that category is very important. Writing a first draft is hard, but the real work comes with editing and revising.

But what I didn't expect to learn were things about myself. Like I'm not as patient as I thought I was. How I went years without writing, but since I started, I can't stop. The days I don't write are not as full as the ones I do. I have an innate determination to play the long game and continually push through rejection, refusing to give up until I reach my goal.

Another surprise in this journey, has been the reactions of those around me. I have been absolutely humbled by the support I have received from family, friends, and even those I didn't realize were following along so closely. People have excitedly offered to read my books, and share feedback when finished. Others answer completely random questions I have in expertise only they could share in my story. Friends have reached out, seemingly out of nowhere to offer support and encouragement. Some let me cry over rejection, then bolster me right back up. I have been told the world needs my stories and that my determination is inspiring.

I'm the one who sits in the chair and physically does the writing, pouring my heart onto the page. But this is not a journey I am taking alone. So many are walking beside me, keeping me moving forward when I stumble or fall.

This journey has still barely begun. And in many ways is starting over from scratch as my agent and I begin to edit my newest book to try it's hand at submission, crossing fingers it has more luck than the others. But I know I don't do this alone. And that makes all the difference.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Writing Tips

I've been participating in an IGauthorslife over on Instagram this month {go follow me here!} Each day there is a different topic for us to post a picture of. A few weeks ago, it was our writing tips.

Here are mine!


What are your best writing tips? Leave them in the comments below!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Survival Tips for Writers

A lot of you are smack in the middle of NaNoWriMo right there {writing an entire 50,000 word novel first draft in a month for all you nonwriters}.  I've never participated before, but it seems like fun! Depending on what I've got going on, I may jump in next year.

Anyways, as you power through your word counts every day, I thought I'd give you a list of survival tips for writers!



- coffee, lots and lots of coffee {or whatever caffeine beverage your prefer} Writing takes a lot of early mornings or late nights, and that jolt is a must.

- good chair. You don't want to be sitting in something too uncomfortable because you're going to be spending a lot of time in it. {something I need to take my own advice on because my chair is not comfortable} You also need to make sure it's not too comfortable that you'll start to fall asleep!

- chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Or whatever your vice of choice is. Always helps fuel those tough scenes!

- music. Or at least that's what works for me. I can't write with the TV on, I also can't write in silence. I need a good playlist, which varies depending on what novel I'm working on, as well as which scene. Find what works for you!

- support system. This is SO important. You need a group of people surrounding you to encourage you, and help make sure you have time to write. I've also found that you need people you trust that you can bounce ideas off of. I'm lucky that my husband will sit for hours discussing character development and plot points. Getting ideas from others often opens my mind a bit on scenes I'm struggling with.

So that's my list of survival tips. Leave yours in the comments!