Three Secrets Every Wanna-Be Author Should Know

Every author was, at some point, a wanna-be author.

That was me about a year ago. Even though I have been writing my entire life, I only recently finished penning my first novel. Yes, it only took about 50 or so years for me to get serious (or maybe brave?) about this mission!

It was a labor of love and also one of dedication.

But now that the monumental task of writing that first draft is behind me, I actually feel like I have something to offer other wanna-be authors. I have narrowed it down to three secrets that all new writers should embrace.

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We’re Halfway Through Summer….What Are You Reading??

Reading is usually my “go to” summer activity. In fact, I can usually get four or five novels in before the school bell rings again in September. But with my “little” writing activity (did I mention I am working on a novel??), my reading time has been seriously cut short.

I recently finished a book recommended by a friend—One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd. As I mentioned in a previous post, I didn’t technically “read” it as it was an audiobook, but I very much enjoyed it! Gave it 4/5 stars. But always read several reviews to see if it’s a book for you! Personally, I really like getting recommendations from others because they usually take me out of my comfort zone and expose me to stories I normally wouldn’t choose.

So what are YOU reading this summer? Or what have you already finished that you would recommend? Tell me in the comments below, and don’t forget to say why you like it! And check back to see what others suggest…if you’re looking, that is!

P.S. Feel free to follow me on Goodreads if you want to see what else I’ve been reading.



Good Grief (and Chapter 1 again!)

My novel is coming along nicely…

My novel is coming along nicely…

My novel is coming along nicely…

OK, if I keep saying those exact words to myself over and over, I might actually believe them! In reality, I would say my novel is between 85% and 90% complete. And by complete, I mean that I am nearly finished my first draft. Which would have sounded really good to me when I first started this process.

But now, I realize that finishing my first draft isn’t anywhere close to what people think when I say I’m “writing a novel.” People—like myself about a year ago—think that when someone says they’re writing a novel that it goes like this: (A) you write the novel and then (B) the novel gets published. As if it was a seamless process requiring enormous effort (no doubt!) but with guaranteed results.

Now I know how preposterous this is.

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The Best Book I Didn’t Read This Year

It goes without saying that I love books. I like the way they look, the way they feel in my hands, even the way they smell. (I’m still waiting for someone to develop a Barnes & Noble air freshener!) Reading books helps me escape my world, envision new places, and transform into other people. I also love reading blogs and web pages and magazine articles and poetry. But books are still my favorite.

I also harbored this romantic notion that I preferred highbrow literary fiction (think Dickens, Austen, and Hemingway). Convinced myself that I enjoyed immersing myself in sophisticated vocabulary and complicated plot lines and intertwining themes. But then I came across several of those online lists outlining “The 25 Most Influential Books In History” or “The 50 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives”…and then discovered that I hadn’t actually read that many.

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Telling My Story

Trying to write a novel is daunting enough.

Declaring to the world that one is writing a novel is a type of social servitude. I am now committed to writing the damn thing.

But the real problem at this point is….telling my story.

Here’s my dilemma: I have something to say, and I believe that I am a good writer. But I’m just not sure my story is good enough.

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