It’s My Time and I’m Keeping It

“How do you find time to write?” I get asked this question all the time by other writers who also happen to be Moms or Dads with young kids. They’re hoping I’ve got a magic spell that will open a portal they can escape into. Preferably, one with excellent child care. Part of them also wants me to validate their need to write. To tell them wanting to write is okay. I’m not a therapist. I’m just a writer. One with two kids, ages 9 and 5. Someone who wrote her debut novel… Read More

How To Make Your Family Think You’re On Vacation…

Every year, when I go on vacation, I tell my family that I’m not going to write. I’m going to focus entirely on them and relax. Here’s how the discussion usually goes… “You’re not going to edit anything?” they ask. “No,” I say. “I’m not even going to bring my laptop.” “What about starting a new story?” they ask. “Nope. I’m not going to start anything new, either. It’s just going to be about you.” But, they don’t quite understand that writing is not only my job, it’s my passion. I’ve tried… Read More

Leave Your Expectations At The Door

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of co-teaching at a local high school with Dave Amaditz, another All The Way YA contributor. At the end of the session we’d left time for Q&A and the questions rolled in… They weren’t new. As an author, I hear versions of the same ones all the time. What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas? What’s the best piece of advice you have for a new author? When we reached that last question, I prepared to give my standard answer. Join a writer’s group so you can get feedback on… Read More

Is There Such A Thing As Over Editing? / @StephanieKeyes / @allthewayya

There have been lots of times over the years when I’ve gotten frustrated, when rejection nailed me to the wall. Everybody who writes goes through this to some degree. Over the past few years, I’ve focused on exploring and managing this, turning rejections into my own mini-teachable moments and allowing myself to enjoy successes. It’s worked. I’ve been a happier writer because of it. But…I never expected to find myself at a standstill last week over an entirely different blocker. Editing. Specifically, when did I stop? How was I supposed to truly… Read More

Why I Said “No” To NaNoWriMo This Year

  This time last November you would have found me chained to my laptop, sucking down bars of semi-sweet Baker’s chocolate, with about two hundred post-it notes stuck to my desk, my hair, my kids, the dog, and any available space within a five-foot radius. Not only did I sign-up to “win” NaNoWriMo–which really consists of receiving a video with a bunch of people in viking hats cheering–but I was determined to finish before Thanksgiving so it didn’t impact my holiday. On top of that, I decided to write for a new age… Read More

Self-Loathing And Two Spoonfuls Of Nutella / @StephanieKeyes

You know the moment. The one where a great friend of yours gets an incredible publishing deal. Their book is going to be made into a movie starring some actor so hot you could fry an egg on his chest. They have everything they’ve ever wanted. Ugh. For me, I used to greet those days with a healthy dose of self-loathing: “I’m just not a good enough writer.” I’d avoid my current manuscript in favor of an unnatural relationship with the Nutella jar. Okay, I’ll admit I only allowed myself two (even)… Read More

Think Critically! My First Critique Group / @StephanieKeyes / #scbwi

We’ve talked on this blog before about the often solitary life of a writer. Many people believe that they don’t need critique groups, or even other writers for that matter, to thrive. To those peeps, I say this: Nothing good has ever been created in a vacuum. Vacuums suck. Suck up your energy. Your inspiration. Before you argue with something akin to, “I am a creative Hoover,” look at it this way. As writers we need inspiration from the outside, we need to grow, but we also need validation. Now, if you… Read More

Don’t Quit Your Day Job! Or Should You? The Realities Of Money and Writing /@StephanieKeyes

When I began my first novel, I had no intention of leaving my job. I loved Human Resources training. Not only did I enjoy helping people, but it was a role that couldn’t have suited me better. So, even as I worked on my first draft of The Star Child, I planned to continue working full-time, dedicating my weekends to writing and family. So…I Might Have Changed My Mind My discontent with trying to fit both working full-time and writing into my schedule kicked in after I had my second son–the one we affectionately… Read More

Guess What?…It Did Happen To Me…Publication Path–The Sequel

The last time I blogged about my publication journey I shared my beginnings…how I got into this game. If you missed that part of the saga, feel free to hop into the way-back machine and read that post here. Needless to say, by the beginning of 2012, I had a self-published debut novel and no one seemed to notice. I know, cry me a river, right? Still, I’m not one to sit down and feel sorry for myself–I’m a do-er. Meaning, in my mind there isn’t any problem I can’t solve if I work… Read More

That Will Never Happen To Me…Publication Path

As of February of 2008, I could safely admit that I’d tried to write a book at least twenty-five times. Some of the earlier versions were even on a typewriter. Yikes! I’d had numerous ideas, numerous characters that I can no longer remember the names of, and even more extremely weak plots. The problem? I’d start writing and lose interest. What was going to happen to Character X’s (because of course I can no longer remember her name) life? Who the freak cares? Yeah, that’s pretty much what I thought. Two things happened that… Read More