The Emotional Side of Writing When You’re Chronically Ill

Being a Writer: There is no doubt that being a writer is emotionally taxing: whether you’re a fiction writer, academic, or creative non-fiction writer; writing will take an emotional toll. Long hours, ambition, rejection – even success, can put us through the wrangler. Add to this any amount of daily stress, and it can be quite a treacherous pursuit, even for the emotionally robust. A writer must be many things: an organiser, administrator, observer, reader, researcher, analyst, and empathiser, to name but a few. All of these things inform, shape, and sustain… Read More

Why Do You Write?

NYT Bestselling and beloved author, Rick Riordan said, “We write, I hope, because we have a story to tell. How easy it is to lose sight of that, but the goal of writing is telling a good story.” Remember Why You Write I love what Rick said: we have a story to tell. Simple but true. It is important to remind yourself why you write as you draft, revise, and query. Ground yourself in the truth of this: you love to write. There is a reason you chose to step foot into… Read More

Four Reasons Your Mom Might Not Be The Best Beta

Writing young adult narratives is deeply personal for most, especially if set in the contemporary world. Regardless of whether you’re crafting a RomCom Romp, a Fantasy Frolic, or a Historical Hamlet, here are four reasons why you might not want your mom to read your work. You accidentally wrote your mom into your story If you think this might be you, but aren’t sure, the best way to find out is to have a sibling or close family friend read the story first. If they ever utter the words, “that is so… Read More

What Makes a Critique Partner?

Today, I’m going to hop up onto my soap box and discuss my favorite topic for writers at any level – Critique Partnering. I have only been a writer for a few years now, but I can honestly say that there’s no better way to hone your craft than through the critique partner (CP) process. It’s a give and take. And, by that I mean you only get out of it what you put into it – both in terms of giving and receiving feedback. Allow me to break it down. Giving… Read More

The Emotional Rollercoaster

I didn’t fully understand the importance of the sometimes over the top emotions teenagers display. From extreme joy, to tears, to raging, screaming fury. It used to make me roll my eyes and tune out, until I started to piece together why it happens. Once I started mentoring on a high school robotics team and made a point of truly listening to the teens on the team, did I figure out what it was all about. Order out of chaos As you read in many of the most popular YA books, when… Read More

Confessions of a Perfectionist

Yesterday I was scrolling on Instagram (most likely between the hours of 11pm and 2am) and I stumbled across a buzzfeed post that said: “Anyone else in their 20s, but feel like they’re running out of time to get their life together?” Maybe it was the sleep deprivation, but this message hit me hard. Like, right in the feels. I just turned 24, and I feel like there’s this underlying pressure to have it all and have it NOW. If we’re in our 20s we have to be living our best lives,… Read More

The Stagnant Writer

Remember the days when you thought you knew everything? I’m not talking about when you were a teenager, I mean in your writing life. I remember those days fondly, where I sat at my laptop and forged ahead, unafraid of making mistakes, of using adverbs, of using the same descriptor for every character. Too many words, too little plot, not enough character development. It’s like being really young again. You don’t know you can get it wrong, so you aren’t afraid to try. Many of the writers I’ve met along the way… Read More

The Author – Librarian Connection

Dozens of books come out in each category every month. How do libraries decide what winds up on their shelves? And what can authors do to encourage libraries to buy their books—without annoying librarians in the process? Here’s what I’ve learned working in library youth services over the past 18 years. Since library staff can’t read every new book, we rely on professional reviews to determine which books to add and which to pass on. Publishers submit advance reader copies of books to review journals such as School Library Journal, Booklist, and… Read More

#DearLaura

#DearLaura I’m in love with reading and writing. But my parents want me to be a musician, even though I am terrible at music. This has made my desire to be a writer diminish. What can I do to keep my dream going without my family’s support? Dreaming Jess Dear Dreaming Jess, What is most interesting to me about your question is that your parents are pushing you to be a musician, another creative and somewhat monetarily unstable profession, as opposed to, say, an accountant where monetary comfort is more likely an… Read More

You Will Never Be Satisfied

One of the fun things about attending conferences and workshops is that you get to talk to fellow writers. In so doing, you glean useful information about writing, publishing, marketing, and whatnot. You also learn one important fact about writers in general: no matter how splendidly their careers are going, they’re still not satisfied. Over this past year, here are some of the gripes I’ve heard: One guy complained because of the relatively low royalty he received on a mass-market paperback that has sold over 100,000 copies to date. Another author had… Read More