Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

by Jill Williamson

First, a bit about my writing spaces. Here is my desk.



And here is my treadmill desk.



The treadmill desk was easy to make. I know it's not ideal since my head has to look so far down, but it's so nice to get out of the chair, I like it. I wrote a blog post on how I created this desk. Click here to read about my tips for staying healthy while you write.

Now, guess what?

My official GTW age is one today! What in the galaxy does that mean? Simply that I've been blogging with Stephanie on the Go Teen Writers blog for one year.

*blows noisemaker*


Joining this blog has been one of the best decisions of my life. I'm so thankful that Stephanie asked me to come. I've gotten to know her so much better and am thrilled to count her as a friend. I've also gotten to know many of you, which has been so much fun. Blogging for you guys keeps me learning. Plus Stephanie and I wrote the Go Teen Writers book, which I wouldn't have done if I'd stayed all by myself over there on my author blog where crickets were more prevalent than comments.

Life at Go Teen Writers is pretty cool.

It's been a lot of hard work, though. Stephanie and I always do our best to write posts that will be educational and interesting, but sometimes blog posts are hit and miss. 

So let's forget all about those "miss" posts of last year and take a moment to reminisce about the "hits" or the posts I like to call "a blast to write." 

The first four posts I wrote for Go Teen Writers were about fight scenes. I like fighting. Not in real life, of course, but I like it in fiction. In fact, I just worked on a karate scene today for Project Gemini. It was fun. And I had so much fun writing those four fighting posts. Here are links to them again if you never saw them and care about fighting in fiction:

-Writing the Action/Fight Scene (Click to read original post.)
-Editing the Action Scene: Seven Ways to Make it Stronger (Click to read original post.)
-The Wizard's Duel (Click to read original post.)
-Writing the Great War (Click to read original post.)

I got super silly writing a post about using the Dora the Explorer formula to plot out a quest novel. And I actually printed out my post on choosing names for your characters to help myself as I've been brainstorming a new fantasy novel and wanted to try and create a naming system that was unique to my land.

Strange as it may sound, one of my favorite posts was the one titled To Swear or Not to Swear. I loved reading the discussion that followed in the comments about swearing in fiction.

I also loved reading all the stories behind your stories in the comments of that post, which talked about where you got the ideas for your books.

But my absolute favorite ... the posts that made me laugh and laugh ... were the two in which I invented The Crowl and told the story of its journey to publication. I'm still waiting for one of you to write that book. It's already got a cover and everything! Click here for part one and here for part two of those posts on the publishing process.

I'm hoping that this next year will bring as much fun and laughter as this year brought. Thanks for letting me talk to you guys about writing fiction. And thanks for loving writing as much as I do. Keep on reading and writing!


47 comments:

  1. Congrats on being here for 1 year!!! I have learned so much from both of you. GTW has shaped my writing greatly. I don't know where my writing would be without the guidance I have received here.

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    1. Thanks, Alyson. I can't wait to buy all you guys' books from stores someday and say, "I knew them when!"

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    2. That's so sweet! Yeah, you knew me when my writing sucked : )

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  2. Wow, it's been a year already? Happy blogobirthday!! *Blowing noise makers!!!*

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  3. WHOOO! And what posts were "misses"?! I loved all of them! The "stories behind the stories" comments were awesome, too. That was so interesting :)

    Thank *you* for writing these posts!! :D

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    1. Yeah, really! Surely you weren't talking about any of MINE being misses, Jill. *Cough* :)

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    2. LOL! None of yours, Steph. But I wrote that one post about etymology ... and that one about hiring a freelance editor... I dunno. It's been a long few days. :-P

      Thank you, Amanda. :-)

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  4. *Blows noisemaker* Yay! One year! And the release party last night was amazing. :)

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    1. It was fun. Look for a special slip of paper from my husband in your copy of Go Teen Writers, Jessa. It "may" have something to do with Jason Bateman...

      (It's not my fault that Brad is a youth pastor. He does this all the time.) *grin*

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  5. Happy Birthday Jill! You should write a post about your Character Board. I'd be interested in how you came up with what all of your characters looked like, where you found the photos, and how knowing what everyone looks like is helpful.

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    1. I did write about about that, Rachel! Here's the link: http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/2012/04/creating-character-board.html

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  6. Happy Birthday Jill *throws confetti* And thank YOU for always writing such helpful and inspirational posts! I just went through the fighting posts you mentioned, as I've been struggling for a while with that already, excellent. Went up to my favourites immediately

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    1. Yay! And that's where you saw the Medieval Swordsmanship book, huh? I love that book. Someone wanted to borrow it once and I had one of those selfish-panicked moments that I'm never proud of...

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  7. Congrats! And many happy returns...;-)

    Have you seen the GTW hangout on Google+ is created?

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    1. I can't find it! I tried. Google + mystifies me. Can you post a link?

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    2. I have send you an e-mail with the link, if it's all right...

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  8. Happy Birthday, Jill! I am so blessed by you, Stephanie, and Roseanna's posts and I don't know where I'd be in my writing without you all. Well, yes, I do know. It's a dark place and I don't want to think about it. ;)

    Looking forward to the future with all you fabulous people!

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    1. Thanks, Rosie. I'm so glad this blog has been a help to you. It's a light spot in my days too. :-)

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  9. Happy one year birthday Jill!!!!!! I'll have to go back and look at all those wonderful posts, I'm sure there are some I've missed :( Thank you for blogging and sharing tips, they've really helped me a lot!!!!!!!! :D :D Oh, and I think it's great that you write and walk or whatever at the same time :) I'd do that too, but we only have this weird ski like exercise thing and bike :/

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    1. Ooh, that sounds dangerous, Sierra. It's not the kind you need hands to push and pull the ski poles? I don't walk as much as I should. I'm trying to get back to that...

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    2. Yeah I think so, you kinda pull your feet forward...it's weird. I'm not sure if I'm using it right :P Also, I just noticed the character board, which looks awesome! I want one now :D

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  10. *fireworks and Katy Perry music* Happy Birthday, Jill!!! Rosie said basically exactly what I was thinking -- dark place indeed -- so I'll just add that I have improved in writing massively since finding GTW. I remember the exact post, it was the one on Archetypes, which was written by you, funnily enough. What a coinkydink. I dug out a piece of pre-GTW work last week and almost cried some of it was so terrible. But that just made me all the more thankful to have found you guys. Seriously, this stuff is gold. I'm a more insightful reader now that I know the author tips and tricks. And without GTW I never would have reached the point I am in my novel -- and I'm officially allowed to call it that now! hit 40,000 words on Monday and still going strong. Thanks so much for 100 for 100, Stephanie. I adore this blog. Thank you times a billion.

    Oh, and super jealous of your desks :)

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    1. Yay! Congrats on reaching 40,000 words, Chihuahua! That's awesome. *cheering and dancing* I'm thrilled that the blog has helped you so much. That is super cool.

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  11. Jill, I've loved reading your blog posts on here! Happy Birthday! :D

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    1. Thanks, Bethany. Some day you're going to have to tell me who that sweet little baby is in your profile picture. I've always meant to ask, and I always forget...

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  12. Happy Birthday! ^ ^ Your posts have been so helpful to me! Thanks so much! :)

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  13. Happy GTW birthday! :D I loved reading your posts about fight scenes, and the one about the publishing process was very fun.

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    1. Who's going to write The Crowl? Anyone? Anyone? Bueler?

      Hmmm...

      LOL!

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  14. Happy GTW birthday! Thanks for all the helpful posts :)

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  15. Happy Go Teen Writers Birthday! I loved the Crowl posts, too. They were great!

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    1. Thanks, Lydia! Crowl! Crowl! Crowl! :-P

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  16. Happy birthday! By the way, The Croal is the best.
    *Crowl
    -Katia

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  17. Happy GTW Birthday, Jill! Thanks so much for all the amazing posts. GTW is a bright spot in my day. And it's been so so helpful to me.

    My favorite post is probably the one about the Three-Act structure, with the nice diagram and the Wizard of Oz explanation. It really cleared things up for me about story structure.

    By the crowls were pretty amazing too :)

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    1. Oh, yeah! That was fun. I think I got it better my second time around using the Hunger Games. You can read that section of the GTW book on the "Look inside this book" page on Amazon. It's in chapter one.

      I think I should try and draw a crowl...

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  18. I think my favorite Jill post was "How to Write What You've Never Experienced." Excellent stuff!

    http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-write-what-youve-never.html

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    1. That sounds like one I need!! Thanks for the link!!

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    2. I am a murderer ... of spiders.
      :-P

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  19. How fast a year goes, and happy first birthday, Jill!;) I looked at your treadmill and thought, how on earth does she run and write at the same time? But you walk it so I understand now. :P Do you prefer exercising on the treadmill or outside? Because we bought a treadmill, but there's just something about running outside for me... but I've been thinking about, when I'm on the treadmill, trying to read while running... haven't tried it yet... :D

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    1. I'm an inside girl. I love the fresh air, but I'm a hermit. Every time I go outside, I take a deep breath and think I should do this more often.

      You could listen to audio books and podcasts when you run, even outside. I can't read while running. I can read while jogging on the treadmill, though.

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  20. Happy GTW Birthday, Jill!! What an exciting past few days it must have been for you, what with your one-year anniversary of GTW and your book release. :D Yay, congrats!

    I'm so very glad to have discovered Go Teen Writers--you and Stephanie have helped me immensely to learn more about my craft and about the publishing industry, and I love reading your posts! Some of the things you've written that have really helped me are your Punctuation 101 and tricky words posts; I love grammar anyway, and in addition to being fun to read, those posts have taught me quite a lot, so thank you for writing them. :) And congratulations on hitting the one-year milestone--I'll definitely be looking forward to more of your tips and advice in the future!

    Thanks again!

    Hugs,
    Taylor Lynn <3

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    1. Thanks, Taylor. *hugs* I'm so glad those punctuation posts have been helpful. I wish my English teachers could have found a better way to explain all these things way back when. I'm still figuring out some of them. When people speak grammar, it often sounds like a foreign language to me and I get all stressed out. Gah! I can't remember what a participle is! Need Google now! LOL

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    2. Yep, I know what you mean; I like grammar and punctuation, but there's still a ton of it I don't know. ;) It can get confusing, but I've always enjoyed language arts and spelling and punctuation, so I still enjoy it. Some rules I have a hard time grasping, though, like the whole "lay" vs. "lie" thing--I have a hard time with that one, and I always have to look it up when I'm writing. Google is definitely a priceless resource at times, haha! ;)

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  21. Happy...sort-of-GTW-birthday, Jill! I love your posts! (The Dora one especially hit home, since I had a nephew infatuated with it at the time. Urgh. Dora.) LOVE the treadmill idea. But I'm also addicted to fresh air (helps plot ideas spin out). Very clever though. ;)

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