89 of you bold writers entered the Go Teen Writers #WeWriteBooks contest. Jill, Shan, and I are SO proud of you. We have often submitted our work to contests or industry professionals, and we know how scary it can feel. Thank you for trusting us with your words. We don't take the job lightly!
We are taking a break so we can devote adequate time to judging the entries. We will be back Monday, October 17th.
The result of hearing this message over and over for several weeks left me feeling pretty bad about myself. I've been working on the same book for more than a year. I caught myself thinking things like, "What's wrong with me that I'm not done yet?" And even reminding myself that I have three children—including a baby, and a kiddo with special needs—wasn't helping me to feel any better about my progress.
Then a week ago, I listened to an interview with Carolyn Mackler, a longtime YA author who's probably most well-known for The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things. She was talking about her most recent release, Infinite In Between, which is a big, complex novel. If I'm remembering the details right, it sounds like she completely rewrote the book two or three times before sending it to her editor, who told her, "You're getting closer." By the time she finally finished a draft that she was happy with, it had been three years of working on the book.
Again, I might be slightly off on the details, but the takeaway for me was that this professional writer—who has won awards,hit bestseller lists, and had loads of critical acclaim—didn't get the book right the first time, and she gave herself the time she needed to get it right.
Her words finally silenced that voice inside me that kept saying I wasn't going fast enough.
And it was a reminder how important and healthy it is to learn from a variety of sources. There's nothing wrong with having favorite writing blogs, podcasts, books, or teachers, but diversifying and hearing new perspectives can be exactly what you need.
With that in mind, here are a few websites you should check out if you haven't yet:
Writing Excuses: Jill, Shan, and I have all mentioned this one many, many times over the years. I highly recommend season 10, which is designed to be a "master class" kind of thing, taking you all the way through the process of writing a novel. I'm listening to that this month in prep for participating in my first NaNoWriMo!
Editor Says: Jillian Manning is an editor with Blink and she has great industry insights on her blog.
Jane Friedman's blog is one of only recently started exploring. If you're looking for more industry related articles, this is a great source.
Helping Writers Become Authors is another great, accessible craft blog. K.M. Weiland is also a great follow on Twitter.
Shan taught me about this one a few weeks ago: DIY MFA. From listening to that podcast, I found The Creative Penn which is more focused on the business piece of indie publishing.
We'll see you back here in two weeks!