Feel Free To Read This In Your Spare Time… :)

PSA: The grammar here is atrocious. I’m going to strongly suggest… πŸ˜€ … that you kindly disregard it. Ya see here… I was writing for hours on my book before this & that requires being grammar conscious.. and it’s a royal pain. I’m all grammar’d out and I don’t have it in me. — I will start sentences with and, put commas and periods where they do not belong and……. all sorts of other nonsense that is frowned upon. — Please, ignore my sloppiness. You guys are the best. πŸ˜€

 

I learn a lot from other authors. I learn from reading… which I truly believe is one of the best ways to learn about writing.

The other day I tried a new author. And it was this author’s first book.

As someone writing a first… it pains me to read first books by new authors and pick it apart. Because I know… I knooowwww… the work, the time, the sweat, and tears… all of it. I live it. It’s heart wrenching to know people are going to pick your work apart and find flaws in something you’ve created and come to love very much. — But that’s the name of this game. People will read your work as an author and they will judge it. Good or bad… one way or the other… they’ll feel some sort of way about it and that’s their right. —

But as a writer… it makes it much more difficult for me. I feel bad judging someone else’s work when I didn’t like something. I want to like it all. But that’s just not the case. That’s not how it works and at the end of the day… I can also learn a lot from books that I didn’t like or that I found flaws in. — Sure… I know people will find flaws and issues in my work… and that makes me feel like a hypocrite… hence the reason I probably feel so bad when I don’t like something. —- Which is what happened with this book.

I tried it because it was suggested and I knew it was a first time author and I wanted to see what that read like… because typically I’m reading books by authors that have published a multitude of books… and that’s always going to be a different kind of read.

So throughout what I read of it… the author kept telling me that the main character was sarcastic and was a bit of a smart mouth. There were several times where that was expressed and eventually I went.. You keep telling me, but it’s not in the dialogue and it’s not in her thoughts and it’s not in her actions. It’s not here anywhere. — She wanted me to know her character was sarcastic but if she had never told me that… I would have never known.

And I immediately thought…. don’t do that. Make sure that if I tell readers something about my character and it’s a huge part of their personality…. that they’ll see it throughout the book. They’ll see it in the dialogue, actions, and inner thoughts. If my character has sarcastic tendencies… let there be no room for doubt. If one character doesn’t get along with another…. make sure the reader can see the tension and that it doesn’t come across like they’re best buds. Things like that. Making sure everything matches up and balances out… Everything has to carry over just right all the way through… it can be a fine line! Lemme tell ya! —

Now I didn’t like the book. To be fair… I don’t think I was the right target for it. I really don’t. But at the same time… it really did help me to pay attention to things I don’t want to do with my own work. — One of the other things was that it moved very fast and didn’t really go in hard. I didn’t feel like I got enough information or got to know anything about anything before we had moved on to another scene. — and I immediately said, don’t do that. Don’t linger too long… but also.. let my readers get to know my characters and what’s happening and get a feel for each and every scene. Even short ones. Create depth… I want people to turn the page having known exactly what I did about what was happening. Clear & concise… not just sort of brushing over it where you feel like you kinda missed something, but you aren’t sure what. —

& y’all I feel like a jerk for saying that about some one else’s hard work. I really do. & I know she was trying to move the story along to get to the good stuff… but I believe that all of the smaller parts in between the big ones matter just as much as the big ones. If you gloss over them quickly and with very little depth you miss out on so many opportunities for character and story building. You also run the risk of leaving readers like me… feeling like they’ve missed something.

There’s so much to learn from the work of other author’s… even when it’s mistakes or problems. And as much as I hate to find issues with a new authors work… because I know the tides shall turn someday… y’all.. ya girl ain’t no fool. πŸ˜‰ — When there are issues… those are things I can learn from. So I do.

I feel like a jerk when I’m doing it though… so there’s that. πŸ˜‰

Y’all…

I gotta tell y’all bout what just happened…

About a month ago I started writing every day.. I still write every day, just so ya know.. that hasn’t stopped.

Because of that I write way more often, obviously, and I’m better at it. I genuinely believe that writing, in a lot of cases, is a God-given talent. It’s no different from the singer or the painter or the musician. It’s art, just like all the rest. Anyone has the ability to write, and that’s great, but I do believe that God gives some people an extra special ability to do so.

Just like I can sing… but you probably don’t want to hear it. While I’m capable of it, I was certainly not gifted with the ability to do it very well.

My husband can paint and he has real talent. Me? Ha! He’ll show me sometimes, like early on in the painting and try to explain what it’s going to be and how it’s going to come together.. and I’m like… I don’t get it. — He’ll say, you have to envision it… and I’m standing there like… Nope, I got nothing. — Because I’m not a painter.

I’m a writer.

I’ve struggled to stay consistent with writing and that has affected its quality. Writing is like any art. If you don’t do it very often, you’re going to be rusty at it and it’s going to show. With any art, not just writing. The more you do it, the better you are at it.

Here’s what happened…..

I downloaded a book earlier and started reading… I was stumbling through paragraph after paragraph because my brain was thinking like a writer, not a reader.

All I could see was sentence structure, the various tenses, how the author wove her words and sentences together, and the detail in her work. All I could see was how it was strung together…. and I realized it was because I’ve been so immersed in writing lately that my mind was reading like a writer, rather than a reader.

I have a God-given talent that I haven’t utilized the way I should have over the years. So it’s been pretty rusty when I did bust it out sporadically.

However because I’ve been using it so much lately it’s improved in a thousand different ways. One of which means I’m going to have to make an effort to put aside thinking like a writer when I’m reading.

I’ve never had that happen before. Sometimes stuff would jump out at me and I would think, oh that’s good, I like what he or she did there. — This was different.

This was…Β  I didn’t even know what I had read because all I was seeing was how it was put together. So I’m going to have to figure out how to shut that off, cause ya girl here likes to read. πŸ˜€

I just thought I would share that with you guys. Every day I feel moreΒ like the writer I’m meant to be… and I like it. And since this blog was always intended to be about my writing journey… seems fitting to mention it.

With love,
Heather.

 

 

 

 

A Writing Revelation…

Oh my goodness… I’m a pretty decent writer! πŸ™‚ (Excluding all my comma splices & the like! πŸ˜€ Β Haha, let’s not bring those up!)

I don’t know if any of you guys are like me or not, but when I’m writing I end up having to read through what I’ve written like a thousand times. By the time I’ve read it that many times it starts to sound awful. I’m like… oh my goodness… I’m a horrible writer. — Since I haven’t worked on my book in months, I haven’t read any of what I’ve written. — Until tonight.

As I was reading through my first chapter I realized it’s actually good. I kept thinking, Oh my goodness.. I wrote this? — No way, someone must have come behind me & rewrote this entire thing, haha… because it’s actually pretty good. — Good enough that I’m still trying to figure out how I managed to do it! Lol.

I’m notorious for being my own worst critic. Sometimes I feel like I’m not capable of writing anything good… that I’m just not as talented as other writers. (I know, bad thing to do.– Old habits die hard.) Anyhow as I was reading tonight I realized that I really do have some talent here. Maybe not the exact same talent as those I’ve compared myself to in the past. But I have talent. We are all different types of writers & we all excel in different ways. — I’m talented at what I write, the way I write it. (It may not always feel like it, but I’m good at it.) — My good may not be the same as another persons, but it’s good in its own right.

I’ve been reading & writing ever since I learned how to do both. When I was seven & eight years old I would write stories (The crazy kind about talking shoes, mermaids, and rabbits, lol) then I would run down to my grandma’s house & tell her to read them & she’d always tell me they were good. (Haha & we all know she wouldn’t fabricate the truth a little to make a child feel better, right?) — In all seriousness though, I’ve been at this thing for a long time. Beating myself up along the way about how I could possibly be the worst writer in history. (That’d be awkward.)

But I’m not. πŸ˜€ — & for once in my life I actually believe that.
Pretty awesome, yeah?

Heather!

To Keep Going…

Sometimes things seem too big to be accomplished. However, usually the problem is the way we are looking at what’s in front of us.

If we look at the big picture it can seem so overwhelming. That’s when we have to take a step back and look at all the little pieces that come together to make the big picture.

So what do we do when even the little piece of the puzzle looks impossible? — Mark 10:27. — We remind ourselves that it’s not impossible.

I spend a lot of time reminding myself that anything is possible. That there’s nothing to be afraid of. Nothing and no one. — That being said, I’m still a big chicken. That’s why I have to spend so much time reminding myself not to be.

You have to understand that I’m afraid of everything to understand why it gets in the way so much. I’m afraid of people, criticism (Tho aren’t we all on that one), failure, (and that one) unfamiliar territory, and on my worst days, I’m afraid I’m simply not capable of very much of anything at all. — It stops me in my tracks. I freeze wherever I’m at and if I’m lucky, I don’t panic.. lol. — Though I’m getting better, it still catches up to me. —

So while even the smallest task may seem impossible… I have to remember that it’s not & then refuse to let anything stop me.

So while everything seems a little too big right now, I’m going work on my book anyway. Usually I would stop. If I’m being honest I’d wait weeks or months to even pick it back up again. — When I started this blog I said I wouldn’t do that anymore. That I wouldn’t let anything stop me. So I won’t. — I’m just going to keep telling myself that it’s not impossible and force myself to keep going.

So as I end this post, just know that I am going to be working as soon as I’m finished here. — It may seem to me like I can’t do this right now that it’s too overwhelming, but if I keep stopping because of that then I won’t ever accomplish what I’ve set out to do… and in the end, I find that far worse than just being afraid to keep going.

-hmthreatte!

This Is Why It Matters

Every day counts. — I recently heard someone make this statement during a conversation. It really struck a chord with me. Oh, how right they are. Sometimes I forget just how much every day truly matters. With every passing day time slips away from us. Moments where we have the ability to make a difference slip away from us. Whether we are too afraid or simply just don’t give it enough thought…sometimes we fail to take a leap when we should. Even when presented with the perfect opportunities, I think at times we are all guilty of shying away from it. — Each one of us could very well be a piece of the puzzle that makes a positive difference in someone’s life. — I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t want to miss any more opportunities like that. πŸ™‚

Which leads me to this… my book! (Which by the way, doesn’t have a name yet. Lol, hence why it’s just called “my book” all the time.)

I’ve thought this out many times. I would love to write it, publish it, and have more people than I could ever imagine read it. It’s a dream. If I’m being honest, I’d like to excel at it. Am I prepared for if it doesn’t go well? some days I don’t like that idea, and then some days I’m reminded that it honestly does not matter if I sell millions of copys. Sure, we’d all love too. — However, for me, what really matters is how it affects the hearts & lives of those who do read it.

Who can I reach? Who can I help? Whose face can I put a smile on? Who can I help to escape from reality for a little while? Where can I make a difference? Who can I help to save? Who can I touch? — I’m a big believer in everybody matters. Because I’ve been in a place where I felt I did not matter, I’ve been in a place where I felt like the world was going to suffocate me. I felt like I was alone, until I finally reached a pivotal moment where I reached out… and found God reaching back. — I’ve read a lot of books in my life, tons, a number so high I can’t even begin to count. — The ones that mattered most, those were the ones that touched me. They crept their way into my heart & found a home there. — They made a difference.

I’ve loved to write ever since I was just a child. I would write stories then run down to my grandmother’s house and read them to her. (Oh yeah, I was a cute kid. :)) Writing has been in me since I’ve been in this world. However, I’ve also learned some tough lessons since I’ve been here. If there’s one thing they’ve taught me, it’s compassion & understanding. To reach out to someone broken and make a difference.. I know what that feels like, to be on the end that’s broken. So I know how much it matters that we all reach out in some way, shape, or form.

I write. So that’s how I will reach out. I hope & pray that so very many people will read and enjoy my work. That’s every writer’s dream, including mine. However, more than that, I hope I make a difference for someone. For a lot of someones. I hope I can help someone. Maybe someone like me, maybe someone completely different. — I don’t want anyone to sit around & think they’re nobody, or to think that their situation is hopeless. — I will write with all my heart & soul. — If there is anyone out there going through whatever is happening in my stories or in my writing… my ultimate goal is to help them. To just put a little spark of life, hope, and love into their hearts.

If I can do that.. then I’ve done my part. I just have to keep reminding myself that every day counts, so I have to spend every moment that I can writing. Because if I fail to do that, then I can’t help anyone. πŸ™‚

-hmthreatte!

This Is Who I Am

Communication. It’s a beautiful thing when done correctly. — This post has nothing to do with my book tonight. I’m a writer. I like to write fiction; I find it fun & entertaining. That being said and all, it’s not what makes me a writer. — That comes from within, that comes from the heart.

Writing can be so much a part of someone that they can’t ever really be separated from it. I’ve written poems, I’ve written what I like to call “confessionals” (basically I’d just sit down at the end of the day & write whatever came to mind, it’s fun stuff, you learn a lot about yourself.) I’ve written letters when I couldn’t find the write words to communicate with someone. I practically write a book in my Christmas cards every year (I threw that one in for fun, but really, it’s true.) I’ve written blog posts. πŸ™‚ I’ve written a book review here or there..(those aren’t my favorite, but I like to share my thoughts with others.) In college, I could choose any way I wanted to do a project… I’d write a paper, of course. I’ve written for no reason at all, literally just randomness on paper. — Writers aren’t writers simply because they just up and decided it’s what they would do. No, they write because it’s who they are.

This blog is supposed to be about my journey from writing to publishing, and everything in between. A person’s journey doesn’t just consist solely of point A and point B. Everything in between shapes a person and that makes a difference in the end. So when I feel like escaping for a little while, chances are probably high that this is where I’ll go.. to the place where I write.

I’m a very passionate person and I feel very strongly about everything in life. So as I continue to share a little piece of myself with everyone through this blog, you’re going to start seeing who I am. I’m as shy as they come, most likely, too shy. However, if you put pen and paper in front of me, or a keyboard… you may start to wonder, “who is this?” and “where did Heather go?” — I’m always here, I’m always the same… but when I write, it’s when I shine. It’s where I feel like I’m at home. It’s when I feel like myself.

In the beginning of this post I mentioned something about communication. — You may very well be thinking that I’ve lost my mind, seeing as how nothing I’ve said since then has been about that. I haven’t, I promise. — The thing is, communication is very important and writing is my way of communicating. It’s my way of living, of happiness, and of being. It’s all I know. — God gave us all something to be good at. He blessed us with some sort of talent, with a way to share His love with the world. — This is my way. This is my talent. I can feel it. I will write to the very end of my days and I will never stop thanking God for making me a writer.

If I don’t communicate my way I turn everything into a giant mess. πŸ™‚ If I don’t keep going down this road I’ll be giving up the heart of who I am… and what’s life all about anymore when your heart’s not in it? — I was told I couldn’t make it in the writing world long before I’d even started trying… and I gave up. I quit because I feared defeat… and yet, that fear is what left me defeated. Isn’t that cute? Being afraid to fail is what lead to my failure.

Well not anymore. I refuse to fail and I refuse to give up. This little lady has a lot of writing to do. Which means you guys have a lot of reading to do! πŸ™‚

Hmthreatte!

My Support.

Sometimes I sit around and wonder what road I’d be on in life right now if I hadn’t made certain decisions. We make choices in life that become our defining moments. The best decision I ever made was choosing Jesus Christ to be my Lord & Savior. The next best decision I made was marrying my husband, Jeremy. — Both of these decisions have played a crucial role in my writing. Or better yet, in my decision to write for a living. Of all the support I have, this is the support that gets me through the tough times. This is the support that cheers me on when I need it the most. This is the support that I cling to when I feel defeated. — The support from God & my husband; the support that means everything to me.

My husband has been my rock since the very beginning. I was terrified when I told him I wanted to write. I thought he’d look at me like I was being unrealistic.. but he didn’t, and to this day he hasn’t. He asks me everyday how the book is coming along. He asks me how he can help. He tells me he believes in me, and while I’m afraid to tell others that I’m writing, He tells everyone. He doesn’t just mention it in passing, he says it like he couldn’t be prouder. — That is what’s going to push me to the finish line.

If it weren’t for him and his unwavering support, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this right now. He boosted my confidence when no one else did. — He pushed me to write. He told me to forget about what other people thought and to always remember that he has faith in me. — Thank God for that faith, because I’d be lost without it.

He’s not alone in supporting me. I have a few others that encourage me, and I’m as equally thankful for them as I am for him. Even Pepper(our giant black labrador, a.k.a. my sweet little baby.) supports me… at least, I’m pretty sure if she could talk she’d tell me so. πŸ™‚

Part of the reason I started this blog was to find a community of people who enjoy & believe in writing as much as I do. There’s a peace of mind that goes with knowing you have support, or if nothing else, understanding. — Support is one of the greatest gifts that someone can give.. and it’s also one of the simplest. I am so very thankful for all of the encouragement I have, and will continue, to receive.

A little bit of support may not seem like a lot. However, it has left me with characters, a plot, a beginning, a middle, an end, a first chapter, a couple of plot twists, a lot of notes, back story, and future ideas. For something that takes very little to give, it sure has given me a lot. πŸ™‚

-hmthreatte.