Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Becoming a Writer (and the Giveaway Winner!)

I've made a breakthrough in my life as a writer. A couple of weeks ago, I confidently stood in front of a group of people and called myself a writer. To many, that may not seem like a big deal. Yet, to me, it was a huge moment. 

I'm not a new writer. I remember as a child writing stories, like the modern version of Rumpelstiltskin starring Kirk Cameron (it was the 80s after all) that my friends and I performed in front of the neighbors. Or the ABC Christmas story I wrote for my parents that my sister unearthed from boxes of old school work and shared with our family on Christmas Eve. Or the short story I bravely submitted in 6th grade to a local magazine and received my first rejection (I wish I still had this!).

But having the courage to follow through on my dream of writing a full-length novel was new. Sadly, I lost the first chapter I wrote when my laptop was stolen over two years ago, but that didn't stop me. I started again, and a little over a year ago, I finished the first draft of my first novel. Since then, I have started a second novel and completed the first draft of my third. Now I'm working on revisions on my third novel. 

I've moved beyond dipping my toes into the pool of writing and have submerged myself entirely. So, after a year of blogging, I've decided to drop "novice" from my title. I hope you continue to follow me along my journey!

And now, the winner of my 1st Blogoversary Giveaway (drum roll, please):


Friday, January 21, 2011

Have You Done It Yet?

Today is your last chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card for my 1st Blogoversary Giveway. Go here to enter and to view the rules. 

The contest ends tonight at 10pm MST. Good luck!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ever Elusive Voice

Recently I read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I'd read a lot good reviews about it, so I was excited to read it. From page one, I was hooked. It made me wonder, what made it so fantastic? I reread the first page and realized it was one important thing: the voice.

In the past year, I've been to several writing conferences. Time and again, agents and authors mention the importance of having a good voice. Yet they admit that they can't define voice; they just know it when they see it. I agree. It's the books with an awesome voice that keep me reading into the wee hours of the morning. 

But as a writer, the term "voice" terrifies me. I want my characters' voices to shine on the page. I want them to be original. I want people to care about them. Yet I fear that I can't do it. I'm not sure that voice can be taught. But what if it can't be learned either?

What do you think? Can voice be learned? How? Does the term "voice" keep you up late at night like it does to me?

Oh, and don't forget to sign up for my $15 Amazon gift card giveaway here. It ends on Friday, January 21, at 10pm EST.

Friday, January 14, 2011

1st Blogoversary Giveway

One year ago I decided to embark on a new journey in the blogosphere. I began with trepidation. Who would be interested in hearing what I had to say? When my followers rose above 100, I was shocked, yet delighted. 

The best part was the writing community that I found. There are so many writers who understand what I'm feeling and support me in my efforts. I couldn't have survived an entire year as a blogger (or a writer) without you. Thank you!!!

Help celebrate my 1st blogoversary by participating in my giveaway! The winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card. Please complete the form below to enter. You must be a follower and at least 13 years old. The contest will end at 10pm (MST) on Friday, January 21, 2011.

Thanks for supporting my blog! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Ride of My Life -- Welcome 2011

I anticipate that 2011 will be a roller coaster year: one of many ups and downs. But to fully appreciate the ups, I must have downs, right? My first goal is to keep a positive attitude about whatever the Universe brings my way.

Here are my writing goals for 2011:

1. Revise BENEATH THE SURFACE: This is my 3rd YA manuscript, but this will be the first one that I'm attempting to do a full revision. Right now it's full of holes and inconsistencies. I'm excited to see what the final version will look like.

2. Finish OVER THE EDGE: I hit writer's block with this novel during the early part of last summer. My goal is to rewrite what I already have written to see if I can get back into the story again. I really liked my premise and the characters, yet I buried myself in self-doubt. 

3. Submit BENEATH THE SURFACE: This is the goal that scares me the most because I know how tough it is to secure an agent. But I truly look forward to my first rejection letter because it will be proof that I'm finally on my way toward reaching my lifelong goal of being a published author.

Unlike last year, I didn't include any daily writing goals. My life isn't that predictable and I rarely met last year's goals. This year, I want attainable goals. I certainly don't need any additional reasons for self-doubt. 

What are your writing goals for 2011? Anything scary but exciting like mine?