Encouragement for Weary Writers | + The Liebster Award x 2

Hello, dear readers,

These past two weeks have been exciting for me– I finished the first draft of The Fury of the Stars! To be frank, it’s messy and well under my original word count goal. Yet, when I compare it to my previous projects, the prose and the pacing are better by leaps and bounds. I’m pleased with the growth I’ve made.

So, to those of you in the midst of drafting a book you think is terrible: don’t give up.

There’s wisdom in knowing when to move on from a project, but don’t lose heart just because your story isn’t where you wish it were. It’s probably better than you think it is. Even if it isn’t, with every word you push through, every phony line of dialogue, and every chapter that you make a mental note to smooth out later, you are paving the way to stronger writing. It may not seem like you’re improving at the moment, but someday, you’ll look back and realize how far you’ve come.

Books can be rewritten. First drafts will always need to be polished. But you have to write it first.

The rough draft isn’t meant to be perfect, it’s meant to be written. The fact that the writing process is uncomfortable or challenging doesn’t mean you’re a terrible writer. It doesn’t even mean your book is horrible. If you’ve done the hard work of making sure you’re story is structurally sound, the pain means you’re growing.

We all understand this concept as it pertains to exercising. The muscle soreness that comes with a hard workout is a sign that your body is becoming more capable, not that you did something wrong. It’s the same for writing.

So, fellow writer, don’t give up. You will get to the end eventually, and you’ll be stronger when you do.

In the words of Aslan, “Courage, dear heart.”

Photo from Pinterest

The Liebster Award (In Which I Answer 22 Questions)

The other thing I want to share with all of you today is the Liebster Award. Both Maya Joelle and Ariella @The Arbitrary Fairy tagged me (thank you!), and I’m looking forward to answering their questions.

The rules are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer the eleven questions he/she asked
  • Nominate eleven more bloggers for the award (and notify them of their nominations)
  • Ask your eleven nominated bloggers eleven new questions

Maya’s Questions

1 | What is your favorite summertime drink?

Without a doubt, iced tea. Unsweetened and not too bitter, please. There’s a delicious raspberry, rose, and hibiscus tea blend that I love to use. Mango lassi is another favorite, and if you’ve never tasted it, go remedy that immediately.

2 | Have you ever met someone whose first language was not English (or was your first language not English)? What was that like?

Hmmm, I’m honestly not sure that I have. Or if I did, I wasn’t aware of the fact. Apparently I don’t meet enough interesting people.

3 | Do you fluently speak any language other than your first? Which one? Howโ€™d you learn it?

I’m currently learning Latin, but “fluent” would be a gross exaggeration (seeing as I only know three declensions and three tenses). I know a smattering of German too, but again, I’m not even able to carry on a conversation, much less label myself fluent.

Sarcasm, however, is something I’m quite proficient in. I picked it up from my family. ๐Ÿ˜‰

4 | Have you ever made up a language, or do you want to?

All these language-oriented questions make my logophile heart happy! But to answer this question, I haven’t really made up any extensive language. When I was eleven or twelve-ish, I wrote my first book and created a magic system with “spells” that were basically just tortured variations of Latin and German words with the occasional other language thrown in for good measure.

Turns out I wasn’t Tolkien.

I would absolutely love to create one someday, even if it’s only another sort of script rather than a whole additional set of rules as well. Something along the lines of Alethi women’s script, where the letters are different but you can still use the rules of English grammar, would be really neat.

5 | Is it snowy where you live?

Yes! Snow is currently blanketing the ground, and I am counting down the days until spring.

6 | What song did you last listen to? Did you like it?

Yesterday, I listened to part of Bach’s Concerto in A Minor and also the songs at church, though the names of those songs are escaping me at the moment. Yes, I liked all of them.

7 | Would you rather be Lizzy Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) or Peter Parker (Spider-man)? (Ignore whether youโ€™re the same gender for this question and just think about the situation/personality.)

My gut instinct says Lizzie. She’s intelligent, witty, and has an amazing sister.

I know, I know, I’d be giving up superpowers and the incredible opportunity to protect people. I’m probably jaded because I recently watched Far From Home, and I wasn’t overly impressed with Peter’s character in the movie. He was honestly rather selfish and irresponsible, not to mention he didn’t get the arc I’d have liked to see. That’s not to say he doesn’t have good traits (because he does), but at least in Far From Home, he doesn’t have the personality I’d want, even if his situation is neat.

Also, who wouldn’t want to live at Pemberley? It sounds way better than high school awkwardness.

Photo from Pinterest

8 | Have you ever been to Michigan? If so, what did you think of it?

Yes, I have been to Michigan! It has a lot of beautiful areas, but it can also be rather chilly. All in all, however, I really like Michigan.

9 | Favorite non-official holiday? (For example, mine is Maple Sugar Fest.)

May the Fourth, for obvious reasons.

10 | Does your church follow the liturgical calendar?

Nope, my church does not. ๐Ÿ™‚

11 | Do you like being asked about your future plans? Why or why not?

It largely depends on the person asking, I suppose. While I love sharing my plans with people who are genuinely interested, my plans are rather atypical, so I don’t appreciate when others are instantly skeptical of them or respond with derision.

PSA: If an acquaintance tells you they want to be a writer, don’t respond by doubting that it’s a viable career option. If the writer goes about it strategically, it’s absolutely feasible.

I understand that the “starving artist” concept is prevalent, but it’s honestly a little strange how many people assume you can’t make a living as a writer when there are plenty of people who can’t make a living in their chosen, more conventional profession. You can support yourself as a writer, you just have to be smart about it– just like most careers.

Anyway, that turned into more of a mini rant about why my future plans aren’t foolish, but there you have it.

Ariella’s Questions

1 | What is your current favorite book/ series and why?

I’m going to assume this question is referring solely to fiction books. ๐Ÿ™‚

The truth is, having one favorite book or book series has gotten less important the older I’ve become. However, some that I really love are The Stormlight Archive, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hunger Games, and Skyward.

2 | What are your favorite genres to read and write?

Fantasy– epic, urban, portal, or otherwise. I simply love the fantasy genre.

3 | What is your favorite fandom?

Maybe the Cosmere? (That’s the shared universe in Brandon Sanderson’s books.) The fandom culture isn’t quite as intense as the Star Wars or Harry Potter fanbase, and a lot of the people strike me as intelligent and easygoing. They’re also hilarious.

Photo from Pinterest

The Narnia fandom is also pretty cool. It seems rather nostalgic and laid-back.

Photo from Pinterest

It’s so interesting to me how different the cultures can be for particular fandoms. For instance, the Star Wars fanbase can be very passionate yet a bit brutal (I still love Star Wars, however), the Percy Jackson one tends to be fairly humorous, and the Harry Potter fans can be a little obsessive. So, I guess I ended up answering this question based on the culture of the fandom vs. which one has the books, movies, etc. that are my favorite.

4 | Would you rather bring one of your characters to this world for a day or visit your favorite book world for a day?

Favorite book world, because then I could potentially meet multiple favorite characters and be able to explore an amazing landscape. The question would be which one… I probably wouldn’t survive in Roshar, even though it’s epic. Narnia would also be very fun. (Can you tell I’ve been re-watching the Narnia movies?) Middle-earth would be gorgeous, especially in Rivendell or Lothlorien. I’d probably choose that.

5 | What is your favorite kind of character to write or read about?

Writing about people-oriented, outgoing, bubbly, artistic sorts is really fun for me. I also really like characters with redemption arcs.

6 | Do you prefer coffee or tea? (Or something else?)

Both! I love the taste of coffee, and drink it in the mornings, but I also appreciate a calming cup of tea in the evenings.

7 | Would you rather be really good at one specific talent or average at a wide variety of talents? Why?

I’d rather be really good at something specific. From a purely pragmatic viewpoint, it’s easier to secure a job (even as a writer) if there’s one thing you’re talented at vs. being mediocre at everything.

8 | What is your passion in life?

As a Christian, I’m called to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. In full transparency, I don’t fulfill this perfectly. Recently, I’ve realized I need to re-center on making this my focus. But this is what I’m called to aim for, and thank goodness God is full of grace.

I’m also really passionate about truth– truth overcoming lies, and the tangible freedom truth brings. When I look at the stories I craft, that’s a huge overarching theme that I want readers to take away.

9 | Do you have any “unusual” talents or hobbies?

Well, I’m double-jointed, so I can touch my thumbs to my forearms.

10 | Would you rather live in a desert or a snowy region for the rest of your life?

This is hard… I guess desert, however. I’m not a fan of the cold, so having snow on the ground all year round would be miserable.

11 | Can you think of a movie adaptation that is better than the book?

The Princess Bride. I’m not sure if that’s an unpopular opinion, but I think the movie is better.

Because this post is already nearing novella length, I’m not going to name eleven nominations. Instead, I nominate you, reader. If you want to do the Liebster Award, consider yourself nominated!

My Questions

  1. What book do you think has a fantastic aesthetic?
  2. What popular book were you not a fan of?
  3. What would your ideal morning look like?
  4. Is there anyone you quote frequently? Who?
  5. Do you have any skills you’d like to learn or hobbies you want to pick up in the future?
  6. Can you play an instrument?
  7. What 3 songs fit 3 of your favorite books?
  8. If you could have any costume/ outfit from a movie, which would it be?
  9. Are you a fan of tragic endings?
  10. Who is your favorite classic author?
  11. What 3 words describe your current read?

If you made it all the way through this behemoth of a post, congratulations! Thank you for reading, and thank you again to Maya and Ariella for nominating me.

Let me know in the comments how you react when people ask about your future plans!

2 thoughts on “Encouragement for Weary Writers | + The Liebster Award x 2

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