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Category: Writing

Announcing A New Project: Breathing Room

This is how my ideas come to fruition: I have an idea. I think about that idea for a long time. I say the idea out loud, but only to myself. One day, I say the idea out loud to a trusted friend. Then, I say it to more friends. I practice speaking the idea. Maybe it’s to gauge others’ responses. Maybe it’s to gauge my own. Am I really serious about this? Do I really want to do it? Or, do I just like thinking about it? I go one of two ways: 1. I decide it…

Why I Get Off Social Media on the Weekends

Every Friday at 5 p.m. I get off social media. I delete my apps from my phone and try my hardest to resist logging in on my laptop for the rest of the night and all day Saturday and Sunday. Then on Monday morning, around 8, I get back on. I reload the apps on my phone and scroll and stalk at will. I am not perfect at it and there are definitely weekends—especially when the book was coming out—that I remain online, but for the most part, I am social media free on the weekends and…

The Book. The Product

Well it’s here. It’s a real life, bound beauty of a thing isn’t it? I would like to talk about how this all got started. This whole book thing. I want you to know, and I need to remind myself because lately English Lessons has felt less like a book and more like something else. More like…a product. I realize this now as I reflect on my reaction when the final hardcover edition of the book arrived on my doorstep a week and a half ago. Earlier that day I had just received some disappointing news…

Should You Pre-order English Lessons? Probably. Here’s Why.

So the process of releasing a book is in full swing. This time last year I was hardly able to tell you what the book was about. Now, I can tell you everything! It’s so great. I don’t know if you’re into pre-ordering books or not. I am, but only for special books. For example, as soon as I heard Arundhati Roy was releasing her second novel, 20 years after releasing her first, I pre-ordered it online immediately. Pre-ordering ensures you will get a copy in case stock gets low. It ensures you will…

English Lessons Launch Team: How You Could Be On It

I tell a story in the book about this time in Oxford when somebody stole a battery from me. I rode a bike everywhere in Oxford. I didn’t have a car, so I depended on that bike to get me from here to there, rain or shine. It was illegal to ride a bike in Oxford without a headlight and taillight. Or, as we liked to call them, “front lights” and “back lights.” One night I went to a pub and locked up my bike outside. When I came back out, ready to go home, my front light didn…

English Lessons: The Book Cover and How Writing Makes You Crazy

Around this exact moment on this day last year, I hit SEND on my manuscript. I had spent the previous nine days in a bit of a frenzied state. I did not speak to other people. I holed up in a garage apartment in the country for a couple of days. My physical appearance got scary. All I did was write, and read out loud and go on runs. For nine days. In that time I rethought my entire book. I questioned everything I had been writing for the last two and a half years. I decided to change my…

2017.

2017. I know three things about it so far: It will be the year my first book releases. It will be the year I move home. And, I hope, it will be the year that I rest. I think above all else, 2016 made me aware of how tired I feel. I’m not sure I’m supposed to confess that sort of the thing in a New Year’s blog post, but that’s the truth. I am tired. In September this year, my dad and I attended the Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop, led by writer Leslie Leyland Fields…

A Few Thoughts on Quitting Your Job and Going Freelance

A little over a year ago I quit my job at a publishing house and went freelance full time. Freelance writing, that is. Which has also meant some freelance PR and some speaking and some other ways that I found out I can be “freelance.” My overall thought on being a freelance writer is that 1. I really love it and 2. it’s really hard. It’s not for everybody, I don’t think, and there were many times this year that I thought it wasn’t for me. Like the time in January when I had been working…

Turning 30 and My “Secret Soul”

This summer, I turned 30. In the weeks and days leading up to the big 3-0, I began to feel very contemplative about my life. Where have I been? What have I done? Where am I going? That kind of thing. I was also in a hard spot work-wise. I needed more hours but felt paralyzed in my pursuit of them. What types of things do I want to write? Who do I want to write for? What kind of writer do I want to be? I wasn’t sure, and I was spinning my wheels. I needed…

Carry On Your Creative Way

OK, so you know how I wrote a book? Well, I just got a look at the cover! (Actually, two potential covers they are still tweaking, so nothing to show you…YET.) I had a feeling I would cry when I saw the cover. That feeling was right. As soon as I opened the PDF, I felt overwhelmed and did the muffled silent cry at my desk so the other people in my office wouldn’t hear me. The tears were happy and grateful, but they were also a response to something else. I’ve been feeling weird about my…