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Browsing Tag: writing

I Am Not Good at Being Me, Except When I Write

I am not very good at being myself. But I am very good at being who people want me to be. I can walk into a room, read the situation and take on a persona. (I would probably be a great spy.) A room of academics? I’ll try and act smart. A room of Christians? I’ll talk about the Bible study I’m doing. A room of not Christians? I’ll show all of my cynical-about-church cards. A friend once told me that one of the reasons I do this might be because I am an…

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…

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…

A Key Question on the Path to Finding Your Niche and Your Purpose

Remember that time I promised you a three-part series on How to Become a Freelance Writer and wrote part one and then never wrote parts two and three? Yeah, well, I’m finally ready to address part two: finding your writing niche. This is ironic considering the reason I’ve been dragging my feet on this post is probably because this topic, I’ve realized, isn’t really in my writing niche. But I’m committed, so I will follow through. Even if part three doesn’t come out for another few months. Sorry…

The Truth About Writing Books and Perfection

  As I mentioned last week, I recently wrote a book. A dream come true. A freaking miracle. It’s about 65,000 words in its current state. Those 65,000 words are what I submitted to my editor. Then, there is a document hidden on my computer called “CUTS.” My dad told me about the CUTS document years ago. It’s a way to keep track of what you’re editing out in case you want to include it later or use it for something else down the line. My CUTS is about 31,557 words. Really, I have…

A Big Announcement…OkI’llJustTellYouRightNow! I WROTE A BOOK

{Written on February 1, 2016, the day my book was due.} I wrote a book. I have been wanting to write that sentence, or a variation of that sentence—I am writing a book! I am thinking about writing a book! I sort of just started writing a book!—for the last two and a half years, and now, I finally can. I’ve been refraining because until about 23 minutes ago I was afraid that articulating these words in a public space would jinx me. That somehow just writing them here, in this place that probably inspired me to…

Creating from the Hard Places

I’m in a women’s class at my church on Thursday mornings. We’re studying the book Waking Up Grey, which is all about waking up your creativity. As I sat in class last week, I looked around and noticed several women crying. They were just sitting there, letting tears run down hardly wiping them away. They looked like the broken kind of tears. You know what I’m talking about? The times that you cry at little to no prompting but you can’t stop it because you just feel mushy inside and like nothing is working…

How to Become a Freelance Writer, Part One: Why and When Experience Matters

Lately, this is the most common question I get from readers of my blog: How do I become a freelance writer? For those of you I never responded to, I apologize. I’ve been planning on addressing it on my actual blog, so, here is your answer. In a three-part mini series I’m going to, as best I can with the experience I have, address the big question of becoming a freelance writer. For me, it all started with a coffee meeting. A little over five years ago, I asked a friend to coffee who was a seasoned…