WHAT I LEARNED FROM WRITING DEAR JAMIE, LOVE RORY

Friday, August 3, 2018

I can't believe that next week this fun little celebration for "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" will come to a close. It's been so much fun celebrating with you all (and I'd just like to say THANK YOU for all of your sweet comments <3). But before the celebration ends, I'd like to share two things I learned from writing "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" with you all. 

The first thing I learned was that being afraid of failure (and letting that fear control you) can only lead to just that: failure. 

Here's something I don't tell anyone: At first, I wasn't even going to enter One Teen Story. A couple years ago, I had written a story for them and ended up never sending it in. I was too afraid of losing, too embarrassed to think of others reading it. Yet I still wanted to enter someday. My fear of failure (which was fueled by plenty of self-doubt), however, kept me from doing so until One Teen Story's latest contest. 

About a week or so before the deadline, I told myself, "I'm just going to do this. If I lose, I lose, but at least I can finally say that I tried." About three late-nighters, a few scrapped stories, and plenty of agonizing over everything, I sent "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" to One Teen Story

First picture ~ Grapes at a California Vineyard ~ Second Picture ~ Writing in the Redwoods


A couple months later, I received an email saying that my story was placed on a shortlist. I freaked out. A little while later, I got an email saying that "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" had won. I freaked out even more. 

Looking back at it now, if I had let my fear of failure keep me from sending my story in, I couldn't be writing this now.  

I'm not going to lie: Failure is SCARY. It's a crippling beast, but if you let your writerly fears rule you, you will never get the chance to reach your dreams and succeed. Being afraid of failure and letting that keeping you from taking risks can only lead to failure. Don't be afraid. You CAN reach your goals and achieve your dreams. 

The second thing I learned was to write the story of my heart. 


In an interview with Patrick Ryan of One Story, I was asked what the best bit of writing advice was that I had received. My answer? Write the story of your heart. 

I've tried writing stories for others so much, that when it came time for me to throw together a story for this contest, I decided to finally let myself write the story of my heart. Once I let myself do that, my writing got better, and I began to fall in love with this beautiful craft even more. 

Let yourself go wild on the pages. Write the story you want to see on bookshelves. Write what you love. Write the story of your heart, because the world needs your story.

The Giveaway...


Before I go, just in case you didn't know... I'm hosting a giveaway! =D I'm giving away a signed copy of "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" AND a beautiful California sticker from Kulana Stickers. Use the widget below to enter. The giveaway ends on August 9. =)

Click here to buy "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" on Kindle. 
Click here to subscribe to One Teen Story. 


What is one of your greatest writerly fears? 
What's something you've learned about writing? 

20 comments:

  1. This post is so inspiring. I LOVE all of your points: they’re so relatable! Self-doubt is a HUGE issue for me personally, and I find myself writing for others a lot, it seems. Thank you for writing this; it’s simply incredible.

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    1. I'm glad that you found this to be inspiring, Nicole! <3 Self-doubt seems to be a big problem for lots of us writers, and it's really sad. I wish you the best in all of your writerly endeavors! =)

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  2. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU MICAIAH - YOU KILLED IT <3 <3 <3. So, so excited about your beautiful story!!! <3 <3 <3

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    1. THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH SAVANNAH! <3 <3 <3 I'm so excited for you to read it! =D

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  3. CONGRATS ON PUBLISHING/WINNING! THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. AHH. Seriously. =D

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  4. These are such important points. People are always telling me how fast I’m writing my current project, and that’s the thing—it’s the story of my heart and I am genuinely thrilled to write it. I love it enough to write it. That’s very important, in my mind. Congratulations again!

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    1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you're writing the story of your heart! <3 That is SO important, and it really makes writing even more wonderful. I hope I'll get to read it one day! And thank you! =)

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  5. THANK YOU!! Such a great post!! <3

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    1. Aw, you're welcome, Danielle! =) And thanks!

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  6. This post is so inspiring! Congrats on publishing!!

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    1. I'm glad that you found this post to be inspiring, Gray. Thank you so much! =)

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  7. Write the story of your heart, fantastic advice!

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    1. Thank you! It's something my mentor told me, but it became real for me when I wrote this story. =)

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  8. This post is so inspiring!! You have excellent writing advice.

    One of my greatest writerly fears is that I'll be writing and sequel to a book or something, and then--OH NO!! I'm out of ideas!! (This is something that I'll obviously have to get over when I'm ready to publish. :P)

    However, I am getting better with doing much more outlining and world building before I start writing, which has helped me with my newest project tremendously.

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    1. Thanks, Kara!

      Writerly fears are the worst, and that one doesn't sound like any fun at all! That's awesome that outlining and world building are helping you and your project. =) I've started doing more pre-writing activities and it does truly help!

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  9. Great post! Congratulations on publishing!! Awesomeness! Also, that computer sticker is so pretty!! :D

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  10. "Write the story of your heart". I love that! It's something I try to do every time I write. So far, it's had some pretty good returns!

    Great job, girl! Keep up the hard work!!

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    1. Yes! Writing the story of your heart makes for GREAT returns. I'm so glad that that is what you aim to do when you write. <3

      Thank you so much, Sarah! =)

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