Learning to Write

Tonight, I’ll be attending a NaNoWriMo kick starter event at a local library.  A friend of mine is presenting and the event is open to anyone who is thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo, as well as those who have participated in the past.  As y’all know, Boy Band started out as a NaNoWriMo project and has received such positive feedback that I’m planning on releasing the sequel in just a few short months.  It goes without saying that I am a big supporter of NaNoWriMo.

But you know, all this talk about writing seminars reminds has started taking me back to my own days in college, when I was just figuring out that I wanted to write.  Really write.  I remember Meg Cabot (one of my writing idols) advising young aspiring authors NOT to take any writing classes.  She claimed that studying something would instantly kill any and all love you once held for it.  To an extent, I found this to be true.

I took a few writing classes throughout my six years of higher education.  Some of which I enjoyed.  Some of which I hated so much I had to block them out.

I won’t waste too much time talking about the classes I didn’t enjoy.  One of them was screenplay writing. I think I would have really enjoyed it had it not been for my instructor.  He was a bitter, failed novelist and he made it no secret that he did not give two flying flips what we learned in that class, if anything.  The other was a short story class.  My final story was nothing exceptional, although I can’t help but remember it was about ghosts and demons and things that went bump in the night.  It seems I’ve always harbored that dark fascination.

The writing class that I really, truly enjoyed was a poetry class, which is funny, because I am a truly terrible poet.  That’s probably why I enjoyed the class, though.  Because I was learning something new.  I’ve written a grand total of three poems that I’m actually proud of.  Two of which are here.  The third is about killing a cockroach in New Braunfels.

Perhaps my favorite class of all, however, was children’s literature.  Even though it technically wasn’t a writing class, we all had to come up with our own final project to present at the end of the semester.  I decided to write and illustrate my own children’s book.  I’m actually quite tempted to upload it and share it with you here.  I’m pretty proud of it, even though the illustrations and the book itself leave much to be desired.  Still, I’ll never forget standing up in front of the class to show off the book.  My classmates were bewildered that I’d gone with writing a children’s book over writing a paper. One girl actually asked me, “Why would you do that?!” I guess to them, writing a paper was a lot less work, and it probably was.  But to me, writing a book was a lot more fun.  And it still is.


Still Learning

These past few months, I’ve been attempting a sort of writing experiment.  It’s one that’s working okay, but not as well as I’d like it to.

I’ve been attempting to write two books at once.

I’m sure some authors can pull it off.  After all, how else do they get so many books out there in so short a time?  For me, however, I feel like I’m only giving each book 50% when each book deserves 100%.

One, of course, is the third Cemetery Tours book.  That one is my priority.  After all, it’s part of a series, I know readers enjoyed the first two books and are waiting for the next one, and it’s full of characters that I know.

The new book I’m writing is a bit more complicated.  It’s YA.  It has several new characters, all of whom seem to have secrets that I don’t even know yet.  It’s mythology as opposed to paranormal.  There’s just a lot going on.  I know I’m capable of writing it, but I think it will take more time that I’d originally planned.  I was hoping that I could jot it out in six months and have it available in less than a year.  I just don’t think that’s going to be the case.  I want to do this story justice, and in order to do so, I might have to give it time to evolve.

On the other hand, I don’t want to wait too long to get these stories out because I have no less than a dozen other stories that I eventually want to get written.  They’re all out on paper (and on secret Pinterest boards), but I don’t want to let any of them go to waste.

A few years back, my sister and I went to see Josh Groban in concert.  It was pretty much the best concert ever.  We had floor seats and we were fairly close to him.

How close you may ask?


Pretty close.

Anyway, at this concert, he had fans text in questions and throughout the show, he would answer them.  One question was the age old, “What advice would you give to aspiring singers?”

Josh gave an astounding answer.  I don’t remember it word for word, but it was something along the lines of, “Never stop learning, never stop being a student.  No matter how far you go, or how successful you become, always be willing to learn something new.  Be humble and be gracious.”

I thought that was just awesome, and it’s something I’ve tried to remember and keep in mind in this past year.  Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Cemetery Tours release! How cool is that?!

On that note, I’m off to go make my book a birthday card.  Talk to y’all later!