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  • Writer's pictureClarissa

A Well Trained Author

Roughly two years ago, Jess and I attended a writer's retreat in (literally) the Middle of Nowhere, Utah and because I left early to attend my daughter's state competition, I never had the chance to sit down and get to know her. Fast forward a year and we found ourselves dancing a mating pigeon dance (true story)...and as they say, the rest is history.

As writers we have a tendency to hide behind our computer instead of partaking in the world around us. But we cannot truly tell a story without having first been an active member.

This brings me to my conversation with Jess. She's on the cusp of releasing her sophomore novel and at that pivotal point where she's not yet shed her new-writer-shine but has begun to wade the difficult waters of publishing.

And so I asked, "What’s something you know with your second book that you wished you’d known for your first?"

Without hesitation, here was her reply:

Authors have a strong community and open, welcoming arms (for the most part). When I wrote my first book, I felt alone in the big world of publishing. I knew nothing, and I didn’t really ask for help. I bumbled my way through A LOT, learning things the hard way and moving between being overwhelmed and discouraged. Though publishing a book will likely always feel like a giant roller coaster of emotion, I wish I had started to immerse myself in the author community earlier.

Over the last year, I have found amazing critique partners, beta readers, and authors who are all willing and anxious to help and encourage me in my journey, just as I am willing and anxious to do the same for them.

We are not competitors, but co-workers and friends, helping to make each other’s work the best that it can be. When I stumble, these author friends pull me to my feet again and dust me off. When I succeed, they are the first ones cheering me on. Looking back, I don’t know how I managed without them.

To discover more about Jess and her books, click here.

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