Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Friendly Inspiration

I have been trying to pin-down what it is that inspires me for a few weeks now (especially once I realized I was going to have the inspiration post this week! ;)

I think one of my favorite things about being part of the YA writing community is that I’m not only inspired by the journeys famous, amazing, legendary writers, but also the journeys I see unfolding before me, those of my writer friends (many of whom are amazing and soon-to-be famous and legendary!) I’ve found that my excitement when I’m sharing in celebrating the exciting news of my friends as they reach milestones in their own writing inspires me to continue on my own journey. For me, feeling inspired to write is significantly based on my mood. And when I’m cheering on my friends, on the days they have big news (a book deal!) or just regular, everyday news (a good writing day for them!) it makes me happy, which in turn puts me in the mood to work on my own projects.

To give you an example of what I mean, I’ve asked two of my writer friends to do micro-interviews for this post sharing some of the happy moments and lessons learned of their journeys to publication. Both of them are gearing up for their debut years in 2012 and I am very excited to be cheering them and their fabulous books on! The answers they were generous enough to share are below, I hope that they will inspire you to ask the writers in your life to share their happiest moments as well! :)

Jennifer Rush’s debut ALTERED will be published by Little, Brown in Fall 2012. You can find out more about Jennifer on her blog or twitter.

What has your favorite part of your writing journey been so far?
Jennifer Rush: My favorite part was the agent querying process. I had submitted enough manuscripts over the years, that I knew how hard it was to catch the attention of an agent. So when I had several requests that first week out, I was pretty excited. BUT…I knew not to expect too much.

When I read the email from my (now) agent asking if I was available to talk on the phone, I went numb all over. This was what I’d been waiting to hear for years. And to finally hear it was amazing.

What is the one thing you know now that you wish you had known starting out?
Jennifer Rush: I wish I had been more patient. My writing in the beginning was trash, but I was so eager to be published, I didn’t take the time to practice the craft. If by some fluke, I’d gotten a book deal five years ago with the manuscript I was submitting at the time, I don’t think I would be as proud of it today. I see its flaws now. I see a lot of amateur mistakes in the pages. 

I am so glad that my debut novel will be ALTERED. My writing has grown so much in the last few years.

Jessica Spotswood’s debut BORN WICKED will be published by Putnam on February 7, 2012. You can find out more about Jessica on her blog or twitter.

What has your favorite part of your writing journey been so far?
Jessica Spotswood: I think my favorite moment was when my husband woke me up last Tuesday with a box of ARCs. My book! Book-shaped! With my name on it, and my dedication to my grandmother, and all my words inside! It made it feel startlingly real. I've been a writer since I was a little girl, but I felt like a Real Author when I got to hold it in my hands and pet the pretty cover. 

My favorite thing, though, is that I now have a team. I have this amazing editor and her genius assistant who love my story, and they're there to cheer me on when I need that and challenge me to do better when I need that. I have an awesome agent and a handful of brilliant, wonderful critique partners too. So, when I doubt myself (which definitely doesn't stop just because I have a book deal), I trust them. I know that if I make a wrong turn in the story, they'll be there to help me fix it. That's immeasurably comforting. 

What is the one thing you know now that you wish you had known starting out?
Jessica Spotswood: I wish I'd known how common it is that the book that snags you an agent doesn't sell. My first book (a YA fantasy called INHERITING GAROLASS) didn't. I was so disappointed in myself, and worried I'd disappointed all my friends and family who believed in me, and scared that my agent would lose faith in me. Now that I'm more involved in the writing community, though, I know that it happens all the time. And honestly? It was really difficult at the time, but I'm glad. I learned an awful lot from writing that book, and I'd love to revisit it someday, but BW is much stronger because of the mistakes I made and the editor feedback I got with GAROLASS. 

Where do you get your inspiration from? If you’d like to share a story about your own writing journey to inspire others, we’d love to hear it!

A BIG thank you to Jennifer and Jessica for today's inspirational stories! You guys rock!


  1. Really, the entire blogging community has been such an inspiration to me. I'm having so much fun chatting about books and discovering new authors. It helps to know that there's a strong support line for aspiring writers like me. :)


  2. GREAT new blog, girls! Lots of fab here, I'll be checking back!! Keep up the good work!

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