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  • Hi, everyone!

  • Thank you so much for joining me today.

  • So this week's video is gonna be just a little bit different from what you're used to seeing on my channel.

  • I have been noticing something, and I really think it's important to address it.

  • So I figured today, instead of my usual

  • writer's advice video, and instead of a book tag,

  • or a vlog even, I just really wanted to sit down

  • and have a cup of coffee with you guys and chat, like the friends that we are

  • because I think the conversation that we're gonna have today is really, really important.

  • So if you're up for it, grab a cup of joe, or a cup of tea,

  • or whatever beverage suits your fancy,

  • and let's sit down, and let's get cozy, and let's chat.

  • Okay, so, here's the big thing that I've been noticing in the writing community lately.

  • There is a lot of discouragement, if you will.

  • There are a lot of people that I'm seeing that are having to, you know, kind of take a step back and reevaluate.

  • And I've been noticing that those people have just been feeling very, very discouraged in regards to their writing journey.

  • I'm not really sure why, it could be the summer surge that's going on right now.

  • We're hearing of lots of publishing news,

  • and of course, writing contests are popping up left and right, and people are getting into those

  • and not getting into those, and there's just a lot going on in the writing community, which is great,

  • but I really think that this time of year

  • also kind of brings about the summer blues, if you will, when it comes to writing.

  • And so, I wanted to sit down and give you guys a pep talk

  • because I think you need one,

  • and I am more than happy to give you one

  • because I know how amazing you are,

  • and I wanna make sure that you know how amazing you are.

  • So if you'll just bear with me,

  • I just wanna take this time to, you know, drink a cup of coffee with you and love on you,

  • and just tell you how amazing that you are,

  • because I think, as writers, we need to hear that,

  • and you need to know that, and you need to know that you're not alone in this process.

  • So, that's kind of my plan for this video,

  • is just to give you a little pep talk and encourage you,

  • and hopefully inspire you to keep writing and to never give up on your dream.

  • So, that's my plan.

  • I love a good cup of tea in the afternoon.

  • So let me first just start by saying that when I started this channel,

  • one of my main goals was to not only document my own journey to publication,

  • but to create a community where like-minded writers could come and find a family, so to speak.

  • When I first started writing Keeper,

  • I had one critique partner, a friend of mine from college,

  • and other than that, my writing community was non-existent.

  • I didn't have any writing buddies,

  • I didn't have any other friends that were writing books,

  • and it felt incredibly lonely at times.

  • And I remember just sitting in front of my computer so many nights and just crying

  • because I wanted that book to happen so badly,

  • and I just couldn't make it work,

  • and I didn't have anywhere to turn to for support.

  • So when I started this channel,

  • that was a goal that I had in mind,

  • was to really create a place where people could come

  • and find friendship and, you know, camaraderie, and understanding, if nothing else.

  • And so, what I really want you guys to take away from this video,

  • the first thing is, of course, that you're not alone.

  • I know that writing is incredibly hard.

  • Trust me, I know.

  • It is incredibly hard.

  • Writing a book is probably one of the hardest things you'll ever do,

  • but, you know, and I'm even looking at my sweet baby who's fussing right now,

  • and I'm sitting here thinking to myself, hmm,

  • what's harder, writing a book or childbirth?

  • And you know, I kinda think a book is harder.

  • Let me tend to him and I'll be back for our chat.

  • Alrighty, so the baby is pacified, and I am back.

  • So just to kinda wrap up what I was saying in the previous clip is that you guys, you're not alone.

  • I know that this process can seem incredibly isolating,

  • but I don't want you to feel like you have to walk down the path by yourself, because you don't.

  • There are so many of us who are out there walking that same path,

  • and in this day and age, when life and the world is just so absolutely crazy,

  • now, more than ever, we need to band together

  • and be a family, and support each other,

  • and encourage each other, and lift each other up,

  • because if we do that, guys, there's so much power in that,

  • and kindness, and friendship, and support, and encouragement.

  • So, please don't feel like you're alone, you're not.

  • I am here for you.

  • There are so many people out there who would love to be writing buddies with you,

  • and critique partners and beta readers,

  • so don't be afraid to reach out

  • because you're definitely not alone.

  • I promise, promise, promise, and I would not lie.

  • Would I do that to you?

  • I wouldn't.

  • The next thing that I wanted to kind of mention

  • is something that I myself am guilty of,

  • but guys, you are your own worst enemy.

  • You're your own worst enemy,

  • so stop self-sabotaging yourself.

  • Stop telling yourself that you can't do something,

  • or that something is never gonna happen to you.

  • I see so many writers who say, "Oh, gosh,

  • "I wish that could be me,"

  • or "Gosh, I wish my writing was as good as that."

  • Guess what, it can be.

  • If you work really, really hard, it can be.

  • It can be you, your dream can come true.

  • Like ah, like I just,

  • it breaks my heart when I see writers express that their dream is never going to come true

  • because maybe it's just my naivete

  • and my Disney princess mentality,

  • but I strongly believe that dreams can and do come true.

  • Now, I am not crazy enough to think that, you know,

  • it all comes down to fairy godmothers

  • and bippity boppity boo, and magic and whatnot.

  • I think it takes a lot of hard work, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears,

  • but I also think it takes the right mindset

  • and the right heartset, you know?

  • You have to decide that you want it bad enough

  • and you're gonna do whatever it takes to get it done.

  • You guys have heard me say this before,

  • but dreams don't work unless you do,

  • and you really have got to stop sabotaging yourself.

  • Stop telling yourself that you can't,

  • because guess what, you can.

  • You can!

  • You can and you will, if you work hard enough and you fight for it.

  • I believe that you can do it,

  • but you have to believe that you can do it.

  • Guys, my publishing journey,

  • it's taken me 10 years to get to where I am today,

  • 10 years, a whole decade to finally get to where I am today.

  • And is this the end?

  • Is this where I wanna be?

  • Like, is this the ultimate goal?

  • It's one of my goals to be published

  • and have my book in your hands is an amazing feeling,

  • but guys, I'm not stopping here.

  • I wanna be on The New York Times Best Seller list,

  • and I wanna go to Comic-Con,

  • and I want to be a writer that inspires other people.

  • And, you know, I'm gonna continue working,

  • and I'm gonna continue fighting

  • because just because part of my dream has happened,

  • it doesn't mean that I've stopped dreaming.

  • I'm gonna keep working and I'm gonna keep fighting,

  • and that's what you have to do.

  • You have to keep dreaming and keep working,

  • and keep fighting, and stop telling yourself that you can't, because you can.

  • So, try to cut yourself some slack.

  • I know that this process is really, really tough,

  • and it's hard, and it's insane,

  • and it makes you wanna punch yourself in the face repeatedly on a daily basis.

  • Like, we all feel that way,

  • but try to be kind to yourself.

  • Be kind, be proud of yourself and what you're trying to do,

  • and have a little faith, and a little gumption, and work for it.

  • Fight for it and believe in yourself.

  • Don't ever, ever, ever give up

  • because dreams don't work unless you do.

  • Another thing that I wanted to talk about

  • and mention to you guys is that I see a lot of writers,

  • when they hit walls, get really, really frustrated.

  • And they say to themself, "I'd never be able to do that"

  • or "I don't understand how to do that"

  • or "I keep making that same mistake "and I don't know how to fix it.

  • "I'm just gonna give up."

  • You can't look at it like that.

  • Guys, no writer wakes up and just knows how to write a book.

  • Maybe some do, maybe, like, J.K. Rowling or Stephen King,

  • or some of those freakishly amazing writers.

  • I certainly did not wake up knowing exactly how to write a book.

  • Writing fiction is hard, it's really hard,

  • and just like writing an academic paper,

  • or a press release, or you know, whatever, there are rules to it, if you will.

  • There are things that you have to learn,

  • things that are acceptable, things that are not acceptable.

  • What is the style?

  • What are the mechanics of it?

  • You have to learn how to do it,

  • just like you learn how to change a tire,

  • or do your hair, or put pants on in the morning.

  • You gotta learn how to do it.

  • None of us are just born knowing how to write, you know, best-selling fiction.

  • It just doesn't happen.

  • So, if you come across something that is really, really challenging to you,

  • I don't want you to look at it as a road block, as something that is stopping you from achieving your goal.

  • Look at it as an opportunity to grow and learn.

  • I am still learning.

  • Like, I am constantly coming across things where I'm like, oh, I didn't know that,

  • or oh, gosh, I can't believe I did that,

  • or wow, that's really bad, I need to fix this.

  • As writers, none of us are perfect.

  • There's going to be areas that you need to improve upon,

  • and when people point them out to you,

  • or you discover them yourself, or however it comes along,

  • you can't look at that as something negative, as something that's stopping you, a stumbling block, if you will,

  • because it just means that there's more for you to learn.

  • It just means that there are areas that you can grow and develop in, and that's okay.

  • That's just gonna make you a better writer in the long run.

  • So, you know, when you get criticism from a beta reader,

  • or your CP tells you that you have to cut an entire chapter,

  • please, please, please don't ever stop and say,

  • "Maybe I should just give up.

  • "Maybe I should just stop,"

  • because that's not what you need to be thinking.

  • You need to look at this situation and say okay, what is it that I need to focus on?

  • What is it that I need to work on, and how can I fix this problem?

  • Where can I find the answers?

  • And then do the research, do the work, put in the time, and fix it.

  • Grow, learn, and make yourself better every single day.

  • And if you can do that, then you're gonna be the writer you wanna be one day.

  • Like, I'm nowhere near the writer that I wanna be.

  • I have so much still to learn, and so much to work on,

  • and so much that I can improve upon,

  • but I am willing to take that challenge

  • because I wanna be the best writer that I can be.

  • And if you can have that exact same attitude and you can work and fight for it,

  • then it's only going to make you a stronger and more developed writer and person down the road.

  • So, yeah, there's still more to learn and that's okay.

  • So don't beat yourself up when you come across something that's challenging, or something that you feel like you can't do,

  • because we've all been there,

  • and that just means that we've all got room to grow.

  • And lastly, I don't even know if I've said everything that I wanted to say in this vlog.

  • I probably should have scripted it,

  • and should have just, you know, written it all down because I tend to ramble a little bit.

  • But guys, I just want you to feel encouraged.

  • I want you to watch this video and I want you to,

  • when it's done, to look at yourself in the mirror and say, "Okay, I'm gonna do this.

  • "I can and I will do this,

  • "and I'm gonna go do it right now,"

  • because it's an incredible journey to be on,

  • and I'm so glad to be on it with all of you.

  • And one day, when I walk into a Barnes & Noble

  • and I see your book sitting on the shelf,

  • I'm gonna buy it and I'm gonna read it,

  • and how amazing is that going to be?

  • And the world is our oyster,

  • and I just want all of you to keep believing that dreams can and do come true.

  • We're livin' in some very interesting times

  • and I think we could all do with a bit more magic in our lives.

  • So please, please, please, don't be your own worst enemy.

  • Continue to grow, continue to learn.

  • Reach out, make connections, and no matter what, never stop writing.

  • Never stop fighting for your dreams because I promise you, they can and do come true.

  • I want you guys to know that I love you all so much.

  • You've been so incredibly supportive of me and my channel,

  • and my little book that's coming out in January,

  • and I cannot thank you enough.

  • And I think this is such an amazing writing community,

  • and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

  • And I hope all