5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Writing

Dear younger me
Where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far
Then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be         ~MercyMe

I’ve been writing for a long time, about fifteen years. And like the song Dear Younger Me, there are some things I wish I could tell my younger self, so I’d be better prepared.

  1. Don’t stop writing—ever. That condescending editor? I should’ve brushed off the criticism. The days when I didn’t have to write? I should’ve put my butt in the chair and written anyway. When things got hard and the criticism stung, I shouldn’t have slowed down, but instead pushed harder.
  2. Develop a thick skin. This one I’m still working on. I know words are only words. But whether it’s a bit of untrue gossip or a scathing review, these are the things downloaded unto the hard drive of my memory.
  3. It’s a hard industry to break into. Much, much harder than I thought. In fact, I’ve heard the professional advice: if you can do anything else, do it. And I would… except the characters and plots keep coming. I don’t only write because I like to, but because I can’t not write.
  4. Feedback is essential… Whether it’s beta readers or a critique group, listen to the advice. (If they’re all saying the same thing, it’d be wise to take notes and then edit.)
  5. …But it’s also just someone else’ opinion. These opinions are not commandments from God. They’re just someone else’s viewpoint. You’re the one who gets to decide how the story unfolds.

I’ve got five more tips that I wished I knew when I started. I’ll share those in my next personal post. Next week, Sarah Addison-Fox will be stopping by to share more about her new book Disowned! See you then!


My Most Anticipated Films of 2018

Happy New Year! After covering the most anticipated books of 2018 in my quarterly newsletter, True North Tales, I wanted to share an overview of the films I’m most excited about this year. There’s so many movies, more than what I have room for here, but this is a list of films and trailers that caught my eye.

A Wrinkle In Time: releases March 9     There’s been a lot of hype about this, and I’ve already seen the trailer which is full of beautiful special effects and thrilling action. My biggest fear? That it won’t be as good as the book. I LOVE A Wrinkle In Time, and I hope the production company does this film well. (XX fingers crossed…)

Solo: A Star Wars Story: releases May 25     This movie intrigues me, and I’ll probably go to see it, if early reviews are good. Despite my love of Star Wars, I refused to see Rogue One because of the ending. Let’s hope Ron Howard gives Solo a better finish.

The Incredibles II: releases June 15        Can I just say I’m thrilled about this film? The Incredibles is/was my favorite animated Pixar movie, so the news of a sequel is just fantastic. It focuses on Elastagirl (aka Helen Parr) and the emerging power of their little boy, Jack-Jack. Check out the adorable teaser trailer here.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: releases June 22     For those of you who didn’t get enough dinos from the last film, I present this one. The characters head back to the island to save the remaining dinosaurs, but find far more. I like the idea, but I’ll be honest–although I enjoyed it, the original Jurassic World scared me. I don’t know if I’ll spend money at the theater for this one.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: releases Nov. 16     I loved the first FB film. Did you know there are five films planned? The producer, David Heyman, plans to release one film every two years. I can’t wait to see Johnny Depp’s performance as Grindelwald.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: releases November 21     This sequel to Wreck-it Ralph finds Ralph and Vanellope searching for a spare part to fix an arcade game. Their hunt leads them to new worlds and new characters, such as the Disney princesses.

As I said, there are so many more movies to be excited about, but these are the ones I’ll be watching. If you have any others on your “To Watch” list, please share them in the comments. I’d love to know about them!

And have a wonderful New Year!