Project Inspire

As it’s still Camp NaNoWriMo, it’s time for me to do another tag. Today is one that I actually chose out, instead of being tagged for. And I wanted my tag to be more writing related, so here we are with the most writing-related one I found of the ones I looked at (I save links to posts in which I get tagged. Which I haven’t had to do for a bit, come to think of it)

To describe the tag, as Sarah @ The Sarcastic Elf put it:

Young writers giving recognition and appreciation to the silent forces behind their work, the comrades who deserve more credit for who we’ve become than even we ourselves do.

There’s no image as far as I can see, so let’s just jump right in!

Rules:

  1. Thank and link back to who’s blog you first saw the tag on; link back to the creator of the tag.  Jenna Terese
  2. Answer the questions given.
  3. Include 5 of the biggest things you’ve learned about writing, and how they’ve change you.
  4. Don’t tag anybody. We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to take part in this. So at the end of your post, leave the open invitation to any of your readers that wants to do the tag.

I love that last rule so much. 😉

1. Who’s someone who inspired and motivated you to pursue writing?

I’d have to say the first person to inspire me to begin writing in the first place is John Flanagan, author of The Ranger’s Apprentice series. I clearly remember sitting there, finishing reading the first book, and looking up. And all I knew was that I had this desire to create a world and characters as amazing as Flanagan’s. The rest is history.

However, to continue to pursue writing after I first began, I’d attribute my first big cheerleader as my friend, Seija Strandberg. I was but a little 7th grader at the time, and she was in 9th grade. It was my first year of online school, shortly after I’d been inspired by Flanagan to begin. Seija posted an email in a place called the Student’s Lounge (where students can post emails that everyone can see so all the different grades can talk with one another; sort of like a forum, I guess?) that she had just self-published a book. It was a children’s book called The Destruction of Ants (which you can check out here if you want) and little me was completely in awe. I proceeded to email her personally about the book. I had so many questions, as you might imagine, since I had only just started writing.

After that, Seija put up with me and was very kind and encouraging about my writing and in answering questions I had. Thanks, Seija!

2. Who encouraged you when you felt like giving up?

I don’t really go to people when I feel like giving up; I just kind of wallow in my sorrow on my own until I get over it? 😂

However, I do remember this one time… I was in grade 7, and was sending people my work (even though I’d only just begun to write) (to everyone who had to read that old writing: I am sorry) when at one point I really just felt stuck. I sent everyone an email saying that I loved where the story had taken me and blah blah blah mushy stuff, but I just was stuck and was going to put it to an end.

And then the email was too large and had too many recipients and it couldn’t send. 😂

I was thankful instantly when I saw that notification that it couldn’t. What was I thinking? I couldn’t just give up! These people had read my story, and I had to give them more!

So to answer this question, my readers inspire me. When I feel like giving up and am busy wallowing in my sorrow alone, I think of who needs my book. What if my story changed the life of just one person for the better? Wouldn’t that make this all worth it? (hint: YES.)

3. Was there a person (or even a blog post) that came at just the right time to give you the boost or motivation when you needed it?

It’s so hard for me to think of any specific moment. I’ll go with this, though: Jerricah Strandberg.

Last name sound familiar? We actually met because, when Seija moved on to grade 10 (and out of the JH section of the online school) her younger sister came to the JH section. I noticed her last name, and sent her an email, asking if she happened to have an older sister named Seija. We’ve been great friends ever since.

I kid you not, Jerricah is my go-to cheerleader when it comes to currently writing my trilogy of The Storm Inside. She was so excited to read the book when I self-published it, and I can always count on her when I feel like talking about it. I’ve had some absolutely amazing conversations with her about the story and my thoughts on it, and she gladly puts up with me. Thank you so much, Jerricah! You’re amazing!

4. Who’s always been there for you, through thick-and-thin with your writing?

The next award of my thanks goes to my 2 awesome sisters, Cecilia and Mary. Cecilia, we don’t get to talk that much about writing, but you’re usually helpful. (except you don’t comment on my blog; what’s up with that?) (I’m just kidding) (mostly) Mary, this is especially true as of recently, since I keep randomly complaining to you about how much trouble I’m having with figuring out the plot line for The Triad of Caosdif. You guys are great to try to talk to about my books without spoiling anything, and you do likewise. (make sure to check out Mary’s blog! As of this time, Cecilia doesn’t have one)

5. Who’s helped you make your writing better, wasn’t afraid to give you honest feedback, and helped improve your craft?

Once again, hey Cecilia. *waves* I am choosing you to put here because I clearly remember the first time you read my writing.

Quick backstory for everyone: I did used to want to be a writer years ago, but then went through a phase where I just read instead; that lasted a couple years. Now, this first time I wanted to be a writer, I was more of a wannabe writer than a serious one, so I don’t really count this as time as a writer. However, during that point of time, I would handwrite my stories in notebooks (which I proceeded to later throw away because I thought they were trash. They were, but now I wish I could go back and see what I used to write like. Sad.)

Okay, backstory over.

I went to show my mom a story I wrote one day, because… I guess because she was my writing teacher and my mom? And I didn’t really want to show anyone it but I wanted feedback? But anyway, I gave the notebook to her and left to let her read it.

I came back later to find that she had left my notebook open on the counter. 😱 I was even more horrified to find that Cecilia was reading it. She told me exactly what she thought of my writing, and wow. It was harsh. I can only remember bits and pieces, but it was crushing because I started writing because Cecilia wrote first. I considered her stories masterpieces (they weren’t) so to have someone who I thought was an awesome writer tell me things like this… it was devastating.

Actually, I think that was why I stopped writing for so long. 🤔

But anyway: thank you for your completely point-blank honest feedback, Cecilia. This is why my siblings get to read my writing last. I know they’re going to nit-pick it for me and tell me absolutely everything they see that is wrong with it. You guys are like, my last line of defence.

6. Who’s given you doses of healthy laughter that brighten your day and bring a smile to your face?

I am so busy with school, I honestly don’t talk with people as much as I should anymore. However, this semester, when I do have some time, I like to go into my English class before it begins and talk with classmates. It’s such a blast, and conversations always go to interesting places. I’ve also noticed that when I talk with people before class that they’re more talkative during it as well, so like, win-win.

7. What’s your favourite inspirational quote?

Be an unstoppable force. Write with an imaginary machete strapped to your thigh. This is not wishy-washy, polite, drinking-tea-with-your-pinkie-sticking-out stuff. It’s who you want to be, your most powerful self. Write your books. Finish them, then make them better. Find the way. No one will make this dream come true for you but you.

-Laini Taylor

Let’s be honest: I have no idea who Laini Taylor is. And I do not have that memorized. But I saw it a while ago, and I think it’s pretty awesome.

8. Is there someone you just want to take a moment to thank, for anything?

To all my parents: my dad (thank you for supporting me in all my writer stuff and encouraging it!) my mom (thanks for teaching me how to read and write!) and definitely God (thanks for literally everything)

9. What author and/or book inspired you to write better stories and motivate you to strive to give your message to the world?

As this says “better”, that implies when I’ve already been writing. So, you already know the authors that inspired me to start (for those who forgot, John Flanagan and Cecilia) but now we’re talking about the author who inspired me to become even better.

There are so many great authors out there, but here’s something backwards: it was the author of Flunked because her books were so bad! She somehow managed to become traditionally published for a series of these sucky books that I spent the whole time agonizing over as I read them. (even though I only read the first 2) I should do a whole post on it to dissect the book, but then I’d have to read it again to do that, so who knows. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But anyway, I looked at those books and was like, “Well shoot, if this junk could get published, why not me?”

It’s inspiring to know that you’re better than a traditionally published author, especially when you already think so little of your own work. *nods sagely*

10. What piece of advice do you want to give to other young writers?

Surround yourself with people who support you. Go out there, find them, and then capture them and keep them with you forever and always. They won’t mind if they truly do support you. They’re going to be where you go to for inspiration, ideas, help, and just everything in general to do with your book.

5 Big Things I’ve Learned

  1. Start a daily habit; it’ll save your life when you don’t feel like writing.
  2. Keep said daily habit. It won’t work if you don’t keep it.
  3. The more you write, the better you’ll get. There’s no shortcut to skill.
  4. It’s called skill, not talent. Most writers don’t have a natural talent for writing. That’s something you’re born with. Skill is something you have to work for, and fight every step of the way for. Don’t go and die in a corner because you don’t think you have talent. Basically no one ever has started out with talent. They could work for skill, and so can you.
  5. Even when everything about your book sucks, don’t just abandon it. Take a break if you must, but come back again someday. The better you get at writing (see 3) the more likely you’ll be able to fix it. Even just a week or two can make a difference. The break also allows you to come back with fresh eyes and be more willing to change it.

BONUS SECTION

No matter what happens, dear writer… you’ve got this.

Now go forth, and change the world with your writing. Think of the one reader who needs your book right now. Do it for them.

(That was actually really fun to write; all those stories were just super fun to tell. Also, this post is over 2k. 😂)

(I felt sort of guilty as I wrote the quote down that talks about tea… because I’m currently drinking tea, and it’s delicious.)

Are you going to do this?

Did you like to hear all of my stories?

How is your April Camp NaNoWriMo going?

-Julia

5 thoughts on “Project Inspire

  1. Ohh this was a super awesome tag Julia! I loved reading your answers!
    Haha, thanks for mentioning me 😆
    *snorts* complain to me all you want! (because I probably will when I start re-writing my book-) I mean, *cough*, I like helping when I can, and listening to your thoughts anyway 😂

    Like

    1. Thanks! I thought it was pretty awesome too! 😉
      You’re welcome. 😝 I knew you’d like this post.
      You already have started 😂 And yeah, I’m sure you do; my thoughts are amazing! (actually they’re a mess but pfffft whatever) This is what sister-writers are for! 😂

      Like

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