My Blog Turns 1!

Today is my blog’s first anniversary!

On May 31st of last year, I published my first post about reading the Selection series and how meeting Kiera Cass helped me to finally write and publish my first novel.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like blogging. Writers learn to write in other’s voices. We write as our characters and we tell their stories. It was an interesting experience to start writing as myself and to tell my own story. I’m really happy with how my blog and website have evolved over the last year, and I really enjoy posting about my writing, books I’m reading, and anything else that affects my life as a writer.

To celebrate my blog’s anniversary, I wanted to look back on some of my favorite posts from the past year. Help me celebrate by checking out some of my old posts!

Behind the Scenes of Somewhere Only We Know: Writing a New Story: This post explains what I want readers to take away from my novel, which is of course the most important part of writing the book in the first place.

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How I sign copies of Somewhere Only We Know

World Changers: In this one I explain my calling to be a writer and how I want to use writing to do what I can to make a difference.

Top 10 Reasons I Love My Husband: In honor of Valentine’s Day, I created this list of all the reasons I love my husband.

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This is my favorite wedding photo

Being a “Real” Writer: In this post I reflect on making writing my job and give my view on what makes someone a real writer.

Why Write?: Here I talk about an important lesson I learned back in college-that everyone has something important to say.

Reading Your Own Writing: When I read through my novel for the first time after it’s publication, I had both a negative and positive feeling about it. Here I write about trying to focus on the positive.

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Molly and me reading together

Finding Motivation: In this post I talk about having the right mindset to write and how I created a reward system to keep myself motivated.

Somewhere Only We Know Launch Party: Here I have pictures from and talk about my book launch party.

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Me at my launch party for Somewhere Only We Know

Getting Re-inspired by Les Misérables: Lastly, in this post I talk about finding inspiration from my favorite story ever.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog over the last year, and I hope you continue to join me on my writing journey by reading my blog for the years to come!

Reading Your Own Writing

I’ve been reading through Somewhere Only We Know for the first time since I did my final check before publication in order to pull out quotes and passages that I can use for promotional stuff, and it is definitely a weird experience.

Two thoughts constantly run through my head as I read it. The first is negative—“I could’ve done that so much better.” I edit while I read, wanting to reach for sticky notes so that I can make changes, even though I know it’s too late for that. I wish I had changed that word, written that scene in a different way, tweaked that moment. This thought makes me doubt myself. I read through the book I wrote, yet I wish I could change everything. It makes me feel like I’m not good enough.

The second thought is a good one though—“Wow. You’re holding your published book. Someone chose to publish you. Your work is out there in the world. How cool is that?” It is a pretty amazing feeling to look at my picture on the back cover and see my name on the front. I wrote that. I got that published. My dog has a habit of climbing on my lap while I read and sniffing whatever book it is and giving it a single lick. And when I ask her if she’s licking my book, it really is my book. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how cool that feeling is.

But the doubtful thought is always more powerful. When I read my book, I feel like it isn’t good enough. I wonder why anyone would read it, because to me the writing seems bad.

I know I’m not alone in this. Self-doubt seems to be a big problem for a lot of writers that I’ve talked to. I think this is because we want to do the best we can, but we constantly compare ourselves to all of the books around us. There are millions of stories out there, and we want to stand out. Our stories are so near to our hearts, and we feel as if we are putting our souls on the page, so it is hard for us to ever feel like the work is good enough.

The key is to focus on the positive thought you get when you read your work. You’ve published a book. Someone thought your writing was awesome and chose to publish you. You have done it before and you will do it again. Remember that. And then go write something else.