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!

Why Write?

I’m a firm believer that everyone has a story to tell—whether that story is a novel, a poem, a song, an academic article, or even a personal journal. Everyone has something to say, no matter what the final product is, and they need to use writing to say it.

When I was in college at Wright State, I had the amazing opportunity to work at the University Writing Center. The UWC was an awesome place where any student could walk in to get help on any kind of writing and when they were at any point in the writing process. The writing coaches, who came from just about every major, got to sit one-on-one with the students and talk about what they were writing. And students came in with all kinds of projects, such as a paper for an English class, a case study for a nursing class, an engineering report for a senior design project, or personal writing like a résumé or creative writing.

My favorite part about working there was the variety of what a student would bring to the table. I never knew what to expect when I sat down with a student, and I was always surprised with what they had to say. Working with such a variety of students made me learn just how important writing is to every single career path, as each student needed to learn how to write in a specific way for their specific major. Also, reading all of the amazing stories these students brought to me not only taught me about so many different subjects, but allowed me the opportunity to share my belief that they had something very important to say, and that I wanted to hear it.

Back in high school I heard a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald that I’ve never forgotten: “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” Everyone has something they have to say, whether it is about the book they read in class, the culture that they come from, the subject they are studying, or even a novel of their own. Everyone has an opinion on something that they should share with the world, and writing is the best way to convey what they have to say.

Working in the UWC and talking with my peers, I discovered just how many people dislike writing. It’s hard work, it takes a long time, and, for many people, it’s just not worth it. But I know that everyone has something important to say. And even if writing isn’t enjoyable to you at the moment, all it may take to make it an enjoyable and even freeing experience is to find the right subject to write about.

Find what you have to say. And then say it. Because the world is waiting to hear. And I am too.