Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Guest Post by Cindy R. Wilson, author of Paper Girl

by: Cindy R. Wilson

I get asked a lot of questions about being a writer. How do you come up with your ideas? How long does it take you to write a book? What’s it like being able to do what you love all day? And, of course, I often hear people say, I wish I could sit at home in my pajamas and write all day.

Most of you are probably already aspiring writers, so you know it’s not a vacation. It’s amazing work, yes, but it’s still work. So, today I’m going to talk about what it really takes to be a writer.

Time and Work. 

Really. It takes time—and by this, I usually mean spare time. Most of us writers have to start at the bottom. Meaning, we don’t get paid and we can’t just get a job writing for a living right away. We have to write in our spare time, early mornings or late nights, while we’re sitting in a doctor’s office or other unusual places. I’ve plotted entire scenes while taking a shower—mostly because it’s the quietest place I could think with three little ones running around the house. All that to say, writing has to be done on top of your day job or school or chores. It’s so much fun, but it does take work.

Discipline

This kind of goes with the idea above. It’s fun to write stories in your spare time, but the more serious you become about writing, the more organized you have to get. You don’t necessarily have to know your whole story ahead of time, but you do need to get that book done eventually. And once you’re published, you have deadlines and people expecting things from you, so it truly is like a real job. Except you can do it from home in your pajamas if you want. 😊

Perseverance

Writing is hard. So not only do you have to get that story done, you have to realize nothing may come of it for a while. Just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean someone is automatically going to publish it. I wrote several YA novels before an editor finally wanted to publish one, and there are still stories I haven’t sold. But that’s okay. It’s hard and sometimes it hurts, but if you can keep pushing forward despite the hardships, there are rewards.

Perspective

This is one of the hardest things for me. I like order and organization. So, naturally, I wanted to follow a path to get published. Write a story, edit it, try to find an agent and if I find an agent then try to sell the book. And then said book comes out in a year or two and you repeat the whole cycle. Except that’s not how publishing works most of the time. My debut novel wasn’t even one I was trying to get published and the one I really wanted to publish is now the third book I’m getting published. Publishing is awesome but weird and things aren’t often linear. You have to sometimes take a step back and let things work on their own timetable and have enough perspective to be grateful for taking those steps forward in your writing career.

Even with all that adjusting, I still love writing. It’s my passion and something I can’t imagine not doing. And it’s amazing to be able to reach readers and other writers with my words. Thanks so much for having me here today!


Cindy began creating worlds as a kid, entertaining her siblings with spontaneous ghost stories before bed. She filled notebooks with novels and ideas and realized quickly she wanted to be a writer as an adult.

Now Cindy lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She’s the mother of three girls who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels.


Cindy writes speculative and contemporary YA fiction, filled with a healthy dose of romance. She’s represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary.

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