Thursday, June 26, 2014

Guest Post: Caught in the Crossfire by Juliann Rich

Starting Out As A Writer – 5 Things You Should Know

  1. You know more than you think.

You, as a newcomer to writing, have a distinct advantage over veteran writers. You have a lifetime collection of emotions, memories, sensory details, snippets of conversations to plunder for the first time! By the time you’re writing your second, third, or fourth book, you may find yourself needing to replenish your creative well, and that’s harder to do than it sounds.

This is an advantage. Revel in it while it lasts.

  1. You already have what you need to succeed.

Good writing is you. Undiluted, unfiltered YOU in its purest form. And you’ve got loads of that.

All the craft and writing exercises serve one purpose: to strip away the protective layers that have grown around you as you’ve lived your life and free your voice. That is not to say you can skip the craft classes and writing exercises, but knowing that you’re not reaching for some elusive external secret of success can help you keep your focus where it belongs: within.

  1. There’s writing…and then there’s publishing.

Writing can be a fun, deeply satisfying, and transformative experience that allows you to visit foreign lands and see the world through someone else’s eyes…all from the safety of your LazyBoy Chair. How cool is that? Do it. Do it today.

Publishing can be a hard, deeply stressful, and trying experience that is riddled with rejection and can leave you feeling as if you’ve shared your most precious creation and had it torn apart…in the public arenas of the Interwebs. Think about it. Think about it today.

I’m not saying don’t pursue publishing. I am saying writing and publishing are two very different processes and that choosing to write while not pursuing publishing is a perfectly acceptable decision.

  1. You have to do this alone, and you can’t do this alone.

You are going to do the butt-in-the-chair time. Without it, you will not produce a word, much less a page, much less a manuscript. You will need this solitude in order to hear your voice in a noisy world.

However, if you choose to pursue publishing or if you simply wish to grow beyond your current skill level, you’re going to need others such as writing teachers, writing partners, critique groups, who will tell you how they respond to your work.

Quite simply, we create a solitary statement, but we improve it through conversation.

  1. Chances are, you’re not going to get rich.

The myth of six-figure advances and cross-country book tours funded by your publishing house is, for the vast majority of writers, just that: a myth. If the reason you want to write is to become wealthy, stop. Get a college degree. Or two. Get a job in corporate America with a cushy desk chair and company-deferred health insurance. Seriously. Sell Amway. Sell life insurance. Sell anything but words.

But if discovering that right word feels like lightning has struck and you laugh aloud, if you rush to write because you miss your characters, if you can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next in the next chapter, then WRITE.

And learn to love Ramen noodles.
(Guest Post from the Author)

Caught in the Crossfire by Juliann Rich 

Young Adult, GLBTQ
Date Published: 6/16/2014
Two boys at bible camp. One forbidden love.

That’s the dilemma Jonathan Cooper faces when he goes away to Spirit Lake Bible Camp, situated along Minnesota’s rugged north shore, for a summer of fun. He is expecting mosquito bites, bonfires with S’Mores, and photography classes with Simon, his favorite counselor who always helps him see life in perfect focus.

What he isn’t expecting is Ian McGuire, a new camper who openly argues against phrases like pray the gay away. Ian is certain of many things, including what could happen between them if only Jonathan could surrender to his feelings.

Jonathan, however, tosses in a storm of indecision between his belief in God and his inability to stay away from Ian. When a real storm hits and Ian is lost in it, Jonathan is forced to make a public decision that changes his life.

About the Author:

Juliann Rich

Minnesota writer Juliann Rich spent her childhood in search of the perfect climbing tree. The taller the better! Perched on a branch ten to thirty feet off the ground and surrounded by leaves, caterpillars, birds and squirrels was a good place for a young girl to find herself. Seeking truth in nature and finding a unique point of view remain crucial elements in her life as well as her writing.

Juliann is a PFLAG mom who can be found walking Pride parades with her son. She is also the daughter of evangelical Christian parents. As such she has been caught in the crossfire of the most heated topic to challenge our society and our churches today. She is committed to writing stories that shed light on the conflicts that arise when sexual orientation, spirituality, family dynamics and peer relationships collide.

Juliann recently won the Emerging Writer Award at The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans.

Juliann lives with her husband and their two chronically disobedient dachshunds in the beautiful Minnesota River Valley.




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