Friday, June 17, 2011

Lessons I’ve Learned as a Writer by Annalisa Daughety

Welcome to Fortifying Friday! Offering encouragement to writers has been a big part of our mission here at Seriously Write. We believe sharing our journeys to publication can help writers see that although paths may be different, there are similar things we can all learn on the way. Today, author Annalisa Daughety shares what she’s learned as a writer on her own journey. Enjoy!

Lessons I’ve Learned as a Writer
by Annalisa Daughety

I guess my writing journey began when I learned to hold a pencil. From that day forward, I was a writer. I even kept a diary starting in the first grade. Some of those early journal entries are pretty funny to look back on, detailing everything from events in the news to things I watched on TV. Joanie and Chachi’s wedding on Happy Days got lots of coverage in my journal. Guess I was a bit of a romantic, even as a seven year old.
I never seriously considered going after my dream though. The idea of people reading my words terrified me. It still does sometimes. Would they identify? Would they think I was stupid? There is a certain amount of vulnerability that comes each time I send something out into the world. Those moments before I hit SEND on a new proposal are scary. And once a completed manuscript is turned in—although there is a lot of relief—there is a lot of fear. Will my editor like it?
But that doesn’t even touch the fears that come when the book is actually released. When my characters—who have become my friends and who each have little pieces of me in them—no longer belong to me. They belong to the reader. Some readers will love them. And some will not. And that is not always easy to deal with. I’m still working on growing thicker skin.
The biggest lesson writing has taught me has been to go after my dreams. If I let fear hold me back, I’d never get a word written. Just like in life. I look back over the past ten years and there have been so many times when I’ve had to take a leap of faith. Times when the easy thing to do would be to stay in my comfort zone and not take a risk. Sometimes those risks work out and sometimes they don’t—but I will always be glad that I tried my best.
As a writer, I have to make sacrifices. I work a full time job in addition to writing. My life gets pretty hectic sometimes. I think one of the other lessons I’ve learned through my writing journey is that I can always find time for the things that are important to me. If you walk through my house when I’m on a deadline, you’ll see that cleaning is not one of those things. J But there are ways to fit in the things that mean the most.
Another lesson I’ve learned as a writer is how important it is to have a support group. My family and friends are always quick to offer encouragement when I need it. And my critique partners are invaluable. It definitely takes a village to write a book.
No matter where you are on your writing journey—remember that everyone’s journey is different. Some will be published quickly and some not for many years. Don’t get discouraged. You have your own path and ultimately, those experiences will be part of your story.
My advice to budding writers is always the same: read and write and do both frequently. There are contests and conferences and books on writing—and those are great. But reading as much as you can and carving out time each day to write are vital steps in the journey.
Life as a writer isn’t always easy. It can be exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. But I wouldn’t trade it—even the tough parts—for anything.

Annalisa Daughety, an Arkansas native, is the author of five novels. She writes inspirational, contemporary fiction set in historic locations. Her previous work includes the Walk in the Park series, set in popular national parks, as well as Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio. Her next release, Love Finds You in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, releases in July. A graduate of Freed-Hardeman University, Annalisa spent the past ten years working in the non-profit sector in marketing and event planning. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and loves to connect with her readers through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. She currently lives in Memphis with two spoiled dogs and is hard at work on her sixth novel.
More information about Annalisa can be found at:

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