Thursday, June 28, 2018

Just Be Yourself by Patti Jo Moore

Most likely at some time or another, we’ve all been given the age-old advice, “Just be yourself, and you’ll do fine.” Maybe when we were in school and had to stand before our class to give a dreaded book report (Ugh! I did *not* like doing those), or attending a social gathering where we knew no one, many of us have been encouraged by a parent or friend to be ourselves. If you think about it, that’s really good advice, because usually folks can tell if someone is trying to imitate or be someone they’re not (or “putting on airs” as we say here in the south). 😉

It recently occurred to me that this is true in our writing, also. As writers, we’re told to “find our voice” and work hard to be the best writer we can be. Yet sometimes we read books written by well-known, award-winning authors and start thinking that maybe our books would sell better (or garner more awards) if our writing style and voice closely imitated those authors we admire. If we’re not careful, that silent self-talk of doubt will creep in, telling us our writing isn’t up to par. Although everyone, I’m guessing, has been visited by those pesky negative voices, we must learn to ignore them. Yes, easier said than done, I know. But if necessary, contact a writing buddy or mentor and share with them what you’re feeling, and they can give you the needed pep talk to help you get back to focusing on your writing rather than the feelings of doubt. I will insert here that for me personally, prayer and reading uplifting Bible verses also help. For those of us who truly feel called to write in this season of our lives, meditating on a few Scriptures can do wonders. 😊

So while we do need to read books by various authors and in different genres, and work very hard to improve our writing, it’s so important to stay true to our own, unique voice. Because we never know who might read our words and be impacted by them. Maybe your story contains a faith thread woven in, and it happens to be exactly what a reader needed at that time—you never know! Or maybe your story provides a good dose of entertainment that helps a reader escape life’s troubles, even for a little while. I was reminded of this a few months ago. My very first book (a clean, sweet romance) had been published about two months earlier, and one day I received a Facebook message from a long-ago friend (I’ll call him Tom). We’d been casual friends decades ago in college, but hadn’t been in touch except for connecting on Facebook a while back. I had no idea that Tom was battling cancer until I read his message. He wrote that he’d gotten a copy of my book and it had been a very good diversion for him as he underwent cancer treatments. Wow. I told my husband that if Tom was the only person my story had helped or entertained, my entire writing journey—trials and all—was so worth it. We just never know who our words might touch, so we need to write those words and not try to copy anyone else. We need to just be ourselves, because…as the very old saying goes, “There’s no one else quite like you.” 😊   

Gracie Norton has happily relocated from north Georgia to a quaint community on Florida’s gulf coast. Since she loves children and animals, she’s thankful for her new job as a veterinary assistant, and she’s drawn to the precious twins who’ve moved in next door. Their handsome but reserved father is a different story, however.

Widower Blake Donovan hopes moving his young twins to a small coastal town will give them all a fresh start. Yet his dissatisfaction with his job and his unwanted, growing attraction for his pretty neighbor are frustrating him. He wonders if he will ever feel a sense of peace again.

When a serious situation occurs, Gracie must overcome her biggest fear to help Blake and his twins. In doing so, she realizes how much she cares for the children and their father. Blake’s medical emergency results in a restoration of his faith—and helps him realize he can’t deny his feelings for Gracie. Could young twins be the matchmakers to bring about an unexpected romance?

Amazon Buy Link:  An Unexpected Romance

Patti Jo Moore is a life-long Georgia girl who loves writing sweet, Southern stories. She also loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee, and is blessed with the most precious grandbaby ever. Her very first book, A Seaside Romance, released in December, and her second book, An Unexpected Romance, just released this month (both are from Forget-Me-Not Romance). Both books are available on Amazon, in print and Kindle form. Patti Jo loves people, and you can connect with her on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore, or on her blog: