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:    http://catmomscorner.blogspot.com 

24 comments:

  1. Patti Jo! Great post. Such great advice. My motto: write and see. Write what God gives you and see where He takes. You never know who your words will touch as you write them now, but God knows who will need to read them in the future. But you have to write those words for God to use them. Love the cover of An Unexpected Romance!

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    1. Hi Sally! You have a wonderful motto, and you are so right. We never know who our words will touch. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your comment about my book cover--I was very pleased! Hugs! :)

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  2. Good morning, Patti Jo!

    I think being yourself is probably the most important thing to remember. Editors and agents are always looking for unique voices. God gave us our unique talents, which includes our voices, and we need to not only preserve them but celebrate them too.

    Thanks for sharing today. I can't wait to read your books! I'm running off to Forget Me Not to order them right now.

    Hugs,

    ~ Yvonne

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    1. Hello Yvonne! Well-said - - God gave us our unique talents and voices, and we need to celebrate them. :) I hope you'll enjoy my stories and I really appreciate your kind words! Hugs! :)

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  3. Patti Jo, I think I know just what kind of person you are when you are "being yourself" and I can't wait to meet you in person! I just got An Unexpected Romance and am really excited to read it, though it will have to wait until after the 4th. On a more serious note, perhaps some of us don't like ourselves very much at certain times of our life. Right or wrong, it makes us hard to be ourselves, probably right when we most need to do so. My opinion, give yourself to Jesus and let Him fix all those unlikable parts. In the meantime know you are loved by Him just the way you are.
    Thanks for a great post, sister.

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    1. Oh, Cindy...your words almost gave me tears! I agree completely with you---Jesus can fix those unlikable parts when we're struggling. I hope you'll enjoy An Unexpected Romance. It's funny, because I struggled with this one until I really got to know these characters. Then I loved them and had fun with my writing! You are so sweet, and I appreciate your comments today. Hugs! :)

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  4. Patti Jo,

    We never know how far-reaching our words will be. Thanks for sharing how your words touched Tom.

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    1. Hi Cynthia! Thanks for stopping by today. As I was writing this blog post, I remembered the note from Tom and wanted to include that in hopes of encouraging others. We just never know how the Lord might use our words! Hugs! :)

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  5. Patti Jo, your advice is purrr-fect! That self-doubt sneaks in too often when we just need to trust God and be the writer He created us to be. It is beautiful your first book touched a dear friend, and so many more readers, I’m sure.

    Even though I travel quite a bit, I find I enjoy virtual visits to different story settings, like your lovely Emerald Coast series. After reading your books, I feel like I’ve had a fun vacation at the beach. Best of all? The spiritual refreshment and reminders, such as trust in the Lord, your writing offers. Congratulations on the release of An Unexpected Romance...a delight!

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    1. Hi Sherida! Your first sentence made me smile (how did you know I love cats? LOL!). ;) Thank you so much for your kind words---they mean more than you know. You are a sweetheart and I cannot wait to celebrate *your* books one day soon! I enjoy all your travel photos and posts so much, and love seeing places you visit. Thank you for stopping by and for being so sweet. Hugs! :)

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  6. Loved this, Patti Jo! Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration!

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    1. Hi Laura! Thank you for your kind words. The Lord placed this message on my heart (since I have to remind myself of this quite often) so I hoped maybe someone else could be encouraged too! So glad you stopped by today---you're a sweetie. Hugs! :)

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  7. Thank you for the reminder. "No one else is quite like me." Recently I heard at Write to Publish "No one else can write this book like you can." So true and good for all writers to remember.

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    1. Hi Julie! Thanks for sharing that quote from the Write to Publish conference - - so true. Thank you so much for stopping by today, and I hope your writing is going well. Hugs! :)

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  8. Patti Jo, excellent advice! I try to be true to myself, but oh the comparisons I make.

    I'm so excited to read An Unexpected Romance. I LOVE Christmas books.

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    1. Hi, sweet Terri! I so appreciated your invitation for me to guest blog today - - thank you, it's quite an honor. :) I hope you'll enjoy An Unexpected Romance. These characters (especially the young twins) really "grew on me" and I ended up loving them! Thanks again. Hugs, Patti Jo :)

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    1. Hi Gail! Thanks for stopping by, and blessings on your day. :)
      Hugs, Patti Jo

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  10. What a lovely post Patti Jo. I so agree that there’s no one else quite like you and you should write from your heart. You never know who your words will touch. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for your kind words! Blessings, Patti Jo :)

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  11. Great post, Patti Jo! I totally agree with everything you said!

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    1. Hi Debby! Thank you so much, and thanks for stopping by.
      Hugs, Patti Jo :)

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    2. I enjoyed being a guest blogger today on Seriously Write, and hope everyone is having a nice evening. God bless you all, Patti Jo :)

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    3. Patti Jo, it was a joy having you here and you're welcome back anytime!

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