Blog Tour: Project Canvas

6:00 AM

Hello, all! It's been several weeks, and I hope to bring another post on writing drought soon, but I have a special subject for you all today. 

It's likely you've already heard of the amazing book, Project Canvas, that will be coming out in just four days. I am here to give you a little more insight on what all has gone into the making of this book. 

Here's a quick summary, along with the stunning cover.


An international writing community.

61 authors
11 countries
6 continents

Are you looking for advice on how to create the perfect villain? Do you need the courage to put your story down on paper?  Find this and more in Project Canvas, a writing resource written completely by teen and young adult writers and compiled by Caroline Meek and Olivia Rogers.

Isn't the cover stunning? I freak out a little every time I look at it. I can't wait to hold it in my hands!

This project has been in the works for years. It's been such an amazing opportunity to be apart of it. I got the chance to write two articles for this, and also edit several others' works. I can't wait to see them all compiled into this beautiful book. 

I don't remember when Caroline first told me about this idea. Back when I first heard it, it was still just a dream. I remember hanging out at the Minneapolis Young Writers Conference with her, Olivia, and several other amazing writers, most of which ended up contributing. I remember how excited Caroline was, and I remember admiring her drive to make this dream a reality. 

One of the things that impresses me most about this project is that it takes an army. Literally. Dozens of people have put hours upon hours of work into making this the best it can possibly be, for writers like you. We've all been where you are, and are still where you are. This book is written by young writers, still struggling and trying to figure this writing thing out, just like us. And I think that's a really special aspect to Project Canvas that nothing else in the published world has. 

There are many amazing craft books out there. I can think of some stellar ones right off the top of my head. But if you want a book that motivates you and inspires you, if you want a book that understands what it means to be a teen writer, still figuring things out ... this is for you.

Keep a look out on the Project Canvas blog for more on my contribution to the book. I'm really passionate about one article especially that gets to be apart of this book, and I can't wait for you all to read it!

There's a giveaway going on that you definitely don't want to miss out on. But hurry! It ends the 15 so scoot on over and enter in!

Just click here to enter the giveaway, and also check out the other posts in the blog tour. And while you're on the blog, if you want to read the story behind the phenomenal cover, it waits for you!

I hope you all are as excited as I am about this. I know we're in the midst of nano, but I believe in all of us! Just keep pushing forward. I've only got a few more weeks of my first semester of college left, and then I'll be home for a whole month. Hopefully I'll get to hang out here a bit more then. 

In the meantime, write on! 

Have you heard of Project Canvas? If so, what do you think of the cover? Would you like to contribute? You can always submit a guest post to the PC blog! Everyone has a voice, and everyone has an idea to share. We'd love to hear yours.


Let's Talk Drought

6:00 AM

So Nano is next month. *cue the screaming* I'm super pumped to be writing a brand new project! I love the first drafting process, and the chance that November gives me to revel in that. Normally I spend October on planning posts that are focused on developing book ideas, characters, settings, etc. But in light of the recent hiatus, I felt that the blog was in need of a different sort of planning month.

So. Let's talk drought.

What exactly is a drought? Or, in writer lingo, a creative dry season?

There are many definitions, and many aspects of a dry season, but for this post I'm going to assign writing dryness a simple definition.

No motivation. 

When you're in a dry season, you have no motivation to do anything. You might want to do something. You might want to write that blog post or edit that chapter, but when you sit down you just ... can't. It's like someone's stacked bricks on your arms and locked your brain in a closet under your grandmother's staircase. You want to work in a logical sense, but your spirit just isn't there. Your spirit wants to watch Netflix for three hours or curl up and sleep. Or read that book that's been on your shelf since last April. Or play Settlers of Catan with your little siblings. Or--

You get the point. When you're in a dry season, anything looks better than writing. Writing, which was once this glamorous, enticing escape from the monotonous reality we all live in, is now something you dread. It's something you try to avoid thinking about, and quite possibly hide from.

And sometimes it's something you don't think about at all, and it's not intentional. That's almost worse than avoiding it on purpose. Because you can't help it if you don't consciously think about your book often. You can go days--weeks, even--without your characters coming to mind even once, and then before you realize it, it's been a month since you even touched your third draft.

Anyone relate?

I lasted a long time before hitting major dry seasons, and I think there's a reason for that. We all write because we love it and like doing it, to some extent. But there comes a point in every writer's journey when the like of writing, the desire for it, the drive to do edits and make your mess of a novel a masterpiece becomes ... work.

Because, to some extent, that's what writing is for us writers. If you're in it for the long haul, if you're serious about your writing, if you want to craft a good story ... then it's going to take work.

And sometimes, work just isn't fun.

I don't have the answers. If I'm being honest with you all, I'm still in this dry season. I haven't touched my edits in exactly a week. Two years ago, that would never have happened. But nowadays, it's a common occurrence.

Now. Am I just trying to drudge up unpleasant facts, or is there a point to what I'm saying?

There is a point, believe it or not. The point is this: if you acknowledge that writing is hard, and that writing takes work, you won't be taken by surprise when it begins to feel like it. You won't be taken by the fear that you're doing something wrong, that you've messed up somehow because this isn't what you signed up for. You'll be ready to tackle that dry period with determination.

We'll talk more next week on what that looks like. But for now, I want you to think about your writing routines. What do you do when sitting down to write or edit? What do you think about to get yourself in the zone? How do you approach writing, and what makes you stick with a project?

I'll see you next week!


My Unplanned Hiatus and the Battle for the Future

11:27 PM

I know what you're thinking. "She's alive? She hasn't been on here in ages!" 

I know, I know. I was wondering where I went to. Well, I'm here to shed a little light on that subject. 

Here's the deal: I went to college. I'd been planning it in my mind for ages. I knew I'd be leaving home and facing a lot of new things. School, friends, social life, being independent, being on my own, etc. The list goes on. I didn't know what my blogging would become, but as I feared, it became nonexistent. 

It wasn't that I didn't want to blog. It wasn't even that I had no time. I was busy, yes, but I've always found a way to make time, and going to college wasn't going to change that for me.

It's that I was creatively drained and, to be honest, I didn't know what to say. Every time I thought about writing a blog post, my mind went blank. Suddenly, I had nothing to write about anymore. I was empty. 

And then, last weekend, I went to the ACFW conference in Nashville.

This conference changed my life. It majorly impacted the way I perceived a lot of things in the writing world. It changed the way I thought about social media. It gave me peace and foundation in my plan to wait for pursuing publication. But the biggest thing I brought back from this conference (aside from the fantastic friendships I made while there) was the information I gleaned about building a platform.

A lot of people have been saying blogging is dying. I don't think that's entirely true. At least, I'd like to believe it's not. And while it's not "where it's at" compared to Instagram and Twitter, it still holds a special place in my heart. 

I realized several things at the conference, and one of them was why blogging mattered to me, personally. Other forms of social media/platform are great, but the blogging community (at least, the one I've found myself part of) mainly consists of artists. More specifically, writers. There are all sorts of people on Instagram (which is FABULOUS!) but with blogging, I have a chance to reach out to people who really get me. People who know, first hand, the blessings and challenges of doing what you love. People like those at the conference.

Being surrounded by writers reminded me of who I am and, more importantly, who I want to be. I want to spend my life writing books and telling stories and reaching out to people through vivid characters and vast storyworlds. That's what I love. And that's why I'm here, typing up this blog post in my college dorm room in the deep hours of the night. I'm here because I love writing, and I want to share that love with anyone who comes along, and offer advice from things I've discovered to my fellow writers.

I'm probably not going to post every week, and that's okay. The point is I'm going to post when I can. And that's the best I can do. 

So. I now have a stronger mission for this little blog than ever. I'm going to become a better writer every day that I'm alive, and this blog is going to be my way of holding to that. I want each and every week of my life to pass with a lesson learned. It doesn't have to be big or earth shattering. It just has to be change. 

And that change starts now. 

Do you blog? Have you ever found yourself in a season where you no longer know what to say? Talk to me in the comments. I've missed you all!


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