I can’t believe that next week this fun little celebration for “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” will come to a close. It’s been so much fun celebrating with you all (and I’d just like to say THANK YOU for all of your sweet comments <3). But before the celebration ends, I’d like to share two things I learned from writing “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” with you all.
The first thing I learned was that being afraid of failure (and letting that fear control you) can only lead to just that: failure.
Here’s something I don’t tell anyone: At first, I wasn’t even going to enter One Teen Story. A couple years ago, I had written a story for them and ended up never sending it in. I was too afraid of losing, too embarrassed to think of others reading it. Yet I still wanted to enter someday. My fear of failure (which was fueled by plenty of self-doubt), however, kept me from doing so until One Teen Story‘s latest contest.
About a week or so before the deadline, I told myself, “I’m just going to do this. If I lose, I lose, but at least I can finally say that I tried.” About three late-nighters, a few scrapped stories, and plenty of agonizing over everything, I sent “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” to One Teen Story.
First picture ~ Grapes at a California Vineyard ~ Second Picture ~ Writing in the Redwoods
A couple months later, I received an email saying that my story was placed on a shortlist. I freaked out. A little while later, I got an email saying that “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” had won. I freaked out even more.
Looking back at it now, if I had let my fear of failure keep me from sending my story in, I couldn’t be writing this now.
I’m not going to lie: Failure is SCARY. It’s a crippling beast, but if you let your writerly fears rule you, you will never get the chance to reach your dreams and succeed. Being afraid of failure and letting that keeping you from taking risks can only lead to failure. Don’t be afraid. You CAN reach your goals and achieve your dreams.
The second thing I learned was to write the story of my heart.
In an interview with Patrick Ryan of One Story, I was asked what the best bit of writing advice was that I had received. My answer? Write the story of your heart.
I’ve tried writing stories for others so much, that when it came time for me to throw together a story for this contest, I decided to finally let myself write the story of my heart. Once I let myself do that, my writing got better, and I began to fall in love with this beautiful craft even more.
Let yourself go wild on the pages. Write the story you want to see on bookshelves. Write what you love. Write the story of your heart, because the world needs your story.
Before I go, just in case you didn’t know… I’m hosting a giveaway! =D I’m giving away a signed copy of “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” AND a beautiful California sticker from Kulana Stickers. Use the widget below to enter. The giveaway ends on August 9. =)
What is one of your greatest writerly fears?
What’s something you’ve learned about writing?