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Posts tagged with: writing fears

2019 Golden Heart Sara Whitney on What She’s Learned from Doing It Scared!!

Today’s Omega guest is Sara Whitney, a 2019 Golden Heart Finalist whose manuscript TEMPTING TALK is nominated in the category of Best Contemporary Romance!

Sara Whitney writes witty, sexy contemporary romance novels packed with breezy charm, crackling dialogue, and want-to-root-for-them characters. Sara worked as a radio deejay, a newspaper reporter, and a film critic before she earned her Ph.D. and landed in academia, where she teaches courses on communication theory and media/race/gender. Under her “day job” name, she freelances as a TV writer for the Entertainment Weekly website and hosts a podcast about live-action DC TV television, so definitely hit her up with your hot takes about nerdy shows.

Sara lives in Central Illinois with her divorce attorney husband—she likes to believe that the happy endings she writes help balance their karmic scale— in a house full of books, cats, and pinball machines.

Tempting Talk is the third book in her Tempt Me series, which will be available beginning in early 2020. Here’s the blurb:

The first time Mabel Bowen takes Jake Carey’s hand, their chemistry’s so explosive that she’d bet her mother heard the gong of imminent grandchildren from two states away. But Mabel doesn’t mix work and pleasure, which is a shame since Jake’s the accountant overseeing the sale of the rock radio station where she’s one of the deejays.

Jake’s only goal for the past decade has been landing a partnership at his firm, and he was fine putting his personal relationships on hold to achieve it—until he met the glib and gorgeous Mabel. But when they finally decide to stop fighting the inevitable, a professional betrayal shatters their burgeoning relationship, leaving Mabel struggling with forgiveness and Jake questioning the toll his work-first lifestyle has taken on his heart.

You sold me on the book with the line “her mother heard the gong of imminent grandchildren from two states away”!! I’m thrilled to know this will be out soon!!

Folks, Sara’s here today to talk about facing her fears—and what finding the courage has taught her. Take it away, Sara!!

 

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WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM DOING IT SCARED

My romance-writing journey began on an “I bet I can do that!” whim during NaNoWriMo 2013, and since then, my three constant companions have been my MacBook, my Wonder Woman coffee mug, and my fear. The first two have been nothing but helpful, while the third is daunting enough that I refer daily to the wooden sign that sits on my desk and reminds me of one thing: If you can’t beat fear, then do it scared. Yet when I think back on the things that used to frighten me, I see that over and over again, doing it scared has been just as helpful to my writing career as caffeine and my keyboard.

To wit, a partial list of fears I’ve faced and lessons I’ve learned:

Fear No. 1: Saying the words “I’m an author” out loud to another person. How pretentious, to claim I’m an author when I have no publications to my name! I demurred and deflected too many times in the early years. Thankfully, a friend at my local RWA chapter urged me to spank my inner moppet and own the fact that I take this pursuit seriously. The first time I looked another human in the face and introduced myself as an author, I realized that I’d just said something true.

Doing it scared reminded me of my goals.

Fear No. 2: Announcing my romance-writing plans to acquaintances. We’ve all been there. “Oh. Those books.” “Are you gonna have Fabio on the cover?” “Don’t you want to write a real book?” We understand our genre, and we love our genre. Unfortunately, the rest of the world does not always seek to understand or to love our genre. But I stopped worrying about the judgment of others once I embraced this opportunity to educate the uninformed. I now ask the skeptical people in my life to examine what’s behind their kneejerk mockery of a powerhouse literary genre that’s primarily written by women, for women, and that focuses on traditionally feminized concerns like emotions, relationships, and sexual satisfaction. Almost every time, it leads to an eye-opening conversation.

Doing it scared allowed me to advocate for the books we love.

WHAT IS 13?

It’s Friday the 13th and today’s topic is fear.

What is fear?

Fear has been defined as a vital response to physical danger. If we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. However, often we fear situations that are not life threatening but pose an emotional danger and thus avoid them in the name of sanity. But by not facing our fears, we are feeding the gluttonous monster.

Think about fear in terms of your desire to write, or your lack of writing. What is stopping you from being who you are? Have you let someone else’s goals become your goals? Are you intimated by the productivity, or success, of others? Did you reach for a star only to it have fade away before you could grasp it?  Did you receive love from an editor or agent and then found that relationship wasn’t meant to last? Has life in general attacked you?

We all let outside factors affect our productivity from time to time. There is no shame it, but at some point, we should recognize that we’re causing ourselves harm by tying ourselves into a knot of stress, and by extension hurting our love ones.

Great works take time and love. You can’t give your muse love if all you feel is angst because….  So you’re not the writer who can pound out three books a year. Personally, when my life is over, I want to be remembered as writing that one memorable book for my readers rather than one-hundred toss away novels. I continue to work on my skill as a writer and I want my next work to be better than my last one.

So you haven’t made USA Today or NYT best seller list. I have my opinions concerning those publishing crowns, which I’ll keep to myself today.  However, if that’s your goal, you’re not done writing yet, right? The next book might hit a list. The same goes with gaining the interest of a publisher or agent.

So life has encroached on your path? We all have priorities. Family and friends top my list. If I walked away from them during times of need to write, I wouldn’t respect myself. I can write any minute of the day and any day of the week. Some of my best ideas came during stressful times.  A truly great story mirrors life. Take notes.

My motto has been since I started writing and continues to be; Word By Word, Line By Line, Page By Page.

So today, on the day others have imposed on us to be fearful of black cats, cracks in the side walk, mom and pop hotels, strangers, bright lights in the sky, let’s examine our fears for what they truly are and then brush them to the side and enjoy our passions.

 

 

Autumn Jordon is sneaker-wearing Ruby who authors light-heart contemporary romances and seat-edging mystery/suspense novels. Her newest release, Perfect Fall is the book of her heart. Check it out at www.autumnjordon.com and while you’re there join her occasional newsletter.   

Scary Beginnings

I’ve just finished one last pass of revisions on my latest manuscript, and you know what that means.  Yep–time to start a new one. But beginnings scare me.  Whether it’s beginning a new job (What if my boss hates me?), beginning a garden (How am I supposed to remember to water those things every day?), or beginning a yoga class (What if I’m not flexible enough?), I run right, smack into that fear of the unknown.  Even beginning a new manuscript scares me.  What if this one isn’t as good as the last one?  What if this idea, which seemed brilliant when it came to me last week in a dream, turns to crap as soon as I start putting words on paper?  I don’t know if it’s those fears or just a natural part of my process, but I never start my manuscripts in the right place.  I scrap and rewrite that opening scene dozens of times, not to mention the first page, the first paragraph, and the first line. 

Writing Through Fear

I received a lot of praise as a young writer – so much so that, rather than disappoint anyone by not living up to what I felt were exceedingly high expectations, I …simply stopped.

I took the occasional class here and there, but I didn’t write anything of significance except checks, documentation and source code for the next twenty years. “Someday,” I said to myself. “Someday.”

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