Being inspired and inspiring other people is such an amazing feeling. I don’t know about you but hearing that I’ve inspired someone always makesΒ my day.

 

A few weeks ago, Jenna Terese messaged me about this blog tag-style plan she’d cooked up, otherwise known as Project Inspire. (She also mentioned that I’d inspired her and I almost cried, so that was pretty crazy.)

Basically there’s a couple of questions and it’s just a freeforall to give a huge thank you to all the people who have helped you get to where you are today.

And then at the end, I’ve got to list five big things I’ve learned about writing. Then leave the tag open for everyone to steal! πŸ˜€

 

I think this is such a sweet plan, so I’m just going to get straight into it!

 

Who’s someone who’s inspired and motivated you to pursue writing?

Right from the beginning, my parents and siblings have always been a great encouragement. They always cheered for me. Always believed that I could do it. Always put up with my craziness.

Aside from them, the amazing Katie Grace was a big inspiration when I first started writing and blogging. Pizza buddies forever!

 

Who encouraged you when you felt like giving up?

So. Many. People. I can’t possibly name them all. The writing community is full of amazing people who have encouraged me so many times.

The writer’s life is hard, but it’s less hard with people like you. 😊

 

Was there a person (or even a blog post) that came at just the right time to give you the boost or motivation when you needed it?

So many things and people, it’s crazy! (I feel like I’m going to say this a lot during this post. πŸ˜›)

There have actually been a lot of times when God has shown me crazy encouragement through my morning bible reading which just blows me away. It’s always amazing when that happens.

 

Quick story time for you: once upon a time a few years ago, I’d just totally smashed my Camp NaNoWriMo goal. My eldest sister, Clare, and I were talking, and this happened.

Clare: Great job, but you couldn’t do theΒ actual NaNoWriMo. 50k in the month. That one isΒ actually too hard.

Me: I know you’re manipulating me and trying to convince me to try it.

Clare:

Me: But okay I’ll try it.

So I tried it and I discovered that I could actually write ten times faster than I thought I could and on that day I realised truly how insane I actually am. I haven’t looked back since.

Thanks for all the stupid dares, Clare. You know I can’t say no, you evil sister, you.πŸ˜†

 

Who’s always been there for you, through thick and thin with your writing?

My family. My friends. My blog readers. (You’re all the best.)

A special shoutout goes to my older sisters, and my two-person gang (J.A. Penrose and Sarah) who are always willing to listen to my “help, I’m stuck” or “WOO, THIS IS AMAZING” and all do their best to keep me a little bit sane.

 

Who’s helped you make your writing better, wasn’t afraid to give you honest feedback, and helped improve your craft?

My first ever critiquer was my eldest sister. She was incredibly honest. Maybe a touch too honest sometimes, but she had very good points, and I’m still thankful for it today. πŸ˜‚

My team of alpha readers is the best team out there. Alice, Lizzy, Jess, Sarah—you’re all amazing.

And shoutout to my smart nurse friend, Lydia, who has saved the life of several of my characters by educating me in the ways of medical realism.

 

Who’s given you doses of healthy laughter that brightens your day and brings a smile to your face?

I’m obviously the funniest person I know, so it’s easy to answer this one… πŸ˜† My family and my friends are all great at making me laugh.

(But seriously, I also laugh at myself. A lot.)

 

What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

When our slate is blank, there’s more room for God to write on it.

— Nadine Brandes

This is a random line from an obscure blog post Nadine wrote last year about having your whole future planned out. Or not planned out. πŸ˜›

People are always asking things like “what are you going to do when you finish school?” or “where are you going to go with that job?” or “when are you going to go to university?” or even in the writing community there’s questions like “When are you going to publish?”, “When are you finishing your edits?”, “Are you going to write that book yet?” And there’s nothing wrong with asking questions like that…but it can be stressful for the receiver.

I don’t need to know the answers to those questions. No, I shouldn’t just while away my life, hoping that something will happen upon me, but I also shouldn’t stress away my life, trying to make sure that everything happens perfectly and I always know what I’m doing and there’s no doubt or uncertainty or anything.

If my slate is blank, God can write on it. Everything will happen in his timing, not mine.

 

Is there someone you just want to take a moment to thank, for anything?

I don’t want to mention too many names, because if I do that, I’ll leave out someone important and I don’t want to do that. πŸ˜›

However, I do want to thank every single person who’s ever left a sweet comment on one of my blog posts, read one of my stories, emailed me little words of encouragement, or anything like that—it’s so amazing how supportive you all are.

Thank you to…

  • my Camp NaNo cabin mates for all the amazing Camp memories every year!
  • the whole Meraki group on Story Embers! I couldn’t have asked for better guildlings.
  • the amazing OYANers who read my book and sparked the idea for the sequel. And to the OYANers who didn’t read my book but are still amazing.

You guys rock.

And even though they probably won’t see this blog post, I have a huge thank you to a couple of amazing authors who have encouraged me and inspired me and just been absolutely amazing people: Nadine Brandes, Lindsay A. Franklin, S.D. Grimm, Sara Ella, Gillian Bronte Adams, Jill Williamson, and others. πŸ’•

Also, thank you Eoin Colfer for commenting on that Instagram photo of mine that one time. It was crazy and random, but also totally cool. 😱

 

What author and/or book inspired you to write better stories and motivate you to strive to give your message to the world?

So many people and books have inspired me, and I can’t possibly even remember them all, let alone mention them, but most of you can probably predict the one author who is an amazing role model and inspiration for me.

Nadine Brandes. She’s such an amazing Ninja Queen and it’s such a privilege to know her and to talk to her. She’s taken the time to answer my questions and to encourage me and to be excited about milestones with me. She inspires me with her example as a Christian, a wife, a mother, a writer, an adventurer. Her books always inspire and encourage me in more ways than she could know.

C.G. Drews (or Cait from Paper Fury, as you might know her) is also pretty inspiring because she’s a fellow Australian writer and she landed a book contract from way down under, so that just proves that it’s possible. πŸ˜…

 

What piece of advice do you want to give to other young writers?

Write the story from your heart. WriteΒ your story. Don’t write the story that other people are telling you to write. Don’t write the story that culture is telling you to write.Β Write the story that God has put on your heart, and write it for him.

And don’t compare with other people! It’s okay to look up to and admire others, but don’t put yourself down in the process. Always remember, there could be (and probably is) someone else out there who’s looking up to you.

 

 

And in no particular order…here’s five things I’ve learned about writing:

  1. Just because you do it differently than someone else doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Everyone has a different style and there’s a million different ways to write and edit and it’s just a matter of finding the one that works best forΒ you.
  2. Publishing is not a race. It doesn’t matter if so-and-so gets published before you. Be happy for them, don’t be that grouchy person who thinks they’re entitled to more than what they’ve got so far.
  3. Writing involves physical health as well as creative health. Look after yourself, dude. I’ve learned from my past mistakes. πŸ˜› Get out of that chair once in a while and go for a walk.
  4. Sometimes book ideas don’t work and that’s okay. Some ideas come like a flash of inspiration and a year later they’re still amazing. Others dull after just a few months or weeks even. That’s okay. It happens. Sometimes it’s best to move on.
  5. Do it God’s way not my way. I say this is something I’ve ‘learned’ but it’s more like something I’m constantly learning and I’ll probably still be learning for many decades to come. I make plans, I schedule things, I have hopes for the future, then something comes in and sweeps it all away, leaving me with nothing but a blank slate. And God can write on a blank slate. πŸ˜‰

 

That seemed super long, but I’m going to say it again: if you’re reading this blog post right now…THANK YOU. You’re amazing. Go inspire someone!

If you haven’t done this yet, you totally should! Just jump on a platform and scream about how much you love your friends, because they’re the best. Do it, okay? πŸ˜›

 

Hang out with me! What authors/books inspire you? What’s your favourite inspirational quote?

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