Today, we clear the stage for Project Inspire. What is Project Inspire, you ask?
Look, I’m a rather miserly soul when it comes to my writing, and generally maintain the attitude of–
But I’m not so arrogant that I won’t admit if it weren’t for the people who’ve cheered me on over the years, I would be a slimy little vegetable peel in a gutter somewhere.
And that’s what this tag is about: Young writers giving recognition and appreciation to the silent forces behind their work, the comrades who deserve more credit for who we’ve become than even we ourselves do.
Beautiful, right? You know something can’t be too bad if I’m willing to write sappy things about it.
That said, let’s go over some guidelines:
1. Thank and link back to who’s blog you first saw the tag on; link back to the creator of the tag. Which would be… *drum roll* Jenna Terese! Thank you for creating such a lovely and positive project.
2. Answer the questions given. Hmm, not sure if I can do this one… 😉
3. Include 5 of the biggest things you’ve learned about writing, and how they’ve change you.
3. Don’t tag anybody. We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to take part in this. So at the end of your post, leave the open invitation to any of your readers that wants to do the tag.
01. Who’s someone who has inspired and motivated you to pursue writing?
Fun Fact: When I first started writing, I kept it secret for an entire year.
I was young, and for that reason, I knew people would think of my book only as a phase — something I’d abandon eventually. I didn’t want to be viewed with patronizing condescension — “Cute little Sarah writing her cute little book.” So I didn’t tell anyone, not even the members of my own family.
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MY MOTHER. Because if anyone was going to cheer me on, it would be her.
This woman has endured many, many moments of silent hysteria on my part, and more than a few occasions of having to drag my face out of the corner of the sofa. She puts up with my incessant jabbering about the deep thematic symbolism of potatoes. We quote Lord of the Rings together. She listens to me mutter incoherently when I’m trying to work out plot-holes.
She may have absolutely no clue what her whacko child is talking about, by golly, she supports it.
02. Who encouraged you when you felt like giving up?
My sister may take me down a notch when my ego gets the best of me, but she’s also 100% ready to pull me out of the miry depths of discouragement when I fall prey to my own perfectionism.
Albeit in some very… unconventional ways. (ie, “Sarah, stop being stupid and keep writing,” or my personal favorite, “Sarah, God will hold you personally responsible if you slack off on His book.”)
Anna is epic.
03. 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?
*stares blankly* What is… motivation?
Okay, but seriously: If ever there was a work of Providence in my writing history, it was the moment Kate Flournoy took me under her wing. She’ll never admit it because she’s terribly humble, but this girl is a writing superhero who flew into my life one day like a literary hurricane, tearing everything apart and putting it back together in a way that was beautiful beyond what I could’ve ever hoped for.
She has an uncanny habit of publishing blog-posts or sending notes saying what I need to hear right when I need to hear it — not to mention she’s a pretty cool person in general, even beyond the writing realm.
Kate, you’re a keeper.
04. Who’s always been there for you, through thick-and-thin with your writing?
My best friend and kindred spirit, Emma Flournoy. Guys, this girl hasn’t just been there for my writing through thick-and-thin (though let’s be honest, I’ve spent a good deal of time whining at her about writers’ block, which she’s suffered through admirably); she’s poured such love, loyalty, and encouragement into my entire life that without her, there’s a good chance I never would’ve become the effervescent whacko who mouths off in the bloggisphere and doses your Thursdays with sarcasm.
If you see her in the comments (which she’ll probably avoid like the plague after I say this), do me a favor and gang up on her with virtual chocolate and glitter. She deserves it.
05. Who’s helped you make your writing better, wasn’t afraid to give you honest feedback, and helped improve your craft?
To the folks of the Kingdom Pen forum (you know who you are) — ZIKERS. You guys taught me everything I know about writing and showed me what it truly means to be a young creative with a mind for God. (Even when it did involve someone pointing out to my poor, insecure 14-year-old self that I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. #TotallyNotBitter 😏)
(Also, you’re the reason I’m now such a psychology nut. Thanks for corrupting me.)
Long live the raspberries. And frogs.
06. Who’s given you doses of healthy laughter that brighten your day and bring a smile to your face?
My buddy Danielle. Or Snapper. Snaps. Honey Lamb. My personal favorite is “Kid.” (Don’t ask…)
Back in the days when Kingdom Pen was still running, we were the rambunctious two-year-olds of the forum who derailed many a serious conversation with Loki gifs, banter, incendiary insults, and a shared love for How to Train Your Dragon.
She’s inspiring. And funny. Being funny is very important. *nods sagely*
07. What’s your favorite inspirational quote?
“Write what you know,”
So they say, all I know is I don’t know what to write
Or the right way to write it.
~”Watch What Happens,” Broadway’s Newsies
Yes, I’m joking.
(Though seriously, this song is the most genuine thing to ever hit the writing species. Inspirational? Not really. Relatable? Tragically so.)
Ha! It’s a cinch!
It could practically write itself–
And let’s pray it does, ’cause as I may have mentioned,
I have no clue what I’m doing.
*cough* As I was saying–
But give me some time, I’ll be twice as good as that six months from NEVER.
Yeah, I’ll go now.
08. Is there someone you just want to take a moment to thank, for anything?
I’d like to thank the Mayan civilization of 900 A.D. for discovering the edible quality of cocoa. They have no idea that thousands of years later, a semi-crazy writer girl would stake her survival on their groundbreaking advance in the world of modern cuisine.
I also want to thank my dad for eating all the toast I’ve accidentally burnt over the years. He’s a long-suffering fellow, to be sure.
09. What author and/or book inspired you to write better stories and motivate you to strive to give your message to the world?
The Chronicles of Narnia were the force which eventually pushed me over the edge of the writing precipice and made me take my ambitions seriously. C.S. Lewis holds my infinite respect, and if I have even a 17th of the impact on humanity that he did, I will find my life well-lived.
10. What piece of advice do you want to give to other young writers?
You’ll never have the chance to become good if you give up because you’re bad.
Five Big Things I’ve Learned
- Trying to imitate other writers’ stories will only end in disgrace.
- You are what you read, and reading stupid books will result in writing stupid books.
- Strong female heroines are overrated.
- Paragraphs are actually important. (Crazy, right?)
- God cares more about your attitude than your list of pitiful writing accomplishments.
You know what my absolute favorite thing about Project Inspire is?
We’re not allowed to tag anyone.
This is a work of love and appreciation (two things I’m not very good at… #oops), and you can’t finagle people into loving or appreciating. But to those who want to carry on Jenna’s vision of spreading our gratitude across the bloggisphere, GO FOR IT. This is for the people who’ve made our dreams possible.
*contemplates that last sentence*
…I’m starting to sound like a Disney slogan, aren’t I.
I take it all back.