Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Post: You Are Beautiful (Amy Machelle)


When I was asked to do a guest post here, I struggled with what to write. “It just needs to be writing related,” Florence, Tell-Tale Publishing’s director of PR, told me. “Writing related? That could cover any number of things,” I thought, but the more I contemplated it, the more I knew I wanted to direct this post to struggling writers out there. I could have used this tour stop to answer more interview questions, but I’ve done that at several stops already. I wanted to speak to you, the inspired creators in the world, because I know how difficult it can be to share your creations. I hope you’ll read this and be encouraged. If you’re not a writer, please don’t let that keep you from reading. I think you’ll find inspiration here as well.

I’ll start by saying every step toward Saving Elizabeth’s publication has been a milestone – a smoothing of the rough edges each writer begins his journey with, but there are many rough edges yet to be smoothed. I’m not convinced there will ever come a time when any of us step back, look at ourselves in the mirror and think there’s no sand papering needed … no growth left to do. As a matter of fact, one of my jagged edges, “fear of man,” recently reared its ugly head during the publication of Saving Elizabeth. As much as I’d like to tell you otherwise, what people think or say means a lot to me….more than it probably should. People -pleasing was ingrained in me at an early age, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve done my best to make everyone happy, despite how unhappy living up to others’ expectations may have made me. I’m a perfectionist, to say the least, but I’m also a very passionate person who wears her emotions on her sleeve. When combined, those two character traits can create a wonderful novel. Unfortunately, they can also create a doubtful, nervous author who’s sometimes afraid of reading reviews. I imagine I’m not alone in these character traits. Have you ever been afraid to share your writing with others?

I thought so.

I wish I could give you an easy solution that would erase your fears. Someone once said that when a writer screams at the page, the reader only hears a whisper. How true that is! Writers are passionate people by design. Our emotions must lie close to the surface in order for us to easily tap into them and create something that moves readers. We feel deeply, which means rejection often crushes us to the core. There’s no built in emotional switch that can be flipped on when it’s time to write, and then flipped off when our work is finally presented to the world. We must realize we are who we are. Our work is beautiful, regardless of what others have to say about it. It always has been, and always will be because essentially, it’s us on the page. It’s our thoughts, our ideas, our emotions, our desires that make up our stories, and what right does anyone have to tell us that we are not beautiful? At a recent writing conference, Tosca Lee shared this quote by Marianne Williamson. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

Translation? When you shove your writing in a drawer because you’re afraid of what people will say, remember, you and your writing are both brilliant. Keep dreaming. Keep writing. Keep bleeding on the page despite what others might think. A few may not be ready for it, but there are others out there who NEED to hear your stories. Happy writing! 

Amy is a teacher who uses writing to escape after long days of tying shoelaces, opening ketchup packets, and begging children to please use tissues instead of sleeves. While it had always been a hobby for her, writing swiftly turned into an obsession during the sweltering summer of 2009. A year of clacking away on her laptop later, she typed the final period of her young adult paranormal romance, Saving Elizabeth. Satisfied, she packed her laptop away, but the characters she'd invested a year of her life in insisted on being shared with the world. Keep your eyes peeled for Saving Elizabeth, coming sooon from Tell-Tale Publishing.

Follow Elizabeth:
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Blaming God for the death of her father, sixteen year old Elizabeth Bridges denounces her faith and vows never to utter His name again. She tries to distance herself from anything spiritual, but the events that occur after an unwanted move make that difficult.

First, the dreams come – dreams of evil creatures, and rendezvous with the gorgeous stranger she thinks her mind created to escape her miserable life. But her first day at Glacier High proves there’s more to it than that.

Elizabeth meets Riel, the boy from her dreams, and he knows more about her than is humanly possible. He says she possesses a coveted gift that all of Hell is clamoring to seize. The monsters she dreams of are real, and they’re battling for her soul. Soon, Elizabeth is thrust into a spiritual realm where she doesn’t know friend from foe. She battles demons in the storage closets of her high school, with Riel, her only protection.

Will Elizabeth be able to trust Riel and help him save what matters most, or will they both join forces with darkness and turn their backs forever on the only One who can offer them the love and peace they so deeply desire?

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4 comments:

  1. This is an amazing post, Amy. You make my chest swell with pride that you are one of our authors. And, yes, you are a wonderful writer!

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  2. Awww..thanks, Patricia. That means so much to me.

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  3. Oh, gosh, I LOVE this post! Thank you for saying all of this, Amy. We're a lot alike. I struggle with those same things, and it's so good to hear encouraging words from a positive fellow writer. :)

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  4. Neat post. I'm one of those rare writers who doesn't have a problem showing my stuff to others because I want the feedback--both good and bad. It's what helps me grow as a writer. Once, I have 17 critiquers tell me they hated my MC. And while it stung, it was needed feedback because I took what they said and went back to the manuscript to rewrite everything and make it stronger.


    Smiles!
    Lori

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