that sounded better in my head
Hi! I've been struggling for the past few months with writing, because I tend to come up with an idea, get really excited for it, then drop it a couple chapters in. I'm not sure why... I know this is something other writers struggle with, and the answer seems to typically be to just make yourself put the work in on that idea until the first draft is finished. But when I sit down and try to put the work in, it's like I just feel empty. I really want to overcome this, so I appreciate any advice.

Getting excited about new ideas is easy. Writing is hard. That’s about the size of it. By the time the candy coating of whimsy and fantasy melts down, you will find that you are faced with hard work. This will happen with every story you write forever, so you have to continue on past the excitement of the new idea and find the story you want to stick with through the ups and downs. If you’re waiting for a book that’s a blast to write from beginning to end, it doesn’t exist.

Do you remember where you were on 9/11?

Yep, I was in gym class. We had really nice weather, so the coach had us play tennis outside. I think that was my first class of the day; I’d always hated gym class, but I remember that actually being a nice class, because I got to sit outside talking to my friend while we waited for our turn in the lineup.

After that, while we were heading into the locker rooms, the coach from the other class told me that someone flew a plane into the world trade center. I assumed she meant like a privately owned plane and that the pilot lost control or got lost or something. I really didn’t think too much of it yet.

When I got to my next class, everyone was standing around watching the news, and the second tower had already been hit by then. I think we were all just surprised because we didn’t know where this was coming from or what would be next. So standing there I didn’t really know what to think or how to react. I was watching all of these white bits of dust flying out from the windows, and then I realized that it wasn’t dust but people jumping and falling. That’s when it ceased to matter to me where this was happening, because it felt like it was happening to everyone everywhere.

We ended up getting dismissed from school around that time, and normally if there was an early dismissal due to any other unexpected cause, the bus would be rowdy. But I don’t think anyone talked the whole ride home.

I was so rattled by the whole thing that I spent the next week watching nothing but the disney channel, even though I hadn’t watched it for years and there were no shows I cared about, simply because it was the only channel I could find that wasn’t covering it 24/7.

This is likely the 5th time editing my MS and I think I've fallen out of love with it? What would you suggest? Push through and fall in love again when it shines or shelf it until my heart is in the game?

If your heart isn’t in it, it’s going to show. If you don’t want to work on it, it will bleed into the story and you’re going to create something that nobody would want to read. If the love is gone, take the experience you’ve gained from writing this story and move on to the next one.

Every story is a journey that has its ups and downs, but there is a difference between being frustrated and being out of love. Only you can know which one you’re experiencing.

What kind of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Don’t seek outside input, not even from professionals. Just write. Writing is a solitary effort and only you can do your world and your characters justice.

If you need proof that everyone has an opinion, go read some of my other asks where I answer writing questions, and 100 people reblog and add their crackpot advice with the conviction of an expert.

What do you do if you're writing a draft of a novel and you're worried it will be too short?

My first drafts are always extremely short—sometimes nearly half the length they’ll be in the final project! From my perspective, I’d rather write a bare bones first draft and know that everything I’m writing is absolutely essential. Then, in editing, I can go back and look at areas where I could expand. During this second round of revisions, I find that there’s always a lot more I could say and even some back story that would help readers better understand my characters.

If your first draft is too short, don’t worry. It’s easier to add than it is to delete and then try to stitch the wound.

I drew so many cats in this ARC of Burning Kingdoms. Should I give it away? Hmm.

Hi Lauren! What program do you write with and what are you favourite Mac apps?

I just use microsoft word, and don’t really use apps on my computer for anything.

How do you deal with haters?

Depending on the day I usually take a nap.

I want to say that I love your books and think you are amazing for an author. I read your advice whenever I can about anxiety. I know that currently you aren't doing book signings because of anxiety and other things. I go to a therapist regularly for social anxiety so I know what it's like to not be able to go out like that. My therapist told me to overcome that by going out. How come you don't work on your anxiety by doing book signings? I hope I didn't offend you and if I did I'm really sorry.


If my therapist told me to overcome my anxiety by going out, honestly I’d switch to another therapist. The “face your fears” exposure therapy works for some things, but not my social anxiety. When I’m forced into a social situation, it isn’t the same anxiety I might feel if I were, say, nervous about a job interview or an unpleasant conversation, because I experience those things in the moment, and when they’re done, I can move on. However, if I know I’m going to be doing a highly social event like a book signing, I’m physically ill for days leading up to it. One year, right before a signing, I developed shingles and ended up extremely sick. I’ll have nightmares, and flares of OCD. During the signing itself I may be alright, depending on the atmosphere, but then after, when I’m alone again, I’ll be utterly drained and then I’ll have days of panic attacks to look forward to. Think of them as aftershocks.

Last year, I told myself to overcome my anxiety by doing a HUGE event. I told myself that if I could do that, I could do anything. Big mistake. I became so sick during the event that I left early and spent six hours straight driving back home to Connecticut. I was so anxious I didn’t leave my house for three months. When I tried, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and I would sit in my car for an hour just crying. More than a year later I still have what my psychiatrist called PTSD, meaning I still relive that fear daily. I will absolutely never do that again, and I will never again ignore my own instinct in favor of facing a fear that I’d rather not face.


Inspired of course by by Joanna Russ. And not set off by anything in particular, just an aggregate of comments and a good friend being treated terribly for posting some of her fiction for free online.image

She tweets and tumblrs so she must not be working.
She never tweets…

I have seen probably ALL of these in reviews for my favorite books