Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Writers: 5 Things Writer's Edition

You've played 5 Things I'm Loving, right? No? Okay, it's something I totally lifted from Stephanie Perkins. But it's fun and easy and holy crap it's already past two and I'm just barely sitting down to blog. Get it together, Nat.

1. People Who Get It
I sent SIDEKICK off to a friend for a read I like to call the "Tell Me I Am Not Crazy For Thinking This Is Good" Read. You would be surprised how many of these reads I need. Actually, maybe you wouldn't. I'm pretty insecure about my writing, but my contemporary stuff specifically sends me into fits of "I will NEVER be good enough."

So she read it. And she SO got it. I love her and the gushing email she sent. Also, I love this feeling of relief that has set in. I finally have this book to the point where it's doing what it's supposed to do, and that is AMAZING. A miracle.

2. Writing Contemporary
I decided to try my hand at one of my contemporary ideas about two years ago (This became SIDEKICK). It was terrifying, and yet exhilarating. The truth? I'm kind of a closet contemporary writer. Okay, see how I'm hedging that? It's so hard for me to admit that I LOVE to write contemporary YA. Most of my favorite books are contemporary, and I've always regarded that genre with the deepest respect. I don't see myself as deep enough or talented enough to write it, which probably sounds crazy stupid, but it's true.

But, well, I love it. I really do. I love digging into characters and exploring every aspect of what makes them tick. Don't get me wrong, I adore writing paranormal and all those others, too (heck, I wrote a witch book earlier this year), but right now I'm in contemporary mode. Very happy to be here.

3. Spotify
Guys...seriously, you need Spotify. It's basically like Pandora and iTunes got together and had a baby—a baby full of free music and customizable playlists. It's my writing's new best friend. I have always wanted specific playlists for my books, but been too poor to buy each and every song. If you like to listen to music while you work, you will LOVE this. Love. (FYI: There are ads like on free Pandora, but if you pay up you can get rid of them.)

4. My Desk
Who knew having an actual desk was so cool? If I'd known how much I'd use it—rarely used my card table because it was confining—I might have gotten it sooner. And bonus, it doesn't wobble every time I touch it!

5. My dear MC, Trent Parker
I am so crushing on my main character. Yes, instead of writing a boy secondary character for a girl MC to fall in love with, I go straight to the boy at times. I mean, he's the one I want to hang out with all the time anyway! I'm selfish like that.

Trent is funny and thoughtful, with a heavy helping of bitter and maybe an itty bitty taste for revenge. Or justice, depending how you look at it. He's constantly surprising me, and even if I stress over writing I'm also happy I decided to explore his story. Still not sure exactly where it'll end up, but at least Trent and I will have fun on the way.

Alrighty, those are my 5 Things. Feel free to share yours in comments!


  1. I'm a closet contemporary writer too. It's my favourite genre to read but I always convince myself that I'm not good enough to write it. My absolute favourite ms is my one successful foray into the genre. I've yet to show it to anyone...One day. Maybe.

  2. Hello Natalie :)
    I've been reading your blog for a long time now and I just love how you inspire people and the tips you are giving on writing. I started a blog about writing (parallel to my bog about books) yesterday and I just wanted to tell you that you inspired me on doing so and finally sharing thoughts about my characters and stories. I'm planning on going through every step of creating a story on that blog (you could say like a live-blog :) ) and I would love to hear some thoughts of you about that. So if you have eventually time you could maybe check it out? (
    Anyway I just love your blog and I would love to read your novel one day.
    So greetings from Germany

  3. You think contemporary is hard?! I think everything BUT contemporary is hard! It takes all kinds to fill a bookstore, I guess. =) Thanks for the Spotify rec! Definitely something I'll explore. OMG, I love male MCs! Happy to hear that you're loving yours.

    My 5:
    1. Veggies from the farmer's market
    2. "Stereo Hearts" by Gym Class Heroes
    3. Tax free weekend
    4. Temperatures below 100 degrees
    5. Flip flops

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Erin @ YA Writer

  4. You are not crazy for thinking sidekick is great!!! Oh wait, I mean Black Sheep, but that must mean sidekick is great too! And the pictures of your desk look awesome.

  5. It is good to stop by your blog! Summer has gone by tooooo fast.

  6. I have to agree with Kimberley - your blog is sooooo inspiring. At the moment I'm not entirely sure what I'm meant to be doing or where I'm meant to be going but seeing the hard work that goes in to blogs like these make me desperate to want to find it.

    As for my top 5:
    1. Partners - my boyfriend is amazing and I don't know if I'm manage anything without him.
    2. Cupcakes
    3. Blogs - can't keep away from them.
    4. My kindle - I love that I can read books the same day that they're released (currently reading Supernaturally and loving it).
    5. Shows like Doctor Who and Buffy which I can watch without guilt as they are inspiring me!

  7. Yay, Sidekick!! Yay, new book about Trent!!

    Five Things I'm Loving:
    2) the TV show Castle—our newest Netflix addiction
    3) the calendar, which tells me I have (hopefully) less than 4 weeks to go before the Two Awesome, Exciting Things happen (a.k.a. having my first baby and NOT being pregnant anymore)(in no particular order)
    4) my incredibly incredible husband
    5) Spicy, spicy, spicy things; tacos, Asian food, you name it…

    :) Kayla

  8. I'm sure contemporary is hard. I've never written in it--it seems all my stories tend to have historical aspects to them. It's hard for me to break out of that genre although I have found a love for fantasy that I never thought would happen. So who knows--maybe in a few years I'll try contemporary too.

    1. Smiling babies. My little guy loves to smile--especially on the changing table (go figure :P).

    2. Being a SAHM. I don't miss work in the slightest.

    3. Rediscovering my passion for writing. After two months of not having time (or just falling asleep at the keyboard because of a newborn) it's nice to find it again!

    4. Chocolate. No explanation needed!

    5. Netflix. So many shows on there! My instant quene is about a mile long.