Let's TACO 'bout my writing journey
Hey, friends! Welcome to my blog!
I’m excited to share my writing and publishing journey with you, and offer tips, tricks, resources, and nacho recipes to help fuel your creativity...or induce procrastination. I’m a nacho addict who is excellent at procrastination in my own personal life. That is why it took me nearly sixteen years to publish my first novel. I’ll show you my long, twisty path to finally launching my first book, so hopefully I can inspire you to make your dream a reality too...whatever that may be! Or just enjoy my self-induced, painstaking journey.
I’m not your typical author. I didn’t get a fancy degree in writing, English, or insert degree that would show you that I’m an expert at doing this. I’ve always loved to read and write, which is the foundation of being a writer. I remember when I was little, my parents read a lot of books to me, and I couldn’t wait until I learned to read so I could return the favor. When I was in junior high/high school, I wrote dark and angsty teen stories and poetry about anorexia, date rape, unrequited love, and suicide. Thinking back, I’m surprised I didn’t get a referral to the school counselor. Instead, one of my teachers recommended that I submit my stories to a young writers’ contest. Growing up in North Dakota, I didn’t think I could compete with other teens from LA, Chicago, or NYC. Who was I? My own dream squelcher, that’s who!
In my 20s, I briefly tried writing articles and pitched them to magazines (when they still accepted unsolicited submissions). My hope was to gain writing credibility through magazines, publish a novel with said credibility, and then Oprah would invite me to be on her show. Isn’t that how it naturally works? My Dad was an avid writer of short stories, screenplays, non-fiction books, novels, and articles. He asked me how my writing was coming along all the time. I had excuses - I write grant proposals all day, I don’t want to write at night; I’m traveling a lot and don’t have time; I’m in my 20s, I have lots of time to be an author! What I didn’t say is “I have no idea what to write about.” Then he sent me Stephen King’s non-fiction book “On Writing.” Stephen King’s advice is to write about what you know. Light bulb moment!
I had a story that was brewing in my head since college when I experienced a life-shifting semester. For one of my psychology classes (shout out to Dr. Covey at Concordia!), we were assigned a volunteer project and I chose to spend my time with an elderly woman, Amy, who lived in a nursing home near campus. Eventually, I wrote about that experience and included aspects of what was going on in my personal life. Voila, “The Project.”
That’s why I say I write from the point of view of “two truths and a lie.” The foundation of the five novels that I’ve written are my life experiences, what I know, and then embellished and fictionalized to make them interesting. I’ve experienced severe anxiety in my past. My dad died of pancreatic cancer. Shortly after, I went through a divorce. When I was a single mom, I had a professional matchmaker set me up with a multi-millionaire. And holy stories from working in a restaurant and bar, Batman! I used these life events and challenges as the basis for my stories, but then fictionalized to protect the...ahem...guilty.
Potter Pointers: If you’ve ever wanted to write a memoir, short story, novel, non-fiction book, poem, song, etc, think back through your life and list out three experiences or events that you could utilize for inspiration. Start there!
Thanks for stopping by! Check back for more of my path to publishing. Sign up for my newsletter under “Contact” or on the bottom of the site pages. If you want to email me directly, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a direct message via Instagram @staceypotterauthor. Would love to hear from you!