Wednesday, July 31, 2019

PROJECT INSPIRE TAG // recognition for those who inspire me as a writer

I'm two days late with this post, but shhhhh. I've been busy winning Camp NaNo and very kindly but relentlessly marking up my friends' wonderful books + letting their wonderful books rip me apart (because critiquing is my new favorite thing mwahaha). But I'm here now, thank goodness, with an appreciation post focused on recognizing some amazing people who inspire me as a writer.

This is a tag (not actually a tag but SHHHH) called the Project Inspire Tag, and I just had to do it. I'm not allowed to tag anyone - which is why it's not really a tag when you think about it?? - so it's up to you to steal it from me if you feel so inclined.

Here are the rules:

1. Thank and link back to whose blog you first saw the tag on. Nicole! Go check out her Project Inspire post and her whole blog because she's EPIC.

2. Answer the questions given. (When you mention a person in your answers, link to their blog/website if they have one.)

3. Include 5 of the biggest things you've learned about writing and how they've changed you.

4. Don't tag anybody. 

Who's someone who's inspired and motivated you to pursue writing?

Oh goodness, HOW could I possibly choose?? So many friends, family members, bloggers, and other authors and writers have inspired and motivated me as a writer in too many ways to count.

K.M. Weiland is an author and blogger whose website Helping Writers Become Authors inspired me to pursue writing a specific bookBlue Like Sapphires, which I'm currently first-drafting. Using articles from her series on outlining and her free ebook 5 Secrets of Story Structure, I was able to sketch a plot of Blue Like Sapphires to my satisfaction despite failed earlier plotting attempts. XD

Although I haven't read any of K.M. Weiland's books (WHAT AM I DOING?), I'm so thankful for her epic blog and how it's inspired and motivated me time and again!

Who encouraged you when you felt like giving up?

Literally alllllll the blogger friends who have expressed excitement about Dusted Red. Especially at the times when Dusted Red has felt like a blob of awful (maybe it is, idk at this point XD). They haven't read it yet, but the brute fact they want to means SO much to me, and it pushes me to keep going. <3

Since the question doesn't tell me I have to say only one person, I could name countless specific and non-specific times when Ivie, Faith, Gray, Julian, Catherine, and Clare in particular made me grin and go floating over the moon. (AND THE OTHERS << thinking of the Writing Specials I've participated in and the way my blog readers pounced on me in the comments. 😍 You know who you are! I don't think you fully understand how much of a blessing you've been.) It's special when someone wants to read your book. Simple as that.

To all the blogger buddies who want to read Dusted Red: I'm sorry if it turns out to be a blob of awful. At this point I honestly have no idea. 😂

Person Holding White Pen Near White Poster
me @ me thinking Dusted Red is a blob of awful

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?

SO MANY. Most recently, an article on Story Embers called Dear Christian Novelists: Cleanness Is Not Next To Godliness gave me the boost I needed as a Christian writer. Lately I'd been discouraged by how much more inclined I am to write stories that aren't explicitly Christian than those that are. It can be easy to disconnect my writing from my faith (see more in this post), but that SE article and the series it introduces was one of the top motivations I needed in that area. Even though it mostly focuses on just one aspect of it. ^_^

Who's always been there for you, through thick and thin with your writing?

Above all... God. <3 Even at the times I feel I'm alone in this, He is there.

But, to pick an "other" (if you will), I'm going to go with my mom. Years and years ago, when I was playing around with what I think was my first non-school creative writing project - Bible stories written in my own words on unlined paper, with accompanying little-kid illustrations - I remember Mom being impressed and telling me she liked it a lot. It's one of those faraway memories, so blurry it's like a dream, but I remember how excited it made me to hear that.

Who's helped you make your writing better, wasn't afraid to give you honest feedback, and helped improve your craft?

The first person I thought of was Melissa Gravitis, who beta-read my novella The Seven Huntresses. She gave brutally honest feedback that dug deep into everything from character development to storyworld to plot, and I was ENTHRALLED. Still am. ^_^ All my beta-readers for that story were fantastic and incredibly helpful (I love you guys <3), and Melissa's feedback in particular... man, it blew me away. Definitely made my writing better!

Who's given you doses of healthy laughter that brightens your day and brings a smile to your face?

I find this question interesting because it breaks away from the writing-centeredness of the previous ones.

I'm going to go with my dad. He's absolutely a day-brightener and always has a funny joke or reaction at the ready to make me laugh. Or at least smile... but usually laugh. XD

What's your favorite inspirational quote?

I'm sorry, but I do not and cannot have a favorite. There are TOO MANY inspirational quotes in this world.

Nothing is more inspirational than a word from God, and I could choose any of countless inspirational Bible verses for this, but instead of subjecting myself to the torture of picking one of those, here's a super uplifting quote from one of my Pinterest boards instead:

matthew 6:33 // psalm 37:4

via Pinterest - all credit to owner

I picked it because it encompasses all of life in the most personal way, and the best quotes do!

Is there someone you just want to take a moment to thank, for anything?

Thank you, Mom, for hugging me by the river this past Sunday. <3

What author and/or book inspired you to write better stories and motivated you to strive to give your message to the world?

Nadine Brandes is one author who inspires me a lot to really strive to weave important messages into my writing! I love checking her Instagram because she's soooo optimistic, shines brightly for Jesus, and often posts about her writing and what it means to her. Her book Fawkes is fantastic aaaaand also the only book I've read by her. O_o I NEED OUT OF TIME. AND ROMANOV.

What piece of advice do you want to give to other writers?

Maybe this is cheating, but I'm going to quote myself from last week's post. XD

Keep writing, my friends. And don't write for the world. Don't even write for yourself. Write for Jesus.


(These are in no particular order, by the way. :D)

1. It's possible to write a story you don't love.
 This was a bit of a weird revelation, but yes, it IS possible to write a story you don't love. I think I enjoy every story I write to an extent, but looking back on some stories, I've realized I like some of them and then LOVE others. This information has prompted me to make sure I'm verrrrrry into the idea (or at least one aspect) of a story before I sit down to try writing it. Because I want every one of my stories to feel epic to me. I want every one of them to blow my own socks off, thanks. STANDARDS ARE RISING, PEOPLE.

Person Holding Black Pen

2. Praise from readers doesn't satisfy. Yes, it's AWESOME to hear someone say they love your story to pieces. It's INCREDIBLE to hear someone say they feel the feels, ship the ships, etc. You better believe that's one of the hugest writer-ly blessings out there - being able to say you've accomplished the goal of entertaining and touching readers. <3 But, over time, I've had to take steps back and apply the universal truth "Only Jesus satisfies, and nothing else" to this area of my life. If you look to reader praise for satisfaction or self-worth as a writer, you'll just end up thirsty again. "For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness" (Psalm 107:9).

3. Being published doesn't satisfy either. Same as above. Being published is awesome, incredible, one of the hugest blessings of being a writer, and a DREAM COME TRUE. And the blessing will last - forever! - but only if I give all the glory to God. Publication in and of itself does not satisfy. Recognizing it's a blessing from God rather than something I earn or deserve makes it all the more sweet. <3

4. It's more than possible to write for God's glory even if you write stories that aren't explicitly Christian. I talked about this a lot in last week's post. It was a super recent lesson I learned (one I'm constantly learning, actually), and it's made writing all the more purposeful and fun!

5. I'm not good at novel climaxes. The struggle is real. :P Both Dusted Red and Blue Like Sapphires have been giving me pain in the climactic area. SOMEONE SEND HELP IN THE FORM OF AN ACTUALLY GOOD CLIMAX, PLEASE AND THANK YOU. How has this lesson changed me? Well... I am now scared for each and every "climax" I write or plot. Oh, and hopefully I put more effort into writing/plotting them in the future. That too.


And that's the end of this tag! Please do steal it (that's the only way to be tagged, after all XD) and take a whole blog post to recognize those who inspire you + share the biggest lessons you've learned as a writer. SO MANY BLESSINGS, MY FRIENDS. Count them.

... And then fail because there are too many.


The Lord's Truly,

Who inspires you as a writer? What are the biggest writing lessons you've learned? Comment below and I'll reply ASAP! Your comments are another blessing. <3


  1. YAY, YOU DID IT!! And I LOVED reading this!

    (I agree - whyyyyy are climaxes so hard??)

    1. YESSS, AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!! Thanks, Nicole! <3

      (They're EXTREMELY hard. :P)

  2. This post is beautiful <3333 Thank you so much for pointing me out too!!!! I love your stories :D

    1. Awww, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! <33333 You're welcome, Faith - and thank YOU!!! You're the absolute SWEETEST. *flails as quietly as possible*

  3. That is so sweet that you mentioned me! I can't stop blushing. <3333 You have put so much work into Dusted Red, I know that it is going to be incredible when you are done!! *hugs*

    1. Well, your enthusiasm has always made ME blush, so I guess it's only fair. ;D <3333

      *hugs back* THANK YOU!!

  4. Aw!!!! <3 Seriously, you're so sweet!!!

    And Dusted Red is gonna be awesome. I believe in you. :)

    1. No, YOU are! Your comments have always been an enormous blessing. <3

      Awww, that means so much to me!! :D

  5. This is such a sweet tag! I think it might actually be one of the first times I've seen it, and I really enjoyed reading your answers!

    Hanne ||

    1. I like this tag a lot. <3 Thanks so much, Hanne!! So excited you enjoyed it! :D

  6. "To all the blogger buddies who want to read Dusted Red: I'm sorry if it turns out to be a blob of awful." <---- Like it could EVER, your writing is amazing, never doubt yourself! <3

    This tag was so sweet. <3 <3 <3

    1. :D :D Thanks a billion for the encouragement, Gray!! It means so so much to me. <333

      I knew I had to do it the moment I read Nicole's post!

  7. I LOVED reading your answers to this tag!! 💛💛💛 Also, HOW could you say that about Dusted Red?!! It's going to be so fabulous!

    1. Eek, I'm so excited you liked it! <3 And hehe, I confess I sometimes have doubts. Author paranoia, I guess?? Thank you for your sweet words - they mean SO much to me! <3

  8. This Project Inspire Tag was inspiring XD

  9. I love this post with all my heart!! <3 I feel both honoured and guilty that my feedback was brutally honest. (I think I may or may not be known for being straight to the point with feedback though, whoops.) I really hope that it was more helpful than brutal! <3 :D

    It's exciting to hear all the lessons you've been learning, and many of them are ones I'm also in the process of learning myself. Your passion for God and the craft of writing is truly inspiring to me Lila! <3 <3

    1. Awww, so glad you enjoyed! <33 Oh goodness, don't feel guilty - your feedback couldn't have been more amazing!!! Like I said... ENTHRALLED. (And that's okay! Your straight-to-the-point feedback on Seven Huntresses was a very important part of my growth as a writer, in more ways than one! God is so cool like that. <3) It WAS more helpful than brutal, don't worry! :D So so so helpful. *flails*

      Thank you soooo much, Melissa. <3 I feel so honored to hear that. *hugs* You endlessly inspire me too!!

  10. Ah, love this! I def want to be one of those that gets to read Dusted Red soon ;)

    1. Thanks, Keturah!! Yessss, I'm hopeful you'll get to read it soon too! ;D

  11. Such a great tag! Love all the things you've learned about writing. Praise really doesn't satisfy you. You have to do it for yourself. :D

    1. Thanks, Skye! Yes indeed, writing for reader praise alone is never satisfying. As I mentioned, writing for Jesus above all is the most fulfilling way to write! <3 And making sure you're writing something *you* love is EXTREMELY important too.


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