Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Write Confidently and From the Depths of Your Heart

Melanie Dickerson here. This post was inspired by one of my favorite websites, Dictionary.com, and all the great quotes I discovered there. I could actually do a whole post on Dictionary.com, but I shall refrain from foisting my word-nerd-ness on you all.


“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
- Sylvia Plath
Truthfully, I’ve never been particularly confident. But when I write, I become a different person. I write fearlessly, pouring everything into the story. I don’t want to hold anything back. Or at least that’s my goal. So I love the Sylvia Plath quote above. Never doubt yourself or your story. Yes, you should listen to advice from people who know what they’re talking about. Yes, you should always revise a story several times and never be afraid to ruthlessly cut, change, and rewrite. But ultimately, you have to believe in yourself, your ability as a storyteller, and your story.

“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”

                    -  Cynthia Kersey


I was writing romantic fairy tale retellings set in Medieval times when everyone was telling me: “Medievals don’t sell.” “Christian publishers won’t publish a YA romance.” “What’s a fairy tale retelling?” Today, no one is telling me any of these things.

“When someone tells me 'no,' it doesn't mean I can't do it. It simply means I can't do it with them.”

-  Karen E. Quinones Miller


Remember that the next time you get rejected.

"Just trust your own voice. And keep exploring the things that are interesting to you."

-   Nikki Giovanni


Exactly. If you love something, chances are, some other people will love it too. For me, it was romance and fairy tales and Medieval Europe. Three things I loved, and I didn’t even realize how much I loved them until I started exploring them and writing my fairy tale retellings.

"Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying."

-   Roy T. Bennett

Keep trying. Keep writing. Never give up. You have to fail a lot in order to succeed. Just ask J.K. Rowling about her “loads” of rejections for Harry Potter. Or Kathryn Stockett about her 60 rejections for The Help. My own first published novel, The Healer’s Apprentice, received 32 rejections from agents and publishers. It took two years to get an agent, another year and a half to get a publisher. Never give up.

Writers are not here to conform. We are here to challenge. We're not here to be comfortable—we're here, really, to shake things up. That's our job.

-  Jeanette Winterson

So start challenging and shaking it up! It’s our job. Don’t play it safe. That book idea that you’re not sure you could ever do justice? That’s the very one you SHOULD write.

So let’s shake Seekerville up today by having a party!!!

Yesterday was Release Day for my 14th published novel since my first book came out in 2010. And I’m ready to celebrate. I want to give away two hardcover copies of The Orphan’s Wish to someone who will be bold and brave and tell us about at least one of these quotes and how it inspires you. Inspire yourself and others!


The Orphan's Wish is an Aladdin retelling that can be read as a stand-alone, but is also the 8th book in the Hagenheim/Fairy Tale Romance series. Jordan, the Read. Eat. Repeat. blogger, says in her review: "Aladdin struggles with his past, the fact that he is a poor orphan who was forced to steal as a child, and that shame plays out as he strives to please everyone in his life, from his priest to his teachers, to his employers and certainly Lady Kirstyn. Though it manifests differently, Kirstyn struggles similarly, often feeling overlooked or forgotten among her many siblings. Both find that the thing that draws them together is the ready acceptance that they show each other despite imperfection. . . .In the end, this story is about friendship, faith, and loyalty."


Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for all things Medieval with her love of fairy tales, and combines her love for Jane Austen with romantic suspense. She is a Christy Award winner, a two-time Maggie Award winner, winner of The National Reader's Choice Award and the Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She recently won the Golden Quill Award in the Sweet Traditional category for her Regency story, A Dangerous Engagement. Two of her biggest thrills in life have been meeting Beth Moore and seeing readers' reviews of her German and Polish versions of her book, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. Visit her on the web at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com.


86 comments:

  1. Good morning Melanie,
    Good words of inspiration for midweek. I am proof of Never Give Up, I received my first novel acceptance this past March and I am 67 years old. Made Every Possible Mistake over the journey and gave up frequently, only to try again when the stories wouldn't leave me alone. I'm not even the oldest person who has done this, Martha Rogers was 73 when she got accepted.
    My confidence has run in cycles. I was extremely confident when I was younger, confident enough to ignore advice, craft and criticism, which is why I didn't publish earlier. When I learned what really went into a decent novel my confidence plummeted. When I got accepted it inched back up, and now I think it's where God wants it to be. The writing life is a mirror of the Christian walk, just like marriage is. We need to see ourselves in Christ, and be ourselves in Him. There's a balance to be achieved.
    Even at my lowest, I was confident in my stories, if not necessarily in myself. I'm juggling three series: an Oregon Trail trilogy (FIRST BOOK ACCEPTED), a New York settlement house in the 1920s trilogy, and a contemporary Christmas romance trilogy. I took Mary Connealy's advice of "Be ready" and twisted it a little: I've written the second book in each series as well as the first. I guess I'm confident in the stories that they will find a publisher, whenever, one way or another, because I believe these stories need to be told. I believe in the stories. I wasn't brave enough to write the THIRD story in each trilogy, that's plain nuts, but I have the concept if the first two books sell.
    Melanie, I have rambled, but get back to the fact that this was A Good Post.
    Kathy Bailey
    Wordy in New Hampshire

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    1. Good morning, Kathy! And congratulations again on that first sale! We're so proud of your perseverance proving itself with publication! Who cares how old you are--dreams aren't just for the 20-somethings!

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    2. Thank you, Glynna. It helps that writing is something we can do as long as we have a brain and a laptop. It's not like, say, professional sports. Even a 40-year-old quarterback has a shelf life. We don't.

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    3. So happy for you, Kathy! You persevered and kept writing. That's the biggest and most important thing in writing!

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    4. And thank you, Kathy! You are definitely a success story! We both are. Yay, us!!!

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    5. I came to this writing gig late, too, Kathy! Experience definitely counts in this business. :-)

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  2. Oh, yeah, and Beth Moore should have been equally thrilled to meet YOU.
    I am solidly Team Seekers.

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  3. Why isn't anybody else on this morning?

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    1. You just need to give the westerners time to walk our dogs! ;-)

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    2. In the south, we take things slow. lol

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  4. Congratulations on your latest release, Melanie! And for persevering through the hard times when you were told it couldn't be done! :)

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    1. Thanks, Glynna! You've done some persevering too! Writing while working full-time! That impresses me a lot.

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  5. God bless your journey and for taking us on some amazing ones! It's so relaxing to be able to read a captivating story and feel safe!

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    1. Kathy, I agree. It's so nice to visit different times and worlds from the comfort of home!

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  6. Congrats on the release, Melanie, and thank you for sharing this post with us today. I needed to hear it. Even though I hate being challenged. That whole stretching and growing thing is such a pain in the patootie. Yeah, yeah, I know it makes us better. So I'd best stop whining and get back to stretching.

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    1. Haha! You can do it, Mindy! Just think of all that you've accomplished and overcome in your life!

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  7. Congratulations, Melanie!

    I love your fairy tale retellings and can't wait to read this one!

    The quote that stuck out to me Sylvia Plath's: “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

    I have to fight that self-doubt all the time, even after publishing several books. But I'm learning to shove it in a mental closet while I'm writing, and sometimes I'm even successful at keeping it in there all day. It's a monster that can ruin your dreams, isn't it?

    Great post, Melanie! And I'll be looking up Dictionary.com....

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    1. So true, Jan!!! Self-doubt is the devil's tool, for sure.
      You will love Dictionary.com. I get their daily emails, the Word of the Day and the Quiz of the week. So fun. Ha!

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    2. Melanie, I'm heading over there to sign up now! One of the wellness challenges our health insurance company has suggested is learning a new word a day. :)

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  8. The quote that stands out to me the most today is the Roy T bennett quote about only fearing not trying. I have books in my heart, non-fiction encouragement and course-correction for everyone from single-women and girls to the church to the lost. So many doubts have been winning, but I think it is time for faith. Thanks for the encouragement!

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    1. Yes, grab hold of faith, Rebecca! Also, pray about which project God wants you to focus on, follow His lead, and concentrate on one thing at a time. You can do this!

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    2. Rebecca, I hope you'll share those books with others!

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  9. Melanie, thank you so much for writing what you do. I’ve had a very very difficult time getting through school due to not having any friends but your books took me away to other times and places with people who I really feel a connection with. Your books have given me comments to stand up for what I believe in and have helped me believe in myself. Your books have made me become a better, more confident person and mind giving me a place to leave when it is too much for me to handle. Thank you so very much. -Chelsea B

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    1. Aw, that's so sweet, Chelsea! God bless you! School can be so hard when you don't have any good friends or healthy relationships. But I'm praying for you to find a friend, someone to hang out with and talk to. Pray about it, choose a person who looks like they also need a friend, and ask them to do something with you--go get lunch, study together, etc. And if that doesn't work out, find another! And I'm so happy my books have helped. That is my dearest wish--to help build confidence in young women! Confidence in yourself and in God's love!
      God bless!

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    2. Thank you for all of the kind words in your story and what you just said to me because they really mean a lot to me! I love how you write about having faith and Bible quotes in the books because they have helped me to get in a closer relationship with God to help me find myself. Your books mean so much to me and I couldn’t be more grateful!

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    3. Chelsea, bless you for sharing with us today. Melanie has given such good advice. I, too, will be praying for you.

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    4. Thank you so very much. That means the world to me.

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    5. Chelsea, I hope you will keep coming by Seekerville! There are so many wonderful, encouraging ladies (and a couple of gentlemen!) here who will love getting to know you and reading your comments. God bless!

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  10. A timely post, Melanie. I loved your words and the quotes used. Congratulations on your latest novel. So glad you persevered. Kudoos to Kathy also. I'm with Glynna. Age shouldn't be a deterrent to pursuing our dreams. Each one of you have been an inspiration.

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    1. Thanks, Pat!!! I know God isn't finished with any of us! He has plans for us. :-)

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  11. “The worse enemy to creativity is self doubt” that quote stood out to me because only a few short weeks ago I was convicted by the Holy Spirit about something was notorious for speaking over myself. I often would say how uncreative I was. That may seem small and insignificant to some what but our words have power. The Holy Spirit reminded me that the creative one lives on the inside of me and though I may not be talented in every area I’m am creative in some way.

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    1. Amen! Exactly!!! We have to speak encouraging words over ourselves, and the Most Creative Being in the Universe, our God, lives inside us, so we ARE creative. We are all different, but we all have talents. Yay for you, speaking positive words over yourself!
      God bless you, Shamekka!

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    2. Shamekka, you are so right! Thanks for your inspiring words today!

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  12. Thank you for the wise words, Melanie! I like Nikki Giovanni's quote. We have to be passionate about what we do or it falls flat. And we have to be true to who we are. That might be the hardest thing of all. It involve risk. I'm so glad you persevered with the medieval fairytales (such great books). I hope to read many more :). Thanks so much for the giveaway!

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    1. Thanks, Jenelle! That is so true! We must be passionate, writing from the depths of our hearts and souls. Or whatever it is we are doing! Take a risk. Great words!
      God bless!

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  13. The quotes all speak to me. How tryt it is, that at some point in put lives most people will face obstacles and people who put obstacles in their path.

    This quote spoke to me the most because someone important in my life told me that I was "too stupid" to become a doctor. I'm not there yet, but I've completed the first degree and I'm currently working on getting into the second one.

    “Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”
    - Cynthia Kersey

    That person now supports my goal, though they will not ever be that person in my inner circle again. And my siccess was inspired of, not because of.

    It is hard though, in the last 2 years I've lost 3 great women in my life, who did stand by me and my dreams. The hardest was my grandmother in March, she was always there for me as a child, and still was as an adult. My auntie died last week though, and we found out Sunday, so that's pretty raw too. But I know that in their own ways their love is still with me and I hope that I can be the kind of woman they were to me.

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    1. I'm sorry about your loss. My mother was my big cheerleader as a writer, after she died eighteen months ago, I found it difficult for a couple weeks to do any reading or writing.

      I did discover though that both are such an important part of my life that I couldn't totally stop either.

      I will be praying for the Lord to comfort you in the days ahead.

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    2. Felicity, I'm glad you're still pursuing your dream. Don't let what other people say stop you, especially when they're obviously toxic! And sometimes we just have to be our own cheerleader. We can't count on other people all the time. We have to do what David did once in the Old Testament. He "encouraged himself in the Lord" when everybody else was putting him down and were angry with him. I wish you the best!

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    3. Felicity, I'm so sorry for your losses. But good for you for going after your dream! I know you can do this! We'll look forward to calling you Dr. Felicity. :)

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  14. This is such a great post, and exactly what I needed right now, as I’m working on revisions for two separate stories. It’s good to have a reminder that advice and critiques are important and helpful, but that my gut feeling on the story counts just as much.
    I am sooo excited that this book is finally available. I’ve been waiting for it rather impatiently.
    These are all such great quotes, but I think my favorite is,
    "Just trust your own voice. And keep exploring the things that are interesting to you."
    - Nikki Giovanni
    I love it because it’s a big push in the writing industry to try and hurry to write something that fits with whatever topic is selling big right now, but I love the freedom to write what I’m interested in. Surely someone else out there also shares the interest.

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    1. So true, Maddie! The publishers, as well as a lot of writers, seem to always be chasing the "next big thing." But nobody knows what the next big thing is, so my advice is to write what you love, what interests you the most. Within reason, though. :-) At one point I wanted to write a romantic comedy involving zombie killers. I now know that would have been a big mistake! Which is why I try to pray about big decisions first. Turns out, I didn't really want to write about killing zombies. It was a passing phase. :-)

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    2. LOL, Melanie. I'm trying to imagine you writing zombies. :)

      Maddie, I hope you find the stories that interest you and are fun for you to write!

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  15. I loved this post. They all spoke to me. I was very discouraged a few months back when every critique I got in the group was negative. They did not have anything at all positive to say. But I kept writing and I found a new critique group. This time I had a couple say they saw potential in the story. With that encouragement I have continued and I love my new critique group. I am able to feel free to ask them questions about their comments and how to understand where I need to improve. Being self taught I need to be able to talk to someone. I had confidence all along in the story but know that I still need to improve to get the story written in such a way to sell it and that is where my confidence lacks.

    I did get 4 pages rewritten today. My life has taken a sudden turn that is overwhelming. We had to bring my Dad who is 89 to my brothers. While he and my sister in law work. I am the caretaker. It is a hard task. He is so weak and can not do anything for himself. The home aide is here to bathe him so I have a moment to be on-line. I think the writing will be something of a bright spot in these days of uncertainty.

    I would love to win a copy of your book Melanie.

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    1. Wilani, I am so sorry you're going through that right now. Elder care is a very difficult task, both physically and emotionally draining. I hope you will also have bright spots and good days with your dad.
      It's easy to get discouraged when everyone is being negative about your story. I'm glad you switched critique groups! A bad critique group is worse than no group at all.
      Glad you got some writing done today! Keep pressing on, Wilani!

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    2. Wilani, I'll be praying for you as you're caregiver for your dad.

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  16. Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement! I can’t belive anyone ever told you that Medievals don’t sell along with ya romance and fairytale retellings. When I found your series years ago, it was exactly the kind of series that I had been dreaming existed. The quote that struck me the most was “the worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” While writing and revising its hard to keep that fact at the forefront of your mind. But what struck me most about this article was “That book idea that you’re not sure you can ever do justice? That’s the very one you should write.” That bit of wisdom is priceless. It inspires me to take all of those ideas that I have thought of or dreamed and get them on the page. I will certainly pass this truth along to my other writer friends.

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    1. That's great, Bailey!!! I'm glad it encouraged you. I think everyone can relate to struggling with self-doubt. As writers we absolutely have to figure out how to set that aside and just write. Boldly and from the heart.
      I definitely had fears that I couldn't write a Medieval, that there would be too much research involved, that I couldn't do the fairy tales justice, that nobody would want a YA romance, etc. But I had to ignore those fears and write anyway, and I'm so glad I did!
      I will you all the best with your writing, Bailey! Never give up!

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    2. Bailey, I hope you enjoy putting those stories to paper (well, computer)! :)

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  17. How can I choose the quote that speaks to me? They all do. I believe in myself until I get a critique back. Then I juggle with the 'no' and 'self-doubt'. I have to force myself to think critically or logically 'about my own voice' to decide if they are right or if they don't understand the context or the genre. So I keep 'typing,' tweaking, and learning, 'challenging' myself and others. Thanks for the reminder to keep pushing forward.

    By the way, as a teenager, my favorite romance stories were set in medieval times. Your fairy-tell retelling books are wonderful. I'm almost finished with 'The Silent Songbird' and have 'The Golden Braid' sitting on my night stand to read next. You are an inspiration to me. Thanks!

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    1. Aw! Thanks so much, Alisa! And I'm glad you enjoyed the quotes. Critiques can be so hard. Sometimes you have to give yourself a day or two (or more) to be upset and to process the information. And I'm glad you're asking yourself if the critique-ers just didn't understand your voice, want to change your voice, or if they have a valid point. Mary Connealy once told me, before I was published, that if someone misunderstood something then there is probably a way we can make it more clear, or can otherwise improve that point in the story. It's just so important to do what you said--keep typing, tweaking, learning, and challenging yourself! Never give up!!!
      I wish you the best! God bless!

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    2. Alisa, critiques can be difficult. I've learned (the hard way) that I need to get critique only after I have a good bit of the first draft written. That way I don't get stalled.

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    3. Thanks Missy. I think I had to be critiqued to learn how bad my writing was, the story was good, just a lot of passive writing. A lot! Then I did what you said, I went through editing once again and fixed things. It was hard, because I really thought I had something, but just as Melanie said, I had to take two or three days to digest what was written. It did stall my story, but I learned a lot, and I'm hoping it strengthened my story. I also hope that once this first book is behind me, I'll be able to take what I've learned and apply it to my next book so I don't stall again. Maybe it won't take as long. :)

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    4. You'll keep learning, Alisa, and applying what you learn. It'll get easier. But it never really stops, because I still have to go through "critiques" from my editor. It can be painful, but it's worth it if you know you're improving your writing and your story!

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  18. Melanie, this is such an inspiring post! I haven't read the comments yet, so you may have already answered this. I wonder how you'd recommend getting your confidence back after it has been shaken. I think that affects a lot of writers.

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    1. Hey, Missy. Confidence is a tricky thing. How to get it? How to get it back after it's been shaken? That's hard to answer, but I've always thought healthy confidence is from the Lord. Know what God says about you, believe his love for you, and pray for him to give you confidence. That was always something I prayed for my children, that they would have confidence in themselves and in God and His love.

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    2. Melanie, thank you! That's so much simpler than I was making it. :) But you're so right!

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    3. It's also good to have confidence in the talents God has given you! The good work he has started in us, he will carry on to completion!

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  19. That first quote is totally me. I find myself going quickly from hearing praise from a reader to doubting that my book is good at all due to lower sales that week. I have been reminding myself over and over lately that God wouldn't give me these ideas and the connections that have helped me get this far, if He didn't want me writing. And God knows us better than we know ourselves. :-)

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    1. Amy, thanks for sharing that wisdom!

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    2. Amy, God will help you! Keep working hard and don't let anything discourage you.

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  20. Congratulations on all your success! The quote that spoke to me was something that you said, "That book idea that you’re not sure you could ever do justice? That’s the very one you SHOULD write." For years I've been thinking of plots, characters, settings...but I always talk myself out of writing. What if my self-doubt is preventing me from writing the story God put in my heart? Your words are encouraging, and my goal this summer is to get out of my own head and write! Thank you!

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    1. Awesome!!! I'm so glad to hear that! God wants us to use our talents. (Not that I want to guilt you into writing! I don't!) But it's good to know that God gave us work to do, a purpose, and our talents are a big part of that. Go for it!!!

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  21. Hi Melanie :

    I think the best quotes and the most truly informative quotes were the ones you wrote. For example: ever since you came on the scene, I said you write the best fairy tale retellings. Now I know why. Consider your quote below:

    "For me, it was romance and fairy tales and Medieval Europe. Three things I loved, and I didn’t even realize how much I loved them until I started exploring them and writing my fairy tale retellings."

    And your following quote gets right to the heart of writing with emotional impact:

    "Truthfully, I’ve never been particularly confident. But when I write, I become a different person. I write fearlessly, pouring everything into the story. I don’t want to hold anything back."

    Men like Red Smith, Hemingway, Wolfe, and Nietzsche, have expressed it this way:

    "Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed."

    You have to be willing to give up something vital in your writing, something that makes you you, something that does not like the sunlight, something that can hurt too much to expose. I like the way you expressed it. It's hard enough to do this without the bleeding to death imagery. :)

    Vince


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    1. Aw, thanks, Vince!!! It's really true. You have to be completely "honest" when you write fiction. You can't fluff over the serious or the hard stuff. And it helps to dig deep into the things I've struggled with myself, the things God has been teaching, and the soul wounds that I've acquired in my life. That's what makes fiction authentic, I think. I don't really know any other way to do it! Fluffy stories with no depth or heart bore me to death! Whether I'm reading them or writing them.

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  22. Hey Melanie! What an inspiring post! And it wasn't even one of the official quotes that did it for me, it was your own words: "That book idea that you’re not sure you could ever do justice? That’s the very one you SHOULD write."

    Fear of failure is a big hurdle for a lot of us. And I face it constantly when I think of my grand story ideas and skim my first attempts at them. Thank goodness for revisions!

    Also, that is a BEAUTIFUL cover! I would definitely pick it up and buy it just from the cover, but the story sounds intriguing too. So glad you kept at it and wrote your medieval fairy tales! The world is better for it :)

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    1. Thanks, Megan! I'm not the originator of that thought, for sure! But I know it from experience. I have to put fear aside and write the hard stuff, the story I'm not sure I can pull off. Those are my best stories. :-)
      Thanks so much, Megan! I wish you all the best with your writing. God bless.

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  23. So inspirational! I love those quotes!

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  24. Hi Melanie,
    My name is Breanna and first of all I want to say I really love your books! You are my favorite author and anytime one of your new books comes out, I always find myself up for hours soaking up all of the different characters and medeival/fairy tale stories that you have incorporated, as well as really connecting with the main couple on their quest to really find each other and themselves.

    I think the quote by Cynthia Kersey really speaks to me becuase I am constantly deaing with people who will question me and my worth. And my belief in myself is the one thing that can really save me from getting hurt. I am a theatre major, so I understand that my life will be filled with a lot of “no’s”, and people constantly questioning my work, and telling me it be easier to just give up. Through my experiances, I have seen how easy it is to beat oneself up over what people will ultimately say about us. We live in a world, where no matter what we do, someone will have an opinion about it. A lot of the times, those opinions will be negative and harsh. I am in a business where myself and my work will constantly be judged ane criticized by people. It is a bit scary to think of it like that, but I think through time that my optimism and desire to learn and get better in my craft is what makes me so resiliant in such a business. I am an actor becuase I want to tell people’s stories and find their truths and I am learning that in my field, it is really about being oneself and embracing all of our unique qualifies and showing what we can bring to the table. Learning to believe fully in oneself is one of the many ways we can protect ourselves, for people will eventually learn that no matter what they say or however many times they say it, their words will have no effect on you. And they will just have to accept that you are who you are and nothing is going to change that, especially them.

    Thank you so much for writing such beautiful and magical worlds that can really take me out of this world and into an entirely new ones. Also, thank you for writing such loveable and relatable characters that I can see in myself and people around me. I absolutely adore reading your books and cannot wait to read your new ones in the future!!!
    Sincerely,
    Breanna Theobald.

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    1. Thanks so much, Breanna! It is true that an actress and an author both face a lot of rejection and criticism. Don't get me started on bad reviews! But I'm glad you believe in yourself. You really have to! There's no way to fulfill God's plan for us and to use the talents he gave us unless we believe in ourselves and what He's placed in us! So I say, Go for it!
      God bless! And thanks for the kind words of encouragement!

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  26. "Do not fear failure, but rather fear not trying."
    I can relate to this, because I'm a perfectionist. I have a hard time getting started on projects, because I'm afraid they won't turn out well. Luckily, my husband is just the opposite, or there wouldn't be much getting done around here! :-D He just jumps right in and starts projects. Sometimes he has to redo them, because he didn't do enough thinking and planning first, but at least he gets things done!
    Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Melanie.

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    1. Thanks, Winnie! Yes, perfectionism is the enemy of creativity just as much as self-doubt! We can't be afraid to fail or we'll never get it done. I struggle with starting a book too. It's definitely the hardest part of writing, for me!

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  27. Hi Melanie. I enjoyed reading all of these quotes but there are two that especially resonate with me.
    1. "The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” I've always heard that the right side of the brain spurs creativity and I've always believed that the left side of my brain is dominant over my right. Yes, there are many more people who are just naturally creative but I have been known to have bursts of creativity every once in a while. Sylvia Plath could have been talking about it me!

    2. As I get older I am now trying to follow the advice in Roy Bennett's statement. "Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying." I know that I don't have as much time as I once did to learn, to see and to do so I can't waste it being afraid of not being the best! There can only be one best but many of us can be good!

    Melanie, thanks for sharing today and I'm glad that you weren't afraid to try new genres and that you wanted to entertain many different ages with your books.

    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Connie! So many people believe they aren't creative, but I think everybody is creative at something. And writing definitely requires both right-brain and left-brain thinking. I'm glad you're deciding not to let fear stop you! God bless! I wish you all the best!

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  28. Definitely a large issue with writing books is worrying they are not good enough. I often need to remind myself nobody else can tell this story, and if I don't write it, it will never exist. That always spurs me to keep going.

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    1. That is so true! Your story is uniquely yours. No one else can tell it, especially not the way you can! There's a hurting world out there that needs encouragement, and our writing can provide that. Don't give up!

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  29. I like the quote about fear. We miss so many things in life because of our fear of failure. There is such beautiful hope in letting go of fear of failure.

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  30. That is really true. And with writing, you never really fail. You just haven't gotten your yes yet. :-)
    Fear is not from God. Fear is from the devil. It limits and holds you back. So don't indulge in it.

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  31. Wow!! What a blessing it has been reading this post and the comments today. I am so glad I paused to read when I got the email and I am glad I followed it back here to read the comments as well. I have not been as regular on Seekerville as I ought to. This post has inspired me to get back on track in many more ways than I can describe here.
    I have many books in my heart to write, both fiction and non fiction. I published my first non-fiction last year after 13 years of writing. I have been wondering if I would ever get to write the fictions that won’t let go of their grip on my heart. I have wondered if they will be good enough to get published.
    Sylvia Plath's quote “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt” is giving me the booster (or better still “the kick in the rear”) I desperately needed. It echoes my husband’s frequent saying, “the perfect should never be the enemy of the good.” I have been waiting for the perfect time, the perfect location and the perfect ambiance for writing. I have doubted my ability to write creatively. I must let the positive words override the negative suggestions. The desire to write in the first instance is God-given. I must honor God by using that voice He has given me and by following through the desire and the message He’s placed on my heart.
    Glad to know it’s not too late. Glad to read about those who got published at 67 and even older. There is hope for me if I don’t give up on this dream.
    Thanks so much for this deeply inspiring post.

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    1. You're so welcome, Irene! I hope you stay inspired!

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  32. While all of the quotes spoke to me, the one about authors being here to shake things up, meant the most. That's my passion. Writing words that open reader's eyes to things that they couldn't see before. I am not yet published, but have faith that I will be whenever God says it's time. I love your medieval settings and the retellings bring new meaning to the old stories. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I am just at the beginning of the publishing path and have so much to learn. It is hard to step away from words that you write and look critically at them from a reader's point of view. I am learning to do this, though with the help of several insightful judges' comments and many beta readers. Thank you for taking the time to encourage those of us who are following behind you on this writing journey.

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