Tag Archives: journey

4 Reasons to Join the Writing Community

Writing is a lonely process. Most of the time, us writers are holed up in a room, all alone, with our own thoughts, dreams, and ideas. It’s such an isolated process that it can be hard to remember there are other writers – and people like us – out there. Since joining the Writing Community two years ago, I’ve connected with so many amazing writers, and found a place where I can fully be myself.

So where do you join the community?

It’s all over the place! Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc…However, Twitter is the best place to be the most active. So many writers have accounts, as well as literary agents and publishing houses, and it’s the easiest place to interact and communicate.

But what benefits are there to joining the Writing Community?

1.) Community

There is a community full of writers out there. People who are on the same journey as you – whatever level you may be at. There are those who are writing their first novel, or their second; others who are ready to self-publish or already have. Whatever path you’re on, there will be hundreds of others just like you.

Like I said before, writing is a lonely process. But finding a community that you can connect with, where you can talk to like-minded people, makes the writing process a little less lonely.

2.) Connections

Being part of the community also means making connections with people. Other writers, editors, freelancers, critique partners, beta readers, and literary agents – they’re all people you can meet, and it’s important to get to know them.

Well, you don’t have to get to know all of them.

But making a few meaningful connections with other writers who can become your critique partners, or getting to know what an agent likes or dislikes by their tweets, can build meaningful connections that are guaranteed to help you along the way.

3.) Advice

Another amazing part of the community is learning advice from other writers, agents, and editors. So many of these writers tweet out daily writing advice, or agents will tweet things they frequently see go wrong in writer’s query letters or manuscripts.
Twitter can be a goldmine of advice.

Follow writers like Delilah S. Dawson, Susan Dennard, or V.E. Schwab for advice on writing.

4.) Platform

Whether you’re self, traditional, or small press publishing, one of the most important things you will have to do as a writer is build your author platform. By building an audience of people who are invested in you, and your work and brand, you’re already making a name for yourself in the publishing world.

Marketing is harder than ever these days, with so many markets oversaturated with products; but by ensuring you are active, and actively making connections with people, you’ll only continue to grow and build your platform. Follower count isn’t the most important thing – but building connections is.


If you’re interested in joining the community, follow along with hashtags like:

#WritingCommunity
#writingcommunity
#amwriting
#amediting
#authorlife
#writerlife

Do any of these tips help you want to join the community? How do you interact with other writers? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

Camp Nano: How I Did (April 2019)

With Camp NanoWrimo over, it’s time to look back on how I did!

If you don’t know, NanoWrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. In November, writers get together to join a “cabin”, and set a word count goal for themselves. The standard is 50k, but you can go higher if you want. You then try to write those 50k words in one month! There are different times of year Nano happens, like in April and July, where you can focus on not just word count, but if you want to edit a certain number of pages, too.

I did Camp Nano last July with several of my cabin mates Tauri, Kelsey, and Joy. This year we decided to do Nano again, and added Madeline to our cabin! Last year, I set a goal of 100k words for myself – which I surpassed and beat Nano with a few days to spare. That was the first draft of Forbidden.

This year, I sat down to write Little Lost Girls and set the goal of 70k words for myself. I went into Nano with 20k words down already, and was confident I could write another 50k…and, well, that didn’t quite happen. Since I was writing my thriller, the book was rather fast paced. I tend to write chapters between 8 – 10 pages long, but this time, my chapters were 4 – 6 pages. There were a ton of scenes involving police procedures, or other criminal investigations, that I flew through and made up because I didn’t actually know how those procedures went. It took me twenty days, but I finished writing Little Lost Girls halfway through Nano. It ended up being 54k.

That’s the shortest novel I’ve ever written. I’m definitely an over writer, and most of my revisions involve cutting or trimming down scenes, so I was shocked to see how short my novel actually turned out to be. While I did finish writing my book, I didn’t quite “win” Nano. Or did I? I don’t really know! Either way, I’m proud of myself for finishing writing another book!

It still needs a ton of work though. There’s a lot missing that needs to be expanded on, especially things like police procedures that I had no idea how to write. Luckily there are some people I can reach out to in hopes they’ll answer some questions I have.

Overall, I’m very happy with myself for using Nano as a tool to help propel myself into writing another book. And having cabin mates is a blast – we did writing sprints that really encouraged us all to write as much as we could and further our goals. If you’ve never done Nano before, I highly encourage giving it a try!

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XOXO – Devon

Life as a Full-Time Writer

It’s almost May, and that means I’ll have officially been a full time writer for four months. For four months, I’ve been pursuing my passion and goal of publication. To be clear: I haven’t made any money off this. I’m not published, and I don’t have an agent. But I’ve always wanted to take the leap into full-time writing.

Let’s take a trip down 2018, shall we?

In May 2018, my boyfriend of almost five years graduated law school. For the last three years, he’d been a full-time student. While he worked during the summer and did internships, I worked a part-time job in retail. I worked odd hours of the week, and never had a set schedule. When I was home, I worked on my writing, but I’m not going to lie: I was miserable.

I didn’t hate the retail job. I actually enjoyed it, and I loved all my coworkers. But I hated working in a retail setting, and working with customers became exhausting for my mental and emotional health. I dreaded going to work every day, and I was always anxious and nervous. On top of that, I had several health problems I was dealing with.

After graduation, my boyfriend got his first job and like me – he quickly became miserable. I won’t go into too much detail, but this prompted him to look for another job – and he got an offer. The job offer he received required us to move two hours away, to a new town neither of us had ever lived in. But after much discussion, we agreed that him accepting this job would be for the best.

By December, we both quit our jobs and moved two hours away. As miserable as I was at my retail job, I had been afraid to quit. The pay was okay, and I made commission. The commute was short. I loved my coworkers. Management was easy going and the job was fairly easy. When it was slow, I could read or write behind the counter. The pros far outweighed the cons in my mind.

But quitting the job was freeing, and it opened a door I’d been hoping for: full-time writing.

The boyfriend knew I’d always wanted this opportunity, and neither of us took it lightly. We had multiple discussion on finances, budgeting, saving, etc. you know, all the important things. But he was adamant that I take some time for myself. After all, I’d spent the last three years taking care of him while he was in school, and he was determined to do the same for me. (I am so lucky to have someone as supportive as him in my life, and I don’t know what I’d do without him.)

After we moved, we spent most of December getting the apartment in order and traveling for the holidays. It wasn’t until January that I finally sat down and began writing once again. At first, I was terrified. While I did love it, I was constantly worried about money. I found myself in a constant state of loving and hating my decision.

I loved not going to work. I loved that my “work” was getting up and writing every day. I loved having a lot of free time to myself. I loved getting to do whatever I wanted all day. I loved that I took this huge risk.

But I hated worrying about money. I hated checking my bank account every time I wanted to make a purchase, and try to justify if it was worth it or not. I hated feeling like I wasn’t earning or saving any money. I hated that people looked down on me for not working. For depending on my boyfriend. For taking a risk that might not pay off in the end.

It’s been four months, and I’ve learned to quiet those thoughts. While they do pop up frequently, it’s easy to silence them when I remember how much I love what I’m doing. Especially when I go to my boyfriend and double-check that everything is okay, that we’re still doing okay. I’m lucky that he assures me everything is fine. We love each other. We can pay the bills. I can keep doing what I love for now.

The most important thing for me is treating this like a full-time job, because in my mind, it is. I wake up the same time every day, sit down at my desk, and start working right away. I spend hours sitting in front of the computer. If I’m not writing my novels, I’m writing blog posts, or reading, or trying to keep myself in a creative mindset. I make sure to hit a word count goal every morning before I get up and do anything else with my day.

But not all days have been good. I’ve definitely had some days where all I’ve done is stay in bed and read, or play video games, or sleep the afternoon away. But I’ve tried my hardest to keep myself going, and to keep pushing towards my goal.

My Goals:

The first thing I wanted to do when we moved in was revise my novel, Forbidden, and I’m proud to say I accomplished that. I spent all of January and most of February revising it, and finishing what is now the third draft. It’s currently out with beta readers and I am awaiting their feedback. If all goes well, I’m planning to do one more round of revisions before sending it out to beta’s one last time, and then hopefully I’ll be able to begin to querying process.

The second thing I’ve wanted to accomplish is write at least three more books this year. I can proudly say I’ve written one more book – a YA Thriller. It needs a ton of work, but it’s a finished draft, at least. I have two more projects I want to work on that I’m outlining.

The third thing I wanted to do was start this blog, and I did that! Not only did I start it, but I’ve continued to post frequently and on a consistent schedule.

And as a non-writing related goal, since moving into a new place, I’ve really been taking the time to get organized and throw out/donate all sorts of things I didn’t need anymore. The move really has felt like a fresh start for myself and my boyfriend, and we’re both getting our lives in order.

Once I start querying Forbidden, I think I’ll be ready to go back to work. My ultimate goal right now is to really get that novel ready, so that while I’m querying I can use work to distract from the waiting.


I know this isn’t permanent. I will eventually go back to work, and I’m actually hoping to go back to school. But for now, I’m proud of myself for making this leap, and following my passions. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I don’t regret taking this chance. Not one bit.

XOXO – Devon

The Best Books I Read in 2018

Last year, I read around 40 books and was so proud of myself. I made it a goal to read a book a week – which I didn’t quite hit considering the size of some of the books – but nonetheless, I read a lot. But out of those books, I have those that I loved and those that I didn’t.

Of course, my favorite books of 2018 might not be yours, and that’s okay! But I’ve found it really takes a lot to make me keep thinking of a book once I’ve put it down, and really want to reread it again. So here’s some books that do just that!


#1: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Yep, this one makes my list again. I just love this book. You can click here to read more on my thoughts about why I love this book so dang much. I plan on rereading it this month so I can refresh my memory before reading the sequel!
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#2: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

This is another repeat that makes my list! I seriously loved the writing and the story of this book. It was so compelling, and I loved every minute of it.
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#3: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This was actually my first Holly Black novel I ever picked up, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book! It isn’t my favorite book of all time, but Black’s writing and descriptions are gorgeous, and her world is intricate and fascinating. I plan on rereading this before reading The Wicked King!
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#5: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

I don’t normally read books like this, but something about the initial blurb really gripped me. A story about the aftermath of a schooling shooting, that takes place between the past and present, I really was sucked into this novel. I connected so much with the main character, Valerie, and couldn’t help but feel and understand her pain. This is a must read for me!
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#6: The Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

I loved every book in the ACOTAR series, but it took me a little while to warm up to the story and characters of Throne of Glass. I think Maas has a nice writing style, and her characters, romance, and plotlines are so interesting. Both of these series are displayed front and center on my bookshelf!

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While these may not be your personal favorites, they were definitely mine for 2018!

XOXO – Devon

My Writing Journey

Hello! Let’s try this again.

I’ve had an interest in blogging for several years, but every time I created a blog with the intention of getting serious about using it, I always made excuses: “I’m too busy.” “I have nothing to write about.”

Blah, blah, blah.

Back in January when the New Year came, I got serious again. I even wrote my first blog post and went to upload it on my site…and then I got angry with WordPress for not letting me format my post the way I wanted it. So I gave up.

I seem to have a bad habit of doing that, and frankly, I’m sick of it.

I want 2019 to be the year where I stop making excuses, where I get motivated, and overall improve my mental and physical health. I want to start pursuing my dreams, my goals, and start taking risks that I was too scared to take before.

Blogging is one of them.

So welcome to my blog! I plan to use this site to document my writing journey, give writing tips and tricks, and talk about everything from my personal life to my writing life.

Follow me to stay updated, and make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

XOXO – Devon