Phase #2: Developmental Editing

Our book, River of Despair, is now officially in Phase #2 of production. This phase is called Developmental Editing and lasts 2-3 months.

During the Developmental Editing Phase, the team at Tate Publishing meticulously combs our manuscript and sends us a detailed edit by the end of June. These edits will include ways to change, improve or strengthen River of Despair.

It’s our choice whether or not to apply the suggestions in the edit document. Tate does not make any changes; we make any changes and then send it back. Once Tate receives our changes, they apply them and send us the final draft for approval.

This first month, before we receive the edits, it will be fairly quiet. Earlier this week, we complete the Promotional Copy (also called the “Pro-Co”) for the back of our book. It’s basically like an ad for our book, drawing the reader [that’s you!] in and getting them excited about what’s inside.

At the end of the Developmental Phase, River of Despair will move on to the layout/design phase. We can’t wait to see how our book will actually look in print!

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4 Blog Posts to Inspire You [Take 2]

It’s time to gather some more inspiration from around the blogosphere. It’s been a few weeks since the last time.

Because some days are just hard writing days. Or dry. Or…nothing.

When the cursor just blinks at you. And there is nothing. And you need something.


So, here are a few articles I’ve come across lately that I hope will inspire you as you write:

1. Because You Can on creating via Jasmine Star.

2. Five Things You Can Do – This Week – to Become a Better Writer via Writer’s Relief.

3. A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per Week via Copyblogger.

4. Fear Prohibits Ideas from Happening via Jeff Goins.

I hope these help. I hope they give you something.


And I hope they inspire you to keep on writing!

Question: what’s been inspiring you lately? Link to it in the comments!

My Favorite Professor’s #1 Tip for Getting Published

Don’t wait to feel “good enough” to get published. Put yourself out there. Starting now.

That was the message my favorite professor communicated over and over again.

Actually, he never said a word about “being good enough” or “not being good enough.” He believed his students were writers. That was a writer. And that fact meant I should pursue publishing. Right away. No excuses.

He even made it a requirement in a couple of classes. I had to get at least one piece published during the semester as part of my grade.

I was terrified. Because I didn’t believe in myself or my writing as much as my professor did. He acted like it was a given.

“Don’t worry. Send your piece in. It will happen.”

Amidst my doubts, my fears and my insecurities,  I wrote. I sent in a piece. And – low and behold – my professor was right. I got published.

Not once. Not Twice. But multiple times. I was thrilled!

While I don’t think those doubts, fears or insecurities ever fully go away (I had them with our book), I will always remember my professor’s belief in me as a writer.

And his #1 tip for getting published: Put yourself out there. Starting now.

Question: Do you have doubts when it comes to getting published? If so, how have you pushed through them?

How I Started Writing

(It’s a little grainy…but it’s me)

When I was 11 years old I wrote my first book.

I honestly can’t even remember what it was about. Nor do I still have that first book. I wish I did. I’m sure it would provide plenty of entertainment on this side of things.

I do know that I poured my heart into that book (we’re talking a “book” that was 15 hand-written pages max). I was so proud of it. It felt like such an accomplishment.

It was written in pencil. On lined notebook paper. I’m pretty sure the main character was a girl. My age. My height. Like me. A girl who had dreams. A girl who wanted to go on grand adventures. And I’m pretty sure that girl loved to write, too.

So, that’s how I started writing. I might have kept a diary before then, but – if I did – I have no remembrance of it. I really have no remembrance of writing at all before my “book.”

I should have known then. What I was born to do. Write. Spill out my heart, my dreams, my ideas, my myriad of words onto an empty page. And not even worry if someone would ever read them. Or even want to.

When I was 11 years old, I wrote because I loved to write. Because I was born to write.

That’s how I want to write now. Not for an audience. Not worried whether someone will ever read the words I write. Or even want to.

I want to write just for the love of writing.

Question: How did you start writing?


Step 1: Copy Editing Phase

May 1st was a big day for us.

It’s was the first day of production for our book – River of Despair.

We are so grateful that the Lord opened up this door of opportunity with Tate Publishing. It’s been a long journey since the day Dad came to me with the plot for our first book. He was so excited. The pieces were just fitting together on the page and he wanted me to help make it all come to life. A few years later, lots of hard work, a ton of writing and re-writing, many, many book proposals mailed, and here we are.

Production typically lasts about 8 months. Then there is a 90 day window for pre-ordering and then the official release date. It hardly seems possible. This first month – May – is the Copy Editing Phase. They’re checking our punctuation, spelling and formatting. There’s not much for us to do right now but wait.

We will be posting updates as we move forward on our journey to publication. It’s a dream come true for both of us and we couldn’t be more excited. But we also know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us.

Here’s to Step 1 and every step to follow!

My #1 Fear When It Comes to Writing

I read this article today by Chris Brogan. And it got me thinking.

What patterns do I have in my writing? And are they adding value? Are they working?

If they are…why? If they aren’t…what do I need to change?

Right now I write in my spare time. In odd moments here and there when I have time to string the words together. That’s my pattern – sporadic. I try to post on this blog at least twice a week, but that doesn’t always happen. Is it possible that not having a pattern can be a pattern?

But what other patterns do I have that – if changed or adjusted – could give me more time to establish consistent writing patterns?

Maybe over-checking Facebook, Twitter & Instagram can end
Maybe procrastinating can end
Maybe getting up a little earlier can start
Maybe embracing imperfection can start

As I am writing I realize that one of the biggest, most consistent writing patterns I have is…not writing. And the usual reason for that is…the fear of being imperfect.

Not writing well enough.
Not writing witty enough.
Not writing deep enough.
Not writing thorough enough.

When my real fear should be not writing at all.

So, the biggest writing pattern I have that I want to end? Not writing.

The biggest writing pattern I want to start? Writing.

Question: what writing patterns do you have that you want to end? Start?

4 Inspiring Blog Posts on Writing

I don’t know about you, but some days I just need a little inspiration.

So, here are a few blog posts that have inspired me lately:

1. A post on 4 ways to organize your writing via Writers Relief.

2. A post on spreading ideas vs. selling books via Jeff Goins Writer.

3. A post on embracing discomfort (so applicable for writing!) via Michael Hyatt.

4. A post on the top 10 traits of successful authors (#6 being they don’t give up) via Terry Cordingley.

Question: What’s been inspiring you lately? Link to it in the comments – we would love to know!

Write Anyways

Writing is many things…but it is never convenient.

Even when there is plenty of time.

Plenty of inspiration.

Plenty of … [fill in the blank]

Even when the stars are aligned.

Writing is never convenient.

That is why it’s so important to write anyways. Whether you feel like it or not. Whether there is plenty of time or just a few moments here and there. Whether you feel inspired or bored. Whether the stars are aligned or whizzing frantically out of control.

How do you write anyways? Here are 4 ways:

1. Write the first word. Even if it’s “the.” Type it out. Write it out. Sometimes it’s like the key that starts the engine. Sometimes that first word will unleash a whole host of words. Sometimes you just have to start.

2. Take a break. Go ahead and read a few pages of your book. Go ahead and grab a snack. Go ahead and step outside for a little fresh air. Your mind will keep on working while you do. Sometimes you just need a fresh perspective.

3. Keep your focus. Don’t look too far ahead; that can be too overwhelming. Take it word by word. Sentence by sentence. Before you know it, you will have a whole paragraph down on paper…and then suddenly an entire book.

4. Don’t give up. Even when it feels hopeless. When you think that what you have to say doesn’t matter. When you’re tired and discouraged and you’re just about to quit. Don’t. Don’t give up. Ever.

Question: What is your #1 reason for writing anyways?

Write Un-Edited

I just set the timer for five minutes.

Five minutes to write whatever comes into my head on the topic of “writing un-edited.”


Just let the words spill out onto the page…flowing…saying what they need to say. Without me getting in the middle, wading in with a giant machete that is my “backspace” button and destroying all their unfettered wondered. Sometimes you just have to let go. Let the words do the work. Just type. That’s all they ask sometimes – for you to type so that they can be heard.

There is a time and a place for editing. Certainly it is one of the most important components of good writing. But first you have to write unedited. Or else you may never get anything down on the page. If you self-edit before it’s time to edit, your words may come out stuffy and un-you…not what you want or what the world needs.

Whenever you sit to write…or you’ve been sitting to write over and over and over again…wondering what to say, how to say it…just write unedited. Let the words speak for themselves. Unfettered.

Wonderful things may come. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t hold yourself to some invisible standard – that your words have to be perfect before they even hit the page. Just write. Or, rather, let the words write for you. Your job is to write [or type]. Only write.

Editing will come later. Never fear. There will be time enough for that. But not now. For now just let the words write for you.


My five minutes is up and the above was what I got. Rough. In need of corrections. Un-edited. The tense needs work. Punctuation. Some of the ideas need to be more fully developed. But I have 235 words. In five minutes. It’s a place to start.

Try it: set a timer for five minutes and just let the words write for you. Don’t use the backspace key. Don’t erase. Just write. You’ll be surprise at what happens.

Let me know how it goes!