Welcome! Today is: January 7, 2014. As of today you only have to write an average of 140 words per day to complete a 50,000 word novel this year. Good Luck!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Get Outta The Way!

Wanna write? Then get out of your own way.

So I've been thinking about this post for a few days now. Mary asked me to come here and say something inspirational to everyone.

You can do it!

You're good enough!

You will find that dream agent!


All those things are great, but in my opinion, they're just fluff. Empty words with little meaning meant to soothe your nerves. I could sit here until the mutant cows come home, telling you happy shiny things about being an author, and it wouldn't do a damn thing for you. In fact, it'd be the most detrimental thing I could do.

When I started doing this, someone was kind enough to look me in the eye, give me the ugly facts of being an author, and you know what? It was the most inspirational three things I've ever heard. I owe you no less.

1.  You will not be holed up in a dark room, hiding behind your computer to work on the next great American novel.

This one is a two-parter.

First, for the shy people like me, this one was hard. I'm socially awkward. If there's something to trip on (I fell down the stairs at BEA in 2012 in front of hundreds of people…) my feet will find it. When I open my mouth, stupid, random things WILL come out. But that's okay. I'm not the only person like this out there. And this career? it's helped me come out of a shell I never thought I'd find a way to crack. I've met some amazing people.

Part two? Not everything you write will be universally loved. In fact, nothing you write will be universally loved. Do we all love the same foods? Colors? Hell, no. That's what makes our world so freaking awesome. We're all different. And that includes taste in books. Not everyone will love every story. You need to walk into this with a thick skin and unfailing determination. That's the only way not to crumble at the bad reviews. Because, there will be bad ones. There will be horrific ones. But there will also be good ones. Ones that take you higher than you can possibly imagine. Those are the ones to focus on.

Not every book you write will soar to the top of the charts, either. Some books are going to be received better than others. That doesn't mean you're a hack or that you should give up. Keep writing. Every word you get out brings you closer to your goals. Never, ever forget that.

2.  You'll never finish the book if you can't get out of your own way.

Seriously. Finishing a book is HARD. Even if you think it's the biggest piece of shit the world has ever seen, a finished book is a finished book. Do you have any idea how many people sit down to write a book, and are still trying to write that book three years later? Finishing is HUGE. No first draft is going to be awesome. Or the second, or the third. The good news about this? It's fixable. No, really. I swear. As long as you lay the groundwork, it can be tweaked and made to shine. The ugly part of this one? It’s hard. No lie. This isn’t going to be something you sit down and do on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You're going to bleed and sweat and cry. Then, cry some more. You may even overdose on caffeine and bang your head against the wall. But nothing that's worth it is easy. When you're done, you'll have something amazing. Something you fought for. Something you can be proud of.

3.  If you don't need to do this, then don't.

For me, this little bit had the biggest impact. It may seem like the least inspirational, but when you think about it, it's not. The hard truth is, being a writer isn't easy. It's not glamorous. There's a million things to stress over, long hours, deadlines to meet, and hard compromises to make. It's not the career path for the faint of heart. You need to want this. No, need this. Lori Wilde said to me once, that if you can see yourself doing anything else, then being a writer isn’t for you. I guess it all comes down to that nothing in life that's worth it is easy thing again. Even on my worst days—and yes, there are bad ones—I still could never imagine doing anything else.

The up side of this one is, if you want it, you can have it. Don't let anything discourage you. Craft can be improved. Drafts can be fixed. Plots can be rearranged and mended. If you need to be a writer, then you can be a writer.

The only thing that will stand in your way is you.
JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing.

Jus is the bestselling author the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing and last week released the first book in a paranormal new adult series, RUINED. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Want to win a copy of Ruined by Jus Accardo? Comment on this post! One lucky commenter between now and Friday will receive their very own Kindle or Nook copy of Ruined. Good luck!


  1. LOL love the list. And I agree with every one of your points :) Great post and the book looks awesome!!

    1. The book IS awesome, Michelle! Jus is an amazing author!

  2. Great post! Point number three really speaks to me. I NEED to write - otherwise, I'd do other things that pay better (and I worked in the corporate world, where I earned much more money).