Amanda  Gale

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Amanda Gale

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June 2014


Amanda Gale taught high school English before she began writing romance and women’s fiction. She is a lover of history and an incurable night owl. She lives outside Philadelphia, where she enjoys taking her three young boys to the art museum and hiking on the Wissahickon trail.

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Amanda Gale Hi, Cintia! I'm just seeing this now--apologies for the delay! Thanks so much for writing! I completely understand. It's really easy to get…moreHi, Cintia! I'm just seeing this now--apologies for the delay! Thanks so much for writing! I completely understand. It's really easy to get discouraged, and I think all writers feel discouraged at some point. There are so many steps in the process, and so many paths to take--it can feel overwhelming at times.

My first piece of advice is to just push, push, push. So much of the difficulty lies in persisting with this simple task. No matter what you're feeling, if you feel called to write, just keep doing it, regardless of the obstacles you may encounter. Take it one day at a time; try not to worry about step D or H or Z before you've accomplished step A. Once you've completed the book, you'll probably feel a new rush of motivation, and it'll feel so fantastic to have that finished product!

One thing I've learned in talking to so many writers is that everyone has a unique voice and a unique niche. I think the key is to find what your voice is, to pin down where your passions lie and to try to add something to the table. Be yourself, and be genuine--if you do that, you can't really have any competition. :) It's definitely true that there's competition for visibility, and that is, truthfully, one of the toughest parts of writing and publishing. But, being true to yourself will help you stand out from the crowd, and readers will find something in you they don't see in anyone else. As a result, you'll be able to draw the right readers.

I think the further you get into the process, the more you can determine which path is best for you--whether you go indie, publish traditionally, or something in between. I'd suggest joining some writers' groups, if you haven't already done so, where you can bounce ideas off people and learn the ins and outs of what's going on in the industry and how people are dealing with it. As you said, things are constantly changing, with publishers big and small and also in the indie world. The writers' groups I'm in have been absolutely invaluable. I've learned so much and have felt a real sense of camaraderie, which has helped lift me up when I've felt discouraged or lost.

Regarding the issue of not having an idea, I think perhaps writers' groups can help with that, too. Many groups will offer writing prompts that might be the trigger you need to get you started on a bigger project. Three of my own works came about because I joined anthologies--they had themes we had to adhere to, so I wasn't starting from scratch. You could also keep a notebook handy to jot down random thoughts you have throughout the day. Sometimes an entire story can be developed from one face, one sentence or line of dialogue, one minor event, or one emotion.

I hope this is helpful! Thank you again for reaching out. Best of luck to you! I have no doubt you'll find your way with time. In my opinion, the hardest part is not just getting started but building momentum. Once the ball is rolling, it's hard to stop, and I suspect you'll find yourself moving forward no matter what. I just published a book this week, and it was years in the making; I'd tried to start it for years, and it wouldn't come to me. The first half of the book was torturous to write, but I pushed through, knowing it would be worth it. Lo and behold, the second half came much more easily, and here it is. :) You truly can do it, even when you feel you can't--and when you've done it, you'll feel that much more proud as a result.(less)
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