Feb 14, 2015

Guest Post: Ashley Shannon - On Writing

Guest Post by Ashley Shannon

When I was growing up, the only thing I can remember ever wanting to be was a writer. I use to gather every movie, book, and tv show about writers and devour them. I remember watching Sex and the City and seeing Sarah Jessica Parker live this fabulous life and have these fabulous shoes and go to all these fabulous parties and maybe spend ten minutes staring out the widow while she wrote something down. I thought writing would be exactly like that. To my great shock and horror, its not anything like that. Writers on television and in movies can be very misleading. The one thing you don't see them do much is, well, write.

When I sat down to write my first book, in my slippers and not in Manolo Blahniks, I expected the words to just come. There was no plotting or planning, I just knew that the next great American novel was inside me and that it would come out. I gazed out my window, drank coffee, listened to music, but just like the characters I had planned my life to be like, I wasn't doing much writing. The great book I knew was there would not come out, no matter how much coffee I drank. How I longed for a book that was on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. One with a beautiful cover to call my very own. I didn't seem to understand at the tender age of eighteen that in order to create a book to sit on B&N bookshelves, I had to actually write it.

Fast forward eight years.

I'm now twenty-six, a mom of a nine month old, and still don't own a pair of Manolo Blahniks. The only thing that hasn't changed is the longing I have to write a book. It wasn't until I sat my ass down, in a chair, and actually wrote that created something. It didn't just happen by staring out the window or dreamily typing a few words at a time. It took dedication, time management, and sacrifice. Do you want to write a book? Then, just like me, you're probably going to have to stop watching so much Netflix or playing as much World of Warcraft. You have to create the time and put in the work.

In a few months I will be self publishing my first novel. When I see it sitting on the shelves on Amazon, I won't be thinking about all the shows stacked up in my Netflix queue or about all the hours of sleeping in I missed out on. I'll be thinking about how proud I am to have put in the time and effort to create something I have longed to do for eight long years.

Ashley Shannon is a work from home mom, who splits her time between her son Graham, working for Booktrope, interning for Patchwork Press, blogging, freelance editing, and writing her own books. When she's not working she enjoys biking, gardening, watching Youtube videos, and of course, reading! You can find her online at www.naptime-writer.com

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