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on the power of showing up

note: I wrote this post in April of 2019 (pre-COVID). It's been sitting in my drafts for quite a while, but I think it's time for it to see the light of day. It's been helpful for me to reread over the past few months, especially as I continue to try to make an effort to write, and I hope it can be helpful to you, too. i got an invite to a writers' group a few months ago, and i had never felt like more of a fraud in my life. it had been months, if not years, since i'd felt like a writer. the proverbial well of words in my heart had dried up, it seemed, and i wasn't sure if it was ever coming back. i agreed to go out of a sense of helplessness—i'd identified as a writer ever since i could remember. if i'm not a writer, who am i?  i told myself that it was important to show up and act like a writer even when i didn't feel like one, because even though i hadn't been writing, i reassured myself, i still was a writer. but sometimes the words f

A Novel Idea: My Writing Role Models

I think this picture pretty much sums me up.

This week's A Novel Idea prompt is dedicated to our writing role models, the ones we wish we could be and the ones we look up to in our own writing.
Who is an author (or two or three) you aspire to write like? What is it you admire about their work or their writing style? Are there any similarities between you and your writing role model(s)?
The first person to come to mind is Rainbow Rowell. I first read Fangirl in August of last year, and it spoke to me in my soul. This year, I read Attachments and Eleanor and Park, and both of those books enthralled me and made me FEEL SO MUCH. Because of this, I aspire to be Rainbow Rowell: to string together words in a way that makes someone's heart ache in the best of ways. If I can make books like that somehow--books that make people feel--I'll be happy.

The second author on this list is Morgan Matson. Her books are all the essence of summer, and they make me feel too. I bought Since You've Been Gone at Powell's in Portland, and I read it on the plane on the way home from Oregon. It was so beautiful--revolving around friendship and adventures with a side of romance. It's one of my favorite books ever. Since then, I've read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and The Unexpected Everything, which only solidified Morgan Matson on the List of People I Want to Write Like.

The third author I aspire to be like is Sarah Dessen. Her descriptions are so vivid, and though her books tend to follow a similar plot formula, the characters are what really make every story of hers come to life for me. A few years ago I read This Lullaby, which became one of my favorite books because of Remy (the MC)'s character arc. This summer, I've read many more Sarah Dessen books, and each one has a special place in my heart. She has the ability to craft heroines that feel real, and they almost always have something they have to work through, some sort of quiet suffering. It'd be easy to write her books as fluffy summer romances--which they are--but her characters' journeys are deep and beautiful. I hope I can write like her someday, too.

The things that I have in common with these authors is that I love writing complex heroines. I like writing about adventures and bucket lists and life-changing summers and beauty in the every day. I know I'm not as good as they are yet, but I want to be, and I am so thankful that they've paved my way.

Who are your writing role models? Did you link up with A Novel Idea (here)?


  1. Oh my goodness, please be the next Rainbow Rowell. You could do it so well! (I have yet to actually finish a book by her, but I want to read Fangirl and Eleanor and Park. Soon.)

  2. I have Fangirl, I haven't been able to read it yet.

  3. Real cool authors! I need to check out the first two; I've heard of Dessen. Man, writing is just fabulous. I'm so glad that the craft exists :) And that there are wonderful writers out there to be inspired by!


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