How I Wrote My First Fiction Book

Hello, friends!! 
Today I have a special blog for you from a friend of mine named Livy who puts together this AWESOME magazine for teen girls called Crown of Beauty! She just released another (yes, another!) book, and has been so kind as to share a blog with us about her book, her writing process, and her heart. I think this will be just what some of you need to hear!
Love, Tiffany

A Creative Spirit is a blessing from Heaven. (Really, it is.)

Although, I will be the first to admit, that there are days when it feels like a curse.

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Social Media Tips

This week I had SUCH a fun opportunity — and one I hope to have many more times!! I got to share about my journey in growing “The Insatiable Quest for Beauty,” and specifically how social media has helped me grow & market my brand. You can watch it here. If you’re starting a ministry or if you’re an entrepreneur at heart, I hope this can help you as well!! 🙂 ❤

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How to Write a Book: 9 Tips

Recently I received this question once again: “How did you write your books?”

So, after weeks of wondering what to say and being too intimidated to try my hand at an answer, I’ve finally decided to give it a go.

While I only have my (very limited) experience to draw from, these are the things that helped me write two books (The Insatiable Quest for Beauty and Boycrazy: And how I ended up single and mostly sane)  — and I hope these things can be helpful for you as well.

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My New Book!!!

Friends, I have been literally getting up and DANCING all day today!!! For two reasons:

First, the new “Insatiable Quest for Beauty Book” is now here!!!

EEEE!!! And I LOVE IT. It is seriously SO MUCH BETTER than the old one.

As much as I had loved the original version when I released it four years ago, my writing style has matured a lot over the past few years, and I’ve learned more on my journey. So I rewrote a TON of this book and I LOVE it. Also, my friend Kirsten designed a new cover and it’s amazing!!!

You can purchase it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Insatiable-Quest-Beauty-overcoming-perfection/dp/1475272553/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1461616141&sr=8-3&keywords=tiffany+dawn+the+insatiable+quest+for+beauty

You can hear more about the new book here:

 

And the second reason I’ve been dancing all day is because…

TOMORROW (4/26/16) is the FREE, community event at 7pm at SCCC in Schenectady, NY!!!

If you live in the upstate NY area, you should definitely come join us!!

Not only will I be sharing a brand new version of “The Insatiable Quest for Beauty” Seminar, and having it video recorded, but you’ll also get to:

  • text in anonymous questions for our guest panel to answer;
  • be inspired by a beautiful dance, music, and videos;
  • and stick around for a book signing, as we officially release this new book!!

Want more info?? Visit the Facebook page here! https://www.facebook.com/events/233006347048660/

It’s going to be AMAZING.

And every time I think about it…I  just want to dance!!

How to Self-Publish

Recently several people have asked me about self-publishing, so I decided to write a blog post about it! For any of you writers who are thinking about traversing this route…here’s what has worked for me. Granted, it’s the only form of publishing I’ve ever known, but hopefully through sharing what’s worked for me, it can help you along your own journey. Here’s what I’ll be talking about:

  • Why I chose to self-publish
  • How I self-published
  • How I designed my books
  • How I advertised after self-publishing

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The Boycrazy Book!

I am SO EXCITED for the new BOYCRAZY book to come out!!!

When’s it coming out??? THIS SUMMER!!!! (ETA: End of August!)

Who’s it for? It’s for girls!!! Particularly single (aka, not married) high school, college, and 20s-age girls!

What’s it about? Check it out…on the back cover…right here!

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What’s the front cover look like?? I thought you’d never ask! Take a looksie:

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My amazing friend Kirsten Reilly designed this super fun, chic, and endearing cover.

I’m so excited!!! Keep your eyes out for updates on the release date!! :):):)

Uninspired Writing: How to beat writer’s block

Full disclosure: I live the majority of my life uninspired. 

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The night before my first devotional was due

When writing daily devotionals this summer, I stared at my blank computer screen for hours. Hours! For a tiny, one-page devotional! The night before it was due I desperately concocted something and then rewrote it a hundred times because it didn’t sound good the first time. Ever.

When writing The Insatiable Quest for Beauty, it happened so naturally. I don’t remember struggling to write; I remember struggling to make myself stop for a few hours of sleep! So when I had no idea how to start writing my next book (Boycrazy), when I found myself void of inspiration and awkwardly twisting words together, I panicked.

How do you cut through writer’s block?

How do you write beautifully when void of inspiration?

Well this summer, here’s what I’ve been doing. And it’s really helped.

  • Schedule time to write everyday. I know it sounds anything but inspired or romantic. Why would I make myself write everyday? I’ll just write when I’m inspired! It’ll be like magic. But writing everyday can lead to inspiration, form a routine, and help you focus on the craft of writing rather than solely relying on golden moments. I feel like my writing in Boycrazy is actually way better than in The Insatiable Quest for Beauty, because I’ve been forced to focus on the craft of writing.
  • Read excellent authors. This summer I’ve been working my way through a Bodie Thoene series. There are lots of good authors, but Bodie strings her words together like a masterpiece! After reading a few chapters of her writing, I want to go string some words together myself, and try to make them sound as perfect as hers!
  • Think outside the box. My favorite part of this summer has been forcing myself to describe scenarios in unique ways. I love using one sense to describe another sense; for example, “the delicious darkness,” using a taste word to describe a visual word. I love giving action to mundane moments and personality to inanimate objects. If I see an ordinary description word in my manuscript, I’ll often lean back in my desk chair and replay the moment in my mind. What did it smell, taste, feel like? What other words does it remind me of? What can I compare it to? (And where is my thesaurus?)
  • Take breaks. I write for a specified, scheduled amount of time and then stop, so as not to burn myself out. I also take whole days (and sometimes weeks) off, time away from my work. That gives fresh perspective when I come back to it. But if inspiration strikes, then watch out world! You won’t see me for hours. Or days.
  • Photo from localvox.com

    Photo from localvox.com

    Don’t expect to write like Bodie Thoene every time. When I started writing and it sounded awful, I used to give up for the moment. What a waste of time! Now I disagree. If I start writing a horribly sounding chapter that I will end up scrapping, I keep writing anyway. Why? Putting the words on paper helps me think through what I want to say. The next time I write that chapter, it’s even easier. And there’s usually some hidden pearl that I can save from the original draft.

  • Talk with people who inspire you. Usually that’s my mom. She gives me a kick in the pants to start writing. She’s like, “Just do it!” So I do.

We all love when inspiration strikes. However, for most of us, the majority of life is uninspired. We need a battle plan for those many moments when it’s blood, sweat, and tears rather than golden sunsets and glory.

These tips form the battle plan I’ve used this summer, and I can’t wait to share with you the Boycrazy book that’s come from them — the book I love so much — the book that has been born in uninspired moments.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Words

Writing is music to me. I particularly love when you can all but taste the word, when it becomes a symphony or prelude, skipping across the tongue like pebbles on waves.

As I’ve written this new book, I find myself lingering on certain words, certain phrases. These are a few of my favorites:

Trundle. Scuttle. Scrawling. Turrets. Burst. Sputter. Disintegrate.

Background from www.magerempowerment.com

Background from magerempowerment.com

Let me take a few minutes to share a sneak preview with you: some of my favorite word-creations from my new book Boy Talk. These aren’t the action-packed pieces, rather they’re the descriptions that become music to me.

Love came into my life with pomp and blare, exactly the way I imagined it would: The swirling snow during our first deep hug, the delicious darkness as we lay stargazing into each other’s faces, the roses and scrawling notes left on my windshield. If I close my eyes tight enough, I can still see the warm candlelight, hear the soft, groveling jazz, and feel his hand on the small of my back, twirling me around the livingroom.

The sun had not yet peered over the mountains, but a tender lightness in the air gave away its coming prelude. I was alone, but I wasn’t afraid. It was a beautiful, full aloneness.

I hang up, the girl in the window smiling back at me as the bus hurries through the night. And then, without intending to, the thought pops into my mind: I love him. My mouth forms a silent O; I see it in my reflection. I love him! I do! I haven’t said those words to a guy in eight years. And there they are, carrying me away on bubbles.

The first time we met, it was like the shock of cold water on a hot day. Those eyes! Not milk chocolate, but blue as the sky.

Summer turned to autumn with the changing leaves; autumn morphed into winter with the sounds and smells of Thanksgiving, the crisp air, the dread of lake-effect snow to come. Each day as I crunched to classes on dying leaves bright with the beautiful colors of surrender, I found myself caught in a God-sized love story.

The pre-sleep thought was like a lullaby, like the scent of cookies baking.

“Hey Danielle,” his accent was soft as butter as he stooped to hug her. “Hey Jake! Tiff, this is my brother.” … “Where are you from?” “North Carolina,” he drawled, and the words had never sounded more beautiful.

Downtown Saratoga felt like a silent winter wonderland, having shed the noise and lights of yesterday’s celebrations, leaving behind fresh snow in its wake.

The humidity feels ready to burst over us, as I sit between this man I love, and his best friend’s child. My mind is clear, as though the rockets hurtling upward speak to me, briefly disappearing before imploding into brilliant pieces, illuminating the air with glory. Their brokenness is also their beauty.

Clouds chased each other across the darkening sky, breezes sifting through my hair. Such openness! I spread my arms as if about to fly and breathed deeply, filling my lungs with freedom. Filling my spirit in this moment with the Divine. “Tiffany, I have what you’ve asked Me for.” The words returned to me on the wind. My answer before I’d prayed one prayer.

As rocket after rocket slipped into the air, I knew God had something up His sleeve for me. Something — someone — I couldn’t see yet. The season felt like the quiet darkness that comes just before a brilliant explosion bursts before your eyes… There was no doubt about it; this was the calm before the beautiful storm.

Here in this moment I feel as though time has frozen, even as the dotted highway lines continue to flit away in the blink of an eye. Sunlight playing with tree branches are out of focus, joy washes in with the river I cross, yet all I can see is this moment. This instant of clarity, focus, and surety, even as everything swings toward me and away from me before I fully see it. I know what I have to do. For the briefest instant grief sweeps over me, threatening to lock up my heart. I nearly choke on the words I’m rehearsing, but then I remember: My Father delights in me.

Keep your ear out in the coming months! I hope to release Boy Talk in December!

(All contents (c) Tiffany Dawn, 2013.)

Journal Day

It’s both the best and worst part of writing a new book: Journal Day.

This afternoon I dragged a huge box of old journals out of my closet. All 55 and counting. (I was pleasantly surprised to find four more pairs of shoes and a whoopie cushion layered on top of my diaries. It felt like Christmas morning!)

Journal Day Begins!

Journal Day Begins!

I set to work digging out the journals from the past ten years. I’ve only flipped through two so far, but it’s already filled in major gaps missing from my Boy Talk book.

The best moments of Journal Day are when long-forgotten truth jumps off the pages and steals into your soul once again. When the words you read speak to since-answered prayers and since-fulfilled dreams.

The worst moments are those diaries you want skip altogether, leave them be, let them sit in the dust. Anything but relive. Reawaken. Anything but remember the brokenness they house.

Today has been a good Journal Day so far. I’ve laughed. I’ve mmm’ed. I’ve reminisced. And I’ve written.

I have two chapters left to go on this Boy Talk book, and these journals are reminding me of the final things I need to say in this book. The final stories left to tell.

And I can’t wait to tell them.