Prior to writing my books, I wrote for the newspapers in San Diego for over 8 years, including magazine features for fashion, travel, and pr pieces for advertising clients.
Writing my own personal column in the Rancho Santa Fe Newspaper bi-weekly deadlines taught me a lot about writing and how to write under pressure and produce copy when that was the only choice.
Sometimes I am asked what my writing schedule is like. For writing books, I tend to write in long spurts at weeks at a time. Then, I need a good break from it when the first draft is done. Of course, editing is not my favorite. But, once I get sucked into my edited book and making adjustments, I love that on a different level. My biggest advice to anyone that wants to be a writer or think of writing a book is to just do it! Just like that Nike ad.
Write a blog, write on social media, write a journal, submit your work. Keep putting it out there. Writing is truly an inside job. At home. In your jammies, at your local coffee shop, on a plane, on a train…anywhere, but just you alone. I like that aspect of writing. I like the quiet thoughts that only come up in a space untouched by another. You are alone in vast place with just your thoughts.
I guess therein lies the answer to that hesitation. Don’t worry. You can slowly chip away at your own fear. Your thoughts will guide your fingers. Don’t over-think the process. Just do it!
MY Road to Writing
In 1996, I wrote my first comedy skit that was performed at the Comedy Store in the Belly Room on Monday night. The World famous Comedy Store was exciting, even if Monday was the worst night of the week for the smallest stage in the back.
I will never forget getting my first laughs and how excited I was. That moment topped my modeling and all acting moments alike because I wrote what I was performing.
I then went on a journey to writing a play that was picked up by the HBO Workspace in 1998, then took a two year writer’s program at UCLA (I did a year and a half because we moved to San Diego) on fiction writing.
Then I had a baby. My world stopped.
I sat in a car at a Rite Aid in the new concrete land of Carmel Valley and golf balls in Rancho Santa Fe with a baby. My little steps forward I had made were gone and I felt adrift in a new city.
Luckily for me, I had a great direction (Tess Hightower) that encouraged me to finish a fiction book I had began writing at U.C.L.A. I did that. I mailed her seven pages a week. And, in less than eight months, I had completed my first book.
I remember I drove to San Clemente for a bucket of clams on the pier overlooking the Pacific Ocean. (Always celebrate the mini victories!)
Later, I took Learning annex courses, wrote another fiction book that was more like a Sopihe Kinsella novel meets ‘Where the Heart Is.’
in 2005, I started my journey in the newspaper business. I remember writing my first pr piece on a barbecue client and you would have thought I had gotten a bi-line in the New Yorker. I was thrilled.
In 2008, I landed my own Carrie Bradshaw like column in an affluent newspaper in San Diego writing my own thoughts and running all over Rancho Santa Fe photographing folks for the paper, too.
I also wrote for magazines, then, too. There was a time when I would have three to four deadlines a week, plus working forty hours a week in advertising, having fun, raising Jackson and falling in love with Robin.
After 8 years of writing locally, I decided to focus all my energy on my books.
My first book Middle Age Beauty was published in 2013. My second, Live, Love, Soul, 2015. My third for Ayni Books will be out next year-fall, 2016.
I am also working on some private writing projects that I will be publishing under a different “pen name.”
I guess the point of this share is so often others see that, “Oh wow! you got a book published and it did so well, Lucky YOU!”
When really, my little fingers have been working away for many years. My hands have been knocking on many doors. Some answered. Some didn’t.
My books in non-fiction have been so much fun because I have gotten to connect with readers and other authors from all over the world.
The ironic thing about my first book is, I wouldn’t have gotten that book deal without my background in modeling and acting. What originated in L.A. came full circle. I am grateful to my teachers that taught me well:
If you want to pursue something in life, don’t just think about it. Don’t just dream about it. Take action and make it happen.
Be prepared to go for the long haul for the yes’s and the no’s.
Be prepared to keep trudging through the snowstorms of your owner personal journey that your soul is singing to you.
If you love what you are doing, you will keep doing it. You will. And, when the time is right, the door will open and you will…keep on working at what you love doing.
I am excited for my next few months! I have much on my plate to tackle, but exited to take the journey.
P.S. Thank you most of all to my husband, Robin. He suggested I write non-fiction instead of fiction and write about beauty. So glad I was smart enough to listen. This thanksgiving. I am grateful for inspiration and the power of dreams. #keepdreaming.
Tips on Writing:
Join a writing group.
Go to writer’s workshops.
Write in a journal or start a blog.
Make sure to always write out your ideas.
Don’t be afraid of editing. Write first dradt. Don’t get stuck in re-editing a chapter.
Find a writing partner.
Join Twitter and follow other authors for inpiration and their advice on writing.
Just write, have fun and be confident in your thoughts. Write them down.
Good luck! And, remember to have fun.