Why Giving Writing Critiques Are Important

Why Giving Writing Critiques Are Important - lesimonis.comRecently I had an opportunity to critique a friend’s novel. This isn’t my first rodeo, so-to-speak. I’ve been giving writing critiques since my first workshop in college. I’ve critiqued in workshops, writing groups, online MS swapping, etc. But this time was different. This time I was looking at a first draft of the first novel ever written by this friend.

Now, it was a first draft. It was rough. He knew it. I knew it. First drafts are supposed to be rough. But it was that roughness that really opened up my eyes to my own WIP. So much so that I think it’s something that EVERYONE should try to do at some point in their writing career. Why? Well, let me tell you! Read More

A Writer’s Self-Doubt


As I have mentioned throughout my blog, I’ve been working on the same WIP since 2012. I’ve been through several stages of love and several stages of hate with it. I’ve gone through countless revisions, including numerous complete rewrites. I’ve taken breaks, some longer than others, from it, only to come back and find that it wasn’t as great as I thought it had been when I left it. Hi, my name is Lauren and I absolutely have self-doubt about my writing. Read More

Being Proud of Your Aspirations

Being Proud of Your Aspirations
I’ve always loved writing. I’ve been writing since I was about 7 years old. My first story I remember writing was called “The Turkey Who Ran Away The Day Before Thanksgiving.” Since then, I’ve written fan fiction, random half-finished chapter stories, short stories and finally novel-length work. But the thing is, I used to not shout my desire to be a published YA author from the roof tops. I hardly even whispered it. Read More

Learning to Love Planning

Learning to Love Planning
Planning vs Pantsing. It’s the age old writing debate. The first time I ever wrote a novel (my first NaNoWriMo) and honestly, anything I really wrote previously I was a pantser. I just sort of let anything I wrote go with the flow, and it was…fine.

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Coming to Terms with Being Ambitious

Coming to Terms with Being Ambitious
Ambitious. I don’t think it’s a word that is particularly friendly to females in recent years. It’s a word I never thought to use to describe myself. That is, I never thought to use it until now.

For me, writing a novel while working full time while also serving on the board for a young professional organization doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. For me, taking on more things than I realistically have time for doesn’t feel ambitious – it feels right. That’s why I’ve been missing on here for months. I’ve been crazy busy at work and with a pro-bono marketing campaign that I’m doing through Ad 2 Madison.

Being ambitious isn’t bad, though. To me, being ambitious means that I have several different passions and I want to pursue them with maximum effort. It means that I know what I want out of life and that I’m not afraid to get them now. It means that I need to prioritize my time, maybe cut out binge watching The Office for the umpteenth time. I need to create deadlines for myself – which fortunately already exist for both my work life and my Ad 2 Madison life. Now I just need to create one for my writing life.

IMG_1778I’ve been ramping up my work on my novel. It’s something that I honestly can’t live without. Writing is a part of me that I’ll never be able to quit, no matter what else is going on in my life. Sure, I wasn’t explicitly writing for the past couple of months, but thoughts and ideas have been swimming around in my brain. I’m now acting on those and hoping to get everything together in time to submit to Pitch Wars again this year.

For one, I have been toying around with the idea of going back to how my novel started. I have been working on it since my first NaNoWriMo in 2012 (wow, that was a long time ago). Since then there has been serious evolution. But I recently realized that all of the changes that have happened aren’t exactly what I want. Now I’m going back and doing some serious reworking. I’m doing more planning than I ever have for this novel. It started as a “pansting” novel, but I’m realizing that that style isn’t working for me.

Sure, deciding to plan out and write an entire novel in about five months might seem crazy to most. But I’m ambitious and damn proud of it. I have yet to fail when I set goals for myself because if I’m setting goals, it means that I really want something. And I absolutely want to be prepared for another chance at Pitch Wars.

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