About the Tour
Welcome to the second month of the Tales of Faith 3-Month tour! For the month of June, Amanda guest posted on a dozen blogs, featuring “Befriending the Beast.” This month, we’re getting a deeper look into book two of the Tales of Faith series: “The Secret Slipper.” Each post by Amanda is unique to the blog—an inspirational post, an article on the writing craft, an excerpt from one of the Tales of Faith books… you’ll just have to visit each blog to see what comes up. ;) Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!
Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
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One Word: Balance
About the Process
Sometimes, life throws a little irony your way.
Unless you’re me.
Then life throws a lot of irony your way.
Because I love that word.
The irony of today? Well… I’m in the process of working hard to get “Protecting the Poor” edited so I can format it and get it off to the printers in time for August 26. My goal was to run through five chapters of beta readers’ comments so I could get everything on my list done. Instead, I darted through two readers’ complete comments and was grinding my way through a third when I glanced down at my to-do list.
3-Month Tour posts!!
How could I forget?! This post’s deadline comes before “Protecting the Poor’s,” even though a book involves an insane amount more of work than an article. And the article’s theme? “About the process.”
So far in this tour, I’ve focused each month on a specific book from the Tales of Faith series. But for this post, I’m going to have to ignore that it’s “The Secret Slipper’s” month and just talk about today. Because it was almost two years ago that I wrote “The Secret Slipper” and though I know I had juggling issues in order to get it done (because it always happens), my poor brain can hardly remember what I did a week
ago. Today, you’ll get the very real-life author with a very real-life, up-to-date post of the writing process—and here is your fair warning that you’ll get 100% me: rambling, nonsensical, rushed, hoping-these-ideas-make-sense me (yes, my books take a lot of editing ;)).
Because it doesn’t really matter which book I’m in the process of, the invaluable lesson for every manuscript is this: balance.
When I was a kid, I used to think that authors lived a 9-to-5-type job. Big deception there. I think I have met two authors who are able to keep that type of a schedule? Otherwise, pretty much all authors have it the same: writing is just another ball in this grand juggling act of life. For me, balance is a huge issue when it comes to the process of writing. In fact, some people don’t even realize I write, because the angle
they see is the musician (teacher, student, composer, accompanist)—and, ironically (yeah… that word), some people don’t realize I’m a musician because they just see the writer. I say this just because sometimes it helps to know the person behind the writing. We all have life to live—families, friends, church, jobs, etc.
Usually, writing is just a small percentage of my life. Thus, when I look at writing, I have to view it in segments in order to stay sane.
There is a purpose.
I have about a hundred ideas. But… for now, there is just one idea that I have to focus on (key point here).
If I try to tackle all of the ideas I’m interested in, I will get nowhere. So at any given time, my focus is
primarily on one idea.
There is a process.
Brainstorm. Write. Brainstorm with two or three friends. Write more. Finish the rough draft (sometimes rewrite, if needed). Read through. Send to beta readers. Take a break while beta readers are reading. Get their feedback. Apply their notes (which may mean rewriting, may mean just editing). Print and hand to Mom (line editor). Edit. Format. Submit to the printers.
Okay, okay, so that was a really blunt and quick overview, but it’s really how my brain works. Because I realize I need to hone my attention to one idea at a time (this is just me as a writer), it helps me to go through the process I need to go through.
Now, sometimes processes can overlap. This summer, while “Protecting the Poor” was in the hands of my beta readers (usually a one-month process), I worked madly on writing the rough draft of my Librarians of Willow Hollow novella (read about that upcoming series here). My timing doesn’t always work so perfectly, but God blessed me (I do not say this lightly!), so now my Willow Hollow manuscript is in the
hands of my alpha readers (the authors of other Willow Hollow novellas), and I can turn my attention back to “Protecting the Poor.”
There is promo.
At the same time all of this is going on, I have to slip in some time to do promo stuff (like… this blog post I nearly forgot about; yeah, it’s not exactly promo-promo, but I count it in that ballpark). I know I’m not the only author who despises that word. Graphics designs. Quote graphics. Blog posts. I have to work to connect with my readers—and I truly do love my readers. But with everything going on, it sometimes
is the one thing that falls to back burner. But I do make my attempts at promo.
There is a product.
There you have it. At long last, there is something at the end of this juggling act of life-and-writing. So often, though, we look at others’ lives and see only the product instead of the process it took to get there. My word of encouragement to any writer reading this is remember that pretty much any author’s life is as crazy as your own… but with a prayerful balance, it can be done. I don’t write every day (I sometimes wish I could)—sometimes I haven’t written for months on end. I don’t churn out as many projects as I wish I could, but in the end, I firmly believe I publish as many projects as God directs me to.
How do you keep a balance in your life (this totally doesn’t have to be writing-related)? Are you a list-type person?