Author Kiersten Modglin Offers Some Heartfelt Advice to Upcoming Writers
Hey friends. If you tuned in for the first part of the interview with The Twist Queen, Kiersten then welcome back! If not, go check out the first part so you're up to speed on everything we talked about. I know you guys had to be wondering how she kept it all straight, just like I was. Her books are known for their unexpected twists and crazy plot lines. I was grateful for the opportunity to talk with her, since I am a new fan. Definitely gave me some inspiration for my own writing that I am working on.
If you're all caught up on the questions from the first part of the interview, you're now ready to read the second part. Here, Kiersten talked with me about her writing process and offered advice to new and aspiring authors so without further ado *insert drumroll here*
Interview with Kiersten Modglin Part II
What do you think is the best way to improve your writing skills?
Reading. I’m a better writer when I’m reading. Reading fuels me creatively, it teaches me how to craft stories, how to structure sentences, new phrases and ways to say things I’ve said a million times. Reading challenges me to do better and work harder. I didn’t go to school for this. I learned everything I know about writing from reading amazing books from incredible authors.
"Reading fuels me creatively. It teaches me how to craft stories..."
What risks have you taken with your writing that have paid off?
I’m always challenging myself to write the most unique stories I can. To try twists that no one else has done. Complicated twists, plots that are really different than anything you’ve ever read. For example, The Missing has one of the most complicated twists I’ve ever written. Knowing that, I still wanted to write it because I knew, for those who get it, it will be something they likely won’t ever forget. The Dinner Guests, Widow Falls, The Arrangement, The Dream Job, and The List, are all plots that, as I was writing them, I actively questioned if they would be too much.
If readers would go along the journey with me or if they’d think I was ridiculous. But I want my stories to be memorable. I don’t want to recycle the same old stories over and over again with a few new twists and turns and call it a day. That’s boring both to me and to my readers. If the choice is whether to play it safe by writing stories like we’ve all heard before or to write completely unique, off-the-wall stories that might be too different, I will choose the second option every time. If only for my own entertainment.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Keep going. Don’t be afraid to be weird or take chances. Don’t worry about what you’re missing because you’re at home with your books and notebooks. Don’t get discouraged when no one believes that you’ll do it. Just keep chasing your dreams because, eventually, you make them all come true.
What do you need in your writing space in order to stay focused?
A candle, my headphones, music, positive quotes, books, and a lamp. I can’t write with the overhead light on or any windows open. Just give me a candle and a lamp and I’m good.
What advice would you give a writer working on their first book?
Write it like no one will ever read it. Don’t stress about making it perfect because, even once it’s published, it won’t be perfect. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You don’t have to write the next Great American Novel, you just have to tell an entertaining story. And you can’t do that unless you can get words onto the page. Also, you don’t get time to write, you make time to write. So add it into your schedule whenever you can. When I was working my day job, I brought a notebook or my laptop to work and wrote on my lunch break, I wrote in between customers on receipt paper, or sent emails to myself with one chapter at a time. If it matters to you, you’ll find time for it. You have to. Just keep going and don’t stop until you’ve reached the end. Then do it all over again.
Write like no one will ever read it. Don't stress about making it perfect.
So there you have it, guys. If it is your dream to become a writer, chase after it! Don't let anyone discourage you. When I was young, I dreamed of being a writer. I used to write fan fictions about my favorite celebrities and post them on a fan fiction website. I would always carry notebooks around with me that were filled with stories and poetry. As I grew older, I became more fearful of chasing that dream. Instead, I tried to choose a more practical and pragmatic career path. One that wouldn't necessarily make me happy, but would put money in my pocket.
It didn't take long for me to feel the emptiness that comes with allowing your dreams to die for the sake of the "safe choice." I did not feel fulfilled or proud of the path I had chosen. I had assumed that going back to school would solve the issue, but it didn't. I had stifled the dream so long I didn't even realize that while I was floundering, trying to figure out which route to take, the right choice was staring me directly in the face. It took me a while to see it, but now that I have, there's no turning back. Take it from me, chasing your dreams can be very scary but what's even MORE scary is living your entire life trapped in the cycle of "what if".
What if I had done what I really wanted to do from the beginning?
I am truly inspired by authors like Kiersten Modglin and Colleen Hoover that decided to put all they had into accomplishing this goal. When you take that leap of faith, unimaginable things can happen! If you want to take a look at more titles from Kiersten you can buy them directly from her website here or you can shimmy on over to Amazon and check out her book list by using the link provided below
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So what do you think, babes? Are you going to take that leap of faith and chase your dreams? What do you need in your writing space in order to stay focused? Where do YOU get your inspiration from? I can't wait to hear from you. Join the conversation over on Instagram
And while you're here, check out the short stories on my blog written by me. I guarantee you won't regret it! I hope you enjoyed this interview with Kiersten as much as I enjoyed doing it. Maybe one day, it will be someone interviewing ME because they're a fan of my work. Time will tell!
Until next time babes ❤