Writing Advice from Author Jessica Lemmon | “Get your butt in the chair”

(upbeat music) – Hi everybody. In case you don’t me, my
name is Jessica Lemmon, I am the best-selling author
of Billionaires and Bad Boys, and I also write for Harlequin Desire which I’m sure you have heard of. My upcoming title, or
well, the title will be out by the time you see the video, is called Temporary to Tempted. The best way to describe
Temporary to Tempted is, if you’ve ever seen
the movie The Wedding Date, that was my jumping off
point for this book. Andrea is desperate for a
date to her sister’s wedding, she’s one of five girls and
doesn’t want to show up alone to yet another Payne family wedding. And so she goes to hire
a complete stranger to go the wedding with her, and it’s Gage. Some of the things that
Harlequin asked me to discuss involve aspiring writers,
or people who are working to get published,
maybe writing your first book, and I was so excited to be
asked to talk about this because it’s a passion of mine to share what I have learned with other writers. When I was first writing for publication and hadn’t been published
yet, I actually kept a blog and tracked everything that
I did for posterity sake, all the mistakes that I made, I always talk about that
kind of stuff openly. So the first question was,
what advice do you wish someone had given you during the start of your writing career? I actually got a lot of
advice during the start of my writing career, I got
a lot of very good advice actually, I was in touch
with a lot of, not a lot, but a couple of writers who were published who were very open and honest with me. But the one piece of advice I wish I would’ve gotten was relax, just, it’ll come. You can’t run before you
walk in this business, you gotta write a book, and then you gotta write another book, and then
you gotta write another book, and you will get better
the more that you learn, and the more that you work with
editors, and it’ll all come. I mean, nobody likes to be new, I didn’t like to be the new kid either, and I published with Harlequin, like, five years after I’d been published, and I still felt new all over
again trying to learn how to do things their way
and work with an editor. But it’ll come, and it’s a very
rewarding, wonderful career, but don’t ruin it for
yourself by just panicking and stressing about everything. What is the worse piece of writing advice that you’ve seen repeated
over and over again? Easy, and I’ll probably get a
little bit of flack for this, but the idea of bowing to the
muse or waiting for the muse, not really a muse person. I do believe there’s magic when you write, when I sit and I’m
typing and all the words just seem to flow smoothly,
I’m a little disconnected from the actual area I’m sitting in, I can forget my cup of
coffee, I forget to eat lunch, that’s pure magic, I believe
in that with all my heart. But I also believe in hard work, and if I sit down and put
my fingers on this keyboard, and put my butt in this
chair, words will come out. They may not be good words, (laughs) they may be
deleted or polished later, but I believe there is a
discipline attached with writing that so, so many of us say, oh, the muse isn’t here today,
the muse didn’t show up. And it’s true that some
days are harder than others. Some day I can knock out
2,000 words in a blink and just be like, cool,
I’m done for the day. Other days I absolutely
have to grind out 500 words, but if you commit to
sitting in your chair, turn on a timer, get out a notebook, shut off your social media,
you’ll get through that part. So writer’s block and muse,
don’t give any energy to it, that’s my best piece
of advice for that one. The last question is, do
you have any other words, or advice, or encouragement for young writers who may be watching? Yes, yes, yes, yes, so many. Know what you want, that is my very first piece of advice for you if
you’re writing a book right now. Do you want to be independently published? Do you want to write for Harlequin? Do you want to write scripts
for Universal Studios? Know what you want. There’s really no wrong answer. Don’t stop at one book,
when you write that book turn it in, give it to
your editor, you know, send in a query letter, consult an agent, talk to your critique partners, but when you’re done doing
that, while you’re waiting for that feedback, start a new book. Maybe it’s the follow-up
to that book, a book two. Maybe it’s a brand new book. Maybe you’re just writing a book that you don’t want to publish at all, but get some practice in. Everybody, everybody who
starts in this business writes a really bad
first book, we all do it. I have a book that’s
horrible, it’s under my bed, it’ll never see the light of day, and we all start there. The very last piece of advice I would give to new writers is, you are not behind. You’re gonna feel like
you’re playing catch up, some days I feel like I’m playing catch up with all of the other
writers that are out there that are killing it, but I
promise you are not behind. You are on your own path, you are having your own journey, and honor that. So relax, have your own
journey, write more books, and come and see me at jessicalemmon.com. I have a blog filled with writers’ tips, and by the time you watch
this, I am going to have actually how to write an elevator pitch which is such a helpful piece of advice for new writers, and probably
something I should’ve done a better job on when
I was talking about this. But it’s really how to
present your book to somebody in just a sentence or two,
very clearly and concisely so they know exactly what you’ve written. So keep writing, good luck,
and make sure to pick up Temporary to Tempted which is my book that’s out in April of 2019. Thanks everybody. (upbeat music)

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