Monday, June 11, 2012

Author Guest Post and a Giveaway!

UPDATE Saturday 6/16/12 11:45 am WINNER!

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-06-16 16:45:13 UTC

Congrats to Wanda! Email me your address, Wanda, and Christy Barritt will send you a copy of her book.

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Today I welcome author Christy Barritt ass she share some words of encouragement. Although the context is aimed at authors experiencing the "writer's blues", her suggestions apply to many areas of life. At the end of the post, she will be offering a copy of her latest novel, keep reading!

How to Chase Away the Writer’s Blues
by Christy Barritt

Seasons of discouragement come and go for every author. But sometimes when it hits, it hits hard. Numerous authors have walked — or attempted to walk — away from writing as self doubt begins to plague them, burying itself in their self-confidence and assurances.

To overcome discouragement, we must first understand the reasons why it comes.
  • Comparison. All too often writers compare where they stand to where others are. A wise person once said that comparison is the enemy of contentment. Those words can’t ring more true. We must focus on our own writing journey and not that of others.
  • Feelings of inadequacy. It’s rare that I send something out and am totally satisfied with it. I often fret over each word and sentence, trying to make it perfect, only to realize it will never be perfect according to my standards. I feel inadequate, like I’m not good enough or talented enough to be a writer. It’s the nature of the beast.
  • Seasons of life. Sometimes discouragement just comes as a season in life. Perhaps several stressful situations have arisen and taken a toll on your writing. After my father passed away, writing was difficult for me. I had to step back and take time to mourn before jumping into my writing again.
  • Spiritual warfare. Often times when we follow God’s will, Satan intrudes and tries to persuade us away. We must keep our focus and remember who we write for.
  • Rejection. This is the toughest one for me. Though I know I should expect rejection, every time I receive one it still stings. I always think, "Why am I kidding myself into thinking I’m a writer? I’m a wannabe. I just need to move on and do something else." I never can though. Rejection hurts. But as a writer, rejection happens. See each rejection as a stepping stone instead of as a stumbling block.

When you begin to feel discouraged, here are a few important things to remember:

  • Rejections don’t mean you’re not good. Rejections happen to all of us. They're unavoidable and don't mean we're bad writers. They mean your story didn't fit a need or didn't meet an editor's preference.
  • Know that publishing isn’t instantaneous. Some writers spend ten plus years working on developing their craft before they're ever published. Be patient. Dreams rarely come true overnight and neither does being published.
  • Write and then write some more. The best way to learn how to write is by writing and reading. This helps us develop our skills. Someone once said writers have the longest apprenticeship of any profession. I don't know if that's true, but it does take time to become a good writer.
  • Become a sponge. Join writers groups, take workshops or college courses on improving your craft. Soak up everything you can and continue to learn.
  • Give yourself a break. Sometimes the best thing one can do is step back from writing and take a breather. This will give us a clear head and oftentimes a renewed inspiration.
  • Seek God’s approval. Pray that God will remove or strengthen your desire according to His will. If He has other, bigger and better plans for your life, then ask Him to show you those and give you the strength to pursue other mediums.
  • Don’t entertain negative thoughts. They will fester and grow. Deal with them and move on.
  • If you can walk away from writing, then you should. This is the most difficult piece of advice but it’s true. If writing is something you’d feel good about leaving and not returning to, then you should. Writers have a passion for their work — a call. If writing is truly your passion, you won't be able to walk away.
  • Get the opinion of someone valued and trusted. If you’re truly questioning if writing is what you should be doing and if you have any talent at it, then find someone who knows English and writing and get their opinion. Plead for honesty. Sometimes, we’re met to write for ourselves and other times, we’re met to write for others. Talking to someone trusted might help you find out which category you fall into.
  • Press on toward the prize. Remember it’s God who sustains you. Let Him hold you up and carry you through.

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Christy Barritt is an author, freelance writer and speaker who lives in Virginia. She's married to her Prince Charming, a man who thinks she's hilarious--but only when she's not trying to be. Christy's a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who's known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. She's only won one contest in her life--and her prize was kissing a pig (okay, okay... actually she did win the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery for her book Suspicious Minds also). Her current claim to fame is showing off her mother, who looks just like former First Lady Barbara Bush.

When she's not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and exploring small, unsuspecting towns where people have no idea how accident prone she is.

For more information, visit her website at:

Death of the Couch Potato's Wife
Christy Barritt
(Lighthouse Publishing)
May 2012/288 pages/$14.95

Welcome to Boring, Indiana, home to patio cookouts, homeowner dues, carpeted lawns, and neighbors so welcoming they’re dying to meet you — literally.

City slicker turned suburbanite housewife Laura Berry isn’t taking well to life in her new neighborhood. She moved to follow her husband’s dream, and now she can’t tell if she’s clinically depressed or just bored half to death. But Boring becomes anything but when Laura discovers her neighbor Candace Flynn face up on a sofa with her hand buried in a snack bag. With a healthy dose of neighborly suspicion and street smarts, Laura sets out to find Flynn’s killer, but her curiosity becomes desperation when the killer targets Laura.

Someone is determined to stop her from digging deeper into the murder, but Laura is just as determined to figure out who’s behind the death-by-poisoned-pork-rinds.

Christy Barritt is giving away a copy of this book to one of you. Winner's choice whether you prefer a hard copy or eBook. To enter, leave a comment on this post by 8:00 CDT Friday, 6/15/12, and I will randomly draw a winner. US residents only for hard copy. International residents may enter if choosing an eBook. Be sure to indicate in your comment which version you prefer, and include a valid email address if you don't have a blog.

Thanks so much to Christy Barritt for sharing today and for providing this giveaway!

Disclaimer: I have not read Christy Barritt's book and therefore do not have an opinion on it. The views expressed in this guest post are those of the author, Christy Barritt, and may or may not reflect the views of Mocha with Linda.


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Jo Huddleston said...

Linda, thanks for having Christy's article on today. Writer's Blues is awful and a big hurdle to get over. Christy's article is a big help. I'd love to win the book and I would prefer a hard copy of the book.

Beckie B. said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I have read two of Christy Barritt's books and really liked them.

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story ;)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jo said...

Thank you for the giveaway. I look forward to reading this book.


Daphne Michele Webb said...

I love that. Death-by-pork rinds!
That's exactly how I feel when I eat just one. LOL
Sounds extremely interesting. Adding it to the TBR stack.


lorlyn63 said...

Thank you for the give away and a chance to win a copy - it sounds like a good read! I look forward to reading it.



Mary Lou said...

The title of the book is so intriguing. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy. I would like a hard copy please.

Mary Lou

Wanda said...

Good tips offered. Comparisons really have a way of stopping our progress. I'd be interested in hard copy of Christy's book.

Wanda said...

Oh wow, can't believe I won thanks for the giveaway.