Guest Post: Learning to Live the Dream (Danielle E. Shipley)

Today’s guest post comes from Danielle E. Shipley, the talented author of assorted short stories, novellas, and novels (several of them already published, with many more to come!). Check it out!

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Learning to Live the Dream

These have been the most unbelievable last several weeks of my life.

It all started in February (my gosh, was it really only February??) when J. Taylor Publishing accepted my submission for their YA short story anthology, “One More Day” (coming this December). This was the first “yes” I’ve gotten from the publishing industry that came with contracted royalties, so I was … what’s the term? A wreck. (The crazy happy kind.)

Not much earlier, I’d made the commitment to myself to stop talking about “someday” and finally self-publish my darling fairytale novella series, “The Wilderhark Tales”. Upon signing my short story with JTP, I wavered for a moment about whether or not to pursue the self-publishing project right now, as planned, or put it off ‘til later. That moment lasted all of a few seconds. The promises I make, I keep. The first Wilderhark Tale was going forward. (“The Swan Prince”, coming May 31st .)

So, I had a short story to prepare for a publishing company, and a novella to edit, acquire a cover for, figure out how to format for paperback and e-book, and, also, in addition, plus … (There’s a lot involved in self-pubbing a quality book, y’all.)

And then JTP asked for my novel, “Inspired”. (Coming in March of 2014.)

This is it, people. This is the start of the writing career I’ve worked for since my latter teens. At what’s-seemed-like-an-eternity last, I can say I am living the dream!

… But wait. Where did all my writing time go?

I had it soft, ‘til now. With no other real demands on my time, I could pretty much spend all day, every day, writing up a storm. Now? Not so much. A long list of pressing deadlines comes first.

It would be easy – arguably justifiable, even – to move writing new material off my priorities list until later. Problem is, that looks an awful lot like the same “someday” region to which I almost relegated my fairytale series. I don’t want to exile writing to “someday”! A fine howdy-do that would be: “Oh, yeah, thanks for getting my foot in the door of fame and fortune, Writing. It’s been real. But, uh, I’m kinda busy, these days, so … Y’know what? I’ll call you.” *calls “someday”*

Not even. That’s no way to treat something you love. I wouldn’t be typing this blog post right now if I didn’t love writing. I’m a writer. Writers write. Beginning, middle, and end of story.

So yeah, I’m up to my ears in line editing and social networking, I’ve got a mad amount of forms to fill out and accounts to keep tabs on … but I’m also making time to write. Maybe not every day; certainly not all day, anymore. It might only add up to a few thousand new words a week, for a while. That’s all right. I’ll work my way back up to my old deranged levels of productivity, or I’ll settle into something more like the routine that real authors keep.

‘Cause I’m as real an author now as the best of them, guys. And I’m gonna write like it. That’s a promise.

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danielle_author photoDanielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself … or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it at

Categories: Guest Post | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Guest Post: Learning to Live the Dream (Danielle E. Shipley)

  1. Congrats to you for making it happen! 😀

  2. Pingback: “Overbooked” or “Learning to Live the Dream” | Ever On Word

  3. Gwen

    Wow – great post. Reminds us all that writing is more than an art; it’s also a business. Congratulations on accepting your contract!

    • Thank you! I admit a preference for the artistic aspect, but the business side hasn’t killed me yet! (:

  4. Now you’ll just have to be creative about creating times to create… Congratulations!!

  5. Well done, Danielle! It doesn’t sound like you need any advice at all, but since I’ve been there I’ll offer mine just in case: Set aside a regular time for the writing part of writing, turn off your internet/email, and wait till you’re done to attend to any business stuff. Even if you only have half an hour for writing, and three hours for blogs/interviews/presentations/letters/etc., do the writing first.

    There will be times – around release dates, especially – when you may not get any fiction writing done at all. For weeks. That’s okay. Books still need their authors even after they’re published. (Kind of like kids heading off to school – you won’t be spending all day with them anymore but you still have to help with homework.) Revel in each publication, and trust that you’ll get back to new work soon. Congratulations.

    • Thank you, Catherine, for both the congrats and the advice. Maybe a wee bit of writing first thing, followed by a day of whatever else needs doing, is a good way a go for me; I’ll give a trial run. (:

  6. Well done for sticking at what you love doing. Good luck with the books 🙂

  7. Congrats! Stories like this inspire me to keep writing my heart out. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story with us!

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