Nominated for the Liebster Award

Let me begin by saying that I’m pretty new to the blogging community. I’ve read blogs for years, but only started one myself a few months ago. Even so, everyone has welcomed me with open arms. It’s such a great group of people that we have making up this community, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.

I am so grateful to be nominated for the Liebster Award by Elizabeth Gilmore of One Dream Writer (you can read her blog here!). She has an amazing website with links to help everyone Enjoy, Write and Inspire. I highly recommend you check it out!

In honor of receiving this award, Elizabeth has asked me to answer some questions, which I will gladly do!

  1. If you could go back in time and tell your younger self something, what would you tell them?

I started my writing journey very young. I wrote my first manuscript in first grade (you can read excerpts from it here) and didn’t really understand how the writing/publishing process worked. My friends today have told me they remember my telling them my freshly finished first draft would be published within the next two months. Obviously, it was not. There was a time when I was disappointed in my abilities and felt like I wasn’t doing all I could to be the best writer I could (basically a mid-life writing crisis at age 10). I would tell little-me that all of that work is not going to waste. Although I never got to see those words between two covers, it still contributed to the writer I am today. Every little bit of writing that you do helps hone your skills. Sometimes it takes years to get that “one idea” to kick-start everything, but if you write frequently leading up to that day, you’ll be ready for when it arrives.

  1. Why did you start blogging?

My blog was originally started to get into the writing community. Like I mentioned previously, I am still a newbie compared to some of the more experienced bloggers out there. I’ve already met so many new and amazing people out there in the little time this blog has been running. Additionally, I knew it was important that people learn a bit about me before my novel is released, so that when people see J. L. Willow, it’s not an empty name. It’s grown so much faster than I expected and I’m so grateful for all of the help I’ve received along the way!

  1. Do you ever get “writer’s block”? And if so, how do you deal with it?

Writer’s block can be a very big problem for me. It mostly comes into play if I’m writing a scene and either don’t want to write or want to write a different scene. I’ll be typing and deleting and typing and deleting, all the while thinking to myself “This is awful, I need to completely scrap it and start over.” For me, it can be extremely painful, but the only thing to do is keep writing. One of my favorite anonymous writing quotes is “First drafts don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be written.” Although it can be hard to accept this fact, it is true. You can’t begin editing anything if you have nothing to edit. It’s better to have a haphazard mess of words and ideas on paper rather than in your head!

  1. What’s your favorite animal and why? okapi

This might seem like a weird answer, but my favorite animal is an Okapi. They are native to Central Africa and look like a mixture of a horse and a zebra, even though their closest relatives are giraffes. I’ve always thought they are so unique and I’ve seen them in person a few times. I think they are under-appreciated and more people should know about them! You should definitely check them out. 🙂

5.  What inspires/motivates you?

Honestly, all I have to do is picture a reader’s reaction when they read what I’m writing in order to get motivated. One of the most exciting things about writing a book is listening to what people felt when they read it. Writing and reading are very strange things. Ink printed on slivers of wood can move people, make them laugh, cry, or smile. I feel that, if I could make one person feel something through my work, I’ve accomplished something amazing. Simply thinking that that could happen sometime in the future is enough to force me up and to get working.

Now it’s time for me to nominate some people for the award! There are so many great bloggers out there, but I think I’ve been able to narrow it down to five:

  1. First is Jordan from Just Write! She is such a nice woman and her blog is a ton of fun. Check out her website for inspiration, tips, and more!
  2. Next is Billie Tucker. Her blog invites the reader to learn from her experiences and to share their own “Lessons Learned”! The site is very simple, but effective. I highly recommend it!
  3. Koven Nahvi and her blog Just Koven is my third nomination! Her YouTube channel and blog discuss fashion, books and so much more! Check out her page for awesome material.
  4. L. J. Jarvis is my next nomination. His blog covers everything from writing, book and movie reviews, and short stories! It’s a variety of awesome information that’s bound to inspire and intrigue.
  5. Last but not least is Monna Ellithorpe! “Don’t excuse yourself from the success you deserve” is the slogan she promotes. Her blog is a wonderful collection of inspiration, writing tips, and life-lessons!

Congratulations, everyone! Now that you’ve been nominated, I have some questions for you to answer:

  1. What is your best advice for new bloggers?
  2. Where do you find inspiration in day-to-day life?
  3. What’s your favorite travel destination?
  4. What do you love most about blogging?
  5. What’s your favorite book and why?

Thank you again for the nomination, Elizabeth! Good luck to all the new bloggers out there, and congratulations to the blogs just nominated!

— J. L. Willow

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