A story about a story

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Let me tell you a story about a story.

It was the summer before the last year of elementary school, and I was afraid. The day summer break started, I began to fear going back to school. It was only one year, but I wasn't sure if I could survive that. I wasn't severely bullied, but enough to make me dread every day. I hated that place.

Without books, I'd probably still be depressed and stuck, not sure where to go or what to do with my life. Stories are just silly lies to some people, but they became my entire life.

I devoured books in such a pace that my mind constantly buzzed with ideas and concepts of my own. I've always written, until I felt I had to stop because it was nerdy and pointless. Even as a little kid I knew writing could never be my job. But that summer I wrote about a red-haired girl escaping her orphanage.

Discrimination is often a thing in fantasy, because the genre involves many races and magical abilities and stuff. But still I felt like it didn't deal with the subject enough. All I wanted was to escape my fears, but instead I ended up facing them with Emery, crying with her and learning from her. I loved her so much. She was my hero, and she's been in my brain ever since. She changed my life. Emery's story demanded to be written. I tried to make other stories work, but this one just wouldn't let me go.

It's so personal and difficult to write sometimes, but I can't let it go. So I wrote and wrote.
started my instagram account because I felt so alone, and you people have brought me so much joy in these three years. I survived school and this spring I'm graduating from a special arts high school (which I wouldn't have gone to if I hadn't started writing again). Emery's story changed my life.

It's still tough, and I struggle a lot, but I know my purpose. Telling stories gives my life meaning, and right now I'm working toward making my life all I dream it to be. Don't silence the voice in your head. Don't forget your stories. Don't ever give up on yourself or your story. It demands to be written, and writing it is your mission.

Imagine a world where nobody finished stories. Nobody--even those who doubt us--would want to live in that world.

Love, Em.

Take the leap

Today I launched my website, despite being terrified.

As Meg Cabot puts it, "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear; The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all."

Tomorrow I'm going to visit London for the first time in my life. It's a thing I've dreamed of for ages now and the whole idea still feels unreal. But then I read about the terror attack in Manchester three days ago and the excitement kind of faded. Instead of being excited out of my senses, I became scared.

I have so much to live for. I have dreams, aspirations, goals, wishes, silly bucket lists... I can't die, or every dream would get crushed and every story in my head be forgotten. But it's happening–I'm going to London.

I'm launching this website. I'm finishing my book. I'm exploring the world, learning, laughing and loving every second. I'm taking leaps to fight for life. To fight for the beauty withing ordinary days and magnificent, silent moments of peace in a loud world. 

This blog post isn't about terrorists, luckily. Terrorism is just a common thing we all fear.

Life is short. Terribly short. We can't afford to give our dreams up because of fear. Taking risks is a part of the human experience. We're meant to follow out dreams, and to do that, we have to leap into the scary unknown.

What if you died tomorrow? What would you regret?

What–to you–is more important than fear?

Taking a leap isn't easy. Leaps are not bold, sure steps. They're not careful, quiet ones either. A leap isn't really a step at all. It's more like jumping down a cliff and trusting your wings to grow before you fall to your death.


As long as we don't fall for the false beliefs--the insults and lies--we constantly tell ourselves, we will be able to fly. We'll flail, probably scream and even doubt our abilities, but we don't give up. We have the desire, and that gives us the power.

Repeat after me: I have a desire, and that gives me the power.

Trust your capabilities to spread your wings and shoot up into the clouds. Just think of how beautiful it's up there. Your dreams and goals can all be reached. The two magical words here are just trust and courage. That's all you need to take a leap.

This website is one of my biggest leaps. I'm a shy person. I don't like attention. I doubt myself a lot and don't think of myself as an author. I've not even revised my novel yet.

Fake it til you make it, right? Trust yourself.

If you can't see your abilities now, trust that when you work hard and take leaps, you'll find them. Failing does not mean the end. I've "failed" three novels this far (though I don't really like that word). Making mistakes is essential for growth. They're also inevitable.

So even if you may fall, keep jumping. Keep taking leaps with trust and courage, and eventually, you can look back and not regret anything.

Again, "The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all."

We must honor those who don't have the chance to follow their dreams by following ours–by being courageous and trusting that our dreams can make the world a better place.

Love, Em.
Stay safe and don't ever give up. You are worth every piece of happiness you can find.

Check out more blog posts and my writing resources!

Top 10 Writing Tips

Following the advice given below will guarantee to make you become a better writer, and eventually fulfill your dream of getting published! 
1. Give yourself permission to write badly

Let's be real. Writing takes a lot of mental energy. And you know what also strains your brain? Showing your work to the world. There's a lot of stress involved in the writing progress, so try not to care wether your writing is good or not. Don’t be afraid that your draft might be bad (it probably will be, but that’s okay. We all go through that.)

Especially ignore your inner editor when you're in the first few drafts. What matters is to get it written. 

2. Just sit down and write

Sometimes the blank page might seem daunting, but you have to get past it. I know it's scary, I know it's hard to figure out how to start your story. But you have to start somewhere.

What helps me is to divide my book into many parts – small obstacles to overcome. It's a lot easier to focus on getting one chapter done than worrying about the entire book. Start by getting something – anything – down on paper.

3. Have an outline

I used to be a hardcore pantser. I would have an idea and sit down to write, but I never finished anything. I had a lot of good ideas, but no idea where my story was going. I got nothing done.

I know that it's a lot easier for some people to write their story by the seat of their pants, and I understand that all writers are different. But I would encourage all of you to at least try outlining. It saved me from quitting writing altogether. Now I always start out with outlining, and I've finished writing my first novel.

A lot of authors hate outlining, but I have to admit that I'm one of the crazy ones who love it :D

4. Write every day

It's difficult to maintain the habit to write every day, but the more you write, the better you become, and you also get closer to your goal. Win win! You don't even necessarily have to write on your book, you can also just write in a journal or a blog (like I do when I procrastinate). Just keep writing!

Nanowrimo is a great way to learn to write every day, so I would really recommend trying it out if you haven't already.

5. Write like you speak

One thing that has helped me a lot as a non-English person who writes in English is reading my work out loud. The difference between good writing and super good writing is that super good writing doesn't sound like writing. Your reader will probably think the words in their mind as if they were speaking them themselves, so they will notice if something sounds weird.

Keep your sentences relatively short and don't use words you'd never use in "real life". Write like you would speak.

6. Watch YouTube videos

I've watched every writing video I could find, and it has given me a lot. There's so much advice and tips from all kinds of different people, and you can learn so much from other writers. Youtube is a great place to do research and learn to write better. 

 7. Read a lot

 Reading is one of the best ways to become a better writer. Every story gives you something. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad. You have to read both good and bad books to learn what works and what doesn't. You have to read to be a writer, there's no way around it.
8. Show, don't tell

You have heard this one a thousand times, alright. This piece of advice is one of the most important, and also the one beginners tend to ignore (or misunderstand) the most. By showing, you make the story feel more alive. A story needs to breathe and live to be captivating. Don't say that Dan is angry. Show his nostrils flaring and his hands clenching into fists.

9. Use notebooks

As you may know, I'm the biggest fan of notebooks. My floor is full of stacks of them, and the pile of notebooks on my book shelf seems to grow by itself. Notebooks are great to jot down ideas and go deeper into your story. Sometimes when I don't feel like writing at all, I take my pen and notebook and just start writing something. Usually it ends up with me telling the paper some huge secret of my unconscious mind, or a solution to a problem in my story. Always keep a notebook with you.

Also, notebooks are really cute. 

 10. Finish

It's important to finish stories. I used to start a lot of stories, but never finished any of them. I learned everything I know about writing while finishing my first novel. The greatest way to improve your writing skills is to start and also finish. Choose to write a story you love, and write it until you have nothing more to say. It feels amazing to write "The End", and it's sad that most people never finish their books. Don't be one of them. Finish your book, or you'll never be an author.

After all, "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit" - Richard Bach

Pain, anxiety and finding motivation

These last few days have been what I call lazy days—though I really shouldn't. Since Sunday morning, my ribs and my shoulder has been hurting almost constantly. First I thought it was because I'd been writing so much last week, but now I suspect that it might be something worse. Because of this, I haven't been able to force myself to write, and then hated myself for it.

As creators, we need to stand up for ourselves when nobody else will. We have to believe in ourselves and reward ourselves, because there are times when we're completely alone.

I need to love myself more, not only when I'm fine, but especially when I'm not--and so should you. Making excuses won't help anyone, but neither will relentlessly blaming yourself for things you can't control.

Stay strong. You're never alone as long as you stay connected to your fellow writers and your characters. Stories will always be there for you. ♡

I hope you're all healthy, happy and inspired.