5 Ways to Find Time to Write for Sing Like No One's Listening by Vanessa Jones (Guest Post & #Giveaway) @mediamastersbks #yalit


Welcome to my tour stop!

To celebrate the release of Sing Like No One's Listening by Vanessa Jones on September 1st, blogs across the web are featuring original content from Vanessa, as well as 10 chances to win a finished copy plus a grand prize giveaway! Check it all out below as well as a guest post from the author...

Sing Like No One's Listening
By Vanessa Jones
YA Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
September 1, 2020 by Peachtree Publishing Company

Summary

A moving story of grief and healing - sure to be a pure joy for any musical theater aficionado.

Nettie Delaney has just been accepted into a prestigious performing arts school--the very same school her superstar mother attended. With her mother's shadow hanging over her, Nettie has her work cut out for her--and everyone is watching. To make matters worse, Nettie hasn't been able to sing a single note since her mother died. Whenever she tries, she just clams up. But if Nettie's going to survive a demanding first year and keep her place in a highly coveted program, she'll have to work through her grief and deliver a showstopper or face expulsion.

All may not be lost, however, when Nettie stumbles upon a mysterious piano player in an empty studio after class. Masked behind a curtain, can Nettie summon the courage to find her voice? Or will the pressure and anxiety of performing come crashing down?

All about finding and raising your voice, and not throwing away your shot, Vanessa Jones's well-crafted journey of grief and healing will pull readers along with its strong narrative voice and satisfying sense of mystery.  

Praise for SING LIKE NO ONE'S LISTENING

"“Anglophiles, music and theater nerds, and those looking for some classic will-they-won’t-they romance will all find something to enjoy here. Jones writes her subject matter authentically, with obvious passion to balance the professional arts’ not-so-pretty struggles…. A touching portrait of healing after loss.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Jones' novel has the expected Fame vibes that will delight any reader who loves stories of aspiring young stars learning their craft, but its exploration of Nettie's complexities makes the story unique…. Jones offsets the narrative’s weightier moments with light and quirky ones, making it a fast read with staying power.” ―Booklist

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5 Ways to Find Time to Write
By Vanessa Jones

You’ve thought about it so much that you’ve got that debut novel burned on the inside of your eyelids. In math class your pen is writing quadratic equations, but your brain is solving a complex plot twist. Your characters are so well-sketched that they sometimes feel realer than your friends. But you just can’t make time to write. Life just. . . gets in the way. It’s so frustrating to have ideas but not have the time to get them out onto the page. 

I am a person who likes to be busy. I mean, obviously I complain about it, but secretly, I thrive on it. And during one of the most hectic times in my life, what did I do? I decided to write a book. 

I’d just had my second child, opened up a third theatre school, joined a band, and moved house. So naturally it seemed like the perfect time. I’m kidding, obviously. What actually happened was that I randomly wrote a character one week in my writing class that my tutor and fellow students really liked. They encouraged me to put the character into a scene, which rapidly turned into the first draft of Sing Like No One’s Listening. Along with a toddler and a new business, finding time to write was. . . challenging. But not impossible. 

So, here are my top 5 ways to find time to write. 

1. Get up Early! 

I know this one will not be popular, so I’m getting it out of the way first. I’m not talking setting the alarm hours super early, but just maybe thirty or forty minutes? Half an hour of uninterrupted writing time goes a long way. If you do it every day, you’ll find you can get into it more quickly. And as you start seeing what you can get done in that time, you might think about pushing it to an hour. I would also say it works in reverse if you’re a night owl—when I was still performing eight shows a week, I’d get home from work, sit down at my computer, and write well into the night. But since I had kids, my brain has nothing left to give after about eight o’clock. So I get up before everyone else and have an hour on my own to get some ideas down. 

2. Don’t Worry About What to Write 

This is one of the biggest blocks to writing. But honestly, the longer you sit there trying to construct the perfect sentence in your head, the less likely you are to get anything on the page. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad. It just matters that it’s there. I can’t tell you how much my writing changes from first draft to final product—it’s pretty much unrecognisable. In fact, I sometimes come back to paragraphs that have notes in the margin like, “This, only better” or “Make this less bad”! As long as you’re writing something, that’s all that counts. And remember, no one has to read it. . . yet. 

3. Make Peace with Yourself (well, For Yourself) 

Okay, so I consider myself lucky in that I can write in any environment, with any amount of noise or distractions. Once I’m in the zone, there’s no getting me out of it. My husband has to come up to me and actually tap me on the shoulder if he wants a response out of me. But I get that people need peace to be able to work creatively. I recently discovered noise-cancelling headphones (so late to the party, I know), but they really do cancel out noise! It’s like magic. Try to get away from visual distractions, too. If you can find somewhere calm to work—whether that’s your room, or a park, or a quiet cafĂ©, it’s definitely worth it. 

4. Little and Often 

This can be annoying at first, but if you genuinely don’t have a lot of time, it could be the way forward for you. Since lockdown and home schooling started, this has been how I’ve had to work, and it was difficult for a few weeks, but I’m used to it now. And I think it’s definitely better to do a little every day than an enormous load one random Sunday and then nothing for weeks. That way, you stay with your characters, and they stay with you. 

5. Get Off Your Phone 

This one is for me; I’m terrible. I have to put my phone in another room if I’m writing; the temptation to sit there scrolling is too great. And I’ve got that setting that tells me how much time I’ve spent on various apps each day, which is definitely a deterrent! I get that phones can have a calming effect, especially in these stressful times—and I definitely go on mine more when I’m stressed, but the downside of that is that they eat into creative time. Which is definitely something you want to avoid if you’re on a deadline. Once you don’t have that constant distraction next to you, you’ll be surprised at how much you can get done.

Book Trailer


About the Author

VANESSA JONES trained at Laine Theatre Arts in Surrey, England and went on to be a musical theater actor on West End, performing in shows including Sister Act, Grease, Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun, and Mary Poppins. She began her writing career with a stage play for a fringe theater and works as a freelance copywriter and editor. She lives in England with her fellow chimney sweep.  


Tour Schedule


Giveaway


1 winner will receive a finished copy of Sing Like No One's Listening. Check out the other tour stops for more chances to win.
US/Canada only
Ends 11:59pm ET on 9/13

Grand Prize Giveaway


1 winner will receive a finished copy of Sing Like No One's Listening and a Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone!
US/Canada only
Ends 11:59pm ET on 9/13 

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