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Friday, July 13, 2012


The Writer’s Zone
Dusty Crabtree, author at Musa Publishing

What most people don’t understand is that writing a book is not the hardest part for a writer. It’s probably the easiest. At least it would be if we actually had time to do it. Before my YA novel, Shadow Eyes, was published, I didn’t anticipate all the other things writers have to do that soak up so much of our time. Between promoting, blogging, facebooking, tweeting, commenting on blogs and forums, searching for reviews and places to guest blog, researching, reading about writing techniques, answering emails and checking author forums, promoting fellow authors, and discovering new ways to promote and market…sometimes it seems like we hardly have time to actually do what we love and need to do: WRITE!

Finding a balance between writing and all that other stuff is difficult. Up until recently, I would tell myself I couldn’t write (thinking I was enforcing discipline, since that was my favorite part) until I did some of the other things first. But then time would get away from me, and before I knew it, I barely had time to write anything. Plus, my mind was swimming with the million other things I’d just seen and done, so the time I did have wasn’t productive because I was distracted.

I think I’ve discovered at least a somewhat better way. WRITE FIRST! Let me explain. You’ve heard of the phrase, “In the zone”? Writers have to get “in the zone” too, and this is hard to do. It takes immense concentration and focus with little distraction. The reason why is you have to put yourself in that setting, imagine the way everything looks and smells, get into your characters’ minds, foresee the plot and all the intricacies that will happen. That way you can take the scene in your mind and transcribe it onto paper for the reader to be able to imagine it. Once you’re in that scene, you get on a roll with your writing because it’s just as easy as describing what’s literally around you, only with bigger, more thought-out words and a better flow of sentences.

As any writer will tell you, some days, you just can’t get in the zone. For whatever reason, it’s not happening. Use those days to get all of those other things done, as well as edit or read books in your genre.

However, if you are able to get in the zone that day, milk it for all it’s worth. Take advantage of it like you would if you randomly felt the urge to clean. At some point later in the day, maybe when distractions are getting the best of you, go ahead and pause to do the other writerly things you need to do. But you can’t make good writing happen, and you can’t predict when it will. Give it a chance first. The rest will come eventually.

Watch the video for Shadow Eyes:
About the Author:
Dusty Crabtree has been a high school English teacher at Yukon High School in Oklahoma since 2006, a challenge she thoroughly enjoys. She is also a youth sponsor at Cherokee Hills Christian Church in Oklahoma City and feels very blessed with the amazing opportunities she has to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis. Her passion for teens has poured into her writing as well. She is the author of the young adult urban fantasy, Shadow Eyes, through Musa Publishing, which she wrote in order to give teens an intriguing and provocative book series that promotes moral messages. She lives with her husband, Clayton, in Yukon, Oklahoma, where they often serve their community as foster parents.

Check out Dusty’s blog at
Find her on Facebook at
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Buy Shadow Eyes at (also available at all major online bookstores)

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows...until they went after everyone she loved.

Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil. But she is the only one who can see them. She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier.

Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters. First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.

As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.

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