Wednesday, July 10, 2013

8 WOW Wednesday: Kasie West on Continually Writing and Reading

As I think about the years I’ve been writing, and what’s helped me the most, there are two things that come to mind right away. Continually writing. And continually reading. Those two things, no matter what else I’ve done, have helped me to move forward in this industry more than anything else.

Writing. I think so often I can get stuck on one idea. Trapped really. And I can beat that idea to death and write it and rewrite it. Edit it and re-edit it. When really, what I need to do, is let it breathe and work on the next project. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying not to edit the crap out of your books. (Have you ever seen the movie “She’s the Man” with Channing Tatum?? Every time I say do ‘the crap out of’ something I think of that movie and how Amanda Bynes says: “Kiss her if you want to. Kiss the crap out of her.” I love that movie.) So anyway, yes. Do that. Edit the crap out of them. But after you’ve edited. After you’ve let other people read. After you’ve edited again, based on others suggestions. While you’re querying, while you’re waiting for agent feedback, start your next project. Distance from a book is sometimes the best way for me to see it clearly again. Drafting is just as important of a skill to keep up on as editing is. So keep writing. Let your ideas flow. Sometimes it’s not the first project you worked on that will get you to the next level. But every project, regardless of whether it is published or not, is important to the process and helps growth.

Reading. It’s easy for me to get caught up in writing and forget to read sometimes. Reading accomplishes so many things for me. It lets my mind take a break from writing. It shows me what is going on in the market right now. It drills into my head good storytelling that I can learn from. And it inspires me. Whenever I read a good book suddenly my head is full of a million new ideas. It motivates me to write more. It gives me the desire to write more. It can pull me out of that slump that I sometimes get stuck in.

I know these aren’t earth shattering (or even remotely new) pieces of advice, but I think they’re so important. I could easily tell you what more specific things work for me when writing, but the funny thing about writing is that there is no right way to do it. Everyone does it different. Things that might work wonders for me, might not work at all for you. So do what works for you. And most importantly, write what makes you happy. Because it’s a long road and if you’re not happy while you’re on it, what’s the point?

About the Author

Kasie West loves to write--too much. It's a sickness really. Her debut novel, PIVOT POINT, is out now with HarperTeen. (And will be followed by its sequel, Split Second on February 11, 2014.)

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, her contemporary YA novel, was published July 2, 2013 (HarperTeen).

Her agent is the talented, funny, and sometimes crazy, Michelle Wolfson.

Check out Kasie's website
Follow Kasie on Twitter

About the Book

Pretty in Pink meets Pride and Prejudice

Money can't buy a good first impression.

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom's porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence: he's tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charm and the fact that he's one of the first people who actually gets her, Caymen's smart enough to know his interest won't last. But just when Xander's attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn't a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she'd ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?

Purchase The Distance Between Us on Amazon
View The Distance Between Us on Goodreads


  1. Sometimes I get caught up in writing at the expense of reading too. ;) And I love the font choice for that cover. Fits the image beautifully!

    1. it does fit well, doesn't it? Covers are getting more and more inviting! And we all get fixated on writing. Even now, I feel antsy when I am reading instead of writing--it feels too much like goofing off. :) I basically have to force myself to do both every day to keep a healthy balance.

  2. Ruts in reading are easy to fall into; yet, just as easy to climb out of. We just have to pick a different genre. This goes for our writing and the blogs we read. Sometimes we have to step outside the box to obtain a better view. Great post, Kasie.

    PS: I love Pretty in Pink and Pride and Prejudice so I will definitely order in your book. :)

    1. That's a great point about blogs. I am just now getting back out to discover new blogs. I'd gotten myself stuck in a Google Reader rut, and it feels great to take the time to go out and explore. I'm trying to do a little bit every day. Learn something, discover something, read something, write something, and do something good for someone else--that's my daily checklist. Some days I fail spectacularly, but it's a goal to work toward.

      Love to meet another P & P fan, btw! Sophie from Mundie Moms and I were talking last night about doing an Austen readathon or something before Austenland comes out next month!

  3. Thanks for being here with us today, Kasie! I especially love your reminders about why we need to read. Like you, I always have a barrelfull of ideas and revelations as I read a book and I come back to my own writing with fresh energy and perpective. it's like a shot of adrenaline, :)

  4. Thanks so much for the advice, Kassie. Right now I seem to be doing more of the reading than writing. I do get so much inspiration from all the awesome books I read. I have an ARC of The Distance Between Us. Can't wait to read it.

  5. I am doing a LOT more reading than writing, but I can feel the writing bug starting to nibble again, so maybe soon...


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