[Wyrd Words Weekly] Change is in the air!

Hello Reader,

Mother's Day can be a fraught time for many of us. If you've lost your mother, are not able to be with her for the holiday, or your experience of motherhood doesn't match to the Hallmark Holiday ideal, I see you and I'm sending you a little extra love today.

This weekend is particularly poignant for me as well because my youngest child turned 18 on Wednesday and graduates in a few short weeks. I've already mentioned that as part of settling into our new empty-nest life, my husband and I are returning to our beloved Colorado in the fall after a nearly fifteen-year absence. But the change in location is not the only transition we're facing.

Motherhood has been such a core part of my identity these past twenty years. And of course, I'll still be a mother once my kids are launched to university in August. But they'll be far away--one on each coast, in fact--and I'll be in a new place both physically and emotionally.

A big part of me is thrilled. As a friend said to me last week, I get to date my husband again! We're no longer beholden to school schedules, draconian attendance policies, early morning school drop-offs and the grumpy bugs that accompany those dreaded early wake-ups (if you have a teenager, you know what I'm talking about!).

But a part of me is tender at the idea of not being involved in the day to day of my children's lives and wondering what will fill the gaps in my calendar and in my heart.

Of course, launching my clients' book babies into the world will always be a thrill (read on for more on that!) and I'm making great progress on the latest novel as well. It's so interesting to me that I fought so long and hard--mostly against my own doubts and fears--to gain the confidence to call myself Writer and now that it's truly going to be my main gig, I'm feeling equal parts possibility and terror.

In our Coaching Call this week, my small group coaching clients talked about how scary big transitions like this can be. How making space for our dreams involves rejecting so many of the messages we absorb from society about productivity, hustle, and how to value our work and our dreams. Because surviving this writing journey is about more than craft deep dives and strategy around navigating the publishing industry--although those pieces are important too--it's about having the right mindset to thrive amidst the chaos and uncertainty.

If you're feeling that mix of possibility and tension too as you embark on a new writing project or recommit to the writing journey, you are not alone. We can navigate the terror--and the possibilities--together as we transition to something new and exciting this year.

Your Small Press Checklist

In case you missed it on social media, I was over on Jane Friedman's blog this week with a Small Press Submission Checklist I designed to help authors evaluate which presses should go on their pitch list.

And of course, if you're ready to pitch, my Pitch Strategy Workbook and self-paced query course, WKND Pitch Perfection, make great companions to this checklist.

What I'm Reading

You know it's a good year for a book coach when we're not even halfway in and we're already celebrating a third client book release! This week, I'm thrilled to bring Handbook for the Heartbroken by Sara Avant Stover to "What I'm Reading."

When Sara reached out to me, she had already published two successful books, but she was feeling stuck on her third book and was also hoping to sell to a larger publisher. She told me she needed accountability and support with writing her proposal and finding an agent.

She had a strong, clear "why" for this book. She wanted to support women journeying through heartbreak and share how "like a broken leg, a broken heart needs to be actively rehabilitated." Our work together was to write a proposal that would get to the heart of her book and, ultimately, get her story into the hands of readers.

I am so grateful that I got to work with Sara on writing and pitching the proposal that brought her book into the world. It's truly a pinch-me moment every time I get the chance to work with such thoughtful and compassionate writers.

Handbook for the Heartbroken is a loving, supportive guide to encountering and surviving the many types of heartbreak that can be part of our journey through life. With both stories from the author's own life and those of other women she's worked with, it is a powerful story of grief and rebirth. It's available wherever books are sold (I'm partial to Bookshop.org!). I can't wait for this book to get into the hands and hearts of readers who need this message of resilience and rebirth.

Happy book birthday, Sara!



PS - Story Scaffolding Live! is NEXT WEEKEND! So if you're feeling stuck and would like to make real progress on your story, join us on Sunday, May 19 from 12 - 3pm Pacific, for a series of exercises that will shore up your story scaffolding and get you back on track. This event is absolutely free--my gift to you for being on this creative journey with me.

Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

Julie Artz works with both award-winning and newer authors across the publishing spectrum from Big Five to small and university presses to indie and hybrid. She is an Author Accelerator-certified Founding Book Coach, a sought-after speaker and writing instructor, and a regular contributor to Jane Friedman and Writers Helping Writers, and a regular instructor for AuthorsPublish, IWWG, ProWritingAid and more. Her work as a Pitch Wars and Teen Pit mentor, a former SCBWI Regional Advisor (WWA), and her memberships in The EFA, the WFWA, AWP, and the Authors Guild keep her industry knowledge sharp. A consummate social and environmental justice minded story geek, Julie lives in an enchanted forest outside of Redmond, Washington, with her husband, two strong-willed teenagers (when they’re not off at university!), and two naughty furry familiars. She’s built a thriving book coaching business based on her values, her editing chops, and her knowledge of story. Check out her weekly newsletter, Wyrd Words Weekly, and subscribe today.

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