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November 16, 2011


Jennifer Reed

Love this. Although I beg to differ regarding the book better better, I think you BOTH come out in a better place in the end!

Ruby Diamond

keep up the good chewing!


It's like Extreme Writing! :)

Karen Adair

You go Shannon!!! No pain, go gain, right? Your pain our gain...I mean, your gain. Yeah, yeah, that's what I mean. :) Keep up the great work. So many are blessed by your efforts. Especially your children.

Shelly Brown

Amen. It's good for us to stretch. Whether we stretch ourselves or life stretches us.
Keep on keepin' on.


I love this! I'm just getting into creative writing again after being an academic writer for several years and am constantly confronted by the limits of my writing. I'm encouraged by your post here to see this as a positive sign of growth (the fact that I keep wrestling with harder things), rather than a sign of utter ineptitude! :)


Hang in there and stay positive!


my English teacher told me a true writer is never truly satisfied. How true is that?

Burgandy Ice

Yay! for writing with four kids!! :-) That is totally awesome.

I have the four kids part down (or all over the place, more like) but accomplishing anything in particular is highly questionable!!

Eche las ganas!! You're doing great!

Amber Argyle

Sounds familiar. I think sequels are harder than the first book.


"Write what you know" is indeed for sissies! Well said! You go girl!


I often think my stories are smarter than me. I look back and realize a plot point has materialized out of no where and I think, "Did I write that? I don't remember that. What do my characters do when I'm not looking?"


just think someday you will be writing without little kids under tow. enjoy the grind sistah!

Julianne Donaldson

I love it when creating something makes one stretch as a creator. I hope each story I tell is better than the last, and that I never get complacent or lazy.


Perfect month to be cram-writing! It's National Novel Writing Month, after all. ;)


I'm not really a writer yet, but I've written a few characters. One in particular is supposed to be wise. I don't think I'm wise, but I know he is. I've always thought how can the character be smarter then the author? Its simple, I just let him do the talking. If its sword fighting, or other things that need research are great too. As long I can make it fun there's no reason to stop writing.


"Sometimes I wish writing a book could just be easy for me at last."

Yes yes yes. Why is it so hard to get something out sometimes? It's right there in your head--can't it just jump down onto the page/computer screen?

Still, obviously all your commenters/fans have complete faith in you. Go Shannon, go! You can do it!

Heather BookishBabe

My beautifully stocked Shannon Hale bookshelf and I are both glad you're content to slug through it. In the end, you'll have written something I'll read over and over. And then pass on to my children. And my friends. And their friends. And the little lady who looks lost in the library isles.


Amen to all the wonderful comments. I agree and second the motion.

Bravo, Shannon! Bravo! You are an amazing woman of depth and breadth. It shows in your books and in your blogs. Your characters have love of family and country, loyalty, determination and are willing to sacrifice for the things that are most important, even when the fear of losing part of themselves is very real.

I think you are writing of yourself. Please keep being that wonderful mommy and wife and writer and friend. And please know that we are rooting for you. You can do it. :)


And while your life would feel well-nigh impossible to me, I am just glad, because I know you can do it.

Go, Survivor, Novelist!

Veronica Mitchell

I have loved your novels but did not realize you blogged. I came here through Melissa Wiley's link. I also have four children and am trying to write. I am glad you keep reaching beyond what you feel competent for; it shows in the best of ways.

Holly Ashfield

Embrace the challenge!

Cozette Hardy

I am patiently waiting for the birth of you new book. My daughter gave Book of a Thousand Days to a friend in CT and now you have yet another fan. Thank you for all the hard work. You are a gem.


I know you can do it because you've done it before. The rest of us wanna-be writers are looking to you. Power through!


Thanks! for this post. I've had a story in my mind a couple of years, and I know it's way too big for me. But now I feel like maybe, maybe I might be able to start, and grow from it even if nobody ever reads it but me.


as NaNoWriMo kicks my butt, I am SO comforted to hear you say, "I'm telling a story I'm not smart enough to tell" - I feel that way ALL THE TIME!

Hug. (you know, a virtual one) :)


I love what you said about "writing what you know" is for sissies. I'm constantly being told to do that, and I'm like...? :)


Go Shannon!!!! You can do it, I know you can, and in the end you'll be so happy and we'll have a super amazing new book to read! P.S. Go Dawn!!!!!


You always inspire me to no end, but today those words, "something that is better than I am," have helped me understand writing better, and make me want to do it even more. Thank you!


You're a warrior Mrs. Hale!

If I could, I would watch your kids for you. You inspire us!

Alexandra Wood

Well, I can't wait to read the book! But I can imagine it being a struggle. Haha, four kids are a lot! You can do it!


As a mom of 4 kids who is currently trying to write a 9 page research paper for my Masters class, I can't imagine trying to write an entire book that would make sense and have no typos. My husband is graciously keeping the kids downstairs while I hide out in my closet of all places. :)

I actually just finished an assignment where we had to create a baseball card of an author to share. (Yes, in a Masters program- Elementary Education is quite fun sometimes.) I was trying to think of a not-so-well-known author that I have read, and you were it. So, if you're in need of a baseball card to trade, let me know! :)

Love all your books- I've read all of them, and will soon be starting to read The Goose Girl to my kids for a bedtime story. :)


Thanks for sharing that. Your writing looks so effortless, but I forget sometimes how much work goes into the finished product . . . in everything in life. It's like an iceberg - we don't see 80% of what happens. Never underestimate the power of hard work and practice! Nothing is effortless.

Shawna JC Tenney

Good luck, sista. I was just there with the deadlines and the kids, so I know how hard it is. I am now in recovery mode, which is nice. Keep going! You can do hard things!


C'e' la fai! I love your positive attitude. I should learn from you.


I never expected writing a book to be so hard, so when I started writing one last year, I kinda just stopped cuz of my schoolwork and life challenges. But if you can be writing with four kids, I can be writing with just high school.
I don't know if I have the stamina to write an entire book yet, but I know I can write a short story, so I'll start there.
Hopefully I'll be like you someday and be writing with kids (though I don't think I'd be able to handle four. I'm not THAT awesome)
Keep up the writing and we all can't wait to read your book!!!!


Shannon, thanks so much for this post. I'm writing a book right now, and I feel that it needs some definite improvement... like my characters are all, "Hey! We're better than this!" I've been putting off the really hard editing and fixing, because I'm a baby. Thanks for letting me know it's good to struggle, and that someone as amazing as you struggles, too!


It's interesting to me how many writers interpret "write what you know" as "only write what's comfortable" or "only write about what's already familiar to you." To me, it's always been "write honestly and from the heart." Sometimes that means writing about old, familiar things honestly. Other times that means working hard to learn new things so that I am able to write about them with understanding and honesty. Oh, fiddle. Look, here's an agent who said it better than me: http://www.rachellegardner.com/2010/02/write-what-you-know/

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