Ashley C. Darling


Everyone fails.

Einstein. Steve Jobs. Tony Stark (yeah, I know he’s not real. But it still counts!).

Every single person that has achieved anything great has failed at least once. Most people fail repeatedly, and their success hinges not on their failures, but on their ability to pick themselves up and keep going.

Currently, I’m failing as a writer.

I recently left an emotionally and mentally exhausting job. Every day I would come home, take care of my dog, eat dinner, and go to bed. Then I’d get up the next day and do it all over again. My relationships and social life suffered. My writing fell by the wayside. I was miserable for many reasons, but a large part of my unhappiness was the fact I couldn’t write. Not that I didn’t have time, not that I didn’t try. My mind simply wouldn’t focus on anything long enough to matter, and I was depressed. I think I might still be, but I’m working through the funk.

I was blessed to have a job, but I absolutely couldn’t stay there any longer.

So I gave my notice. I trained my replacement and I got the hell out. But I’m still not writing.

My mind has focused for too long on survival mode, on protecting itself from verbal and emotional abuse at work, that even though I now work part-time to allow for more writing, I can’t seem to make anything stick.

I’m failing. I’m not doing such a great job at the part-time gig (it’s so far out of my wheelhouse, I’m floundering. help!). I’m worried about my financial situation. My friendships are still suffering, but at least that is getting better. I’m having some health issues that are hopefully going to be resolved soon, but I’m not holding my breath (the American healthcare system sucks).

But I don’t want to fail anymore.

I’ve been wanting to blog for a long time, but I’ve failed at that too. I’ve made posts in the past saying “This year I’ll blog more!!” It never happens. But now that I have more time, I want to contribute. I want to help other writers on the journey from draft to publication. I don’t have an agent or a book deal (yet!), but I have a passion for writing and for helping others.

So this an official rebranding. I’m going to post writing tips and tricks, behind the scenes of my writing process, book reviews, and more. I’m putting this out there to finally say, I’M HERE. AND I’M GOING TO DO THIS THING!

I’d love for you to follow along.

<3 Ashley

Saturday Chats — My Writing Journey

Hey y’all! I’ve had some ups and downs lately, and I decided to post about them here for y’all to read. I know not many people follow my blog, but I wanted to start writing about, well, my writing. So here it goes!

These past few weeks have been spectacular in my writing world. I finished–yes, FINISHED!–the third draft of THE ADEPT and sent it off to my critique partner (CP) and a few trusted beta readers. I should be getting their feedback by June 1, so I’ll let you know how it goes! I’ve been itching to start editing, but my CP forbids it! (Thanks, Alyson! 🙂 )

I finally wrote THE END on draft 3 of The Adept!

I finally wrote THE END on draft 3 of The Adept!

So instead I’ve been working on a new story. It arrived in my brain pretty much fully formed one night. Its about SUPER TEENS. 😀 I’m super (haha) excited to work on this, since its a new concept for me, and super humans are hot right now (when are they not??). I can’t wait to flesh out more of their world and bring it to life!

I’ve been on an agent hunt for a few weeks now. I’ve got a list of around 30 agents I’ll submit to once I get my CP and beta reader’s feedback and any revisions completed. This part scares me, but at least I’ve got the bulk of writing finished. After I land an agent, there will of course be more revisions with them, and then even MORE with the editor/publishing house. So I’ve got to get used to editing!

That doesn’t mean I can slack on this new idea, though. I’ve been trying to do this draft the right way: planning, outlining, fleshing out primary and secondary characters, etc, all BEFORE I start writing. I’ve been following Susan Dennard’s For Writers website and I’m loving it. Her advice has been extra helpful in setting up this new world, which is contemporary and a new genre for me. I’m excited about this idea, and I hope it’ll be a fun adventure story.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little down about my job. It’s been pretty stressful at work and I don’t like feeling stressed about things, especially things I can’t control. I decided yesterday that I’m going to work on not letting the little things get to me, so I’m not so stressed. And if there are things I can change, I will. But for now I’m just going to chin up and remind myself that life isn’t perfect, and this job pays my bills for now. If nothing changes in a few weeks, I may have to do something, but for now I’ll deal with it.

I think that’s all I have for today. If you have any questions about me or my writing, please leave them below and I’ll answer them next week!