GUTGAA Meet and Greet

It’s Monday, which means it’s GUTGAA Meet and Greet time! If you’d like to get in on the writer blogfest action, make sure to visit the Gearing Up to Get an Agent website HERE.
Quick bio: My name’s Julia Byers, I’m eighteen years old, and I’m a freshman at the University of Michigan, where I’m studying creative writing and drama (and loads and loads of required Spanish, due to the college I’m in). I like writing and acting (if you couldn’t tell by my concentrations), I’m a vegetarian, and I watch an obscene number of Youtube videos. I’ve written four novels, am currently writing a fifth, and I would love to get to know you if you’d like to leave a comment. 🙂
Now, to complete the Q&A:
-Where do you write? 
At home, I write a lot in bed, propped up against my backrest pillow. Now that I’m at college, though, and my bed’s lofted so it’s sort of hard to hang out in, I write at my desk. Here’s a fun lil’ picture:
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
A photo collage of my friends and family. (Cue the universal “awwww” sound.)
-Favorite time to write?
Back in high school, it was during classes (honestly, I have no idea how I maintained my GPA), but now that I’m at college and everybody has promised that things will be more difficult, I’m probably going to be writing a lot in the evenings.
-Drink of choice while writing?
Water, although I’ve also got a pretty solid supply of tea and apple cider mix with me, for when it’s cold.
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
It depends on the project. I used to hate listening to music when I wrote, but now I really enjoy listening to movie scores to help get me in the mood for certain scenes (it especially helps when I need to write something angry or sad but I’ve just had a really good day).
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
Junior year of high school, I had to write a short story for creative writing class, and at the time I was going through this phase where I really liked a guy but he didn’t care about me that way in the least, and I started having these dreams where we were together, which was obviously awesome while I was asleep but sucked when I woke up. I started thinking about what it would be like if I could get everything I wanted all the time, like I was in a dream–and BOOM: Dreamcatcher was born.
Of course, back then it was just an idea for a short story for creative writing, which ended up not even getting beyond the first couple of paragraphs because it seemed like too big of a story to do in the word limit my teacher had set (no duh, seeing as it turned out being 82,000 words long), so instead I wrote it for NaNoWriMo my senior year, and I turned in this really awful short story about saving prom to my teacher (which can be read HERE, if you’d like to laugh at its horribleness).
-What’s your most valuable writing tip?
It’s one I’ve heard time and again during the past half a year or so, from Chris Baty and the-lady-giving-a-speech-at-UMich today, alike:
It’s by John A. Shedd, and it basically describes the challenge all of us aspiring authors have to overcome: We have to take our beloved stories, build them and build them and build them, loving them all the time–and then we have to let them out into the world, to be judged and rejected and battered by storms. Because although it’s easy just to go into our cozy little writing corner and write away to our hearts’ content and never show our writing to anyone, that’s not why we’re here. We’re here to share our writing with the world. That’s why we write.
To everybody from GUTGAA, it’s nice to meet you, thanks for stopping by, and good luck with all your writing endeavors! We’re on this journey together, and I’m so glad to be a part of it. 🙂

26 thoughts on “GUTGAA Meet and Greet

  1. So nice to meet you, and how great it is that you love to write! You are so young to recognize this talent and drive, so grab on to it with all your gusto, and never let it go! Encouraging you to keep on it! I’m a Stanford-trained doctor of anesthesiology and critical care, and I was hit by a lady in a car accident. I was in bed for 6 years, so I started writing. Hence my first book ;-). So…you write! Congratulations on a wonderful, fun website and guess what? I’m subbing to YOU! Muaaah!

    Dr Margaret Aranda


  2. Nice to meet you! College is so fun! Enjoy your freshman year. I must admit, I’m guilty of writing during classes when I went to college. Hahaha. That’s awesome that you’ve written four books!


  3. Nice to meet you and awesome answers! I especially love your writing tip. That’s one of my favorite quotes. Just wanted to say hi, because we’re both part of GUTGAA and I’m a teen writer too! Whhaaaatt? YUP. Hi!


  4. Hi Julia,
    Nice to meet you I look forward to reading some of your stuff, I love the inspiration for your current MS, hope GUTGAA ia going well for you so far.


  5. Very cool that you started writing novel length stuff in high school! I’m envious. I understand what you mean about prioritizing your time being in college now, but you might be one of those people that can manage to write, go to school, work, socialize etc and fit it all in. Best of luck with GUTGAA!


    • Thanks, you too! 🙂 I actually wrote my first novel in eighth grade, though; I was convinced I was going to be like the girl in Andrew Clements’s “The School Story” and write a mega bestseller in middle school, haha. Thanks for stopping by!


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