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Friday, January 31, 2014

Guest Blog: Nikki Lynn Barrett: We All Start Somewhere!

We all have a passion and a dream. Some have known it early on, some develop the knack for it later in life. Some seem to be born with the gift, and some have to lean it. But we all start somewhere, don't we?

I came across a video a few weeks ago, posted by my local radio station. Some of you know I'm a HUGE Keith Urban fan. I love his passion for music. I love the way he gets on that stage and jams with his guitar, putting his all into what he does. And he's damn good at it! I've been to about six Keith Urban shows, and I never leave disappointed. He's had a dream of music from a young age.

Anyway, this video I found is from 1983, Keith is just sixteen in the video. There's some talent show he auditioned for and watching this video not only made me smile because hellooooo, it's Keith! But it made me realize that even the people we may idolize, worship, treasure, get my drift- well, even they have to learn their craft!

Keith had a sweet voice even then. But look back at the way he executes his singing, well, it's different than he is now. The judges were pretty critical on him. For some, that might be enough to give up. Well, I'd say Keith didn't give up, did he?

It's not saying they didn't like his singing, but they pointed out what worked and what didn't. To me, I thought he was going to cry at one point. Check out the video for yourselves:

Where am I going with all this? Well, we all know the writing process and learning the craft at times can seem overwhelming. We write our story, and are so ready to let it out in the wild until we get to that stage of feedback. Then it's like Oh my god, I thought this was sooooo good, but it needs so much work!!

There's nothing wrong with that! So, learn the craft. Learn it some more. And even more. Don't get your first, second or third critique back with all those red markings and give up. If this is something you're passionate about, keep plugging along. You might read your favorite authors and wonder if they've ever gone through the same thing? I bet they have. Why? Because we all start somewhere. And even if another author's draft is cleaner than your first one and you read it for critiques and wonder how come you're writing isn't where theirs is? Don't do that. It just means they are at a different place. Want to see another young star's video from when he was young? Another man who's insanely passionate about what he does- 22 year old Hunter Hayes. He was playing the accordian at just 4 years old- with Hank Williams Jr!

Here's a video of Hunter at five years old playing on Prime Time Country:

That kid was meant for the stage- even then!

Keith and Hunter are doing well for themselves even now. Hunter might have had that stage presence nailed at five, and Keith's seemed a little more awkward....but they are both talented musicians with a love for what they do.

They were persistent. They both went after their dreams. And they have fans that adore them!

So, keep going. Don't give up! If you aren't where you want to be, get there. I'm constantly learning more every day.

And for your viewing pleasure, Keith and Hunter on stage together- doing what they love. Performing:

Thanks for having me here today! Come hang out with me on my Facebook page sometime! It's usually fun :)

Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She's an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade.

Coming in March 2014, a contemporary suspense novel, the first in The Masterpiece Trilogy.

BLURB: A Masterpiece of Our Love 
Two Lives Torn by tragedy.

Eight year old Becca and twelve year old Hunter cling to each other and life after surviving a plane crash which stole their families.

Two Souls Seeking Love.

Each year from the time she was old enough to travel on her own, Becca met up with Hunter on the island that altered their lives forever.

Until he stopped showing.

Her constant. Her link to the past. Gone in the blink of an eye.

Two Lives Bound by Secret.

Suffering more heartbreak, Hunter returns to the one place he's always sought comfort.

The island where he and Becca met. The place that stole from him, and in the same instance gave to him. He hasn't been back or spoken to Becca in four years.

Though he's sure she must hate him for disappearing, Hunter discovers the girl gone, now a woman in her place. Hunter is determined to prove to Becca he isn’t the same twelve year old boy of yesteryear.

But someone isn't happy about their reunion...

Strange things begin happening, letters showing up in their hotel rooms and at home with cryptic messages.

Two Broken Hearts Heal as One.

With the mystery unsolved, Hunter convinces Becca to spend the remainder of the summer back home with him. For safety and to give them a chance to rediscover the adults they've now become.

Will love get a chance to blossom or will the past come back and tear the masterpiece of their love apart, once and for all?


Rose Anderson said...

Sticking with it is very good advice Nikki. I let 20 years lapse before I tried to get published again. Foolish me. Better late than never though. I wish you the best of luck this year. Thanks for joining us today.

Nicole Morgan said...

Fantastic interview and such good advice! Thanks for sharing with us today Nikki!

Shared all over :)

Cara Marsi said...

Great advice, Nikki. I, too, like Keith Urban and I don't normally like country music. I admire his persistence. It's true we have to continue to hone our craft. Early on, I read something that resonated with me: "Writers who give up never publish." That's your timely advice too.

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Wow, Nikki, that video of Keith Urban was amazing. I'm a huge Keith fan and it was so neat to see him so young, getting critiqued by judges. How ironic!!!

Thanks for posting this and making me smile.

Sandy said...

Nikki, what wonderful advice. I like both Keith and Hunter. I think Keith Urban is one of the kindest and sweetest guys ever.

I enjoyed your excerpt, too.

Gemma Juliana said...

I love Keith Urban too, Nikki. What a fine example of never giving up. I wrote my first 'novel' in 1982 while pregnant. Got an encouraging rejection and request to see it again afterwards... threw it aside, stung by my 'failure'. I gave up way too easily, but twenty years later I'm at it again and having a blast. Thanks for sharing!

Nikki said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! I saw that video and immediately had inspiration for this blog post. It was an eye opener to see Keith at a young age and how much he's grown as an artist. It really shows that persistence and learning your craft will get you places. :)

Janice Seagraves said...

This is a hard business. You have to be stubborn, and like you said, keep working on your craft.

Good luck with your release, and I wish you many sales.


Liza O'Connor said...

My ears are bleeding. I've never heard Hunter Hayes. I hope he sings on key now. I would have told him he was tone deaf and to be quiet. Which brings me to an important lesson. Just because someone thinks you need to rip apart your book and write the story they want to read doesn't make them right. Follow your heart, but don't go tone deaf. Listen to others, but in the end follow your heart. IMO

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post! I love both Keith and Hunter but you're right, they needed to learn their craft. What a cutie, Keith was... Reminded me of a blonde Keith Partridge (David Cassidy). Maybe he should have started that as a show! Everything old is new again!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Nikki. So inspiration, both from you and the videos. I'm a Keith fan, too. I'm happy to hear you have a new series coming out. You Rock!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Nikki. So inspirational, both from you and the videos. I'm a Keith fan, too. I'm happy to hear you have a new series coming out. You Rock!

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