It's not you. It's me.

Y'all. I'm moving. I hope you'll come say hi! I'm keeping this blog open, but I don't plan on posting anything new. I hope you'll check me out on my tumblr so we can stay BFF's 4EVA!


August 24th

The problem with not blogging on the regular (read: I'm lazy.) is that when you do blog, there's just way too much to say. So I'm going to jump around but stick with me, y'all.

The most amazing Jenny Martin sold her book! If you don't know Jenny, then you should! Check out her PM announcement for TRACKED!

One of my critique partners and dearest friends, Jessica Taylor, came to see me for a whole week! We had never met in person, so while we were excited, we were a little anxious too. But. It. Was. Awesome. We watched the entire first season of Alias, cuddled like maniacs, ate tons of great food, bought The Hunger Games DVD at midnight, fueled our sleep deprived selves with cupcakes, and talked about that big thing in the sky called WRITING. Jessica also received an offer of rep (!!!!!!!) while she was here. I won't tell the story, because that's all Jessica, so keep an eye on her blog for that! Oh and we shopped like socialites. It was pretty awesome. Here's a few pictures from our escapades: 

Today is August 24th. (DUH!) August 24th is important for lots of reasons. Today is my sweet friend Kristin's birthday. And Valerie Cole's too! It's also the birthdays of Yasser Arafat, John Green, and Rupert Grint. On this day in 2006, Pluto was announced as a dwarf planet. (SAD VIOLIN MUSIC.) In 1995, Windows95 made its debut. Tons of shit has happened on August 24th. Seriously, check out this listBut the thing you won't find on that list is this: August 24, 2011- Julie Murphy finished her first manuscript.

It wasn't very good and it was kind of boring. It was really quiet and the voice wasn't quite right. But on this day last year, I finished my first manuscript. It's been a super effing crazy year. Everything has happened really fast. But something I've learned is that there's no set path to publication. Sometimes it's a ten year journey. Sometimes it's a one year journey. You are not lacking because it's taken you so long or because it hasn't taken you long enough. There's no right way to do it.

I signed my contract with HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray a little over a week ago. And, WOW. This time last year, all of this felt so far off and out of reach. Still, nothing feels quite real. I want to document as much of this experience as I can, so here I am signing my contract!

I don't think anything will ever happen with that first book, but it totally had to be written. The whole experience taught me so much. I'm working on a third manuscript now. I'm not sure what will happen with it and if it will ever be something. But with every word I write, I grow. So here's to a year of words and many more to come!



How do I even begin to a follow up my last post? I'm still in that constant state of WOW. And I sort of hope that never goes away...but then I do. The WOW feeling has made writing a little difficult. Because all of that self doubt begins to set in. Those feelings that say YOU WROTE ONE GOOD BOOK, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU CAN WRITE A SECOND? It's a fear that every writer faces... I think. When I wrote SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, I was at this huge point of frustration. I had really put my life on hold to write and I felt like I was going nowhere because my writing felt like it was going nowhere. So when I sat down to write SEMV, it was, like, this desperate frenzy. Which sounds really healthy, right? I don't know if it did anything for creating good writing habits, but it was really fucking therapeutic. Do you ever have that project that you dump everything into? The project that is all you. Every bit of you. That's what SEMV was for me. It was such a raw experience. So I had this all or nothing feel and now returning to that damn blinking cursor on my word doc is a little daunting, because a small part of me thinks, WHAT IF YOU REALLY DID GIVE EVERYTHING TO SEMV and WHAT IF YOU HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE?

Anyway, right now I'm trying to train myself to create good creative habits, while not being too reliant on any particular habits. Does that make sense?

So that's where I'm at right now. I know that revising SEMV is going to be just as intense as writing that first draft and I am so excited and scared and ready.

So how are you guys feeling? Any good writing habits to share? Any bad ones? Let me know in the box. We can share some popsicles and get over our self doubt, because it's really just some big time bullshit.


No, really. You do.

Because I had a really ugly weekend. And that's stupid. So, if you haven't showered for three days because you're writing, or if you have a huge fat stress pimple on your chin, or if you ate way too many pieces of pie on 4th of July, YOU LOOK FINE.



Four Words


Y'all, I'm freaking out. Excuse my lack of wit/ability to blog semi-intelligently, BUT  I AM FUH-REAKING OUT.

There will be fun. There will be giveaways. There will be celebrations. But, for now, here's my announcement from Publishers Weekly:

I wish I had something cool or smart to say, but all I have to say is: THIS IS BANANA PANTS.

I am so excited to be working with everyone at Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. For the record, I fell out of my chair when I found out Alessandra was interested. It was really elegant.

And, of course, thank you, Molly. I need bigger words than "thank you," but, for today, that's all I've got.

Writing a book can be a lonely endeavor, and I haven't quite figured out how to process these moments just yet--when your writing becomes something bigger than a word doc on your desktop. But I know this: I am so ready for all that's ahead.
I'm going to go ugly cry now, but for the time being, enjoy one of my favorite "ugly cry" moments in the history of ever. Thank you, James Van Der Beek.

Also, feel free to leave any comments or questions in the box! I'll answer what I can! And thank you all so much. This is such an incredible community and I am so honored to be a part of it.


An Open Love Letter to My Querying Friends

Robert Indiana Love SculptureThe last couple of weeks have been so exciting for so many of my sweet friends. Lots of folks out there are getting agented, and to you I say HUZZAH! But this post is not for you, this post is written for my friends in the trenches. This isn't advice. This isn't the Top Ten Things You Must Do To Get The Agent Of Your Dreams. This is me telling you how much I love you.

Allow me to preface this with one more thing: I am the critique partner of your nightmares. I'm not cuddly and undeservingly gushy. I am a hardass. Seriously, ask my critique partners. I am a realist. So I write this letter because my heart is soft for those of you who have done the research, done the work, and put yourself out there and still hear the word no. This letter is not for the querying writer who addresses their letter with "Dear Agent" or calls themselves the next J.K. Rowling.

To My Querying Friends:

I fucking love you. I love you so hard. I love you so hard because you're still going. And going is not easy. Going is really freaking heartbreaking. Going is an emotional roller coaster. Going is even harder when things are happening for everyone around you. It's hard because you want so badly to be happy for all you're uber talented friends, but that little voice inside still asks, "When will it be my turn?" Every agent success story is a happy dance on the outside, but a little more salt on the open wound that lives on the inside.

I'm talking to those of you who live for the betterment of your story, ask all the right questions during #askagent, don't write for trends, workshop the shit out of your query before even letting it get within ten feet of an agents inbox, and all those other good things that will someday make you an exemplary client. Because you are doing this right. And because you are doing this right, IT (the big elusive IT) will happen for you. It may not be this book, and it may not be the next, but someday THE agent will find THE book and that book will be YOUR book.

I once wrote a blog about how rejection is personal, so I felt like "don't take it personal" was total bullshit.  And I still do. But when an agent tells you this is a subjective business and that their rejection may be another persons offer, they are telling you the truth. It really is all subjective, and you. my querying friends, may not be getting rejected for personal reasons, but you still take it personal. Because all of this IS personal. Your writing is personal. It's not a phase and it's not a fair weather days thing. It's personal. It's something that lives inside of you that you're brave enough to not only put on paper, but also show people who have the power to say no to you. You write because you have to. If this was just for fun, then you wouldn't be where you are right now. Because where you are right now, in the slushpile, isn't really all that fun. And because of all that you are my hero. If I could add up all your rejections and shower them across the writing world so that we all carried one another's rejections, I would. 

So that's my big cheesy love letter to you. That's my silly bit of sentiment that in no way changes anything, but I hope it makes you smile.