It’s Sweet-quel time!!

I’m super excited to get to welcome my best friend and critique partner to my blog today to help her celebrate the release of her TOTALLY AMAZING new novel, The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet, the sequel (or Sweet-quel, as I like to call it, LOL) to The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet. There’s a giveaway at the bottom for a digital copy of either of her Ellie books. Once the paperbacks are out, I’ll be hosting another giveaway for one of those. =) And now, drum roll please…

3 Things I Did to Help Me Live a More Honest Life

by Stephanie Morrill

Stephanie writes young adult contemporary novels and is the creator of Her novels include The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series (Revell) and the Ellie Sweet books (Playlist). You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and check out samples of her work on her author website.

I was a liar as a child.
I didn’t mean to be. It
just…kinda…happened. I would be telling my mom about my day at school, or my
friends about something that had happened to me, and I couldn’t seem to resist
spicing it up a bit. Because it just would have been so much
funnier/sweeter/richer an experience if such-and-such had happened instead.
Cue an honesty problem that followed me into
So it was no stretch for me to write about a
teenage girl who has problems with the truth. Who likes to imagine her life
being different, who represents herself in different ways to the different
people in her life…and who has maybe lost touch with what the truth really is anymore.

Read sample chapters of the books on Stephanie’s website
But, obviously, lying is bad. It was hurting my relationships, and I knew I needed to get it under control.
Here are three things that helped me kick my lying
I’m living a life I love.
There’s no doubt that this has helped
curb the temptation to lie about my life. Those lies I used to tell my friends about conversations I had with the cute neighbor boy who I had never even talked
to? No need. My husband is smokin’. Plus I’m doing the work that I was meant to do – writing – and I’m raising two darling kids.
And still the temptation flares from time-to-time. I wish my house was cleaner. I wish I
had time to do even one of the projects I’ve pinned to my kiddos board. I wish my books
were hitting bestseller lists. It’s still a struggle for me to be vulnerable and authentic.
I invest my day-to-day time well.
I’m currently reading Donald Miller’s acclaimed A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, which is about what he learned when editing
his life for a movie and how to live a better life story. I love his author’s note in the beginning where he says, “If what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.”
A friend of mine just went through a Donald Miller workshop thing where you work on the story of your life. She says one of the biggest things she’s taken away from it is how to invest her
days better. She says she now looks at her day and thinks, “What are the three
things I’ll regret having not done when the sun goes down?”
I haven’t started
that exact practice yet, but I do my best to keep my priorities focused on investing
in my husband and kids and my God-given passion of stories.
What does this have to do with honesty? Day to
day, I’m living out what I believe.
Everyday, I’m trying to love well, seek
God, and work passionately. This means I don’t feel the need to create a façade
of what my days are like because I’m proud of what I’m doing.
Social media.
With social media, I feel like all the threads of
my life are woven tightly together. Is that always a comfortable feeling? No.
Is it a good thing for a girl who regularly has to check her desire to
exaggerate? Yes. 
When I post on social media, my posts regularly get liked or
commented on by people from all corners of my life. From my best friend to my
grandfather-in-law to fans of my books to my agent to my Christian friends to
my atheist friends to my elementary school best friend to teen writers who I mentor.
Any fib would likely get detected by someone
on my friends list. And that reins me in real quick!
Ellie Sweet has to get the honesty thing figured out too! You can win your choice of the Ellie Sweet books today
on Writing Roseanna:
Do you ever feel the urge to embellish reality?

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