Wednesday

CONHI Chronicle Article

So this was a little article written about me at my day job's newsletter...



GETTING TO KNOW...CLOVER AUTREY

Clover Autrey almost always has a smile on her face, and with good cause. In this past year, she's had two children graduate from University, and she joined them, earning her B.A. in English. She has three insanely adorable grandchildren, Felicity, Shane, and Dani, who light up her life. Clover said that as much as she loves her children (which is a lot), the grandchildren have a special layer in her heart. They don't live nearby, so they enjoy quality time together via videoconferencing.

Clover is an inveterate writer, spanning from fantasy to sweet romances, and her books are available on Amazon and other online outlets. She first realized she wanted to be a writer when she was still quite young, deciding that it must be the best job ever. While she wrote some short stories and poems in her youth, she didn't get started seriously writing until she was in her early 20s. If she could talk to her 20-year-old self now, she'd tell her that it will take a lot of perseverance, but to go for what she
loves. Some of her best friends are writers, and it has been truly wonderful to have a tribe that understands how each other's crazy brains work. They sometimes get stares when they're out in public and get to talking a little too loudly.

When asked about common traps for aspiring writers, Clover said she thinks it's both ego and a lack of
confidence. Most writers jump into it, believing that writing is easier than it is. Once they realize how much work it takes, and how much there is to learn about the art and skill of storytelling, the ensuing self-doubt can be crushing. You have to really love writing, and you have to have the guts to put your words out there. It helps to join writers and critique groups, as you'll both teach and learn. Don't take the criticism personally--it's necessary to help you refine your craft. At the same time, don't edit so much that you take your heart out of your writing, leaving it almost soulless. Write with emotion. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. If you hold back and don't let yourself feel it, or if you let your characters off too easily, readers will not feel the connection.

Clover said she's written scenes where she was crying so much she couldn't see what she was typing, and just hoped her fingers were still on the correct keys. Those magical moments make all the hard work worth it, particularly when a reader reaches out to share the emotion and connection felt while reading those passages. 

Clover said that going back to school and working full time comes with a unique set of challenges. You need to be prepared to have no spare time, and your brain cells will be depleted when you finally wind down for the day. It's important to carve out small components of time. Clover used her lunch hours for study and homework, which freed up some other time. Another difficulty was that she was so busy that there wasn't time to be social. The hardest thing, though, was not having sufficient time for writing. She has a profound respect for anyone who is working and going to school. When asked if she was planning to continue her formal education, she was quick to reply that she went back to school for a specific purpose, and at present is not planning on going any further.

Clover Autrey is the most loyal of friends, and truly blesses the lives of everyone she meets. CONHI is incredibly fortunate to have Clover on staff.

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