April 30, 2023

Z - Zzz (Naps to Heal from Depression) + BONUS


Napping has been proven to have many benefits, from relieving stress to improving test scores in students. By taking 20 to 30-minute naps in the middle of serious studying, students were able to retain more of what they had studied than students who didn’t take a nap.

Naps also can replenish our energy, but the key is to take a short nap. If you nap for an hour or more, you can wake up feeling more tired than when you laid down. Lying in bed, however, for 20 to 30 minutes is much more restful. All you need is a short nap to revive you for the rest of your day.

When you are suffering from depression, naps may be necessary. Many of us who suffer from depression can struggle with sleeping at night. I would lay in bed for hours, tossing and turning, while my brain yakked on and on about every topic, analyzed the day I had, and thought about the next day. By the time I finally fell asleep, my sleep wasn’t truly restful. In my dreams, I felt awake, as if I lived them.

Each day, I was extremely tired, hardly able to function. The only thing I could do was take a nap, and I did. I’d sleep for a couple of hours, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Yes, I lost a lot of time during the day, but I needed that sleep. After my nap, I’d finally be able to get work some done, and I made the most of it. I accomplished a lot, so no one knew I was experiencing depression or took long naps. No one ever saw me lagging behind, either, and I wanted to keep it that way.

If you find yourself in the same position, do not feel guilty for taking naps. You need it. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for napping, either. Tell them about your struggle and how tired you are. If they care, they will see your physical and mental exhaustion and encourage you to get some rest.

April 29, 2023

Y - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...To Be Young + BONUS


Many writers start writing at a young age, but not every writer does. Some may start in college. Others may start after they’ve settled down with a family. Still, there are many writers who start later in life, during their retirement. Whatever age you get bitten by the writing bug is when you are meant to start writing. It doesn’t matter if you are a child, an adult, a parent with a job, or retired. When you get the writing spark (a spark for a story) let it burn and write.

There is no age limit to being a writer or for when someone can start writing.

My mom started writing before she married my father, but she put it aside as she had children, as many mothers do. Then, when I was about five years old (the youngest child in the family), she started to write children’s stories. She picked up writing on and off as she did all the duties of a stay-at-home mom and continued when she had part-time jobs. She wrote adult stories as well, set during the pioneer times. Finally, when we were teenagers and able to take care of ourselves, she got back in to writing full force.

No matter your age or responsibilities, writing will always find you.

April 28, 2023

X - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...XOXO + BONUS


You don’t need love to be a writer...and by that, I mean you don’t need to have ever loved or been loved back by a significant other, by someone special, to write about love. You may not be in love right now, but you may write the sweetest romances. You could be a damn good romance author and have never been in a serious relationship. You could write the most realistic love scenes and have never been kissed. You could have a broken heart but write the most beautiful love stories with the best happily-ever-after endings. You may have never been and may never be married, but you could write about married characters people love and wish they knew...even wish they were.

That is the beauty of our imaginations. We can conjure things in our minds and make them real with our words. That, my friends, is the power of being a writer.

You won’t always have gone through the same things as your characters, but you can still write about them. You may not have experienced true love or love at first sight or love period, but you know your fantasies. You know your heart.

April 27, 2023

W - Write Down Your Dreams + BONUS


NOTE: I fell behind with visiting blogs and returning comments the past two weeks because I was having a really hard time with my grief after losing my mom last month, but yesterday I caught up with one visit each to the bloggers who had visited me during that time (if I was able to access their blog), and I will do my best to return comments each day to the end of the challenge.

I have extremely vivid dreams where I can remember every detail upon waking. Because of this, many of my dreams have inspired stories. I wake up from dreams all the time and think, “That would make a great story!”

30 Seconds came about from a dream I had where I was spinning around on a swivel chair, with rock music blaring, when a pair of hands stopped the chair, and a man in a police officer’s uniform kissed me. Hubba-hubba. Well, I thought upon waking, “How can I turn this into a story?” I stayed in bed, thinking about it and created Dr. Dani Hart and Officer Blake Herro. The dream I had is even a scene in my novella.

I have several other works-in-progress inspired by dreams, too. What I do is go backward and figure out what happened up to what I dreamt about, and I swap myself out for a female character I invent who works for the story. Or, more precisely, a female character steps forward, telling me it’s her story, not mine.

After examining the “Works-in-Progress” folder on my computer, I can tell you I have twelve stories that all came to me because of a dream. I also have a list of ideas I haven’t begun, and several of them originated from dreams.

April 26, 2023

V - Vision Board + BONUS


This is probably a technique that will make many people groan, but in my rock bottom period, I decided it was the perfect time to create a vision board to help me visualize what I wanted into reality.

On my vision board, which was just a white poster board, I had a picture of a house because we were nearly homeless, a picture of a car because we were carless, a picture of a stack of money because we didn’t have any, and a picture of a big digital camera because I’d always wanted one.

I looked at that vision board every night, because I had it tacked to my wall in front of my bed. I visualized those things in my life, and I sent out prayers to the Higher Powers and to the Universe to bring those things to my life in a positive way. I even chanted affirmations that I would get those things, instead of asking for it. “I will win my disability case. I will win my disability case. There’s no other option. I will win.”

April 25, 2023

U - UVB Rays (HappyLight) + BONUS


What is a HappyLight®? It is a therapy lamp that emits full spectrum (natural) light to mimic sunlight, which is used to increase one’s mood, energy, and focus, especially in the winter when many people go without adequate sunlight for months.

When someone is experiencing depression what is usually affected?




A HappyLight® lamp could provide someone with depression or winter blues (seasonal affective disorder or SAD) with healing daylight. It is said that a good 10-30 minutes (depending on your skin’s sensitivity) of midday sunlight several times a week, over about a third of your body (arms and legs), is what is needed to maintain healthy blood levels.

When someone has a vitamin D deficiency, they are at risk for osteoporosis, cancer, depression, muscle weakness, and in extreme cases, death.

Sunlight promotes the production of serotonin, which is responsible for all of our happy feelings, as well as melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Feeling upset/sad/lonely and not getting enough sleep are all things that someone with depression can experience.

April 24, 2023

T - Take Care of Yourself + BONUS


When I get stressed or am too busy with marketing my books, editing, or doing one of the many authorly things I have to do, I can neglect myself by not drinking much water, skipping breakfast, and even forgetting to eat my lunch until two or three hours past lunchtime. This is not healthy. Take it from me.

Years ago, I was so overcome with the release of my first eBook, Hurricane Crimes, that I ate, drank, and slept promo. Not an adequate form of nutrition, that’s for sure. I lost a bit of weight. One evening, I started to feel lightheaded and weak. I knew instantly it was probably because I hadn’t drunk enough water that day. Immediately, I got a bottle of water, and, while sitting in front of a fan, drank until I felt better. This was a big lesson learned for me.

Here are tips for taking care of yourself:

1. Hydrate

To maintain your brain power, you need water. Our brains are, after all, made up of about 70% water, and our bodies are 60% water. Experts say to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to help your metabolism and stay on top of your performance. Dehydration is not good. If you suffer from dehydration, you can become very sick. Keep up your intake of water. This doesn’t have to be straight water, though. Coffee, tea, and juice count.

I like to keep a bottle of water on my desk if I need it. I also have a coaster for my cup of green tea I drink in the morning, and for my cup of decaf coffee I enjoy in the afternoon with a sweet goodie.

Which brings me to…

April 22, 2023

S - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...a Support System at Home + BONUS


We all want to be supported by our family and friends. It’s only natural. But that doesn’t always happen. Many writers (and artists in general) don’t receive support from their loved ones. The people closest to them may not understand their wishes to spend their time writing for a number of reasons. The people in your life may outright ridicule your dreams or be subtler about it by not ever asking about your writing, which can cause pain, especially if you want to share it with them. They may say it’s a waste of time, not a good career move, not a reliable way to make money, that you won’t ever have the success of So-And-So, etc., etc. Over time, this naysaying can damage writers and actually push them to stop writing. Nothing is more devastating for a writer than to stop writing, for whatever reason. But to stop writing because you’re discouraged by your loved ones’ lack of support breaks my heart.

Again, we all want to be supported in our pursuits, especially if what we’re doing makes us happy and is part of our dream. When it doesn’t happen, it’s incredibly hurtful.

I have heard from writers who quit writing for this very reason and confessed that it was one of their biggest regrets. Why was it one of their biggest regrets? Because they are writers, because they love to write, and were meant to be writing the entire time they forced themselves not to do what came naturally to them. Eventually, many of them picked writing back up, but after many years had gone by.

The worst thing we can do is let the naysayers win.

April 21, 2023

R - Repeat After Me + BONUS


Daily affirmations are a way to train yourself in thinking positive thoughts, not negative thoughts. When you have depression, it is as easy as breathing to think cruel things about yourself, your life, those around you, your job, and the future. Beginning the day with healthy, positive affirmations can tip the scales in your favor. You’re starting off on a positive note, increasing the odds you will have a good day. If your day takes a turn, saying these affirmations can help your mind stay in a safe place. It can also calm you and remind you of what you need to know.

If depression is a daily battle for you, using affirmations each morning would be a good idea. If you go through periods of normalcy and periods of depression, as I do, using the affirmations every day during the time you are in danger of sinking into depression (or are depressed) could be a better approach for you.

While depressed and burned out and going through anxiety over my job, I used affirmations. You see, editors have a thankless job. I went through a period where editing caused me great anxiety, so I started to repeat to myself, “I am a great editor.” Over and over again. The first time I did this, I was sobbing.

April 20, 2023

Q - Quiet Social Media + BONUS


At a certain point, I found myself lying in bed each night, with the light off, scrolling through my Facebook feed, watching cute and funny videos of cats and dogs and other cuddly animals for an hour or more past my bedtime. Or I’d be exploring on Instagram, reading the trolling comments on celebrities’ posts. I’d get sucked in and hypnotized by the comments, reading each one that looked as if it was negative, and reading every reply to them as well.

Then in the morning, I’d tap in the code to my phone and check my email. While lying in bed. Never check your email first thing in the morning while lying in bed. This is not the way you should start the day, especially if there’s a chance you could have work emails waiting for you. There’s been times when I read an email that caused me stress or anxiety right off the bat, before I had even gotten out of bed. I’d start my day on the wrong foot. This is not how you want to begin.

During the day, I’d continue to check my phone constantly to see what notifications may be waiting for me, mostly emails. Every time I passed my phone on the counter, I’d pause to tap the Home button. Always. I couldn’t walk past it to my intended destination. If I attempted to, I’d pause, backtrack, and tap. If I restrained myself, when I passed by my phone again a moment later, I’d cave in then. Pause. Tap.

I started to notice these nasty habits and longed for the days of the flip phone that didn’t have social media apps.

Confession: I now have an old-fashioned flip phone.

April 19, 2023

P - Plot It Out (Writer's Block) + BONUS


Pantsing, sorry to say, can slow your progress if you don’t know what to write next, and it can surely be a reason for writer’s block. You have to know what you need to write next in order to continue your project. If you don’t have an idea, you’ll be stuck. You won’t write. You’ll struggle with figuring out where you need to go in the story. If that happens, you won’t be able to make any progress whatsoever.

I recommend attempting to plot out your book. Or be a plantser, a hybrid of the two. You could try planning out a few chapters ahead of where you are at the time. When you start to write the third chapter you had previously plotted out, begin plotting the next three. This way, you have the freedom of pantsing but with a plan, and you can still change things as you go.

At the very least, at the end of a writing session, plot out where you will start the next day, what will happen immediately after where you left off, and know a little bit of where you’ll be going in order to write a decent amount of words. This will help you get back in to your story faster and provide a clear map of where you need to go.

April 18, 2023

O - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...an Office or a Desk + BONUS


Sure, having an office and/or desk can make you feel like a writer, but you don’t need one to be a writer or to write. In my old apartment, my desk, which I bought for a few bucks at a garage sale, sat wedged in a corner of my living room beside my couch. I used that desk for a long time. Although it’s not my current desk, I still have it. Sort of. I gave it to my mom to use for her desk. The desk I have now I bought from a thrift store. It’s glass and metal with three tiers off to the side where I can set books, notebooks, and decorations. This desk occupied my bedroom for a couple of years in a section I playfully considered “my office.”

I envy those writers who have an entire room they can transform into an office or those who rent an office space, but I can’t do that. Not all of us can.

Embracing the space we have is important. We can write anywhere—on the couch, in bed, at the kitchen table/counter, in the bathtub, in the car. We can even go out to write (library, bookstore, the beach, the park). My mom would write on the bus during her commute to and from work. She still says that period was her most productive writing time since she didn’t have anything better to do on the bus.

April 17, 2023

N - Nature to Beat Depression + BONUS


Mothers nurture. The biggest nurturer of them all is Mother Nature.

Nature is healing.

Sunlight is good for vitamin D. Fresh air is cleansing. Plants, flowers, and trees are not only beautiful but essential to living healthy lives—from providing necessary oxygen to giving us nutrients when we consume them, which keep us from becoming sick and weak.

When someone is dealing with depression, they often don’t want to leave the house and don’t consider the benefits of being around nature, but I found nature to be one of the best remedies to my depression.

During my worst depression, springtime came quickly. I’ve always enjoyed gardening, even just weeding and adding fresh mulch to my flower beds. Pulling weeds is actually quite symbolic. While I removed unwanted plants, I equated them as the things in my life that I did not want, that were not supposed to be there—the drama, the pain, the suffering, the depression. When we remove weeds from soil, we make that soil better, richer, giving flowers room to grow. Upon expunging the things in our lives we wish to be done with, we, in turn, become better, richer, and allow ourselves room to grow.

April 15, 2023

M - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...Money + BONUS


There have been many writers who were poor or struggling financially due to job loss, disability, or being a single parent who went on to finish writing their books. They also published their books and made a name for themselves.

How much money you have in your bank account doesn’t reflect how good or bad of a writer you are. Make your writing valuable.

I’ve had just a few dollars in my bank account and didn’t know where more money would be coming from. I’ve worried over how I’d feed myself and those I supported. I didn’t even have food for my cats at times. (Don’t worry—I gave them what little healthy food they could eat from my own provisions. They never went hungry.) I’ve feared not being able to pay rent and wondered where I’d be living in a matter of weeks. During those hard times, I continued to write.

Even while deep in stress and depression and fear, I wrote. I had to. It was the only thing that let me escape my troubles, made me happy. Sure, having money would’ve taken away my worries. Sure, having money would’ve been grand; no one wants to be poor. I don’t care how much movies and fiction romanticize being poor, it’s hard. The stories of famous individuals who came from nothing and made it big only romanticize it more, but believe me, it takes a lot. Those people got to be where they are now through hard work, determination, courage, talent, timing, and maybe even a smidge of luck. What it doesn’t take is money.

April 14, 2023

L - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...a Laptop + BONUS


Usually when we imagine writers at work, we see them plucking away at a laptop in a coffee shop or in a dusty room or at their kitchen table, deep in their story. But owning or using a laptop doesn’t make you a writer. Writing with any writing utensil/device makes you a writer.

When I started writing seriously, I wrote by hand, filling up dozens of notebooks with three books in a series. After I would finish one book, I’d have a blast typing that story up, day after day, using my family’s only computer, which we had because my mom (fortunately) inherited money and bought it. Gosh, that was so much fun. I would rock out to music while reliving the story I wrote over the course of a year or more. That was one of the times when I truly felt like a writer.

I didn’t even own my first laptop until 2015. Yes, really.

Before then I’d been using that very same computer my mom had bought. I used it for over a decade. I completed several full-length books on that computer, most of them going over 100,000 words. I wrote four eBooks and one print book on that computer, which were all published by The Wild Rose Press. 

April 13, 2023

K - OK, So What Are Natural Stress Relievers? + BONUS


I fully believe in natural remedies and techniques to treat colds, simple illnesses, and stress relief (in combination with modern medicine and therapy).

For stress, there is so much you can do to find relief, as well as to prevent that stress from causing writer’s block and burnout.


The smell of lavender is known to be calming and ease anxiety. A diffuser is a wonderful and safe way to use essential oils and benefit from their healing properties. You can purchase a diffuser, big or small, add the appropriate amount of essential oil drops (according to your diffuser’s instructions) to the water, turn it on, and let the smell of lavender seep through your room/house. You can also put the essential oils in an oil burner with a votive or tea candle to heat it. Make sure to keep an eye on these burners and not to fill the bowl to the rim. Safety first!

You can use lavender sprigs as well. Put real lavender in a small satchel and place it under your pillow to promote a restful and relaxing sleep. You can make a satchel out of a simple piece of square cotton by bringing the corners together into a bundle and tying it off with a ribbon or a bit of yarn. Lavender teas can also do the same. I drink a lovely lemon and lavender tea that reminds me a little of the fruity cereal I used to eat as a child.

Sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oils into your bath, too. If you have sensitive skin, you can dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil or even olive oil. I tend to have sensitive skin but have never had a reaction from lavender essential oils in my bath. The only oil that did cause a reaction was cinnamon. Let me just say…that sure stung and made my skin look as though it was burned. Ouch! But everyone’s skin is different, so it’s best to be cautious.

April 12, 2023

J - Journals (Gratitude Journal, Discovery Journal, Art Journal) + BONUS

Gratitude Journal:

August 2013, in the middle of a bout of depression, I posted three gratitudes a day on my Facebook profile. I did this every day for three weeks. This challenge helped me to look for blessings during a time when I didn’t feel very blessed. In fact, I felt forgotten by everyone, including the Higher Powers. Most days, it was tough. I had to wrack my brain for something, anything, but reflecting on gratitudes that aren’t material objects (because I didn’t have many) helped me to look deep within and evaluate my life and myself in ways I usually wouldn’t

August 6, 2013:

Someone I know has been posting about 3 things she is grateful for every day, and when she challenged her friends to give it a try for three weeks, I thought I’d do it, because I’d rather spend my day thinking of 3 things I’m grateful for than being depressed about the things I can’t do/don’t have. So here it goes!

1. A healthy computer (...almost had to bring it in to get fixed!)

2. My crazy, funny, and adorable nephews, Mello and Carmello

3. My creativity

Some people keep a gratitude journal going year-round and write in it every day. I did this once in 2020. That may seem daunting at first, but like anything, if you keep up with it long enough, it’ll become a habit, and discovering what you’re thankful for at the end of each day can lift your mood significantly.

April 11, 2023

I - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...an Interesting Life + BONUS


I’m sure you have heard about best-selling authors and authors of classics who had difficult childhoods of abuse and poverty and about every sadness imaginable. You’ve probably also noticed how (in movies, books, real life) the hurt children and teens write and want to be writers when they grow up. When I posted the quote “You don’t need a degree in English Literature to be a writer” on Instagram, I received a comment from someone saying, “U just need a heartbreak.”

No, you don’t.

You don’t need to experience heartbreak to be a writer, or to have gone through something devastating. That could give you material to write about. Writing through that could be a form of therapy and healing, but you absolutely do not need heartbreak, or pain, or depression, or addictions, or anything negative to be a writer.

Before I started writing, I had experienced childhood fights that frightened me, but it wasn’t until some years later when I went through the hardest years of my life, from the age of 14 to 18, when I felt greater fear. Those four years felt like an eternity. But those hardships did not make me a writer. Instead, writing was my escape.

April 10, 2023

H - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...a Home + BONUS


When I was thirteen, we lost our home to foreclosure. I still remember getting the news when I came home, packing up my belongings in plastic grocery bags, and running up the moving truck ramp with my arms loaded. A lot of my stuff broke. We were terrified because we thought we had to get out that night and would only be able to bring what we could fit into that one moving truck. Fortunately, we had thirty days to leave. Those thirty days were filled with fear and worry and doubt.

We found a cute home to move into that reminded me of a farmhouse, but I would never forget my childhood home. I would never stop grieving for it. I would never stop disliking or feeling jealous over the new family who moved in.

Our stay at the cute farmhouse-styled home didn’t last long. Two years. Two years in which my parents got a divorce, I had spine surgery, my father moved to Michigan, and things at home became more dangerous and scarier at the hands of my half-brother.

April 08, 2023

G - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...To Be a Good Speller + BONUS


Do you fear you’re not a great writer or will never be one because you’re not a good speller or don’t know extravagant words? Never fear! You don’t need to have won the spelling bee every year in grade school to have the chops it takes to write a good story. Just because you may be a poor speller doesn’t mean you can’t be a writer. That’s what spellcheck, Google, beta readers/critique partners, editors, and proofreaders are for. Nor do you need to have an arsenal full of words five or more syllables long to pepper throughout your story.

Nowadays, the simpler stories are told the better. When readers come across a word they don’t know it can throw them out of the story, as if they’re coming to a screeching halt at a stop sign. Some may skip it, never knowing what that word means and not caring. Other readers may feel inclined to look it up, taking away time they could be reading your book and drawing them further away from your story.

Books written with humongous words may cause readers without that level of vocabulary strength to shy away from them. Whereas books written with more simplicity will appeal to all kinds of readers (depending on the genre, of course). A story written with simplicity doesn’t mean it can’t have well-developed characters, a complex storyline, and a twisting plot. Rather, the writer uses words that are more commonly known to do all of that.

Speaking of genres, fantasy and science-fiction can get away with enormous words with countless syllables, but what if you want to write these genres and don’t know those kinds of words? Then you don’t have to use them.

No matter where you fall on the vocabulary spectrum, I have one thing to say: Do what you want.

April 07, 2023

F - Feng Shui + BONUS


Feng Shui originated in China and is a system of laws regarding arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy forces (in a room/house/office) that harmonizes individuals with their environment.

Desk Position

Your desk should be in a position where you can see the front door, or at least not be surprised if someone were to enter the room. If the only place for your desk is where the entrance is to your back, a mirror on the wall above you can let you see the door at all times and avoid the surprise of someone coming into the room behind you. Good positions to avoid bad chi are to sit diagonally from the door or catty-cornering your desk and placing your chair in the corner of the room so you can see the door.

Splitting a Room

If you have to put your desk in another room, such as a living room or bedroom, using a screen will separate the two places from each other. That way work-related items won’t be seen while you are relaxing in your bedroom or living room. It will also provide a level of peace when you are working at your desk, making you feel removed from the rest of the room/house.


Try to avoid sitting in front of a window. I know I used to have a view out the window and enjoyed it, and so do many other writers. I also know I’d get distracted and daydream a lot more while staring out the window. If you like to sit in front of windows, or if that is the only place to put your desk, make sure the view outside the window is a pleasant one, not a view of your neighbor’s house, the pool, or the street. If what’s happening outside is distracting, hang a light, see-through curtain to provide a barrier that still lets sunlight through.

April 06, 2023

E - HappEEEE (Happiness Jar & 100 Happy Days) + BONUS


Happiness Jar

Another technique I did for a couple of years in a row to help me focus on the good was a Happiness Jar. I found out about this on Facebook around 2010. A Happiness Jar is a jar that you fill with notes whenever something brings you happiness. On New Year’s Eve, you empty the jar out and read each slip of paper to remember the good things that happened and brought you happiness throughout the year.

I took an old jar, which I believe had been for pickles, and repurposed it for my Happiness Jar. I glued a piece of dark red velvet around the outside of the jar to hide the contents and added some cute embellishments to dress it up. If you Google “Happiness Jar” or “Happy Jar,” you will find many inspirations for how you can decorate your jar. You can even purchase a special, personalized jar from places like Shutterfly.com or Zazzle.com and customize it to say “Happiness Jar.”

Back when I had my Happiness Jar, I put notes in it that said things like:

- I went to the zoo with my sister, nephews, and mom.

- I talked to my best friend on the phone for hours.

- Beach day. Collected shells.

At the end of the year, when I re-read these notes, I reflected on those things that had brought me joy, even in the midst of depression and tough times.

April 05, 2023

D - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need a Degree + BONUS


Don’t misunderstand that to be a jab at educated people, individuals with degrees, or education itself. Education is a wonderful thing and should never be taken for granted. I am grateful for the education I have received and believe education is something everyone has a right to, and should receive—boys and girls, all around the world. Teachers deserve so much of our thanks for their hard work and dedication, and schools are valuable additions to every community, every country. I respect education in all its forms and what it gives to us, to our minds.

Nor am I judging those who do want a degree in literature, to further their education or pursue their passion of books. I personally hate it when people say a degree in literature is the most useless degree of all, and believe me, they say it. When I was young and wanted a degree in English Literature, a few members of my family thought it would be a waste because writing and literature aren’t viewed as solid career paths. But to me, it would not have been a waste because literature was my passion and I wanted to be a writer.

No degree is useless. All education enriches the mind. I believe literature is important in our lives, in this world. Imagine a world without literature. I shudder at the thought. Appreciation for literature is also important. It’s an art and should be honored as such.

April 04, 2023

C - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...a Coach + BONUS


Many writers just starting out with a story idea and a dream yearn for a coach/mentor whom they can go to whenever they have questions. Not everyone gets this opportunity, however. I didn’t know a single person I could go to for help, who could guide me, or read my work. I had to do everything on my own. I learned, failed, and succeeded on my own.

I started my blog www.WritewithFey.com because I wanted to assist other writers in the same way I had wanted/needed assistance back then. I’m not a mentor, though. I’m just a writer passing on what she knows to other writers. I sincerely believe it’s part of my purpose, and I love doing it.

You don’t need a writing mentor, either. Instead, you can look for the answers you need in books and on websites and writing blogs, as I did. You can go to local writers’ meetings to connect, find critique partners, and get advice. 

April 03, 2023

B - Break Down Your Goals + BONUS


With a manageable weekly goal, you’ll be able to strive toward a specific page/word count by the end of that week. The key, though, is to set a realistic goal. Many writers beat themselves up for not meeting a goal that was rather grand and out of their scope to begin with. This isn’t healthy.

Set a goal you know you can meet. Then tack on an additional 10% to that page/word count to give yourself a bit of a challenge, which is always good practice. I can usually write 1,000 – 2,000 words in a single day. For a week, that could be 7,000 – 14,000 words if I write every day and reach those word counts. Incredible, right? And that’s not even tacking on the extra 10% to give myself a push.

In the beginning, it will be difficult to write every day and meet your goal, but if you stick to it and DON’T GIVE UP, it’ll become easier. Believe it or not, eventually your daily/weekly writing goals will suddenly seem too easy. Yes, really.

April 01, 2023

A - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...To Be an Adult + BONUS


I planned to participate in this year’s A to Z challenge before my mom passed away last month. I’ve had the posts scheduled since the beginning of the year. Maybe even end of last year. The last time I participated was 2015. I’d done two years in a row before my 2015 run burned me out from doing A to Z again. It’s been 8 years. I was looking forward to it this year and have decided to continue with it. It’ll be a nice distraction. 

Theme: For Writers

No, you don’t need to be young to start writing or to publish for the first time. At the same time, you don’t need to be an adult of a certain age. I started writing before I turned thirteen. It was the first book in a series, and my dream of being a published author began right then. I was seventeen when I started to send out my first snail mail query letters, hoping for a nibble from a publisher or agent. I did all of my research, and no one could guess my age in my query letters. Looking back, I can admit I wasn’t ready to publish then. I had a lot more to learn, but that doesn’t mean a teen or young adult is too young to be a writer or to publish. As I said before, your age doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are writing. You are trying. You are following your passion and striving toward your dreams.