I completed a “no editing as you go” challenge… and I was happier before

Let me start off by saying: I love challenges. They can inspire creativity, create community, increase productivity, and act as a catalyst for other positive changes. I’ve done many of them, and I typically walk away with an increased sense of purpose and clarity.

At the end of December, I completed a challenge to write 30k words in 30 days without editing any of them. This time, when I hit the word count goal, I felt tired, disconnected, unmotivated…

The magic of writing (for me) is in the process, which has always included editing as I go. Sometimes I write several thousand words before I go back, but ultimately, I go back. I sweep the whole thing, the previous chapter, whatever feels right. Then I continue forward, thoroughly entrenched in the story. While I was doing the challenge, I’d go back over the most recent material and see mistakes I wasn’t “allowed” to fix. It felt like being punished!

It’s been a few weeks since the challenge ended and I have mixed feelings on the value it added to my life. At first, I was mostly frustrated with myself that I kept going with it after I realized it wasn’t working for me. Now I can appreciate that it gave me more confidence in my process and inspired gratitude; I appreciate my freedom to create the way I want to more than ever.

For those who keep striving to better themselves through challenges and trying out new processes: I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor. My only piece of advice is to listen to your instincts and recognize you may have to take a different path than others to get to the end.

Signing off for now,


September Update

Hello everyone!

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support over the last several weeks. It’s been a wild ride getting the behemoth Kyanite Publishing engine off the ground but it’s starting to chug along and I couldn’t be prouder. In addition to moving into a new house and a new office, I’ve also been writing, editing, and talking to retailers about stocking the Kyanite Press and our upcoming titles. If you missed any of the activity, I don’t blame you. Here is a recap of everything that’s been going on.



I reviewed “After,” by John Prescott, “The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks,” by William F. Aicher, and “Dancing at Midnight: The Life of June Parker,” by Rebecca J. Yelland for Peak Story Reviews. Check those out on the Peak Story Reviews website!



I put up a new page on my website dedicated to book recommendations from my friends and peers. I’ll update it every few months with new recommendations. Consider it a current, curated list from the Twitter #amwriting community. Eventually, I’ll be adding more publishers, publications, editors, designers, and other artists to the list.



I was a guest of Laura Mae for her Indie Go Interviews series last month! Check it out here!

I’m also starting an interview series I’ll be hosting here on my website. Laura will be the first guest!



What They Deserve and The Assimilation Agent are both still on track for publishing in November 2018 and March 2019, respectively. I also have a series debuting in 2019 through Kyanite Glass (electronic imprint) about a summer camp for psychics. I’ll be sharing more news on that soon.



The Kyanite Press, a bimonthly speculative fiction journal featuring short stories, launched on September 1st. You can purchase it on the Kyanite Publishing website or on Amazon. It’s also being stocked at The Wyvern’s Tale in Asheville, NC and will be shelved in more stores, soon!


Thanks for reading and staying tuned!




The Mountains

I’m not usually one to drop a blog post with a vague title, but here I am, doing it with a smile.

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“You are not the mountain climber, you are the mountains,”

is my own way of sharing something my dad used to say to my sisters and me: “Be the river.”

In short, he meant that he wanted us to embrace our power over our narratives and visualize ourselves as the river, not the swimmer struggling to tread water. For all my writer and reader friends out there:

You are the author of your story.

You may be in a tight spot because of money, love, loyalty, fear, or some other powerful driver, but you are still responsible for where you are. It’s easy to act like a character, to be the hero or antagonist of your story. It’s hard to admit you’re the writer. I mean, what would you with all that power?

“That’s not true,” some of you will think. “I’ve done everything I can do. I’m stuck. X and X are legitimate obstacles. Life isn’t like a story. People don’t have ultimate control.”

Some obstacles aren’t fictional.

You’re right. Some obstacles have nothing to do with you. I’m not suggesting you are responsible for your inconsiderate, incompetent boss or your lifelong experience with poverty. I’m not saying you’re the reason your partner left or the reason your book didn’t sell.

When there’s no other way… surrender.

I believe strongly in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, who drew upon many spiritual and religious texts. His principles parallel the modern teaching of mindfulness and provide me great comfort when I’m “resisting what is.”

Sometimes the only way through is to surrender. When we stop resisting, stop spinning stories in our minds that confirm our own beliefs and fuel our toxicity, stop blacking out the wisdom the universe is trying to provide us, stop closing all the doors and windows before anything has a chance to get through, we find that the answer was there all along.

Surrendering doesn’t mean giving up.

Embracing your role as the author and active creator of your life doesn’t mean there aren’t real obstacles, and surrendering doesn’t mean you’re giving up. On the contrary, surrendering means you are stripping the obstacle of its power and changing the flow of energy. You are regaining control even as you release your desire for it.

There is more than one way to scale a peak.

If you’re still stuck on that mountain climber analogy (I know I am), imagine all the different ways a rock climber can trek up a cliff face. There are almost infinite possibilities, all with their own pros and cons. When you pull yourself out of your own narrative and fly over the bigger picture like a crow, you can see possibilities you wouldn’t have seen before.

I invite you to reframe your obstacles with me.

As part of a journaling exercise I’ve been doing for the month of August, I’ve been writing down obstacles and allowing myself time to come up with solutions throughout the month. It’s amazing to see the variation in my thinking over time. It’s obvious to me that I’m looser, more hopeful, and more organized when I’m post-meditation and post-exercise. They both seem to bring me balance and help me to love myself and cherish my body.

I invite you to join me in writing down your obstacles and giving yourself space to come up with solutions over a period of time. You might surprise yourself at how different your ideas will be when you’re coming from a centered, balanced place of surrender and acceptance.

Did you try it? Let me know how it went in the comments!

10 Ways Writing Will Bolster Your Bravery

I’ve heard a lot of my friends say they’re feeling scared recently. Scared of losing their jobs, scared of saying the wrong thing, scared of never achieving their dreams. I express myself through writing and have found that I can isolate and transform my fears when I journal, write fiction, or help others through writing.

Here are 10 reasons writing helps eliminate fear and bolsters bravery. I hope one or some of them can work for you. If you don’t need any help in the bravery department, maybe you could pass this along to a friend. As always, I accept that my opinions are not for everyone. Bravery is noble but I in no way wish to offend or condemn those who are not brave.

#1 – A daily journal can help you figure out what’s important enough to be brave for.

It’s all fine and well to aspire to be brave, but why? I want to be brave for the people and things I love: family, community, education, the environment.

If you take the time to journal daily, or even once in awhile, you’ll probably be able to look back over your musings and clearly see what matters to you jumping off the page. Once you know, picture those things when you find yourself in moments requiring bravery. If your actions are in line with your values and support the things you love, your bravery will be more likely to bubble up.


#2 – Making lists can turn scary, intangible obstacles into real goals.

Sometimes the obstacles in the way of our bravery, like fear of being judged, fear of losing, fear of the unknown, etc. manifest in our thoughts as foggy, unexplained anxiety. To combat the paralysis big decisions and projects can create, make a list of the things that you want to accomplish and then write out the obstacles.

For example, if you want to become a rock star, some of your obstacles might be forming a band, money to travel, and stage fright. Under each obstacle, write down some ideas of how you could power through, over, under, or around the obstacle. Following the same example above, under ‘forming a band’ you could write down some action steps, like: post an ad on Craigslist, post an ad on social media and go to local venues for live music. Smaller actionable goals also help you realize your own momentum and completing them gives you a boost.

Show your lists to someone you trust to see if they can come up with even more ways to turn your fears into actions.


#3 – Journaling can help you relate to yourself differently.

When you take the time to write down the important things happening in your life, you might start to see yourself as the writer of your own story, which you are, rather than a passive actor. Bravery can seem abstract, but it’s really about separating yourself from your fears in a single moment. When your journal, you can see those moments more clearly.

Another tip: write what you would have said or done if you’d been braver, as well as what you did. See the words on the page. Picture yourself saying them. Picture yourself as the character in the story you want to be. Over time, you just might become them.

Journaling also contributes to your mental health, so this is a tip to remember!


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#4 – Creating characters involves sussing out their values, conflicts, and motivations. It can help you to learn yours.

If journaling isn’t up your alley, try writing fiction! It’s like playing make-believe and dress-up except better. Your characters can be as brave as you can imagine but for their bravery to seem real they’ll need real motivations, values, and obstacles of their own. Once you’ve created a few characters, compare and contrast them with yourself. Get to know yourself. Really dig deep, and you might just uncover some bravery under there.

#5 – Writing plot can make you a risk taker.

Write down a one-page synopsis of the “plot” that is your life. Then write the ideal plot for your life.
Thinking about your life as the plot of a book might open up your brain to possibilities outside of the most common, practical, or simple. When you have new roads to go down, you might find yourself more willing to take risks to see where they lead.

#6 – Writing will give your fears a place to live.

The opposite of courage is cowardice if you believe The Wizard of Oz. Rather than letting your fears live inside you, let them live on the page. Write them down and then commit to yourself that you’ll leave them there. When you feel scared instead of brave, imagine your fear back inside your journal or computer. You don’t have to carry it. Give it another place to live and fill the empty space with books, instead!

#7 – Writing dialogue forces you to imagine all the different things a person can say.

Real life is hard. The conversations you have with people exist inside the structures imposed by our society and the institutions you’re a part of. If you’re a female at work, for example, the things you feel comfortable saying are probably more limited than a man at a pub.

Try writing dialogue that isn’t restricted. Be as honest or outrageous as you can stand. How does it feel? What would be the consequences for talking like that in the different areas of your life?


#8 – Some people, especially women, minimize their authority. Writing about a non-fictional topic can help demonstrate expertise.

I know a lot of people who are afraid to own their knowledge and experience. If you’re one of those people, writing about what you know can help you to realize what your strengths are. Hopefully, when you see them in writing, you’ll become brave enough to share them with others.

Find something in your life you feel adept at. It could be anything from making scrambled eggs to utilizing the Google platform for your small business. Then write a how-to guide or workflow. When you’re done, consider sharing it! I guarantee there are people in the world who know less than you and would love to hear your unique way of explaining it.


#9 – Forums are sometimes safe spaces for interacting through writing.

It can be easier to feel brave behind a computer screen than in person. If you start behind the computer, use it as a stepping stone to more acts of courage in other areas of your life. Some people abuse the anonymity of the internet and I’m not suggesting you do that. Rather, own everything you write online just like you would in person.


#10 – Sharing your creations can cause feelings of temporary bravery.

Sharing what you write with people (not your dog) is scary. Take it from me, who waited 20 years to share anything substantial online. Whether you journal, write a political essay, describe an event in your life, respond to a writing prompt, or write a poem, share it. Share it with your family or somebody at work. Share it on social media or on a forum. By sharing your work, something you created from thin air, you are opening yourself up to criticism, accolades, rejection, and acceptance. It requires courage and once you’ve done it you’ll be one step closer to another act of bravery!

If you’re looking for a coach, editor, reviewer, content creator or just a new friend, please reach out!