12 December 2018



It isn't much, but I am delighted to have progress to show this week. The novel's word count is now up to 17,206.

My latest piece has continued to make the rounds. While it is still my third best performing piece (in terms of social media reactions), this is the first time since my very first essay in 2016 that I have felt this kind of excitement for a piece. It started on Medium, where it was featured in their Family section and received over 400 claps. Then, it was syndicated on Love What Matters. Then, it was picked up by TODAY Parents where it was shared on their facebook page two different times and the official TODAY Show page three different times and the Kathie Lee and Hoda page twice! Then, it was syndicated on InspireMore and, yesterday, it was featured in their email newsletter! The shelf-life of this holiday piece is just about up, but it has been a fun ride!

InspireMore was the site I mentioned last week which invited me to become a contributor. Besides featuring my latest piece, they also syndicated two other pieces of mine this week. I have really enjoyed working with them, so far.

I updated my blog to reflect the new collaboration. I also did a bit more updating of my online presence and decided that I should branch out and try something new as we head into 2019. More on that later.

I created another image for social media, as well. Those still do well for generating interaction and I enjoy putting them together.

No news on any of my other pending queries, for now.

While I'd like to continue to make progress on my novel, even if I accomplish nothing else for the rest of the year, I'd be quite happy with how I'm closing out 2018.

05 December 2018



I wrote words this week! It was such relief to get my fingers moving on the keyboard again.

My latest essay saw some more success this week, too, which was a much needed boost to this writer's self-esteem.

The essay was featured on TODAY Parents on Thursday. Then, it was shared on the official TODAY Show page on Friday (and again on Monday) and also on the Kathie Lee and Hoda page on Sunday. Both of those were a first for me! Those shares (plus a lot of love from my family, friends, and Facebook page fans) launched this piece up to my top three, in terms of social media reach.

The other query I mentioned last week received a response, as well. The site is interested in featuring the piece. Plus, they invited me to become a contributor! I submitted my first post for review yesterday.

A few days ago, I also decided to submit a query to have a different piece syndicated on another site I have not yet worked with. It can take up to a month to get a response from them.

It was payday on Medium and I got paid a few more bucks for my member stories in November. I do not have a huge following over there, I write infrequently, and I prefer to unlock my stories after two months, so even earning just a few dollars is really quite exciting.

As an essay writer, I feel the year is ending with a bang!

The novel's word-count is now at 16,349 and, you know, I'm good with that.

I am well off the mark for the goals I originally set for myself, but the important thing is that I just stick with it and keep making progress. I can re-adjust my word-count goals as many times as I need to, the real goal is to see it through to completion.

The challenges of the past couple of weeks are calming down (thank goodness) but I am not going to set myself up for failure and disappointment by expecting to make-up any ground the rest of this month. Between the holiday festivities and the kids' upcoming winter break, I know I will continue to fall short when it comes to writing every day. I'd just like to continue to be able to show progress each week.

28 November 2018



I am giving myself the gift of grace this week.

I started to feel dispirited for not only failing to write every day the past few weeks, but for not even writing a single day – a single word – this week. I hadn't even opened the program since last #WIPWednesday until it was time to take the screenshot for this morning’s post.

I started to feel guilty about that. I started to feel like a failure – like I'd never see this through.

But, I stopped myself. I offered myself grace.

It has been a difficult couple of weeks over here. This past week even more so than the last.

Out of respect of my loved one’s privacy, I am not going to elaborate (even though I could easily write a few solid essays out of my related experiences).

Suffice it to say that my stress level was off the charts and the sleep deprivation was legit.

I went into what I call my “all business” mode. A coping mechanism I only recently recognized for what it is: emotional avoidance.

Though it is not the healthiest way of dealing with stress – and “all business” did not translate into getting any writing done – it did allow me to be there 100% for my loved one and still host Thanksgiving and even get our Christmas tree up on Sunday; all while having the kids home for Thanksgiving break plus an extra day when a blizzard cancelled school on Monday.

Giving myself grace allowed me to be content with how much I did accomplish in spite of everything. Because, believe me, there were days that simply managing the bare necessities was all I could muster.

And, I may not have written a word, but I did do a few writerly things.

I kept up with my social media goal to keep an active presence with a minimum of one post a day, even though I am behind on scheduling.

I made a few small updates to my blog.

I reorganized my query spreadsheet.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, one site had shown interest in syndicating my latest piece; Love What Matters accepted it and ran the feature on Friday.

After receiving a silent rejection for the other syndication query, this week I submitted it to a couple more sites, including one I've not yet worked with.

And I am here today, writing this #WIPWednesday post instead of just throwing up my hands.