Spotlight: Fatal Memories by Tanya Stowe


About the Book



Book: Fatal Memories

Author: Tanya Stowe

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Release Date: September 1, 2019



She was framed! Or was she?

If only she could remember…

Border patrol agent Jocelyn Walker has no memory of how she turned up unconscious with a cache of drugs—or why a gang is dead set on killing her. With evidence stacking up against her, Joss takes refuge with driven DEA agent Dylan Murphy, who guards—and suspects— her. But will finally trusting each other lead them into a trap they’ll never escape?

Click here to grab your copy!

About the Author



Tanya Stowe is a Christian Fiction author with an unexpected edge. She is married to the love of her life, her high school sweetheart. They have four children and twenty-one grandchildren, a true adventure. She fills her books with the unusual…mysteries and exotic travel, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey packed with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.

More from Tanya

It has long been my husband’s desire to travel the country in a motorhome. So when he retired three years ago, we sold our home and hit the road. We lived in the high desert region of Southern California for almost 37 years. I thought it was going to be a rough transition, but it wasn’t…especially since I came to love one of our new locations.

We spend the winter months in southern Arizona where Fatal Memories is set. I love everything about this unique place. We are surrounded by incredible ecosystems…the Sonoran and Chihuahua deserts collide there, so a different environment is around every corner. The beauty of the mountains, streams and lakes (yes, there’s water in southern Arizona—monsoons come up from Baja every summer) and the wildlife is amazing. I’ve been told black panthers have been known to cross the border from Mexico and roam the countryside. My husband and I bought a Jeep so we could go off-roading to see these sites up close and personal.

In addition to all these amazing natural wonders, history jumps out and grabs me. I’m just twenty minutes from Tombstone. Fort Huachuca and Fort Bowie are forty miles away in different directions. Every time I turn around, there’s a history making site or event to grab my interest. I hope you can see why I fell in love with my new home. I hope you will too when you read Fatal Memories.

By the way…if you interested, I write about our travels in my monthly newsletter. Be sure to check it out!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 16

Bigreadersite , October 16

Genesis 5020, October 17

The Avid Reader, October 17

Hebrews 12 Endurance, October 17

Emily Yager, October 18

Sara Jane Jacobs Blog, October 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 19

Batya’s Bits, October 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 20

Andy Carmichael, October 20

For Him and My Family, October 21

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 21

Kat’s Corner Books, October 22

EmpowerMoms, October 22

Through the Fire Blogs, October 23

Betti Mace, October 23

Daysong Reflections, October 24

Mary Hake,October 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 24

Older & Smarter?, October 25

Blogging With Carol, October 25

Inklings and notions , October 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Christian Bookshelf Reviews , October 26

Texas Book-aholic, October 27

Just Your Average reviews, October 27

janicesbookreviews, October 28

Gail Hollingsworth, October 29



To celebrate her tour, Tanya is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.




Spotlight: House of Courage

House of Courage


HouseofCourageSome think courage belongs only to mythical superheroes. Others think courage is simply a matter of the will. Where does courage come from—really?

Marissa Cinzano shouldn’t have trouble finding courage. After all, she was brought up on it. As a single woman, she’s relied on it her entire adult life, especially during her breast cancer journey. But when her father wants to sell Orange Tree Farm, the only home she’s ever known, she believes saving the farm is her responsibility. If only she could work up enough courage—mind over matter.

Cousin Dante tries to help, but financial troubles with the family-owned restaurant makes it hard, and solutions are complicated by her father’s aging and her mother’s failing health. A fire fueled by dangerous Santa Ana winds in the canyons of Orange County, California causes a major setback. Will Orange Tree Farm be saved?

Marissa’s story challenges us to remember our plans may not be God’s plans and courage is found at the intersection of faith and grit.

About the Author

Beatty“Courage: The intersection of faith and Grit”

Susan K. Beatty is passionate about finding courage through faith and grit, particularly through the trials of breast cancer. Her daughter is a metastatic breast cancer “thriver” and has been an inspiration for her writing. Susan retired from a full-time job in 2017 and is now pursuing a novel-writing career. Her first novel, “Faces of Courage,” is in revision. Susan is the author of “An Introduction to Home Education” (AKA “California Homeschool Manual”), was the assistant director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and is the president of her local ACFW-OC Chapter. She is a professional writer/journalist. Susan is proof you can begin a fiction writing career after age seventy.

Find Susan on Facebook and Sign up for her newsletter!

Thoughts on House of Courage

House of Courage is a story of determination that left me feeling a sort of kinship with the main character, Marissa. The family dynamics of this Italian-American family brought me right back to my childhood and memories of our own family-owned restaurant. Great story with a faith element that doesn’t overwhelm but rather adds authenticity to the read. Two thumbs up!

Thanks for visiting and happy reading!



5 Ways to Jump-start Your Writing Schedule

So busy with work, family, and everything else that you can’t find time to write? Here are some helpful tips to give your writing schedule the jump-start it needs.

But before we get started, if you guys haven’t signed up for my monthly newsletter yet, now’s the time! Over the next month, all new subscribers will be entered to win a $25.00 Starbucks gift card.


You can sign up here or in the form at the end of the post.

This post is a throwback from the blog series, Tick-Tock, Writer’s Block, where we examined time management and that little annoyance that seems to plague all writers from time to time – writer’s block.

5 Ways to Jump-start your Writing Schedule

1.    Identify your creative time.

We all have a time of day when we feel the most creative. For me, it’s always first thing in the morning. In the early hours, before the rest of my family is awake and moving around, I find the peaceful quiet to offer inspiration and few distractions. Identify your time. Perhaps it’s in the morning, before dinner, or in the late hours of night when all has quieted for the day. Whenever that time is, recognize it and claim it as your own.

2.   Set a schedule.

After having identified your creative time, set a schedule that is realistic for your lifestyle. We all have responsibilities outside the world of writing and it’s necessary to balance work with life. Maybe you’re most creative in the evening, but you have nights when you are running your children to and from activities and can’t use that time to write. That’s ok. Find the days you are available and pen them in your calendar. Even if it’s only 2 days a week, you’ll find having set yourself a schedule to be enormously helpful in getting the work done.

3.    Make a commitment.

Once you’ve set your schedule, stick to it. Unless it is absolutely imperative to skip your writing time – don’t do it! When you’ve completed your manuscript, you’ll be happy you made the decision to discipline yourself.

4.    Understand your time is valuable.

Your time is important and so is your writing schedule. Even if you don’t receive an income from writing just yet, the time you spend honing your craft can not only lead to a future income, but allows you the freedom to express your creativity.

5.    Stress less.

Stop worrying. Seriously, just stop. Nothing stifles creativity more than useless tension. If you put a realistic schedule in place, you are then able to remove the anxiety that can accompany a busy life. Most authors have day jobs as well as families to care for, you are not alone. Keep your head up and move forward. Even if all you accomplish is a few hundred words a day, don’t worry about it. Good stories take time.

If you haven’t signed up for my monthly newsletter, just enter your info in the form below! Don’t miss YOUR chance to win that Starbies gift card! 🙂




Write What You Know

So, I thought I’d give this post another share since it’s really speaking to me right now. Also, if you guys haven’t signed up for my monthly newsletter yet, now’s the time! Over the next month, all new subscribers will be entered to win a $25.00 Starbucks gift card.


You can sign up here or in the form at the end of the post.

Ok, back to the topic at hand….writing what you know.

When it comes to writing, I try to follow some of the most common advice you might find around the web – make it interesting, show, don’t tell, do your Continue reading

The Secrets of Paper and Ink


About the Book



Title: The Secrets of Paper and Ink

Author: Lindsay Harrel

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: February 26, 2019

Publisher: Tyndale

Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.

A year after the death of her abusive fiancé, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England—a place she’s learned to love through the words of her favorite author—and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she’s renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.

Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.

More than 150 years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily’s journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.

The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author


Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at

Guest Post from Lindsay

With every book I write, it seems God has something new to teach me. That certainly was true of The Secrets of Paper and Ink.

Lately, I am learning more and more about the power of our words. I’ve become more conscious of the words I speak over myself as well as what I say to other people. It’s more than “positive thinking”—the words we say ultimately contribute to the stories we weave, and I want my story to be as positive and hope-filled as possible, regardless of my circumstances.

I’ve also become much more aware of the lies that I tell myself—“you are not worthy, you are not enough, you will never achieve what you want to achieve”—and the need to replace those lies with the truths that God says about me. I have listened to Lauren Daigle’s song You Say on repeat lately, and it has become a theme not just of The Secrets of Paper and Ink, but one in the story of my very life.

So while I may not have experienced everything my characters have—I’ve never suffered emotional abuse, or been ostracized by my family, or been orphaned and alone in a world that seems against me at every turn—I have learned alongside them. I set out to write a book that would draw readers closer to the true healer and hope giver, and I ended up being drawn closer myself.

And that, to me, is the true power of story.

Musings on The Secrets of Paper and Ink

A powerful story of friendship, hardship, hope, and healing. This novel dealt with issues of broken commitments in a realistic way that not all Christian fiction does and I enjoyed it very much. Having never read Lindsay Harrel’s work before, I’m grateful to have found a new author to follow. The story was interesting and kept me going right up until the end. Dual timelines are my absolute favorite and the author did an excellent job portraying past and present day England. Looking forward to more of her work!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 26

The Avid Reader, February 26

The Power of Words, February 26

Carla Loves To Read, February 26

Blogging With Carol, February 27

Inspirationally Ever After, February 27

Kristin’s Book Reviews, February 27

Real World Bible Study, February 28

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, February 28

Carpe Diem, February 28

A Baker’s Perspective, March 1

Andy Carmichael, March 1

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

The Becca Files, March 2

Just Your Average reviews, March 2

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 3

Emily Yager, March 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 3

Genesis 5020, March 4

Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 4

Stories By Gina, March 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 5

Simple Harvest Reads, March 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mary Hake, March 5

Remembrancy, March 6

Through the Fire Blogs, March 6

Inklings and Notions, March 6

Just the Write Escape, March 7

Pause for Tales, March 7

Book by Book, March 7

Living Life Free in Christ, March 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 8

To Everything A Season, March 8

The Lit Addict, March 9

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 10

Janices book reviews, March 10

Bigreadersite, March 10

Henry Happens, March 11

Godly Book Reviews, March 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 11

amandainpa , March 11


To celebrate her tour, Lindsay is giving away a copy of Lindsay’s first book The Heart Between Us!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Ladies of Intrigue



About the Book



Title: Ladies of Intrigue

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: February 2019

Publisher: Barbour


3 Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep!
Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author


Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit

Guest post from Michelle

3 Reasons to Read Historical Fiction

Guest post by Michelle Griep

Believe it or not, some readers snub historical fiction, preferring instead to stick to contemporary reads. Several have good reason to, simply preferring one genre over another. But others have never given historical fiction a try. If you fall into that camp, here are some reasons you should consider reading a tale from the past.

  1. Historical fiction books are not as boring as your high school history class.

Does the thought of endless names and dates make you break out into hives? Good news! Historical fiction is a painless way to glean some historic facts without mindless memorization. You can experience a different era and culture vicariously through heroes and heroines that live on the pages of yesteryear.

  1. Makes for great conversation.

In a world that prides itself on keeping up with the Kardashians, dare to add a little cultural zest to your next dinner conversation. Reading historical fiction arms you with interesting tidbits of things that’ve happened in years gone by.

  1. Because truth is timeless.

Some people yearn to go back to a simpler time. The truth is, though, that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the historic side of the fence. People have had tough issues to deal with no matter the era. . .but therein lies a great reason to read historical fiction: truth is timeless. Be it ancient, biblical, medieval, Victorian, or anything in between, truth never changes.

In my new release, Ladies of Intrigue, you’ll experience all these things and more. Find out about the smuggling trade in Cornwall in The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady. Learn about the rough and dangerous life on a military fort during the 1860’s in The Doctor’s Woman. Find out why the gilded age wasn’t as glittery as we often think in A House of Secrets.

Don’t be doomed to repeat history. Grab a cup of tea and master it with a great read!

Musings on Ladies of Intrigue

Whoa. The title says it all. I found each story in this compilation of three novellas heart-warming, page-turning, and you guessed it- intriguing! Michelle Griep does not disappoint in these historical fiction stories set in the 1800’s. I have to say my absolute favorite was the first in the collection, The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady. With smuggling, mystery, and romance, I couldn’t help but be reminded of one of my all-time favorite novels, Frenchmen’s Creek by Daphne DuMaurier. Add to that a few interesting personalities that bring to mind the well-known and annoying, Mr. Collins and Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice and you’ve got a recipe for one great story! As much as I was reminded of two wonderful classics, Michelle Griep’s voice stands alone in it’s creative telling of a delightful story that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the very end. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, February 23

The Power of Words, February 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 23

Blogging With Carol, February 24

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 24

Mary Hake, February 24

Kathleen Denly, February 25

Genesis 5020, February 25

Splashes of Joy, February 25

For the Love of Literature, February 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 26

Faery Tales Are Real, February 26

Through the Fire Blogs, February 26

Blossoms and Blessings, February 26

Inspired by fiction, February 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 27

Back Porch Reads, February 27

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 27

A Baker’s Perspective, February 28

Andy Carmichael, February 28

Stories By Gina, February 28

Emily Yager, March 1

Multifarious, March 1

A Reader’s Brain , March 1

Baker kella, March 1

Bibliophile Reviews, March 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 2

Remembrancy, March 2

Just the Write Escape, March 3

Bigreadersite, March 3

Inspiration Clothesline, March 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 4

Vicky Sluiter, March 4

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 4

Book by Book, March 4

Kat’s Corner Books, March 5

Inklings and notions, March 5

Living Life Free in Christ, March 5

The Morning Chapter, March 5

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 6

Pause for Tales, March 6

Simple Harvest Reads, March 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Daysong Reflections, March 6

Texas Book-aholic, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

Janices book reviews, March 7

A Humble Cup of Lukewarm Tea, March 8

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 8

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 8

Carpe Diem, March 8



To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of Ladies of Intrigue!!

Be sure to comment on blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.




Dusty Mauve, Homecoming, and the Day that Ruined Shoe Shopping

Every girl loves a good day of shoe shopping, am I right?

Well, you’d think so…then today happened.

My daughter received a fantastic homecoming “proposal” this week and so the endeavor to find that perfect dress and the shoes to match began.


Our mission started out fairly well, we found a gorgeous dress that she absolutely fell in love with in the first 40 minutes. It is simple and feminine with a beautiful lace pattern. The color? Dusty Mauve. Ahhhh, so pink and so pretty. Obviously I can’t share a photo of the dress just yet as that would break all the homecoming dress rules-you guys understand.

Next, we started the hunt for shoes and let me tell you, we had no idea what we were getting into.

Let’s start with the silver sparkles.


Gorgeous, but it they just didn’t match.


Next up, champagne gold…that goes with everything, right?




Okay. Now we’ve got it. Rose gold! That’s basically the same thing as dusty mauve, right?


No, my friends! No it is not! Appearances can be deceiving and just when we thought we had a perfect match, we discovered that dusty mauve makes rose gold look orange.

I’m telling you guys, if this color had a personality it would have the most narcissistic, self-centered disposition you ever did encounter.

At this point, even the color’s name was wearing thin on me. Dusty Mauve…how conceited. You’re just a powdery dark pink. Get over yourself.

7 stores and 4 hours later, we found the ultimate match! Jessica Simpson dusty rose heels! The colors blended perfectly and they had just the right amount of bling…and guess what?

dusty rose



We gave up. Shoe shopping has been ruined, at least for the time being. After venting our frustrations and kicking back a 10 piece McDonald’s chicken nugget, we finally settled on a plain pair of nude pumps–which just so happen to look like they were made for the dress.


Sometimes less is more. Tomorrow the journey for jewelry begins. Please pray for me…and don’t ever let me buy dusty mauve anything ever again.



Bash Writer’s Block in a Flash


Writer’s block. Ugh. The dreaded phrase. I’m pretty sure we all know what that is, so no need to define the term here. What’s important to know is how to get rid of it, am I right? Well, the first step would always be to admit it even exists in your reality. None of this denial business.


The next step is to write Flash Fiction.

Yep, totally serious.

Flash fiction has numerous definitions floating around the internet. Basically, it’s an extra-short, short story. Most sites classify flash fiction as anything less than 1000 words, some less than 700, and a few even define the genre as less than 300 all the way down to a nano story of 100 words.


Seems easy enough, right?

Haha…Ha. Ha. Not so much.

Though trying to cram a compelling story that makes sense into a piece shorter than most blog articles can be daunting, the process can also be incredibly rewarding…and in ways that surprised me. I had been stuck on a chapter in my current WIP, tentatively titled-A Temporary Home, for some time when I decided to take a break and work on a piece of flash fiction.

Deep in the throes writer’s block, I hadn’t been serious about the story at the time and was really just looking for a good distraction. What I found was so much more. Here are just a few of the ways flash fiction helped me out of a writing rut.

1. Practice

I was working. Most of us have heard the famous Picasso quote, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

A week had gone by without any progress on A Temporary Home. For me, that’s a long time. I mulled over the scenes that bothered me…and then mulled them over again. I thought, I daydreamed, I read, and still, nothing. As a writer, I like to think of imagination as a part of the job, but when that’s all you’ve done for a week, it doesn’t feel like you’ve done much of anything. I needed work to do and flash fiction provided that work.

2. Creativity

This sort of goes along with the work, but working on a new project allowed me to free my mind from present troubles and focus on something fresh. I also didn’t have any writerly guilt about it because I knew the story wouldn’t interfere with the work on my book. Flash fiction is a small enough project to be easily managed with any writing schedule.

3.  Audition

Audition? In the world of writing? Sure!

I took the opportunity to try on a new genre for size. All of my work so far has been contemporary fiction, but I’ve always held a fascination with historical novels. Why not use this chance to test those waters? Writing a short historical story allowed me to see if I liked writing in the genre, enjoyed the research, and really, if I was any good at it.

Guess what? I loved it! Doing the research sparked a new interest in a time period I knew little about (other than biblical aspects I’d learned throughout the years). I safely assumed the story was fairly well done since Splickety was awesome enough to publish it on their Lightening Blog. So, big score! I found out I liked the process, enjoyed the research, and might want to explore that genre for a book in the future.

4.  Accomplishment

Yeah, yeah. We’re writers- we write for the process.

But really, don’t you just love typing ‘The End’? I know I do. Feeling stuck was really getting me down, but once I finished my flash fiction piece, A Golden Promise, I was ready to jump back into work on A Temporary Home with fresh inspiration because I felt capable again. I had set a writing goal, accomplished it, and reminded myself once again- I can do this.

All in all, writing flash fiction has been an overwhelmingly positive experience and I really can’t wait to do it again.

Have you written flash fiction before? What was your experience like? Did the process help you with writer’s block? Tell me in the comments and leave a link to your story!

short story quote


Make Writing a Priority by Eliminating These 4 Things

4 Surprising Things to Get Rid of When You Just Don’t Have the Time


Most writers will say that writing itself is a priority in their lives, but is it really? What holds the seasoned writer back from penning a new novel every month? The answers can be numerous and complicated, but here are 4 surprising time-suckers to get rid of if you find yourself slacking—and no, none of them are Netflix—I’d never suggest such a thing!

Get rid of what doesn’t matter.

Sometimes this might mean letting the bathroom sit a day before its next scheduled cleaning. Let yourself be immersed in your writing without worry and distraction. When planning a block of time to write, don’t rush just to get to other chores. Its completely fine if your family eats an ordered pizza once in a while. Think of all the things you accomplish in a day and write them down. Does each activity really matter more to you than writing? If not, identify where you can make cuts…and do it!

Get rid of negativity.

Many of us have family and friends who support us. But some of us have at least one Negative Nancy in our lives who just doesn’t get it. Or, maybe they do get it, and they really just don’t want you to succeed. The psychology for why people do this is so far outside my ballpark, I’m not even going to go there. Ask yourself if everyone around you is really for you? Is anyone bringing you down? Personally, I’ll cut a toxic person out of my life faster than their legs can carry them. But that’s me. If you have negative people in your life who bring you down about your writing-simply don’t discuss it with them anymore. You don’t need their opinion or validation. Believe it or not, when we look at things optimistically, we tend to get a lot more done.

Get rid of doubt.

This sort of goes along with negativity. Perhaps ignoring a negative person’s opinion will also eliminate your doubt. But if it’s self-doubt you’re struggling with (and I think that applies to every writer in existence) then that can really eat up your time and impact your productivity when it comes to writing. When we doubt ourselves or feel we will fail, we tend to become big-time procrastinators. Believe in yourself and your abilities. You can and will do this- but only if you actually take the time to do it!

Get rid of expectations.

Some writers try to meet word count goals and then wallow in the depths of despair when they’ve spent 4 hours staring at a screen and have less that 500 words to show for it. It’s been said time and time again—any writing is good writing, at least in practice. If you’re writing, you’re creating. And the more you create, the better those creations become. Give yourself a break. So what if you only hit 50 words yesterday? Those 50 words might be someone’s favorite line in your book one day! Keep going and give yourself room to be flexible.

I realize we could dive into this much more deeply than we have, but I think you’ll find if you rid yourself of these things, you might just have a little more mental room for that next chapter.

How do you prioritize your writing? What holds you back? Let me know in the comments!