A slight shift

I re-started blogging by writing about finding a new church (Valley and Mountain).  I decided to write bi-weekly for six months, from July to December.

Then, I switched gears and wrote about writing (mostly) from January to June.

Now I’m thinking it’s time for another shift. I’m a bit tired of looking at everything through the lens of “How is this related to ‘the writing life?'” and ready for a change, period.

Here’s a little update on my life:

Up until quite recently, I split my time between tutoring and writing. I tutored part-time to support my writing, and my goals were to make a real website for myself, self-publish a writing guide, get published in a few magazines, get an agent, get a regular writing gig, and eventually get a traditional book deal. I’ve written two guides and an e-course, gotten an agent, been published, contributed to Alt Magazine, and now regularly blog for Patheos–all in all, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done. I’ve also finished numerous writing projects, as yet unpublished: two book proposals, a nonfiction manuscript, a novel, a few short stories, and a few research-heavy essays.

Two things happened, though, to shift my focus. First, I got pregnant (yay!). Future Baby is going to arrive soon, and I’m going to be a stay-at-home mom. I’m very excited about this.

Second, my husband broke his collarbone. That might not sound like a game-changer, but for about two months I suddenly took on all the house duties. I cleaned, cooked, did the dishes (oh God, the dishes), the laundry, the bed-making…all stuff that I had formerly resented. It wasn’t easy–frankly, it was exhausting, and I am eternally grateful to my incredibly thoughtful parents for buying us meals for a week from a local delivery service.

When this happened, people kept telling me it was “practice” for when I was taking care of an infant. I didn’t like these comments; I didn’t want practice, I wanted a real infant! Taking care of an injured husband was scary and stressful. I would drive out to a tutoring session wondering if I should stay home with Andrew, and then text him each hour to make sure the pain meds were working at least a little bit and that he’d found something to eat one-handed.

After that, something changed. I don’t know if it’s hormones or just me, but I realized I liked taking care of things around the house. I mean, I don’t like doing dishes, and I can’t pretend I take out the compost or the trash, but I like planning and cooking meals and keeping our living space clean. It feels good. I’m taking care of a big part of living doing those two things.

As planned for a long time, I’ve quit my tutoring job to get ready for the baby to arrive. I have a bunch of writing tasks I want to finish in the next few weeks (writing posts for Patheos, including a cool series [I think] about adoption and Christianity) and all kinds of little projects that need to be finished before a new human arrives in our house. I’m spending time writing, cooking, cleaning, practicing Spanish, and running about a hundred errands. I’m lucky to be able to take this time–dude, this is the life.

All this to say, I’m thinking of a shift in my writing for this blog. I’ve been trying to think of something more sustainable to write about–a way to keep my blog going without getting burnt out on the topic at hand. I don’t know what my time will look like after the baby is born, but I have a feeling that with Patheos and writing projects on my plate, this blog will take last place on my list.

I’ve thought about just not blogging, and who knows–I might stop sooner than I think. But partially inspired by this blog, also by a small business owner, I’m thinking of writing more about the fun parts of life. I don’t want to share too much about my personal life, but I do want to share more about what it’s like living in an awesome part of Seattle, writing and working from home, and making stuff in my free time.

I’ll keep doing monthly indie book reviews (I have one in the works for Growing Eden, about another 20-something writer who became a mom) and sharing my writing around the internet. But I plan to add in a new series or two about living in the city and making stuff–perhaps a photo series of the city living thing and a monthly round-up of the projects that I’m working on (I’m almost always working on a quilt). We’ll see how it plays out. My goal is to continue to post something bi-weekly, and perhaps ramp up to weekly–though posting weekly on two blogs seems ambitious.

In August and September, I plan to take a break from blogging–I’ll be posting some fun videos me and my publisher BFF Kelly Rizzetta of KMR Publishing made about our favorite chick lit, our own personal fatal flaws, and fun stuff like that.

Oh, and about my newsletter, Greetings from Bookland! It will remain a writer’s newsletter. You can sign up here and get monthly mini-writing lessons, plus all my deepest darkest secrets and reflections on the trials, tribulations, and fun times of writing life.

Thanks for reading along, and tell me–if you blog, how do you make it sustainable?

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So I’m making an ecourse…

Your DIY Writing Retreat - A Guide to Getting Away E-courseI’m working on an e-course version of DIY Writing Retreat. Basically, I’m expanding the ebook and breaking it down into eight steps that you can work through at your own pace via email. It’s going to have fancy printable worksheets and fun quizzes.

Why am I doing this? A few reasons…

  1. I wanted to try out doing it. I like e-courses and I wanted to make my own.
  2. I wanted to try selling my writing in a different format.
  3. I wanted to try teaching via email.
  4. I like making stuff.

And, to be perfectly transparent, I wanted to see if this might be a more efficient way to make money from writing than an ebook. For one thing, Amazon won’t be taking out a chunk of my sales–and for another, prices on e-courses are generally higher, so I can charge a more reasonable price for the amount of work I put in.

I’m sure I’ll have fewer sales on Your DIY Writing Retreat (the name of this new endeavor)–for one thing, I don’t have the benefit of Amazon’s platform, or the numerous kind reviews that I already have on my other ebooks–but I figured I’d give it a shot with you, my dedicated readers.

So tell me in the comments: are you interested in e-courses? Are you interested in this one? You can sign up here to find out when it launches (and get a free guide to writing, if you haven’t already!).

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Writing Around

Hi friends,

I’ve been busy writing up a storm on the Patheos blog I run, Surprising Faith, all about interesting Christians and Christian trends. I thought I’d share a few of the posts here:

Enjoy!

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And also a columnist…

Heyo! Big writing happenings going on. My first post in a mini-series on Alt Magazine about things you don’t have to do is is up.

Kelly Rizzetta is in many ways a typical American twenty-something woman. She has an iPhone and a LinkedIn account. She has kept in touch with friends from each of her jobs and from college, mostly via email and the occasional online chat. She is very good at remembering birthdays. Kelly lives at home with her parents and goes into the city often to visit her sister and friends who live there. But she’s not on Facebook.

This may not seem like a big deal to you—Facebook is not the be-all, end-all social media platform it was just a few years ago. But chances are you feel pressure to participate in some social media. Maybe you are an aspiring writer, and the world is telling you to have a blog.

 

Shout-out to myself in the last line there. Check out the full article here and share it wherever you share things (not that you have to do that!) with #ydhtdt.

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