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Episode 26: Journaling vs. Writing

Hello all!

After a hiatus, Scratch Paper Podcast is back! This week, I’m talking about journaling and how I have started to use it as a tool to help me clear my head and enjoy and understand my writing. I share ways you can use journaling to help you write, whether you are working on something non-personal (like I am) or something memoir-ish.

Newsletter readers, click through to listen to the episode! Or find it on iTunes or Stitcher.


Show notes:

What I’m reading: On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman and Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco and Lauren Oyler

What I’m working on: Wait, my novel about a psychic and an evangelical Christian family whose foster daughter has stopped talking, is drafted! I finished revising the draft a few weeks ago and sent it off to my agent. I will keep you posted! In the meantime, I’m enjoying a break from big projects–and to celebrate, my ebooks are free this week!

If you’re reading this in the future, you can sign up here to find out when my ebooks will be free again.


The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women Journal is based on a book with the same name.

Thanks for listening!


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The DIY Series is *FREE* on Amazon! 10/10 – 10/14

Hi friends!

To celebrate the wonderful month of October…and my birthday, I’m giving away DIY Writing Retreat and DIY Chick Lit for free on Amazon 10/10 – 10/14.

Both are *excellent* for preparing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and both are super fun. They are only currently available as Kindle ebooks, but you can read them on a computer, tablet, or phone if you don’t have a Kindle!

About DIY Writing Retreat:

DIY Writing Retreat - free all weekendDIY Writing Retreat: A Guide to Getting Away is a guide to making time and space for you to do exactly one thing: write. With step-by-step instructions to planning and running your own escape, DIY Writing Retreat will show you how to schedule time for your retreat, find a cabin or cabin-equivalent to stay in, and separate yourself from the rest of the world. Then, it will guide you through the entire retreat, from writing prompts to relaxing activities.

Written by the acclaimed author of DIY Chick Lit, this fun guide is sure to motivate writers at every stage, from aspiring authors to experienced novelists. Time to write alternates with fun activities that will energize you and keep you going. A worksheet guides you to reflect on your writing process and set goals for when you return home. There are even (super easy) recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Download it now!


About DIY Chick Lit:

a pink cover with a cupcake in the center, title: DIY Chick Lit/A Writing GuideDIY Chick Lit: A Writing Guide is a beginner’s guide to writing funny, snappy, sucks-you-into-the-story prose about modern women, life and love. Designed for the aspiring novelist, it’s full of tips and techniques, prompts and pep talks that will spark your imagination and inspire you to put pen to paper.

Originally published in 2013 as The Chick Lit Cookbook, this fun, cupcake-themed writer’s road map has been updated as part of acclaimed writing teacher Alicia de los Reyes’ DIY writing series.

DIY Chick Lit will take you from start to finish of your first draft in just 13 chapters, each with a short exercise that will get you writing now. Whether you’ve been wishing for years that you could write chick lit or are a brand-new fan of Bridget Jones and Becky Bloomwood, you owe it to yourself to pick up this guide.

DIY Chick Lit will prove to you that writing a novel can be fun and easy—it’s just like baking cupcakes!

Download it here!

Ends Saturday, October 14! Get them while you can!

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Scratch Paper Podcast, Episode 25: Pause (#2) for celebration!

This episode is a bit of a break from the usual format–no lesson, just a reflection on how finishing my latest draft feels good/bad/different from the last novel I wrote. I mull over what makes this celebration more complicated than the last (spoiler alert: I am not looking forward to revising!).

Subscribers: click on the giant image below to click through to my site to listen. (Scroll to the bottom to find the player.) Of course, you can also listen on Stitcher or iTunes.


Readers and listeners: whether you get this in your inbox or read it on my site, I have a question for you! Do you miss the links I typically post here? I have a lot going on (a lot = one small child), and I have been falling down on sharing my podcasts because typing up the show notes takes for. ever. So…do you use the show notes? Are they helpful to you? A good use of my time? Or…not?

Please hit reply and let me know! (Or comment on this blog post, if you’re reading on my site!)



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Scratch Paper Podcast, Episode 24: IG for Writers

I really like Instagram.

I joined about a year ago, but only began to use the platform seriously two months back. I tried doing “challenges” and made myself post every day for a month. And…it was fun! I made new internet friends (something I could never quite do on Twitter) and came up with content that I felt good about posting.

Listen in to the latest episode of Scratch Paper Podcast to hear what I did and what you can do to get started as a writer on Instagram. (In a nutshell: put your writerly self forward!)

Newsletter readers, click on the button below to go to my blog–the player is at the bottom of the post. Blog readers, don’t get this in your inbox? Sign up here! (And as a thank you, I’ll send you a 50% off coupon for one or both of my printable writing guides.)


And here are the show notes…

Writing update: Still working on my new novel, Wait. Unfortunately, my first novel, Finding Lucy, is no longer on submission.

Reading update: Really into memoirs right now: Hunger by Roxane Gay and Queen of Dreams by Heather Valencia and Rolly Kent. I’m also doing Seattle Public Libraries Summer Book Bingo–it’s really fun!


Everything I mention you can find in my Instagram feed (if you’re on IG, I’m @likesoatmeal–come find me and I’ll follow you! I love getting to know listeners.)

Here are two people I like following on IG: @thelizdiaries and @rustytruckphotography. They are both super friendly!

The challenges I participated in first were #igwritersmay and a bit of #writelifemay. But there are new challenges all the time: #readwritejune, #igreadersjuly… Look for a post that has a list of short prompts for each day, and jump in! Make sure you tag your picture with the challenge hashtag, and look around and like other photos that are also part of the challenge.

I follow a few writers who I want to be like: @normalchey, for example, is a full-time hybrid (traditional and self-published) author. I found her through one of the challenges.

What social media do you use? Do you like it? Do you use Instagram for business, or more for fun? I’d love to hear–share in the comments below, or share your thoughts on Instagram with the hashtag #scratchpaperpodcast!