How to Write Beginnings that Capture the Minds of Your Readers

If you’ve ever struggled to get the beginning of your story just right, know that you’re not alone. Many of us struggle with the first few chapters. Beginnings are challenging because they carry so much weight in your overall story. They need to grip the reader’s attention, enticing them to want to experience the adventure that follows.

Improve Your Productivity & Focus Through Diet, Rest, & Exercise

Today's post is a guest post by Amanda VanDeWege of


Jen and I have worked collaboratively over the past six years on multiple cross-discipline projects. Knowing my passion for brain-based learning strategies as well as educating people on the significance of nutrition for a healthy weight, I’m excited to explore the links between diet, rest, and exercise as they relate to improved productivity, energy, and focus.

Scenes - To Outline or Not to Outline - An Experiment

Having worked with many authors over the years, I’ve found that the majority of us outline in some form or another, whether it’s somewhere in the middle of pantsing and outlining (as I was doing) or writing very detailed multi-page outlines. There are many different types and levels of outlining, and it all comes down to what works best for each individual.

How to Use Time-Chunking to Increase Your Productivity + Energy Levels

Becoming more organized and truly productive is something a lot of us are focusing on. It’s not that we’re goofing off every day, but often we find ourselves caught up in busy work that doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity. Add to that a distraction habit and you have a recipe for disaster. How often have you found yourself working on a project when an idea for something else forms, so you shift tasks to capture the idea and end up exploring that path instead? Next thing you know, you have a bunch of projects started but nothing completed.  I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point!

How to Combat Distractions and Get More Writing Done

Distractions are high on the list of things that keep us from completing our writing projects. Many people cite the internet, email, phone, even mind-wandering as the number one thing that keeps them from writing. And I know we hear over and over again to turn off the internet, shut off our phones, etc., etc., etc. All these things seem obvious, but the pull is so strong that sometimes even shutting it off isn’t enough. How many times have you turned off the internet only to find your mind wandering to something you want to look up or something you forgot to do, so you turn it back on (only for a minute, or so you tell yourself anyway!), to find yourself lost down the rabbit hole, emerging an hour later?