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How I Plan My Week

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I call it the Sunday Slay.

That’s my name for the hour that I spend each Sunday meticulously planning the week ahead and it’s one of the ways I manage to juggle a full-time teaching schedule with writing for several publications, running See Jane Write, exercising, and trying to have a social life.

Here’s how you too can use Sunday to can set yourself up to slay the week ahead.  (more…)

7 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Writing is a practice. Just as athletes have to practice to get better at their sport, we writers must practice to get better at our craft.

It was in Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones that I first saw this comparison made and the analogy has moved me ever since, especially because I’m a runner. I’m a very slow runner, but a runner, nonetheless, and whenever I’m running a race or training for one I’m also always thinking about writing. Lately, I’ve decided to dig a little deeper with this analogy between writing and running.

Runner’s train not just to get faster, but also to get stronger. Runners train to prevent injury. So, I started thinking, how can we writer’s train to prevent the injury of writer’s block?

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Why You Need an Elevator Pitch for Your Book

Earlier this week I finally sent my book off to my editor. During the process of writing my book there have been times when I have felt it was literally, physically fighting me. My body was sore. I found bruises and scratches on my body I couldn’t explain and I was always so tired. Jacob wrestled with an angel. I wrestled with words.

One day while taking a walk with my husband Edward he asked, “What is your book about exactly? I’ve been trying to tell people but I can’t. I don’t have an elevator pitch.”

The problem was I didn’t either.

(more…)

Her Story project seeks to empower women of Birmingham and beyond

Emily Smith and Mary Beth Gore

We women are our own worst critics—if you’re a woman, you’ve probably heard this before. And maybe this statement made you angry because you disagree. Or maybe it filled you with sorrow because you can say from first-hand experience that it’s true. When Mary Beth Gore heard this statement while watching the documentary Miss Representation, she decided to do something about it. She decided to start Her Story, a series of profiles on women with a connection to the Birmingham area.

“I want all women to know their story matters,” says Gore, a 24-year-old social worker. “It is a very empowering experience for a woman to share her story and know that it’s meaningful.”

Instead of criticizing other women Gore wants to uplift women by helping their voice be heard. She teamed up with Emily Smith to help her with Her Story, which they launched in January. Over the year Gore and Smith have shared stories of women of different age groups and different walks of life—from stories of women who have survived gunshot wounds and battled eating disorders to stories of college students and stay-at-home moms.

For my latest column for B-Metro I had a chat with Gore and Smith about the Her Story project. You can read it here.

Also on December 1 at 6 p.m. at the Christ City Center in Bessemer, Gore and Smith will host Her Story Celebration, an evening celebrating one year of stories. The evening will include dinner, time to explore vendor booths featuring women-owned businesses, and a panel discussion with some of the women featured in the Her Story project this year. Tickets are $10 in advance via EventBrite.com and $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit Grace House Ministries. You can order your tickets here.

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