Where Do We Go From Here?

Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet…

A little Adele to start off the blog post since this is my first post on this site in almost one year. I haven’t been keeping up with this blog because I’ve been doing several things. The biggest thing I’ve been doing has been running a personal finance and personal development site centered around rebelling against the norm of being in debt and fearful of money. I’ve LOVED doing it! It’s been a lot of work managing and expanding it but soooo fun to do.

Next thing? Thailand! I moved to Thailand in March 2016 to teach English. The experience has been a real eye-opener. I never could afford to do the study abroad programs while in university and I didn’t travel much growing up. For the longest time, I resigned myself to believing I wouldn’t be able to travel until my late twenties or early thirties, once I had paid off student loans and was at a higher salary bracket.

Getting the chance to move abroad and teaching in Thailand has been wonderful beyond words. It’s bittersweet to be leaving this month and going on my next adventure (to be announced on my Instagram).

FinCon was another wonderful thing I got to do in 2016. FinCon is the Financial conference for people in the personal finance online media. I didn’t think I would have been able to go but I unexpectedly won a scholarship and next thing I knew, I was in San Diego attending it!

I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions and pivoting. Just over a year ago, I was working at a job I hated. I was depressed and suicidal, and wondering how to get out. I’ve been trying to formulate how exactly I was able to move past this terrible time.

The biggest thing that has helped me was changing my mindset. As cliche as it sounds, it’s helped a lot. But don’t believe those life coaches, motivational speakers and such that you see. Changing your mindset doesn’t happen at the click of a button. It doesn’t happen by reading one self help book or watching a TED talk.

It takes time (and that’s okay).

Getting out of the situation I was in back in America and moving abroad forced a shift to happen in me. For the past several months, I’ve been journaling, using small bits of time for my creativity, and doing morning pages.

Morning pages are where you write 2 or 3 (or whatever) stream of consciousness pages in the morning. It’s been helpful in a way I couldn’t imagine before. I’ve been able to control the negative self-defeating thoughts that swirl through my head. I’ve developed a more positive mindset.

Things have been getting a lot better.

As for this site, I gave it an updated look (!!) and plan on writing here ever so often. No set schedule. It doesn’t matter though. This site is more for my life pondering and updates. I’ll be busy running Rebel With A Plan.

I’ll leave you with this quote. It’s a good one. Talk soon!

Why I Almost Quit Blogging (But Didn’t)


Something happened a month and a half ago. I was in my bed, middle of the night, wide awake. I was desperately trying to get to sleep but my mind was racing with all sorts of thoughts. I didn’t have work the next day so it sleep wasn’t critical but I wanted to wake up early for the next day.

I keep thinking about this blog. All that this blog has been through and the experiences I’ve gone through while writing it. Bittersweet.

In April 2013, the spring semester of my freshman year of college, after several months of delay, I started this blog. It began on the free WordPress.com platform with a template site design that makes me now cringe. This blog started as a creative outlet for me. I posted about college life, movie reviews, things I was reading, and career stuff since I was beginning my upper level public relations classes.

Having a space on the web to call my own, fascinated me. My first foray into websites and blogging happened in 2007 when I was 13. I built a free website on the webs.com platform (then called FreeWebs) and ran with it. Games, polls, reviews, and horrid graphic design covered the website.

My 13-year-old self loved having a website. The feeling stayed when I began this blog. Throughout college, this site was my rock, the one steady thing in a constant stream of change.

When I graduated college and started a full-time job, things changed slightly. My job was demanding and I had less time to devote to this site. Then my passion started to slip. The blogging world changed. Words like monetization, sponsorships, and business blogging became a regular recurring conversation. I looked at my site and felt weird about it.

What was my site’s focus or the ever elusive “niche” as business bloggers recommended? If you look through the archives, despite some being deleted, you will notice this site has gone through different phases: college, movie reviews, entertainment industry analysis, writing, personal finance, social media, and so forth.

Through the years of having my blog, I’ve seen several people around me start blogs then have them fade away a few months later. People would stop doing their blogs out of boredom, discovering blogging wasn’t for them, or entering a new phase in their life (in my age bracket’s case, that meant getting one’s first full-time job).

To be honest, I kind of did quit this blog for a while. From August to December of 2015, this site was kind of on auto-pilot. It would take me several days or a week to write one post and I would schedule posts that had been sitting in my drafts for months.

I struggled with creating content, trying to figure out the site design and the direction of this site.

Let me say something many people know but it’s worth repeating: blogs are hard to maintain. 

I knew this and for a while I left blogging. Yet no matter how much I tried to walk away from it, my mind kept pulling me back to it.

Yes, blogs are hard to maintain. You have to do SEO, resize images, make graphics, get all the proper tags and keywords in place, create clever yet concise headlines, interact with other bloggers, write high-quality content…oh and do it while (usually) holding down a full-time job and a myriad of other responsibilities.

It’s hard work and sometimes I get exhausted from it but I kept coming back to it because even though it can be exhausting, I like it. I LOVE the blogging community (PF and Writing blogging peeps in particular!) and I love writing and sharing things.

Soooo where am I going with all of this?

Well, I’ve been running a new personal finance site for a month and a half now, Rebel with a Plan. It focuses on helping people master their money and rebel against the norm. Ah! I love writing for the site. My goal for the site is to make personal finance topics more approachable and not so intimidating. There is going to be some lifestyle stuff thrown in as well!

This site will still stay here and I will continue writing on this blog, albeit on a monthly basis or so. Having this site has been a joy but it’s just so awesome to stand behind something that really excites me. Something I learned while doing this site is I really like educating others on topics and I don’t like talking about myself too much. It isn’t some timid sort of thing, I just like having the focus be on something else.

Have you gone through a blogging rut in the past or recently? How do you keep the excitement alive while blogging? Let me know! Be sure to check out my new site! Rebel with a Plan. 


Candy Bars and the Taste of Business

Two things fascinated me as a kid: candy and the thrill of building something of my own.

I would spend my days shoveling gummy bears into my mouth while simultaneously planning out my next big project. Building a treehouse, making bicycle storage cart, collecting aluminum cans to cash in, anything was possible.

One blazing hot day in the summer 2006, I found myself staring down at my hand. $7.00 dollars. Laying in my hand, slightly crinkled, was $7.00 dollars. My weekly allowance. Not different from the last week, but for that week, something didn’t sit right with me about it. I wanted more money. 

I loved books and I loved video games. Books and video games costed money and I knew I wouldn’t get a lot with $6.00 dollars a week. It would take weeks to save up for something, then I would spend the money, and then what? Have nothing once again. It didn’t sit well with me. So I set out for something more.

In summer 2006, I opened up my first business, a candy counter store inside of my mom’s assisted care facility. At the tender age of 12 years old, it felt like a huge deal to me. I had spent around $30 (a month’s worth of pay!) on signage, decorations, menus, and so on. Using Microsoft Publisher on the computer at the library, I designed menus, logos, and other materials for the business.

Colin Ashby cafe
On June 23,2006 Colin’s Cafe was born.

I sold a variety of candy bars, chips, and sodas in the little room I called my business. Every few weeks, when the town grocery store would have the candy bars marked down to 3 for a dollar, I would rummage a bunch together and buy them. My pricing at the cafe was 0.75 cents for candy bars, 0.75 cents for 12.oz soda, and 0.60 cents for a bag of chips.

With the business up and running, I started to bring in money (which, as a 12-year-old, I thought was good money). My brothers, sisters, and parents one by one started to ask me what I was going to do with the money I had. My mind would reminisce back to the thought of the copious amount of books, video games, and other gadgets I could buy. Instead, staring down at the cash, something changed and instead I put the money aside. I opened up my first savings account (or as I liked to call it at the time, my business account). Every week, after tallying up the costs and money made, I would take all of the profits and deposit them into my savings account.

Now, at age 21, I can see why I was so keen on wanting to save my money: because everyone else around me wasn’t.

Looking back on growing up, I remember all the things people around me bought. New cars, pricey home renovations funded by credit cards, wasting money on junk food. It was weird. Me and people my age were told we needed to go to college or else we would be destined to living a life of burger flipping. Buy a new care was rationalized by saving it was being used to build one’s credit. Going to graduate school, no matter what the price tag, was seen as being able to further one’s career. People bought big houses, ones they could barely afford, because bigger was better.

While all of this was going on, I rarely ever heard discussion about retirement planning, budgeting, emergency funds, or investing. As a senior in high school, soon to leave for college, I and everyone around me was told to not worry about student loans because we would just get a job after college and be able to start paying it back.

Colin’s Cafe, my first business endeavor, gave me my first real experience with managing money. Looking back on that experience and the experiences of growing up and going through college, I noticed a lack of basic financial literacy among many people. They didn’t know how to properly save, budget, and deciding between needs and wants.

I’m not a whiz on the aspect of personal finance. So far the only things l really know are about saving, emergency funds, and using side hustles to make more. Investing, IRAs, index funds, and so on, I still have a lot to learn. And that’s the exciting thing, I want to learn more about it, and I want to share it, write about it, and help people become more knowledgable with their money.

Most of all, I want to help people take charge of their money and their life. It’s all about getting started.


photo via Unsplash 

2016 Words, Inspiration, and Thoughts


It’s the first post of the year for this little site! I’m excited about it. Throughout 2015, my posts were sporadic. There was a reason for that and I explain it more in detail in the next few weeks. For now, all I can think about is everything I want to accomplish this year.

I’m not one of those anti-resolutions people but I also don’t like to make lofty goals and not make much of an effort to fully reach them. Seeing as how I have lots of goals (professional, personal, general), I knew I needed a way to organize them all. I picked up this nifty little think called The Passion Planner. I’ve been using it for the few weeks and love it. Little sections for doodles, spots for appointments, goal setting and outlining boxes. All Type A’s and people looking to get their messy life together rejoice.

Things have been getting tweaked here and there on this site (I removed the sidebar! added buttons! haha). In all seriousness, things have been changing a lot. In that feel-good indie movie flick kinda way. I’ve talked previously about how 2015 was a year I got really inspired. I got more into the writing community, creative community, and discovered the personal finance community.

Right now, I’m getting around to reading Mindy Kaling’s second book, Why Not Me?. In addition to being really insightful and humorous, it got me thinking about the different things I want to accomplish this year.


  •  Contribute to Roth IRA ($3,500 by end of year): You ever heard of a Roth IRA? If you had asked me this time last year, I would have scratched my head and gave an I don’t know shrug. After reading up on a 5-part series on Roth IRA’s, I was ready to take action. Last month I set one up. I’ve put $275 in this month and really hope to get it to $3,500 by the end of the year. Retirement planning is important! Being 21 years old, compound interest is on my side!
  • Get students loans to under $7,500: Student loans. Just saying those two words makes me shiver. Currently I have $16,200 in loans. Last year, I read up on a lot of personal finance bloggers who were able to pay off their student loans a lot faster than what they normally would have been able to, by taking on side hustles and extra money making opportunities. Making extra money, in addition to full-time job work is going to be essential to shrinking my student loan debt.


These ones are the ones I really want to accomplish.

  • Publish 1st novel: I’ve talked (albiet briefly) about my first novel I was writing. It’s taking a nap right now and I’m working on my 2nd novel. Currently on the 1st draft and I am already loving where this story is heading. Publishing my first novel is on the top of the list for a goal I really want to meet this year.
  • Start sending out an email newsletter: I’m thinking about doing a monthly newsletter. I like the idea of email newsletter and vicariously read a few of them. Weekly and even bi-weekly newsletters are too much for me (who has that much to share?!). No pop-up and/or drop down opt-in forms are going to be making any appearances on this site. It will just be on the sidebar in the blog page. The goal is to let me someone sign up if they want to, but not be too pushy about it.
  • Do a podcast: This is another thing that has been on my mind for awhile. Listening to Jen Carrington’s Make It Happen podcast and Kayla Hollatz’s Power of We series furthered my interest in doing one even more. I have a rough idea of what I want the podcast to be about. The goal is for it to be a one-time thing with 8-10 episodes. Can’t reveal too much more as of now, but stay tuned!
  • Guest post: I need to do more guest posting on other sites. My writing has been on The College Tourist and Kory Woodard’s blog. This year I will do more of it. Not sure of how to measure this, maybe one guest post per month? Still deciding.


These are all of the goals I can remember off the top of my head. My planner has a section for monthly reflections, so I’m going to be using it to stay more accountable and measure each goal. What are your goals for this year? Anything big? Let me know!





Quantity beats Quality


You usually don’t hear the saying “quantity beats quality” a lot. It’s usually the other way around, and for good reason.

Quantity, however, beats quality in certain circumstances. A perfect instance is when a person is trying to learn a new skill and/or get better at something.

We all want to learn something new. When I worked as a news reporter a few years back, several of the journalists wanted to write novels (typical stereotype, I know). When I was taking classes at Texas State University, many other mass communication students wanted to learn coding or design.

Did ever get around to learning the skills? Some did, most didn’t. In my web design class, many of the students I talked to didn’t like the progress they were making towards learning coding and building their websites. When I asked them about how often they practiced, they mentioned only working on their websites during class time (which was a once a week night class).

It brings me to a thing I’ve seen over and over, learning by immersion, making as much as possible and treating what you’re learning about seriously.

I recently read a Fast Company article about this very topic: learning a new skill by doing it every day, embracing quantity over quality (in a good way).

The article has a bunch of examples ranging from a lady who taught herself graphic design in six months and got a job as a designer and a woman who make 180 websites in 180 days.

Outside of the article, I can think of another example: coding bootcamps. Around the county there are programming bootcamps that last on average three months and teach people to code and become web developers. In most of the bootcamps, student put in between 60-80 hours a week learning how to code. They live and breath it.

During the month of November, thousands of new and seasoned writers aim to complete the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel in the month known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The task is to write at least 1,667 words everyday and doing word sprints everyday. 

The point is to just start doing it (whatever “it” might be) and do it everyday. One of my goals for next year is to learn a lot more about graphic and web design. I know in the beginning a lot of what I produce is going to be subpar or downright crappy, I (and you!) just have to keep going.

Even with things you can’t or shouldn’t do everyday (like say running to train for a marathon), visualize and think about it everyday. Think about how you can improve. Give it 100 is a great site for inspiration from people who have worked toward their goal everday for 100 days.

Never settle and let frustration consume you, keep moving forward and you will get better.

I have a lot I want to learn in graphic and web design. I’m going to be practicing everyday and reading up on design theory and layout.

I wish you all the best in your journey toward a new skill.

Cheers! Happy Learning!

Image credit


What Comes Next? Planning for 2016


Don’t worry. This isn’t going to be one of those “new year, new me” type posts (yes…people still do them). This is more about the shifts I’ve noticed in my priorities and goals over the course of this past year. There’s been a lot.

This was the year that…

  • I started off being unemployed after graduating from college
  • I got a full-time job (#hallelujah)
  • I appeared on a national talk show
  • 3 vacations were taken (Mexico, Los Angeles/San Francisco, and The Bahamas/Florida)
  • I turned 21 (not really something I had to work to do, but still fun to mention!)
  • I connected with great people in the writing, entrepreneurship, and blogging industries

With all the things that happened this year, I still think about how much things have changed as I go into 2016. This year something weird happened. I got really into writing and personal finance. Personal finance, you know, the thing most people think is boring. Yeah, that.

It started when I was researching tips on moving to New York City. I stumbled across the article “How I moved to NYC with only $300” located on L. Bee and the Money Tree, a personal finance blog. After that, I was hooked. I found other personal finance sites and started reading them. Everything about them was so inspiring. Many of the bloggers had lots of debt and were able to pay it off quickly, lots of them talked about how their blogs helped them in other parts of their life. Self-employment became a reality for many of them. Some of the posts I loved the most are below:

Like many great things, I go back and reread these articles time after time. These people came from having low-paying jobs, being unemployed, having huge amounts of debt, and a host of other dire circumstances to having blogs that boosted them towards their goals.

I love the personal finance community. I love the writing community. Both of these have been areas of great growth this year.

So….what does this all mean?

I want to focus more on these areas going into the new year. I’m not exactly sure what I mean by that. I know I want this blog to have a more precise focus on a group of topics rather than being scatterbrained. I know I want to make more in the new year (more books, more opportunities, more money).

There’s a lot of planning going about what I want for this website. The color picking, blog post brainstorming, and design scheme type planning. Look out for it in January!

Have you noticed anything that changed about yourself this past year? What plans do you have for the year ahead?


No More Half-Measures

If you’re going to invest your time into something that you really want to do, do it with full force. No more half measures.

oIpwxeeSPy1cnwYpqJ1w_Dufer Collateral test
Break out the tools and get started

Many people are guilty of this. Heck, I’m guilty of it. You want to pursue something but you’re so worried in the process of doing it that you don’t give it your all. You’re so caught up in hanging out with friends, looking busy, and focusing on menial things that you never get around to actually doing the thing you want to do.

Let’s say you want to keep a blog. You write a few posts but you never really promote it or comment on other blogs to build an audience. Writing a book may be on your bucket list. Although you never get around to doing it. The common excuse for putting it off is “Oh, I don’t have any time.”

Is there a reason for this? Why do people give an okay performance to something they’re passionate about doing? Why do people put off something they’re passionate about doing?

Example time. During NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, a lot of people talk about writing a novel. They start, get 5,000 or 15,000 words, then stop. They don’t intentionally stop. It just sort of happens. They’re self critic is so loud, it drowns out the voice that got them starting in the first place.

I was guilty of this for so long as I wrote my novel. I would be writing, get a lot done, then think “Oh, this is crap, why am I doing this?” or “People have already written a book similar to this, so why am I even trying?”.

Last year I discovered a year-long project a recent college graduate was doing called A Year of Productivity. I loved the site because of how much he put into it. Productivity experiments have been doing countless times by people, yet the content he provided on his site was so refreshing. You know why? Because he was putting his perspective on it, looking at the subject from a new light, and most importantly, putting his own voice into the website.

This year I read a book called The Quarter Life Breakthough. It discusses the topic of millennials who might be having a quarter-life crisis and are on the search for meaningful work. The content of the book was thought-provoking and made me question the priorities I have in life. I loved the discussion points the author made and the exercises he gave.

In the book the author points out how he doubted writing the book because others told him “it’s already been written about a million times”. He didn’t give in to their opinions and continued writing. Since it’s release, the book has been pre-ordered in 38 countries and been featured on Fast Company, Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Under 30 CEO, and The Washington Post. He’s been speaking on various college campuses and bookstores across the country.

If he had given into what people said about how the type of book had “already been written a million times” then none of the press and coverage would have happened. If you have something you’re really passionate about starting and doing, do it, and don’t give in to the noise of others. Don’t stop because of the outcome people might predict you will have.

Also, if you’re keen on doing something, then try to do it whenever you have free time. If you want to play guitar, learn how to do photography, knitting, riding a unicycle, or whatever, then invest as much time as you can into doing it. You see, many people that are crazy passionate about doing something don’t read a ton of productivity articles, or schedule exactly 30 minutes to their passion project. They work on it as much as they can.

Ksenia Anske, a self-published author, finished a draft of her new book Corners in 20 days (20 days!!). That’s dedication. Now you don’t need to do exactly what she did, but understand her work ethic.

breaking-branding-22-638If you’re going to start on something, do it with full force. If you only put a fraction of your dedication into it, people will notice. No more half-measures. Mike Ehrmantraut (from TV show Breaking Bad) would agree. Now go forth and invest large in what you want to do. A few things to get you going:

—Next time you procrastinate and put off what you’re thinking about doing, write a journal to yourself. In the journal, write about why you decided not to get started, what you can do better, and what you plan to do to improve.

—I’ve seen this is in a post by The Muse, ask yourself these six questions everyday:

  1. Did I work towards my goals today?
  2. What bad habits do I need to stop?
  3. What motivated me today?
  4. Have I been the kind of person I want to be?
  5. What mistakes did I make today, and what can I learn from them?
  6. What am I grateful for today? (three things)

Your answers to the questions doing have to be super long, they can just be two or three sentences. The point is to do it so you become more aware of yourself and the time you use. Now get started on the the think you want to do!



Image credit

Why I’m Self-Publishing


Before the days of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform and paperback distributors like Createspace, the way the self-publish your novel meant going to a small indie press, they would make a few dozen of your books and you would hand them out to friends, family, and maybe put an ad in the classifieds sections of newspapers.

Things have come a long way. Self-publishing has exploded in popularity due to easy access tools like Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, and many more. The industry has gained notoreity due to smash hit self-publishing successes like Hugh Howey, Andy Weir, Brenna Aubrey, and E.L James.

Although there are many indie author success stories and self-publishing being tagged with the often touted benefit of having full creative freedom over your work, these were not major reasons as to why I chose self-publishing. Below are some of the reasons why I chose the self-publishing route.

I’m not about that publishing business mindset

When you go the traditionally published route, they whip your novel into shape, promote it, do some release day publicity and then…it’s a matter of being hopeful. Hopeful that readers will buy the book, connect with it, and recommend it to others. What happens if you don’t bring in a desired amount of money? You’re cut. It’s harsh but it something that happens in the traditional publishing industry a lot. I don’t see too much of a problem with it because at the end of the day publishing companies are still businesses. They need/want to hit a certain amount and if you don’t bring in the desired amount of money, you’re cut.

I’m in a tricky, emerging and not yet fully understood genre market

New Adult fiction. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. St. Martin’s Press coined the term in 2009. A genre sometimes labeled as “older YA”, focusing on characters, age 18-25 leaving home, navigating college and career and coming into adulthood. Self-publishing had been driving the genre into popularity.  Despite the growing number of New Adult novels, traditional publishers as well as others still don’t know what to think of the genre. Stereotypes such as it being a genre for reckless behavior, lacking responsibilities and casual sex have circulated.

My novel doesn’t involve any of those things, it just focuses on a woman, recently graduated from college, trying to determine her next direction in life. It has themes of courage, hustle, tenacity, and creating one’s own legacy. Publishing companies probably wouldn’t understand my novel and where it would fit in the book market. I want to be the one to drive readers to my book and show them the struggles so many millennials face when coming into new found adulthood. I understand my brand and novel better than some publishing company would.

Money & Pricing

If I went the traditional publishing route, my book would probably sell for $9.99 for the e-book and $15.00 for the paperback. Even with a publishing company to back me and several marketing and promotional efforts, I still think not as many people would buy the book at these prices as opposed to the lower prices indie titles are at (usually $2.99 or $3.99)

I’m selling my book at a lower price to attract more readers and engage with more readers. Word of mouth and awareness for my novel is far more important than money.

You have a longer window of opportunity with self-publishing 

With traditional publishing, they release your book, do a few book signings, interviews, and after a few weeks, or months, if you can’t bring in a certain amount of money, they pull it from book stores and minimize publicity and marketing. Many traditional published authors have talked about how a lot of the book marketing falls on them after releasing and they get little help from the publishing company.

With self-publishing you months and years on end to reach readers. Maroon 5’s beloved first album, Songs About Jane, was a slow burning success and took over two years to start getting recognition. While this isn’t a self publishing story, it is a good example of how sometimes it takes a while for things to catch on and have the so called “hitting it big”. Self-publishing allows a much longer period of exposure than traditionally publishing books.


Even with the list of reasons why I’m self-publishing, there are some not so sunny sides to it. Many like to romanticize self-publishing. There are things to note when going the indie route. For one, self-publishing (depending on the way you look at it) can get expensive. Developmental editing, copyediting, cover design, formatting, copyrights, and more can add up. Self-publishers spend an average of $2,300 for each book they release. You can spend a lot lower or a lot higher, regardless of the price, you will have to spend a pretty (but not soo pretty) penny to yield a quality book that people would want to buy.

Even though you’re self-publishing, some tradition publishing rules still apply: put together a media kit, figure out target audience, get a good editor, get a good cover design and make a welcoming author website.

Self-publishing has it’s advantages, disadvantages and is a lot of work but I’m embracing it. I can’t wait till I have that feeling of holding my own book in my hands and being able to connect with readers.

Image by Alice Hampton

15 Stages of Writing a Novel {DONE}

1. Getting a genius idea for a novel

anigif_enhanced-21780-1412910809-13You’re so happy about it and you want to tell everyone.

2. The first few thousand words are a breeze.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-3360-1387916722-9This is so great! I’m writing a novel. My idea, characters are so perfect. No one has ever thought of this! Since I have an idea I’m so passionate about, writing this novel is not going to be so hard…

3. You hit a stump and decide to just think about the novel for a while


I’ll just wait for some inspiration to write. It will come to me.

4. You don’t have any inspiration and can’t figure out what to write

anigif_enhanced-29877-1413046081-45. You finally get back into the writing groove

anigif_enhanced-32428-1413045238-11You got this. The idea is still there. Things are coming along. Getting the novel finished will be easy.

6. When friends and family ask “So what’s your novel about?”

anigif_enhanced-buzz-14584-1412898231-237. You’re trying, really trying, to finish the thing but new book ideas keep popping into your head

anigif_enhanced-buzz-23249-1412914210-16This idea is genius…and this idea…and this one too. The only problem? You.still.have.to.finish.your.WIP.

8. Getting so frustrated, you wish you could just be Kendall and Kylie Jenner and have someone else write “your” book and you put your name on it

Kendall-and-Kylie-Jenner-How-Much-of-Their-Book-Did-They-Write-650x471I mean it counts as your book even though a “co-writer” did all the work, right?

9. You find other quirky writer friends along the way

anigif_enhanced-buzz-1946-1412920766-24They read entire novels in five hours like you. They are struggling to finish a novel just like you. They’re perfect.

10. Although youre still struggling to finish writing

anigif_enhanced-2377-1410976180-911. Various people and obligations start to creep into your writing time

anigif_enhanced-buzz-15997-1387916979-5 Friends want to hang out, and hang out some more. You’re boyfriend/girlfriend wants to spend more time with you. You need to pick something up for someone, have work obligations, etc. etc. etc. RIP writing time.

12. After a while though, you finally get to finishing the first draft


13. You celebrate

anigif_enhanced-29745-1413050393-2All of those people that said you couldn’t write a novel? Yeah, they can keep quiet now.

14. Coming back and reading over the first draft is cringe-inducing


It reads like something from the horror genre with the amount of cliché sentences, descriptions, and plot holes.

15. And you realize you now have to revise…and get it proofread…and formatted…and write a book blurb…and get a cover designed…and get ISBN’s and copyrights…and have people read and review the ARC’s…


Battle Operation: NaNoWriMo


I haven’t been blogging in forever. Nothing much to say other than it’s been a combination of figuring out how to balance all adulthood entails and not having much to say. I’ve been thinking a lot this month.

Stacks upon stacks of digital paper on my current manuscript have been going through edits. The story is being restructured slightly, tweaks here and there, and some more writing going on. Things have been busy with late nights stuck at the computer with sleepy editing eyes. To picture the book finally in readers hands? That’s the dream. And guess what?

I’m walking away from it.

*mic drop*

Okay it’s not so serious. Walking away is a strong way to put it. I’m taking a “leave of absence” from it. Not for anything bad, just taking a break from it to be part of a movement for the next 30 days: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

For anyone not familiar with National Novel Writing Month, it’s a program/community writers join and commit to writing 50,000 words in one month, during the 30 days of November. It equals out to about 1,667 words per day.

To many (especially not writers), 1,667 words a day doesn’t sound like much. The whole NaNoWriMo thing doesn’t sound as nerve-wracking as everyone describes. Well…it’s not. NaNoWriMo is no easy task. It’s definitely doable but not something easy. It takes hard work, persistence, ignoring one’s inner critic, and lots of coffee.

I’ve had an interesting relationship with NaNoWriMo. November 2013 was the first year I decided to do it. For the first week, it went well. Then? Things hit a brick wall. I was taking 18 hours in college, had two huge tests and a family issue. The writing stopped.

2014 wasn’t much different. I was only weeks from graduating college and was trying to devote my time to job searching and preparing for after graduation.

This year is different. There is still obstacles (I’m mainly looking at you full-time job!) but I really believe I can do NaNo this year. The Pre-Write Project ebook from She’s Novel has been a hugely helpful resource in planning and outlining my upcoming project for NaNo.

In addition to my daily word counts, I also want to make it a priority to reach out and interact a lot with other writers participating in NaNoWriMo. October has been a month where I’ve discovered the book blogger and writer community on Instagram in addition to other social media platforms.

I can’t wait to (figuratively) dive deep into my computer and start writing this new project.

I’m excited. I’m ready, let’s do this!

Feel free to add me as a writing buddy on my NaNoWriMo profile!

Thank you and let’s get writing!