Posted in blog tour, book series, ebook, empowerment, guest post, hooked on books, writing

Guest Post By Phoebe Ritter: How I Became An Empowered Writer

Writing the Daughter of the Zel trilogy was hugely empowering for me. I’d always enjoyed writing and dreamt of having something published, but I never had the confidence to put my work out there.

Then, a few years ago, I was having a rather tough time personally, which led me to quit my job and move back home. Even with everything going on, I found myself with a load of free time I hadn’t ever had before.

As a distraction, I set myself the challenge of writing a novel in a month. I’d always wanted to do NaNoWriMo, but November was never convenient. Every day after work I’d sit down and type until my brain ran out of scenes. The rapid progress towards a final word count slowed towards the end, and I had to go back and carefully stitch together key scenes to make a complete story.

I had an idea for where the book was going and every time I wrote it felt like clearing space in my head. Making this mental room meant I’d get an idea for a new scene, usually when I was trying to get to sleep.

Now, like then, in the early days of a story, I get these rather annoying moments where I’m unable to go to sleep because of new phrases, places, people that pop into my head. There’s a process I’ve learned to follow by turning the bedside light on, writing the thought down in my notebook, and turning the light off again before immediately having another thought and repeating it. Eventually my brain lets me sleep.

I have found that the first draft is always shocking. I’ve come to terms with that. One of my betas recently said how she’d love to write a novel, but was worried it’d be awful. I explained the number of drafts my work passes through before she even sees a beta version. I hope this encourages her to get something down on paper. That’s the hardest bit.

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Posted in better life, empowerment, goals, self-improvement, writing

The Best Way to Navigate the New Year

It’s a brand new year, and with a new year comes new goals, plans, and a new energy to take action. A lot can be accomplished with the forward momentum of a new year, but it can also be easy to veer off course and land in a rut with wheels spinning.

That was me. I was spinning my wheels earlier today. I knew it was time for action. I had spent the better part of November and December learning, thinking, planning, and growing into what I wanted to do for 2020 (and yes, there’s some awesome stuff coming).

So the first of January arrived, and I was ready to go. But instead of going, I became stuck in a fog of anxiousness, not sure what to do first. My mind stuck in a loop as I considered what I would be doing for the next month and over the next year.

I have learned from past experience that when I this happens, the best thing to do is to just stop everything. So I took a few hours to go outside and enjoy the gorgeous, warm day we happened to be blessed with on the first day of January.

After some relaxation and contemplation, I realized where I messed up. I was paying so much attention to tomorrow, the next day, next week, next month, ect. I wasn’t actually paying attention to the now. And the now was pretty freaking awesome as I basked in golden sunlight.

Why the heck was I so upset in the first place?

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Posted in better life, empowerment, finding balance, inspirational

10 Ways to Have More Joy in Your Life

Photo from Pixabay

Happiness is a feeling of comfort and contentment. It’s a feeling of rightness and peace. It’s a beautiful thing. But joy… joy is a feeling of excitement and thrill. It’s a combined feeling of freedom, confidence, and absolute pleasure. There is no emotion (that I have yet to experience) bigger than joy. It’s happiness with a kick, and it’s freaking awesome.

I have been working hard to get to a place where happiness, peace, and joy are constant companions of mine. I’m still working on the constant part, but I would have to say these emotions are more with me than not. So for my benefit, and others, I am setting down here some of the key steps I have found to having more joy in my life.

1. Being More Grateful

The number one best way to bring any sort of positivity, happiness, peace, and joy into life is to be more grateful. That is how I started this journey towards more joy years ago, and my gratitude has only grown since. As it did, so did the best parts of my life. I have learned first hand that the more grateful I am, the more I will have to be grateful about. It really is that simple.

2. Being Aware of Your Mood

We cannot change our mood without first being aware of what our mood is in any given situation. So I have taken care to observe how I feel. I don’t judge myself for feeling upset or anger. I just notice what sets me off. What are my triggers, and how can I find ways to move past them or release them? I also pay attention to what makes me feel good. There’s a lot of power in just observing and being aware. A situation can’t change unless we are first aware of it.

3. Being Aware of What You Give Your Attention To

After becoming more aware of my mood, I then began to notice more specifics about what I was giving my attention to. I started to see distinct situations, people, and even thoughts that were dragging me down. It took time to identify everything, but the more attention I paid to my mood, the more aware I became of where my attention was going, and I started to cut back or completely cut out anything and everything that could be a potential joy stealer.

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Posted in empowerment, journaling, Journaling Discoveries, writing

Journaling Discoveries: Enjoying the Journey, Even the Not So Great Parts

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“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” ––Babs Hoffman

It’s not always easy to enjoy the journey, especially when the journey appears to be a struggle. How can we enjoy the struggles? Is that even possible?

I have an aversion to struggles. Maybe this is a universal thing. I mean, really, who wants to have conflicts and continual issues in life? So why is it that people talk about enjoying the journey, or just letting the process unfold like it’s some secret joke as they smile and walk away? Will someone please let me in on the punchline?

My family and I recently went through a particularly “fun” struggle from mid -September, until last week. My husband was rear ended in a car accident that left us without reliable transportation for nearly a month. It was a tough time for us. But it also was a bit magical too. Okay, maybe a lot magical.

I had finally decided that I was done with feeling so upset and twisted up by life events. I wanted to ride this struggle with a little more enjoyment. I decided to try out the sage advice of those who would smile and say “enjoy the journey,” because not enjoying the journey was becoming too much drama for me. Why was I torturing myself so much over a freaking car? It was just a car after all.

I won’t say I was perfect. I had moments and whole days where the situation of having no car really got to me. But then I’d catch myself, shake it off, and try to find the things in life that were going very well for us. And I have to say, we do have a whole lot going right, and I don’t think I realized how much until this incident.

So I spent a lot of time basking in the things I was appreciative for. I had whole days that I decided to “pretend” we had no car issue and that all was fantastic. I even imagined our new car in the garage, and us taking it out for a ride as a family. And you know, doing these things really helped me enjoy the struggle more than I ever managed to before. It was a huge step forward for me.

The car incident also had some magical results too. A big one was my husband’s coworkers stepping up to offer him rides to and from work. It was really great to feel that sort of love and support. We also ended up with a much newer and bigger car than what we started out with. And we love it so very much (and yes, we’ve taken the Chevy Equinox out for several family rides since purchasing it).

Another major benefit from all of this is it’s really made me reevaluate how I deal with adversity. I’ve always looked at adversity and struggle as negative. I always felt a desire to avoid such instances at all costs. But maybe the struggles aren’t so terrible? Maybe they help us find clarity and help us understand what we really do want out of life?

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Posted in better life, empowerment, finding balance

5 Steps to Taking Back Your Power

picture form pixabay

Many of us give our power away on a daily basis, and we don’t even realize it. It’s an automatic reflex that chips away at the power we each hold inside of us. After a while, we can feel completely powerless because we’ve allowed so much to be leeched away.

Did you know that you can take that power back? You can feel more energized and happy. You can feel lighthearted and peaceful.

The first step to feeling more powerful of yourself and your life is to recognize who or what you are giving your power to. Anything that steals your time and energy is considered a power stealer.

What’s stealing your power?

  • People (family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances)
  • Things (books, tv, phone, computer, ect.)
  • Situations (this can be anything that makes you feel drained and empty)
  • Yourself (Your thought patterns and negative emotions)

Notice I put yourself on the list. It actually should be number one, because I believe that is the biggest power stealer of all. How many times have you caught yourself in a downward spiral of negative emotions? Or have you caught yourself giving yourself a bunch of negative self-talk? Be honest. It happens a lot, doesn’t it?

That’s okay, because being aware of bad habits is a good first step to releasing the power stealers so you can move forward in a more confident way.

Step 1: Make a List

So first things first, make a list of all your power stealers (including yourself), and just allow yourself to be an observer of your own life. Don’t judge. Don’t beat yourself up for falling down and letting the power stealer(s) suck you dry. Tomorrow is always a brand new day. A fresh start to try again.

Step 2: Be Patient

That leads me to the second step. Be patient with yourself. Don’t expect to be perfect or to sweep your whole life clean of power stealers overnight (or even in a week or two). It takes dedicated time and effort. Slowly, you will notice a change as you have more energy and creativity in which to do things.

Step 3: Find Balance

The next step is to find balance. What can you do to keep yourself centered and focused on what’s important in your life? Maybe even set up a daily routine that helps you shine. Try doing one or more of the following…

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