dear February, I’m going to meet my writing goals

Yes. That’s how confident I am.



Well, it’s been one year since I started my novel. After several years of working solely on poetry, this time last year brought a novel idea, one that has been so exciting for me. However, here’s the thing about my one year anniversary with my novel: I want to make MORE progress. As of today, my word count stands at 25,757 words. Granted, I did make some major cuts and revisions to the story over the summer.

I don’t like to get too caught up in word count, but it does exist. As writers I think we should always be aware of it, but not let it determine our happiness.

Last weekend I got a powerful burst of inspiration, which was followed by an amazing writing discussion last Thursday. The combination of the two has restored my levels of motivation that weren’t as high over these past few months. Since then, my characters have been swirling around my head, poking me at work, and greeting me every day with new ideas.


Of course, I needed a plan. As a major fan of to-do lists and all related motivational factors, I knew that it would be essential to put one in motion for myself. It just so happens that one of my favorite weekly activities to do is Alexandra VanHorn’s #WritersPatch on Twitter. Before this Sunday’s edition, she shared a picture of her current motivational tool. I decided to follow suit. (Thanks again, Al!) It looks like this…


As you can see, I have some major changes that I’d like to make to my novel. They are more additions than anything. When I first started writing my story, I was discovering the world with the other characters. To make the story better, it’s time to go back and strengthen those beginning chapters. I feel so positive about it. In my eyes, it’s always a good thing to follow your intuition.

I’ll be back next week to give you an update on how things are going. Until then, pour yourself a cup of coffee and make some February goals for yourself. We’re all in this together.




national novel writing month is right around the corner

Why in the world haven’t I been blogging? Well, I can be quite forgetful…but don’t worry…I’m back! Why, you ask? National Novel Writing Month is just a few days away. My last CampNaNoWriMo attempt didn’t work out so well, but I have a feeling this one will!

So, what have I been up to?

For about two months, I’ve had a regimen of writing five pages a week. However, for the past two weeks I’ve been moving into a new place with my boyfriend.


Higitus Figitus! It has been a blast! Lots of books to pack and move = less time for writing.


…but now we are happily settled in our cozy new home and ready to get back to our writing goals.

As you probably know, November is National Novel Writing Month and I am a huge supporter of the NaNoWriMo organization. They’ve provided me with a lot of encouragement over the years and I enjoy the sense of community that seems to come alive on social media during their events.


Working a full time job and finding time to unwind is hard, but tack on a word count goal of 50,000 words in 30 days and well…that’s super overwhelming for me. I was happy to discover something that I haven’t noticed before while browsing It’s called “Goal Tracker” and it allows you to customize your goals!

Drum roll please…

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10,000 words may not seem like a lot to some of you, but I will be more than thrilled if I can manage to add 10,000 new words to my current W.I.P.! As of right now my current word count is at 23,718. Because my overall goal for this W.I.P. is to finish the first draft by February, I’d be happy to break the 30,000 words mark over the next month.

How about you? Are you customizing NaNoWriMo or are you sticking to 50,000 words? Either way, cheers to you! Bring on the coffee and chat with me on Twitter @AWritersWay.


Until next time,


and sometimes you don’t meet your goals…

…and that’s okay! At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself over and over again for the past week. I wish I could say that my CampNaNoWriMo failure is just because I received a very disappointing rejection letter last Friday, but it wouldn’t be the truth.

The truth is, I hit a wall! I’m sure you’ve seen them. One of those big concrete walls that your characters are trying to break through, but can’t? Sometimes life gets in the way and this month I wasn’t able to keep my regular life boundaries separate from my writing life. Is it the end of the world? No. Does it feel like it sometimes as a writer? Yes. 

Hey, I’m here to tell you that it probably happens to the best of us and we can reboot and move on. My plan is to make August a more productive month and I’m going to approach it in a different way. More on that soon…

Until next time,


set the goals. drink coffee. meet the goals.

Most mornings, when I drag myself to work, I look like this…


…except I’m not a duck.

With an overwhelming list of things to do during the work day, it can sometimes be difficult to imagine how I could possibly find the time and energy to work on my novel.

Enter coffee.


I know it sounds so cliche…a writer who drinks a lot of coffee? I’m going to be honest with you. Whenever my friends tell me that they haven’t had any coffee yet, I pretty much yell at them and insult them for being stupid. (I’m kidding though…maybe.)

This month is Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m happy to report that I met my June goals and have been making good progress with my July goals thanks to the oh-so-motivating NaNoWriMo organization. It always adds a little spring to my step when these months come around. Because of my busy work schedule and new second job at, I set a word count goal of 7,500 words, which is 250 words a day. Seems simple, yes, but I wanted to set a goal that I knew I would hit!

Two jobs and a young adult fantasy W.I.P. = coffee. Are you getting my point? The truth is, whatever works for you is key. I’ve talked about this a lot in some of the workshops I’ve taught. Whether it’s coffee, m&m’s, long nature walks, cat naps…just do it! We are all in this together and I wish you all the luck in meeting your July writing goals.

Don’t forget…it’s Summer and that means iced coffee too.


Until next time,





Tired & Inspired: June Writing Goals 

Hey there! How are ya? Good, I hope. I’m tired (from my day job) and inspired (from my current W.I.P.).

So, remember last month when I said I’d write 20 pages? Well, my birthday happened and I got a gaming computer.



Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t get any writing done because I did! However, I regret to inform you that I didn’t hit the 20 page goal I set for myself. None the less, the initial need to binge video games like crazy has passed and I’m feeling like a normal human again! Don’t laugh at me unless you’ve experienced how addicting they can be! Haha! For what it’s worth, I did OFFICIALLY apply for an MFA program. My May goals weren’t a total fail. (Now we cross our fingers and wait to hear back.)


With that said, the beginning of June has been VERY productive. I’ve already written seven pages of my novel this month. I know I’ve been very secretive about the novel, but now that I’ve surpassed the 50 page mark on the work in progress, it’s feeling more real. I think sometimes when you’ve been writing a different genre for so long, it can be hard to follow the initial inspiration you get as a writer and believe that it’s actually going to last. For me, my comfort zone was set in the poetry world for two straight years. Transitioning to doing both was something I wasn’t sure was going to last. However, I’m so happy that it did. I feel like I’m breathing fresh, new air all of the time. I’m feeling more and more immersed in the world and closer to the characters with each passing day. It’s also great to be back in the young adult writing world because I really enjoyed it when I was JUST writing that genre a few years back.

So, there you have it! My current W.I.P. is a young adult fantasy novel and I’m really excited about it! I think I’ll easily be able to meet my goal of writing 20 pages this month.


What are your June goals?

Feel free to tweet me @AWritersWay to chat!

Until next time,


CampNaNoWriMo Re-Cap & May Goals

Now that April is over, I can tell you that I successfully survived CampNaNoWriMo and met my writing goal! Can I get a woot woot?

Sure, 10,000 words of progress might not seem like a lot to some of you, but it was surely a lot for me! My plan to make progress on my MFA Application along with my poetry and fiction projects seemed like an impossible feat, but I made it. Here’s the proof…

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After a busy month, I’m excited about what’s ahead. During April I managed to host three poetry events, finish the first draft of my MFA application (5 page critical essay, 25 pages of fiction, 10 pages of poetry, and an introductory essay), and work my full time job!


…now what?

It’s important to have writing goals even when we aren’t participating in these wonderful events, right? I’ve spent the last two days pondering what my goal for May should be.

I will of course be spending time editing my MFA application and will continue working on my poetry when inspiration strikes. However, I am most excited about the time that I will continue to dedicate to my new project. I haven’t mentioned on here yet what my new project is specifically, but you can probably guess that it is a work of fiction! I’ve decided to set a goal of writing 20 more pages of said project. While it was a lot of fun to work on so many different things last month, sometimes it’s nice to dedicate all of your creative energy to one thing…


Because I want to go back to handwriting in the journal I carry around, it will be easier to keep with a page count. (Don’t worry, they’re giant pages…I’m not trying to cheat here people…) While I love having a word count goal, there is EXTREME pressure to be typing everything out immediately. I like the feeling of handwriting the pages and then typing them up when a chapter is done. Anyone else agree?

So, there ya have it! 20 pages during the month of May!

Until next time,


Happy National Poetry Month!

Happy #NationalPoetryMonth from the corner of my bedroom! I’ll be participating in #CampNaNoWrimo this month and can’t wait for the 7th installment of “A Dose of Poetry” this Thursday night. Come the the Georgian Court University Library April 6th, 20th, and 27th to celebrate with us! 7-9:30pm. 📖🖋✏️👩🏻‍💻👩🏻‍🏫

Customizing Camp NaNoWriMo

I’m here to tell you that there’s no better feeling than NaNoWriMo fueled months. I assume most of you probably know about the National Novel Writing Month challenge that takes place every November? The basic gist of it is, you have to write 50,000 words in 30 days. But have you heard of Camp NaNoWriMo?

Camp NaNoWriMo takes place two months out of the year, once in April and once in July. The main difference between NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo is that it’s completely customizable. You can choose what kind of project you want to work on: a novel, poetry, a play, etc., and you can also choose between setting a word count goal, page goal, lines, hours, and so on.

Because I find myself in the midst of working on two projects, I’ve decided to set a word count goal with the intention of working on both projects as I have been the past two months. I’ve come up with a very clever title…

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.24.48 PM

…just kidding. I know “Progress” isn’t all that exciting, but it is the goal!

I’ve gone with a small word count goal of 10,000 words because I will be simultaneously running my second year of “A Dose of Poetry” during the month of April…

DOP 2017 .jpg

…and I’ll also be working my full time job. I think if I manage to meet this goal I will be beyond thrilled.

Maybe you’re wondering why participating in this type of challenge would be helpful to your writing? If nothing else, the community that comes alive on social media during these times is simply wonderful. It’s a great way to get connected with #amwriting folks all the while making progress with your creative projects!

Okay, who’s with me? Only thirteen days until the fun begins. (Sign up here.) Stock up on coffee! Chat with me on Twitter @AWritersWay.


Until next time,




Inspired? Do it.

A little less than a month ago, I was sitting in my living room with my boyfriend and we were writing. He was working on his novel and I was working on a new poem. This particular poem that I was working on felt a lot like I was digging for a piece of myself that was hidden and strongly attached to my insides. None the less, I found it, grabbed onto it, and yanked it out pulling some anxiety along for the ride.


This isn’t the first time that has happened over the past few months. With honest writing comes a certain level of anxiety. When you dig up traumatic parts of your life, it shakes you. Not to mention, you’re putting it on a page that you will most likely read to someone or have someone read. While I’ve been powering through, I found myself incredibly drained after this instance. All of a sudden I was dealing with old anxiety issues, ones that I thought I had already defeated. Then it dawned on me…balance. The key to everything in my life is balance. Maybe you feel the same way?

I sat in the living room talking to my boyfriend about what had just happened in my brain, talking about balance. Then, I remembered a dream. A dream I had probably a little more than a year ago.

[Note: I’m a superstitious human, so you might be a little confused moving forward. Sorry.]

I proceeded to tell my boyfriend about the dream and followed it up with, “Why don’t I write about that? I can write poetry and write that too, can’t I?”

Being the encouraging human that he is, he of course supported me.

Suddenly I was filled with a breath of fresh air. It was almost like I hadn’t taken in breath like this in years. I practically ran out the door in that moment on a quest for a new journal. (Everyone needs a new journal for a new project, right?) Since then, I’ve been writing. I’ve been working on my poetry and working on this new project. Guess what? It feels great. I felt inspired, I followed my instincts, and I’m so happy I did.

Now, I’m not sure if anyone ever looks at the “Writing” tab on my blog, but today I added this…


Sorry, I’m superstitious and so afraid that the ideas will run away scared…


…more to come soon!

All in all, if you’re inspired…DO IT! Don’t think about it, just do it! Write. Write. Write.

Until next time,


P.S. Guess who’s in the process of applying to MFA programs? This girl.

“Write while the heat is in you.” -Thoreau

Happy New Year & Happy “Christine will write more than 9 blog posts this year.”

Before I begin, an old picture of fire brought to you by Valentine’s Day 2016:


I tend to not give myself a lot of credit. Not just in conversation, but in my own head. Over my Christmas break I was suffering from a really nasty sinus/upper respiratory infection and I lost my voice. Forced to use a pen and paper (marker and legal pad to be exact) as a means to communication, I found myself uplifted despite the pile of tissues. In dialogue with my roommates, they noticed my positive spirit emerging.

In fact one of them asked, “Do you feel happy because you’re physically writing?”

Suddenly I realized that she was 100% right. Even though my head was pounding and my body was fighting off a fever, mentally, I was feeling better. The physical act of writing was restoring something inside of me. Then, the ever so obvious reminder popped into my head. What would happen if you gave a poem a shot?

Yes, folks, it’s been a few months of writer’s block for me. The ideas were there, but the fear was back. The fear to let what I truly want to write out of my being onto the page. So, in that moment I could see clear enough and allowed the words from my dear Frost Place Poetry Seminar Sister Tiana Clark (follow the link & read her chapbook) echo in my mind. “Let’s be brave together,” she said. In 2017 I will be brave. I will write what I want to write and I won’t let the opinion of others stop me.

The rest of that day was spent with my other roommate, discussing life, poetry, creativity and all inspiring things. She read 20 pages worth of conversation due to my absent voice and we wrote next to each other for hours. Since then I’ve churned out two poems and I’m happy to report that I am so excited about them. I’m excited about the plan for what I hope will be my first book of poems, and I’m finally feeling passionate again.

Now, back to the picture of the fire. While I was writing today I was reminded of this quote by Thoreau:

“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.” ― Henry David Thoreau

That is something that I’ve definitely neglected over the past four months. I used to work in a library and I jotted down my ideas almost instantly upon them entering my brain. Even though I work at a desk job now, there’s no reason to not keep the same scraps of paper next to my desk that I used to carry in my pocket. I also stopped keeping those same scraps next to my bed. I’m happy to report they have taken their rightful place on my nightstand once again. I will write while the heat is in me.

In closing, Happy New Year to all of you creative folk out there. Good luck with whatever writing goals you have and feel free to tweet @AWritersWay if you want to chat with me about them.

Until next time,