Frequently Asked Questions

I have spoken with several parenting groups about dyslexia. My speeches generally cover my family’s personal journey from symptoms to evaluation to diagnosis to advocacy. I have lots of resources that I can share while being a sounding board for parental concerns. If you are interested in having me speak to your group just shoot me an email and we can get it arranged.

Some of the best advice I ever received was that you can tell a person’s true priorities by looking at their calendar and their checkbook. I find that to be true. We are all given the same 24 hours in a day; it is how we choose to use those hours that makes the difference. We all have time wasters like TV, Facebook, Pintrest, and web surfing. I focus on limiting those. Rather than just watching TV, for example, I will hop on the treadmill thus doing something productive. I also set aside time to write every single day. I set up deadlines for myself, I outline, and I plan. Organization is absolutely essential to me.

One of the biggest struggles I have is living in the moment. It is difficult for me to turn off the writer-me while I’m being a mom, but I have to do it just like I have to turn of the mom-me when I’m blessed with time alone with my husband. Again, my schedule is essential to my sanity. When it’s homework time, my computer is closed, and when it’s writing time, the TV is off. It’s helpful that I have an incredibly supportive husband who… ummm… reminds me when my computer or cellphone is distracting me.

First and foremost, know that a writing career takes a lot of time, dedication, and work. If you are passionate about it, start writing and don’t stop. Find a core group of people you can trust to give you honest feedback and then grow a thick skin. Write, rewrite, read, and reread. The more you write and read, the better you will become.

A blog is an excellent way to have your voice heard. With the plethora of blogs out there, it may take a very long time to be discovered, but the constant writing practice is still a good thing. Blogs allow you to connect with your reader, get feedback, grow a following, and perhaps eventually be discovered. Blogs can be done for free through a lot of sites, but I have learned first-hand that a great design helps you be taken seriously. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my web designer, Jason, at Flying Donuts Media and I would recommend him to anyone who is ready to take that leap.

When you have written and rewritten your work, start submitting it to publications. Regional magazines, websites, and newspapers may not seem like a big deal, but getting your foot in the door and getting clips is getting you closer to your dreams than eating a bag of Cheetos in front of the TV and wondering why you aren’t on the bestseller list yet.

I invested nothing but time upfront. I started writing and sharing my work just to see if it was any good. After receiving positive feedback, I started a free blog. It had absolutely 0 readership. I went from there to submitting to parenting magazines and then to Chicken Soup for the Soul. I was published in two out of my first three submissions, and that’s when I felt like I had something.

Beyond postage, envelopes, and a few Writer’s Market books; there was no initial investment.

Soon a friend told me that I needed a professional website. I didn’t want to spend money on it, but he encouraged me and even invested in it with me. Within the next 6 months, things started rolling very quickly.

I have a degree in journalism and sociology. I continue to take writing classes simply because I love the feedback. And I love learning. I’ve taken classes on blogging, social media, novel writing, and writing short stories. I don’t think you have to take classes or have a degree, but for me, having that professional feedback helps me grow as a writer.

At first, rejections felt like a slap in the face. I took every “no” very personally and considered quitting more than once. Eventually I realized that the beauty of the computer age is that even if someone says no to my work, I don’t know them, they don’t know me, and there’s no real harm done. I can curse their very existence on Earth, cry, or plan their assassination in my next manuscript before taking a deep breath and typing a polite, “Thank you for your consideration” and no one is any the wiser. A rejection doesn’t mean I am a bad writer; it simply means that particular story wasn’t right for their publication.

I have a list of publications I regularly submit to. When a rejection comes back, I immediately send the pitch to another venue AND submit a new pitch to the editor who just rejected one. By doing this I have turned a single rejection into two new possibilities.

I’ll be honest, being named as their Best Site for Writers in February was a huge surprise. That award is not something I submitted my name for. The wonderful staff there found my site. (Kudos again to my awesome designer!)

It is my belief that there is a place for everything. I have published short stories on Kindle, I have had friends lose their shirt going the “vanity publishing” route, and I have others who swear by it. My plan is to take it one book at a time and see where the market is at each turn. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to get my words in front of readers. My passion is just in writing words that impact people’s lives and make them think about things in a new way. We all have a limited world view, my goal is to challenge it… just a little.

I get a lot of requests for articles and blogs, and I fulfill as many as my time will allow. Please send me an email with the specifics of what you want and I will get back with you as soon as possible.

Email me from the Contact page and let me know what you are after. Editing was my first career, and I love helping fellow authors make their dreams come true. Just know that if you ask for honesty… I really give it.

I read every email I get, and I always try to respond. If you’ve emailed and I haven’t responded, it probably hit my junk folder accidently. Please don’t take it personally, just try again. If I get many emails with the same question, I will update the FAQs accordingly.