This. All of this. I gave my life to the newspaper for years in hopes of earning my own column, which I actually did have for a short time. And then I was reassigned to online content producer, which basically is just as you described it - writing fluff pieces for clicks. It was the kind of job any Buzzworthy fanatic would love, and it was explained to me that the paper needed these stories to get people to read the news. No. It was a way for the paper to generate artificial views so they could sell more ads…

There are a bunch of crazy symptoms that come with perimenopause, and hot flashes are only one of them

Photo: By Billion Photos / Shutterstock

The perimenopause fairy visited me a little over a year ago, and has stepped up her game in recent months. Suddenly my temperature is no longer my own. I have hot and cold flashes, I wake up some mornings in a puddle of sweat, my mood swings and libido are on opposite ends of the pendulum depending on the time of the month, my methods of weight loss no longer work, my brain is in a severe fog… The list is endless, because every month I discover a brand new feature to this crazy stage of life.

Basically, I feel…

Some people drop 1-star reviews like tiny little bombs, blowing up author careers right and left, then give 5 stars to surprising things.

Photo: Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock

On my corkboard hanging over my desk, one of the For the Birds (my current novel in progress) related items I’ve pinned to it is an illustrated version of a 1-star Yelp review for Joshua Trees National Park that says the following:

“The only thing to do here is walk around the desert.”

The fact that people review national parks is incredibly funny. Like a review for Sequoia National Park (“There are bugs and they will bite your face.”), or Yosemite National Park (“Trees block view and there are to many gray rocks.”), …

From rats and wind to hiking and exploring, here’s our experience of camping in the desert.

The view of the sunset from our tent at Cottonwood Campground in Joshua Tree. (Photo: Crissi Langwell)

Last weekend, my husband and I drove ten hours from our Northern California home to Joshua Tree in Southern California for a weekend camping trip. We’d booked our site back in November, planning this as a research trip for a scene I’m writing in my novel in progress. But when the weekend came, it was apparent our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We just finished remodeling our whole downstairs, and the irony was that we’d already been camping in our house for three weeks. …

Get out of your head and back into the story.

Image by Aleutie / Shutterstock

If you’re a novelist, you have likely heard of NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. Held every November, this is when writers all around the world buckle down with a challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. If you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo, you can read about it here:

The benefits of NaNoWriMo is that it forces writers to get out of their own heads and just put pen to paper (or more realistically, fingers to keys), slamming out a story without thinking too hard about it. However, that’s also one of the biggest challenges — getting…

Are you planning to write a 50,000 word novel during National Novel Writing Month? Here’s how to reach your goal.


NaNoWriMo is coming up! All right, it’s technically coming up in November. However, it’s never too early to start thinking about NaNoWriMo, it’s only too early to start writing for NaNoWriMo.

What is NaNoWriMo?

From the website: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel.

Here’s a little history on how National Novel Writing Month began.

NaNoWriMo was founded…

This is not the time.

Chrissy Teigen /

Last night, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend shared the devastating news of the loss of their unborn baby boy, Jack. With the news, they posted photos that chronicled their pain, including one of Chrissy crying on the hospital bed, and another that showed them holding their child.

Many followers offered their support with heartfelt messages and empathy over this kind of loss. Some offered stories of their own loss.

Others ridiculed them for posting photos of their pain, their choice of filters, and accused them of seeking attention.

And then there’s the #ohchrissy hashtag that’s trending on Twitter right…

I felt sharp, fluttering kicks. Two days later, I was in the ER.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

He would have been eighteen today. We would have had eighteen years of memories, including cold Saturday mornings on the soccer field, late nights finishing up school science projects, nursing heartache over love gone wrong, preparations for prom, and excitement over post-graduation plans. Through the years, he would have been one more forehead to kiss goodnight, another body to cuddle on family movie nights, and another beloved child to celebrate with cake and candles, sports trophies, and school awards nights.

Instead, he is remembered as a fairly easy pregnancy that ended unexpectedly in the seventh month, throwing me into a…

If you’re ready to give up, read this first.

Photo: Viktoriya Bezhan / Shutterstock

I know you’re tired. I know you have times when you wonder what the point is. You wake up early, stare at that blank page, and aren’t sure why you even bother. You have things you want to say, but you’re afraid no one will listen. Sometimes you wonder if you actually do have things to say, or if writing has just become an extension of your ego.

What’s the point?

There is one, but first let me tell you a few stories.

Eat. Pray. Love.

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness…

#2. Your family’s biased views are not an accurate assessment of your writing talent.

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

Remember back when you first decided to become a writer? The words probably flowed easier back then, am I right? That was before you started receiving unsolicited opinions about your writing, before your family had ever read a word you’d written, and before you realized just how hard writing really was.

Writing IS hard. But what makes it harder is when we allow external forces affect the stories we have to tell. In response, many of us self-sabotage our writing career without even knowing it.

Your self-sabotage might look like this:

  • Writing what you think other people want to read…

Crissi Langwell 🌱

I’m all over the place, but I try to be honest in all of it. Find my books and musings at

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