It Takes A Village

If I could give one piece of advice to people who are just starting their journey to publication, it would be, surround yourself with a good group of writer friends. I’m very blessed to have a close group of writer friends I can turn to when I’m in need of advice, encouragement, or even a ‘virtual’ kick in the backside to get my writing in gear. No matter my struggles, they are my go-to people, and they are there for me.

You might wonder how to meet writer friends. There are numerous ways to do this.

Join Writing Associations

I’m a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), RWA (Romance Writers of America), and Faith, Hope, & Love (a special interest chapter of RWA).

Attend Conferences

I know it’s expensive to attend conferences. Travel expenses, hotel, conference fees, etc. add up to lots of $$$$. However, if you are serious about becoming a published author, this can be a great way to meet friends and make connections in the writing world. Because it’s so expensive, I don’t go to a conference every year. However, I’ve attended two ACFW conferences. Both times the conference was being held in Nashville, TN, which is only a three-hour drive, so I wasn’t out money for airfare.

Visit Writing Blogs

Some of my closest writing friends entered my life via blogs. Search for writing blogs that fit your genre and interest you. When you find blogs you keep returning to time after time (Great. Now I have Cyndi Lauper stuck in my head.)…sorry, I digress…anyway, when you find blogs you really enjoy, don’t just read the posts. Participate. Leave comments, and get involved in the discussions.

Be Active on Social Media

Harlequin Writing Community was one of the first groups I ever became involved with. When I first found them six years ago, it was a different setup. They had a website with message boards, but now they’ve moved solely to Facebook. Another group I enjoy is the Love Inspired Authors and Readers Group. If you are an Inspy Romance writer, this is a great place to meet authors and readers (who one day may become readers of your books).

No matter where you meet your writing friends always remember, the act of writing may be a solo activity, but learning the craft and (hopefully) getting published takes a village.

To my village…I love you all, and I’m so thankful I don’t have to navigate the road to publication alone.



Plan for Success with a Kanban Board

Those who have been following my blog and/or social media profile for a while know that I’m a writer and I’ve been seeking publication for several years. Actually, it’s been almost six years since I participated in my first pitch contest and submitted a story proposal to an editor. Back in 2013, I had no idea the up and down, rollercoaster ride I’d just hopped on. The joys. The heartache. The feelings of accomplishment. The self-doubt that says it’s time to end the journey. The burning desire that says never give up…the dream is obtainable…the prize is in sight.

I’d have to say my biggest struggle when it comes to achieving my goal of publication is finding enough time for writing. I think this is probably something a lot of writers struggle with, especially if they work a full-time job and have a family. Well, I think I finally have the answer!

This past week, I was introduced to the Kanban Board during a Zoom presentation by Sherri Shackelford for Faith, Hope, & Love members. Talk about a lightbulb moment! So simple, yet, so effective.


Note: Each sticky note on my board equals one hour of time.

I only have a small dry erase board at my house so I’m going to be working in two week increments for now. I’ve divided my board into four vertical sections and three horizontal sections. The vertical sections are a ‘parking lot’ for things I will address at a later date and three goals (WiP, Blog/Social Media, Contests/Other). Each goal has sticky notes to represent tasks that need to be completed. The horizontal sections represent things I need to accomplish during the two week period (top section), things I’ll work on this week (middle section), and things I’ve accomplished (bottom section). The goal is to move all of the sticky notes from the top section to the bottom section by the end of the two weeks. Isn’t that so simple? I’ve always been a visual learner, so this concept plays to my strengths to help me be more productive.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have more goals to move. 🙂





For the past four years, instead of making New Year resolutions, I’ve been choosing a word of focus. Previous year words have included INSPIRE, BELIEVE, and TRUST.

My 2019 word is BREATHE. I chose this word because I have a tendency to stress about things that I don’t have control over. When in reality, what I should do is stop, breathe, and pray.


Photo by Nine Köpfer on Unsplash







What I’m Reading Wednesday: Christmas with the Cowboy

Tina Radcliffe is one of my all-time favorite Love Inspired authors, and she sure doesn’t disappoint with Christmas with the CowboyThis is the third book in her Big Heart Ranch series. While the books in the series share characters and a setting, each book is a stand-alone story. If you’re looking for a book full of faith, hope, and love, I highly recommend you check this one out! 

Tina meme 2

Former navy SEAL Zach Norman has been avoiding his ranching roots—and the woman he couldn’t have. Back to visit his brother’s widow, Emma Maxwell Norman, and her adorable toddler twins, the bah-humbug cowboy is roped into helping prepare the ranch for the holidays. Working side by side, can Emma and Zach overcome their troubled past…and receive the greatest Christmas gift of all—love?


Claiming her Cowboy (Dec 2017)
Falling for the Cowgirl (June 2018)
Christmas with the Cowboy (Sep 2018)
Her Last Chance Cowboy (Feb 2019)


Tina March 2018 2

A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is an RWA Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, and three-time ACFW Carol Award nominee.  She is a 2018 ACFW Mentor of the Year recipient and a 2018 Carol Award finalist. Her 10th book for Harlequin released in October of 2018.  In addition to novel-length fiction, Tina has sold over two dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A former library cataloger, Tina is a frequent presenter on writing topics and an online instructor. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance. Visit her on the web at



I’ve spent the last few days trying to come up with a title for this post. Something that could convey my feelings after attending the 2018 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Nashville, TN, this past weekend. This morning, as I was driving to work, the perfect word came to mind…Renewed. 

After four days with my writing peeps, I have a renewed sense of purpose. I am energized and motivated, and I am ready to continue climbing the mountains that litter the path on my journey to publication.


Keynote Speaker Debbie Macomber

My sweet friend, author Dana R Lynn

My dear friend, author Tina Radcliffe – ACFW Mentor of the Year

I have no way of knowing how much longer it will be before I reach my goal of a first sale. The journey won’t be easy. I’m sure I’ll continue to make mistakes along the way, and sometimes, I’ll fall short of my goals. That’s okay, as long as I keep going and don’t give up.

I just need to remember to take time to relax and enjoy new adventures. 

We stayed at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort.

We ate delicious food.

This was really good but it had an unexpected ‘kick’ of cayenne pepper.

I also need to remember I’m not alone in this journey. I’m surrounded by writing friends who encourage me and help me continue when the going gets tough. 

I am blessed with a wonderful group of writing sisters and friends. (L-R Sharee Stover, Tina Radcliffe, Patti Jo Moore, Cindy Regnier, me)

I am blessed! I am Renewed!