Find Your Focus & Start That Personal Essay

Getting started often feels like one of the most difficult parts of writing a personal essay. What do you want to say? How do you want to say it? We can sit and ask ourselves questions for days, weeks, years before we ever sit down and start writing. I'm guilty of it, and I bet you are, too. These tips for getting focused, getting started, and then doing something with what you've created will help inspire you to quit questioning yourself and finally get writing. ...more
Love this!more

5 Tips to Squash Imposter Syndrome

I remember my first BlogHer conference: BlogHer '10 in New York City. I meticulously unpacked my suitcase with the outfits I felt might portray me as I wanted people to see me. And then I kind of hid in my hotel room. Image: Angela Reinosa on Unsplash ...more
BlogHer Oh wow! I so needed this! I so so so so needed this!more

Everyone Says to Create an Elevator Pitch, but How Do You Do That?

Every single list of advice you'll read about attending #BlogHer16 will include some variation on this line: Have an elevator pitch. Perfect your elevator pitch. Practice your elevator pitch. Own your elevator pitch. Be your elevator pitch. Which is all fine and dandy, except no one seems to be telling people how to create an elevator pitch. Womp womp. We discussed some ideas on the BlogHer Editorial Team. First and foremost, we'll define an elevator pitch for you: ...more
I love the concept of removing the word "just..." Of course, we are striking that word right now!more

Telling an Audience of 3,000 About My Mental Illness

The joy of learning the Voices of the Year judges chose me as one of the readers to read my post at BlogHer '14 waned very quickly. It wasn't a lack of pride in a well-written piece, nor was it a lack of understanding what an honor it is to stand on the stage at the BlogHer conference and read in front of 3,000 women. The joy slowly seeping out of my soul and puddling around my feet was based on the fact that I'd need to stand in front of those 3,000 women and read about my mental health. ...more
Thank you for your beautiful words and your courage to read them. It does help to know that ...more

Keep Yourself Writing By Starting a Blog Series

Blogging comes in all forms, from the visual to the creative to the narrative to the technical how-to. It's up to you to do decide what you want to DO with your series. Do you want to push yourself to take new and different photographs? Join a 365-day (or in 2016, 366!) photo challenge and blog them every day. Are you hoping to push yourself to tell your stories, to write personal essays? Write out a list ahead of time so you don't get to week two and think, "Well, gee, I've told all my stories." ...more
Great idea Jenna! I also had stopped writing my genealogy blog for awhile in favor of just ...more

How to Repurpose Your Freelance Writing for Another Publication

You've written a beautiful piece. You've crafted it perfectly to match the submission guidelines at your favorite publication. You sent it off within the deadline frame. You're feeling good about your chances. ...more
BlackFreelance1 In addition to repurposing, you can also recycle some the piece in a totally new ...more

I Want My Daughter to Like Me

We leave for a visit tomorrow. Nothing is packed, the laundry isn’t quite finished, and my anxiety sits somewhere above the moon—higher than high and not descending any time soon. It’s this way every time ....more

I Hear Them Growing

Sometimes I think I hear them growing. I put them to bed at night. I tuck them in, pull the blankets up to their chins and cover their heads with kisses ....more

Life Lessons

“Is this a life lesson?” As we backed out of the snowy driveway, I muffled a laugh. So many things we say to our children are life lessons. Some seem more obvious than others ....more

Growing Up

I updated some picture frames today. During the post-holiday sales, I grabbed some 8x10s from my favorite photo printing company. I needed to update the boys’ photo frames as well as our photo on the family wall ....more