Month: July 2019

How to Create Your Writing S.P.A.C.E.

There was a time when my writing space was a Pinterest-worthy home office that dazzled my guests. The white color scheme with pink accents and trendy art prints that cover the wall came together perfectly to create a room that was my pride and joy.

But for the past two months, my home office has been a complete mess. Two months ago I left my job as a high school English teacher to write and run See Jane Write full time, which means I had to pack up and move out of a classroom I’d been in for 10 years. And this means I have a decade’s worth of junk stuffed in boxes, bags, and bins that are now stacked in my home office.

The good news is this clutter hasn’t kept me from writing. Sometimes, like right now, I sit in my office and just ignore the mess and get to work. Also, I’ve been working on freelance stories, pitches, blog posts, and email newsletters from my sofa, my bed, my kitchen, and my favorite coffee shops. I trained myself long ago to be able to write anytime, anyplace.

Nonetheless, the messiness of my home office distracts and haunts me. I even keep the door closed most of the time so I won’t have to look at it. This is showing me just how important it is to have a writing space, but recently I got to thinking about how we women writers must work to find writing space not only in our home but also in our schedules and even our mindsets.

Then I started thinking about this A LOT and came up with a “Writing S.P.A.C.E.” acronym!



During the Fourth of July weekend, my husband and I went to the movies THREE TIMES. We saw the new Spider-Man movie, Midsommar, and The Last Black Man in San Francisco. We also watched the entire third season of Stranger Things.

By Sunday I felt guilty about all that screen time and was beating myself up for not using the weekend to do more reading and writing. But when I got a last-minute freelance assignment that Monday the piece I wrote for the assignment was an essay inspired by one of the movies I’d watched over the weekend. Thanks to the inspiration from that film the words flowed from my fingers effortlessly.

I remembered that this is exactly why I love when other writers share the things they’re currently into and why I occasionally do the same on this blog. Pop culture can be a cornucopia of creative inspiration.

So it’s time for another edition of Currently, a feature for which I share what I’m currently watching, reading, listening to, writing, feeling, planning, and loving.


How to Be a Writer in Birmingham

In 2009 — after living in Berkeley, California; Seattle, Washington; and Louisville, Kentucky — I returned to my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama to teach. Despite the fact that I’d left a job as a newspaper reporter to start a career in education, I knew I wanted to continue to write.

This would be my first time in Birmingham as a working, writing adult. I knew how to be a teenager in Birmingham writing angst-ridden poetry and prose in my journal, sitting in my bedroom with The Cranberries or Mariah Carey playing on the radio.

I knew how to be a writer on the West Coast and in the Midwest. But I had to learn how to be a writer in Birmingham.


Member of the Month: C.J. Wade

C. J. Wade // Photo by Desiree Danielle

The See Jane Write book club See Jane Read is back and this month we’re reading the novel The Morning After by C.J. Wade. C.J. is also the See Jane Write Member of the Month for July 2019 — and not simply because we’re reading her book this month.

C.J. is a powerhouse of a woman — a Jane of all trades and a master of many. She’s an author, blogger, teacher, dancer, and massage therapist! She’s also one of the kindest and most compassionate people you will ever meet.

If you’re in the Birmingham area, you can see for yourself when you meet her at our book discussion, set for Tuesday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. CT at the Panera Bread located at 521 Fieldstown Road in Gardendale. You can RSVP here.

If you’re not in Birmingham, don’t fret. We’ll be having an online discussion of the book throughout the month here.

Read on to learn more about C.J. and more about The Morning After.


Why Freelance Writers Must Practice Goal Setting

On May 24, I announced that I had resigned from my teaching position and would now be a full-time freelance writer and entrepreneur. 

After sharing this news on my blog, social media channels, and with my email list, my freelance cup quickly runneth over. And this is a great problem to have! Through email, Facebook messages, and direct messages on Instagram, people made me aware of writing opportunities — paid opportunities — that I could take advantage of. 

And like any self-employed scribe who wants to ensure she can pay her mortgage, I said “Yes” — to EVERYTHING — including things I had absolutely no interest in doing.