consider your life’s work as self-care

To all you readers and bloggers in the blogosphere, I have one question for you today. What brings you joy in your writing life?

Check out this YouTube video I posted to my social media this morning and either leave your answer in the comments, or post your response on your social channels and tag me, so I can share it.

Consider the work the Lord has called you to do as self-care, instead of a task that fills you with negative emotions. Remember the PERMA model: Positive emotion, Engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. Find joy in your life’s work on the daily.




A freelance writer‘s guide for students by guest contributor Lucy Reed

A Freelance Writing Guide for Students

Freelancing may seem like an unlikely business opportunity for students or recent graduates, but plenty of people are doing it. If you’re looking to augment your income while building new skills and experiences, freelancing may be the way to go. This guide covers freelancing during school or after graduation, as well as Ann Harrison’s tips for making freelancing work a viable long-term career path.

Enhance Your Writing Skills

The key to a successful freelancing career lies in your ability to write well. No matter what niche you’re working in, always keep learning and developing your skills through writing courses and workshops. Taking extra courses at local community colleges is often an option if you’re short on funds. However, there are also a lot of free resources available online.

Create a Writing Portfolio

Before you begin making money from your writing, you need to have a portfolio of samples. Just like a painter or musician, a writer’s portfolio is a way of showcasing your work and establishing your value to potential clients. Try to include 3–5 samples — any more than that and your would-be client will get swamped.

Looking for Writing Gigs

The most obvious place to look for writing jobs is online. There are more job opportunities here than ever before. In addition to sites like Indeed, you can also check out marketplaces like ProBlogger. Search for small business blogs where local businesses may be hiring writers to create copy for advertisements, blogs, newsletters, and other media. Another great way to find writing gigs is by networking with other professionals in your field.

Marketing Yourself and Getting Started

It’s important to market yourself as a freelance writer. Research how to write marketing pieces and product descriptions, and make sure you include them in your portfolio. Look for internships or part-time jobs related to writing. You can also find a mentor who can help guide you through your early days as a freelancer. Subscribe to newsletters and blogs, follow online discussions related to your industry, and apply for scholarships that reward writing skills.

The Legalities Running a Freelancing Business 

Consider getting an EIN (tax ID number). If you’re hiring employees and paying them, you need an EIN so the IRS can track and report payroll taxes for any employees you might hire. Additionally, using an EIN on your invoices shows that you’re running a legitimate business. Here is more information on how to set one up.

Looking For Long-Term Contracts

If you’re just getting started as a freelancer, it may be difficult to attract consistent work. Long-term contracts can be an excellent way to build your portfolio and reputation while building steady income. While they do require more work up front, they also provide stability over time.

Rewards and Flexibility

As a freelancer, you can enjoy being self-employed. As with any career, freelancing comes with its share of headaches and stressors but it also comes with tons of rewards, including flexibility, a high degree of autonomy, and greater work/life balance. Visit Ann Writes Inspiration for more writing tips.

Image via Pexels

Lucy Reed created Gig Mine to help others dig up sharing economy opportunities in a user’s area, all in a single location, so users don’t have to jump between multiple sites. It’s the new and improved way to get a gig job!

#amwriting, #WritingTips

Someone wanted, but, and, so, or: Developing Your Story Arch

Hello everyone in the blogosphere, today I have a special writing tip to help you develop your story arch. Before we get into the formula, I have some news to share.

My friend Teresa Guffanti invited me to join a new social media app called Clubhouse. While in a room for beginning podcasters, room moderator Danny De Hek invited Teresa and I to be his special guests on his What De Hek podcast.

The following tip was inspired by a conversation in a room where several people were talking about how to tell your story so others will listen. Her formula was designed to help motivational speakers structure their content to make it more engaging to their audience. I expanded the formula to teach fiction writers how to develop their story arches. The formula is as follows:

Someone, your protagonist

Wanted, what does your MC want? What is the character’s goal in your story?

But, the fear or flaw keeping your character from achieving his or her goal

And, in walks the villain to turn your MC’s world upside down in each paradigm shift

So, Your MC must conquer the fear or flaw holding her back and confront the villain to achieve her goal

Or, lose everything, including her life, depending on your genre.

To hear the full explanation of my formula, check out today’s podcast episode.

#WritingTips, author interviews

Inspirational Journeys Presents: How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method with Special Guest Randy Ingermanson


In today’s episode, I’m excited to have the author and creator of the Snowflake Method as my special guest. Though I talked podcast listeners and YouTube viewers through the Snowflake Method, I can’t do it just like Randy Ingermanson can, so sit back, relax and be sure to have a note taking device at the ready, because we’re going to cover a lot of information.





How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method with Randy Ingermanson!


I’m proud to announce the following guest for your listening pleasure.

Please be sure to read onward after the following message to learn how you can be my guest here on INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS.

Thanks for listening and do write to let me and my guest know what you thought of this presentation.




Randy Ingermanson


Tuesday, March 23, 2021




















Randy Ingermanson wants to teach you how to write excellent fiction. 

He’s been teaching for more than twenty years, and he’s known around the world as “the Snowflake Guy” in honor of his wildly popular Snowflake Method of writing a novel.

Randy is an award-winning novelist and publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine. He says that “Fiction Writing = Organization + Craft + Marketing,” so he focuses on those three topics in his e-zine.

He also blogs when the spirit moves him. He is trying to get the spirit to move him weekly, but the spirit gets touchy about schedules.

Randy lives in the Pacific Northwest and works as a manservant to two surly and demanding cats. Visit Randy at AdvancedFictionWriting.com.





Today’s featured book is entitled: How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method



Are you writing a novel, but having trouble getting your first draft written?

Take a look at the wildly popular Snowflake Method—ten battle-tested steps that jump-start your creativity and help you quickly map out your story. All around the world, novelists are using the Snowflake Method right now to ignite their imaginations and get their first drafts down.

The Snowflake Method is a magical key to unlock your creative wizard.

This book is written as a “business parable,” which means it’s a book about a nonfiction topic, but it’s written in story form. The story features a young woman named Goldilocks who desperately wants to write a novel. She goes to a writers conference, and there she takes classes from three bears. Papa Bear teaches outlining, but Goldilocks finds that too rigid. Mama Bear teaches “organic writing,” but Goldilocks finds that too squishy. Baby Bear teaches the Snowflake Method. Will Goldilocks find it to be just right?

Yes, this is a very zany story. That’s the point. The zaniness of the story will help lock the principles deep inside your head. Because story does that. You remember stories longer. Especially zany stories. Have fun!


Purchase link:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LWBZ696/



Goldilocks had always wanted to write a novel. 

She learned to read before she went to kindergarten. 

In grade school, she always had her nose in a book. 

In junior high, the other kids thought she was weird, because she actually liked reading those dusty old novels in literature class. 

All through high school, Goldilocks dreamed of writing a book of her own someday.

But when she went to college, her parents persuaded her to study something practical

Goldilocks hated practical, and secretly she kept reading novels. But she was a very obedient girl, so she did what her parents told her. She got a very practical degree in marketing. 

After college, she got a job that bored her to tears—but at least it was practical.

Then she got married, and within a few years, she had two children, a girl and then a boy. She quit her job to devote full time to them. 

As the children grew, Goldilocks took great joy in introducing them to the stories she had loved as a child. 

When her son went off to kindergarten, Goldilocks thought about looking for a job. But her resume now had a seven-year hole in it, and her practical skills were long out of date. 

The only jobs Goldilocks could qualify for were minimum wage.

She suddenly realized that being practical had made her horribly unhappy. 

On a whim, Goldilocks decided to do the one thing she had always wanted more than anything else—she was finally going to write a novel.

She didn’t care if it was impractical.

She didn’t care if nobody would ever read her novel.

She was going to do it just because she wanted to.

For the first time in years, she was going to do something just for herself.


And nobody was going to stop her.


Learn more about the Snowflake Method at the following link::





As authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs, we often find it hard to stand out above the constant chatter on the internet. If that sounds like you, I’d like to help you boost the visibility of your brand. My name is Ann Harrison-Barnes and I run a podcast called Inspirational Journeys. On my podcast I post solo episodes of value to my listeners, led by the Holy Spirit. I also talk to authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs who want to share their inspirational journeys with the world. If you’re interested in being a guest on my show, please send an email to annwrites75@gmail.com with Inspirational Journeys in the subject line of your email, so I can send you my featured book questionnaire.

 Thanks for listening to Inspirational Journeys and have a Blessed Day.


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Author challenge: Who Are Your Three Ideal Readers

Hello to everyone in the blogosphere. I have a special challenge for you, but before I explain what the challenge is, I’d first like to encourage you to sign up for my BB, so you can receive a free gift and news and updates about my author journey. Without further ado, here’s my challenge.

The question for you is: Who are the three ideal people you write for? I’ll share my answers with you, but first, here’s what I’d like you to do. Before you answer this question, spend some time in prayer over your three people and journal about them. If finding free images on Pixabay, Unsplash or any other sites where you can download free for commercial use photos, and create your images using your software of choice. If you decide to post your three ideal readers on your blog or website, please tag me on social media or pingback to this post so I can read your answers and share them on my social media. My answers are as follows.
1. My daughter Sharen, for whom the original version of Shadow of Truth was dedicated to.
2. The person who suffers from PTSD, due to a horrific incident they witnessed as a chile or any traumatic experience he or she experienced in his or her life. No matter what you’ve been through, remember you’re not alone.
3. The person who feels jaded by her friends and family due to her disability.

Connect with me on social media;


Subscribe to my podcast and YouTube channel to receive exciting new audio and video content


Inspirational Journeys Presents: How to Incert Hyperlinks in a WordPress blog post

Hello everyone in the blogosphere,
Here’s today’s video and podcast episode about inserting hyperlinks in your blog posts.

If you have any questions about this writing tip or you’d like to share tips you’ve learned during your author journey, please email me or connect with me on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Please fill out the contact form below if you wish to subscribe to my email list and receive a free short story.


5 Narrative Mistakes to Avoid: Guest post by Desiree Villena

With so much writing advice available on the Internet, it would take forever to incorporate every single tip into your work. For this reason, it’s sometimes more practical to opt for the process of elimination instead. In other words: you can best improve your writing by keeping an eye out for common narrative mistakes to avoid.
So which false steps should you steer clear of in the minefield that is writing a book? Here are five of the most common narrative mistakes to avoid when you’re writing your novel.
1. Don’t just show — sometimes it’s good to tell
The old adage ‘show, don’t tell’ has a proven track record in encouraging writers to find subtle ways of expression. Still, it’s not an unbreakable writerly pact; on the contrary, it’s a rule you can (and should) defy when necessary.
Think hard about the context of the scene you’re writing and decide accordingly. For example, ‘telling’ things can be an excellent narrative technique if your character is unable to emotionally process a given situation because, say, they’re living through trauma. Here, you may find that simply stating, ‘Darren didn’t know what to do next’ can be a more effective way to portray emotional paralysis than an elaborate description of Darren wandering around his apartment and gazing out of the window. Sometimes, just telling can be punchier.
Finally, if you’re forcing yourself to ‘show’ instead of ‘tell’ purely to meet this rule’s demands, you risk ending up with some awkward turns of phrase. Your prose is the essence of your work, so don’t compromise its quality for the sake of ‘showing’.
2. Don’t overuse foreshadowing
Writers are often told to foreshadow ensuing turns of events to pique the readers’ curiosity. It’s a great technique for building suspense, and can be especially compelling when used in your book description, but overdoing it in the text itself can make readers impatient. And a frustrated reader does one of two things you don’t want them to do: they either skip pages or, even worse, give up on reading your book.
So, be kind to your readers — try not to irritate them with too many teasing clues. Most importantly, trust them to keep reading without the help of one too many a hint. After all, they picked your book and trusted you to take them on a fictional journey.
3. Don’t (completely) disregard genre
It’s fun to experiment, and brilliant books can be born at the intersection of genres. If you write literary fiction, a niche that really tests the boundaries of genres as a whole, you may have more room to experiment. For example, Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy is at home in the mystery genre as well as among literary fiction, and Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being blends fiction with nonfiction in a characteristically ‘auto-fictional’ move.
In most other cases, though, it’s beneficial for your brand — and your story — to limit yourself to one or (at most) two genres: too many overlaps always pose the risk of alienating readers, and you might find even yourself mixing up genre tropes. It’s easy, for instance, to find people who either love historical fiction about Tudor England, sci-fi novels about alien invasions, or romance books about relationship turbulence. However, it’s much harder to find someone interested in all three, so a romance novel about an alien invasion of Tudor England would probably struggle to appeal to a decent readership.
Don’t forget that this tip also applies to your book cover design. Remember, even though we’re technically not supposed to, readers do pick books on the basis of their covers since covers can say a lot about what to expect from a book. As such, make sure your cover design effectively reflects your genre. (Bonus points if you can get your author website and other promotional materials designed with your genre’s aesthetic in mind!)
4. Don’t forget to pace effectively
As you’re writing, try to keep an eye on the pace of your story. Some days writing is a struggle, and though you may still manage to produce something, you might find that you wrote 1,000 words about your character’s stroll through the park and then spent a meager 200 on a crucial revelation. Similarly, you may have taken some time to get into gear for a new chapter, and ended up over-writing your character’s morning routine, when you could have launched straight into the action instead.
To prevent this, go over your work regularly, keeping note of how many words each section has taken up. If you notice an unreasonable inequality, you probably have to speed up certain sections. Which brings us to the final mistake you should try to avoid…
5. Don’t allow yourself to get too attached
You need to bear this one in mind while you’re writing, so you can be prepared for the next stage: editing, a.k.a. the stage in which you will probably need to kill some of your darlings.
Of course, no writer can help getting attached to their work, and that’s fine! However, being emotionally attached and emotionally blinded are two very different things. When you’re writing your first draft, try your hardest to get your story out on paper, and be proud of yourself — after all, the first draft is the part that requires the most perseverance.
But don’t take your armor off just yet, because you’ll need your courage for the editing process. To really mine the potential of your writing and remove elements that don’t contribute enough, you will have to detach yourself from how good it felt to write that one scene, how fantastic that one sentence sounds, or how funny that dialogue exchange seems. Editing is hard, but keep at it! Just remember, no one’s first draft is flawless.
Finally, though all these mistakes are important to bear in mind, don’t let them overwhelm you. If worrying about potential mistakes while you write is too stressful, write badly and courageously, as long as you get words on the page. One of the most widely accepted pieces of writerly wisdom is that “You can always edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page” — that’s what you should keep in mind as you write your own story into existence.

Desiree Villena is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors with resources on self-publishing and professionals to help polish their books. In her spare time, Desiree enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories. She tries her best to avoid all of these narrative mistakes!

#amwriting, #WritingTips

Inspirational Journeys Presents: The Four Ps of Writing: Positive Mistakes, Protected time: Platform and Process

Hello everyone in the blogosphere:
Last night, I had a fabulous conversation with Tish Bouvier on her Write Coffee Repeat podcast about the three Ps of writing. In my short summary episode, I discussed these aspects of the writing life and added a bonus aspect, which we didn’t mention, yet is the most part of the writing life, in my opinion. I’ll briefly describe the 4 Ps of writing below, follow by links to both podcast episodes for your listening pleasure.

Positive mistakes

Positive mistakes are the flubs that lead to better creative opportunities or enhancements in your writing and marketing efforts. What improvements have you made from your positive mistakes and what have you learned from these mishaps?

Protected time

The time you spend writing, on social media, with your family, and creating a work/life balance is an important part of the creative lifestyle. What strategies do you use to create a balance between your writing and your everyday life?


Creating your author platform is essential if you want to get your book(s) into the hands of readers. Your platform is where you connect with like-minded people and build a strong writing community. What are your favorite platforms and what strategies do you use to make them work for you?


The heart of the writing life is your creative process. Everyone’s process is different. Learn from the experts and writers in your community, but create your own process and do what works for you.

Click the link below to hear my solo episode, where I discuss these aspects of the writing life:

Click the link below to hear my conversation with Tish Bouvier on Write Coffee Repeat:

Visit Tish’s website:

Connect with me at the following links:

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and my podcast at the links below.

Fill out the contact form below if you wish to subscribe to my email list and receive a free short story.

#Amediting, #amwriting, #WritingTips

Inspirational Journeys Presents: 3 Tips for Repurposing Dump Scenes in your Writing

To all you fiction writers out in the blogosphere, here are three things you can do to repurpose your dumped scenes;

Dump your scenes in groups, according to a side character’s POV or a plot sequence. For example, if you have four scenes with one of your secondary characters, group them together, so you can pull them from your notebook or junk journal for use in a separate document.

Place your pieced together scene groups in separate documents to rewrite later. For example, I have a document simply called, Shelly’s story where I put scenes featuring my secondary character, so I can write her story later.

Use the scenes or chapters you’ve grouped together in their separate documents, to write a separate story or group of stories that coincide with your full-length novel. You can either put them together in a collection, or if you have longer pieces, such as novellas or novelettes, you can publish them as single titles and/or put them together in a collection later on.

To hear me explain this topic in greater detail, click the following links:


If you have suggestions for future podcast episodes or videos, or you’d like to be a guest on Inspirational Journeys, you can connect with me in one of the following ways:

Send an email to annwrites75@gmail.com with Inspirational Journeys in the subject line,
Connect with me on social media at the following links:

or fill out the contact form below.

Until next time, happy writing, stay safe and healthy and remember you are always in my prayers.