Writing Journey: Start-Up Guide for Online Writers

Writing Journey

A few years ago, several people encouraged me to tell my story by writing a blog. I never realized how many different things a writer needs to do in the blogging world. Many times I tried to quit, feeling inadequate and incapable.

But God kept nudging me to keep writing. So I try but still feel out of my depth. Then, I found Five Minute Friday and Fistbump Media. They helped answer some of my questions and learn more about the nuts and bolts of writing a blog.

Practical Writing Guide

Kate Motaung, host of Five Minute Friday, wrote The Start-Up Guide for Online Writers and gave me the opportunity to preview this new course. I found helpful advice, concrete steps for what to do next, and resources to help me continue to move forward in my writing journey.


The Start-Up Guide for Online Writers includes five units:

1: Begin with the Basics gives steps to help a fledgling writer get started. It also provides several links to resources every online writer needs. In addition, a bonus pack is part of this unit.

2: Find and Build Community Online explains the importance of networking through social media. More links and ideas about building an online presence are provided.

3: Grow Your Knowledge reminds us of the importance of learning and gives resources for books to read, courses to take, and experts who can give valuable ideas.

4: Join a Writing Support Group discusses the need for different methods for finding other writers to help along the way.

5: Next Steps reminds us we need to use what we learn in this course. Write goals and work toward achieving them.

Each part of this course was easy to use and provided a wide variety of resources that, because of the links, easy to find.

This week only, through September 19, this valuable course is only $19.99. Beginning September 20, the price will be $29.99. 

Kate’s course gave me practical resources and was easy to use. If you want to improve your writing, this course will definitely help you!


Retirement Adventure #5: Ready to Move

Eager to Move

Van and I are eager to move into our new home. And, we’re down to the wire. We think. Every day we drive the short two miles to our still-under-construction new house. For months, every day showed something new, even something as simple as a new wire. My sister-in-love documented every single change while we still lived in California and sent us pictures. Around 3:00, Van and I checked email, eagerly anticipating what new progress Judy recorded.

But now we’re supposed to close escrow on Friday-this Friday-things move in slow motion. We wonder, will it really be done? Or will we have to wait another week? Or two?

We already scheduled utilities, the internet, TV service (including Pac 12 so I get my UCLA games), furniture delivery, and the moving truck. Before we actually move all of our belongings and start unpacking boxes, we want to seal tile and put up window coverings, and every one of those things is ready. Will the house be done?

Patience, I hear God whisper. Look for the lessons I prepared for you in this season of waiting. Remember My faithfulness in every other season. Let me guard your heart and mind with peace instead of angst.

Lessons Learned Waiting to Move
  • Look back at God’s faithfulness in the past. Our new church, The Heights, did a series called, “If Time Was a Ping Pong Ball.” One sermon focused on remembering God’s past faithfulness to give hope for the future. When I do that, I remember God never fails. His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts; God’s ways are always higher than my own.
  • Strength comes by waiting on the Lord. When I read Isaiah 40:30-31, God reminds me:

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

But those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

I need to wait on God. He prepares the way and His time always is best.

  • Wherever I am, be fully there. Don’t miss what God has for me right now. Enjoy my family while I live with Judy and David. Meet new people in my new church. Drive around the new town and learn where things are.
  • Praise God for all He does for me. Take gift and prayer walks, focusing not on myself, but God. See Him throughout His creation, in the people He places in my path. Praise Him for His faithfulness and love.
Move from Impatience to Surrender

So, yes, I want to move into my new home. And I may begin moving in at the end of this week. But if I must wait a little longer, I can count on God to teach me. I surrender to Him and praise Him for all He has done and will do as I move forward in His care.


Linking this week with:

Tea and Word Tuesday God-sized Dreams Moments of Hope Glimpses of Beauty, Monday Musings, Inspire Me Monday, Ra Ra Linkup, Trekking Thru, Tell His Story, Writer Wednesday, Woman to Woman, Porch Stories, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community, Heart Encouragement, Tune-in Thursday, Salt and LightGrace and Truth, Faith of Fire, Dance with Jesus, Fresh Market Friday, Counting My Blessings

Retirement Adventure #1: Try New Things

First of all, I despise exercise. I don’t even want to try exercising, even though I know it’s important. And if I truly want to lose the forty pounds that make me look, well, round, I need to do it. When I exercise, I prefer swimming. And a couple of years ago, I faithfully went to the pool at a gym and swam several times a week. Sure enough, I almost made it to my goal weight. Then, my mom got sick, and my routine evaporated. So now I need to lose weight again. I even rejoined my gym. How many times have I gone swimming? Three. Not going to cut the mustard. Now I’m retired, I keep telling myself I can get back into the routine of swimming. But it hasn’t happened yet.

This week, I’m in Prescott Valley, Arizona, staying with my sister and brother-in-love, David and Judy. Judy goes to water aerobics every day. Every. Day. I avoid water aerobics like the plague. I’m not coordinated enough, nor do I have enough rhythm, to keep up with the movements. I’m always behind and/or going the wrong direction. It makes me feel incompetent.

Judy invited me to go with her to water aerobics this morning. “It’s fun; you’ll like it,” she encouraged. Begrudgingly, I agreed to go. Pasted a smile on my face, grabbed a towel and my sunglasses, and followed Judy to the pool. I’m not too happy about how I look in a bathing suit right now, but if I don’t exercise it’s going to get worse, not better.

We got to the pool only a minute before the class start-time. And it was nothing like I expected. Thirty women, most of them my age, wearing colorful bathing suits and sun hats spread out across the length of the pool. Noodles and weights lined the pool edges. Everyone smiled.

Suddenly, someone yelled, “Jumping Jacks!” The class started. The bobbing in the pool became more purposeful. Everyone stayed where they were. No lines of people trying to go the same direction, moving in synchronized patterns. Just clusters of women, chatting and moving in the water. Judy demonstrated any movement I didn’t know. And we continued to chat while we exercised.

I loved it. I’ll join Judy tomorrow. And for the few weeks I’m still in California, I’ll check out the water aerobics class at my gym.

Try It, You May Like It

Today, I only went to this water aerobics class because Judy asked me to. She and David continue to be more than helpful and gracious, and I thought I’d be rude to look down my nose at something she likes to do. So I forced myself to go along.

I’m glad I did. I learned some valuable lessons because I went to water aerobics:
– Try new things: you may enjoy them more than you expected. Even enough to keep doing them.
– Don’t worry about anything but having fun and building relationships. How I looked in my bathing suit didn’t matter at all. Being with people, laughing, exercising were the important things. If I stayed home, I would have missed out on much needed exercise, time with my sister-in-love, and a new experience it turned out I liked.
– Just keep going. There were times when I didn’t know how to do the exercise. Judy always showed me. Since most of me was underwater anyway, no one noticed any mistakes. And I was still moving. Even if I never grasped how to do an exercise, it didn’t take long for before we switched to something different that I could do.

I have choices to make every day. Will I stay only in my comfort zone? Or will I be willing to try new things? I want to move forward. Have fun. I don’t plan on spending all my time sitting on my front porch. If I’m going to enjoy this new season of my life, I must be willing to try new things.

Let the adventure begin!

Linking with:


Purposeful Faith

Coffee for Your Heart, 

Heart Encouragement

Chasing Community

Tune in Thursday

#Tea and Word Tuesday

Salt and Light

Letting God Write the Lessons in my Retirement Plan Book

As a teacher, one of the tools I use is a lesson plan book to help order the day. After thirty-five years of teaching, I retire at the end of this school year. How will I spend my days now? No matter where I am in life, I have lessons to learn. And, to truly live well, I must depend on God to write the lessons in my plan book.

Today, I guest post at the Consilium: A Place Where Women of Wisdom Meet. Please join me there.