Rethinking 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Several weeks ago my cousin/BFF asked me what I was doing for New Year's Eve and I quickly replied, "Nothing! I just want to forget 2012 ever happened!"

I'm sure my answer surprised her. First of all, New Year's Eve is my favorite holiday. I love it more than Valentine's Day, Fourth of July, and even my own birthday. And, of course, I like it more than Christmas. The idea of Javacia Harris Bowser not celebrating New Year's Eve is unfathomable.

She was also probably shocked because she was most likely thinking, "Has 2012 really been that bad?"

Honestly, it hasn't.

The year was tough and filled with disappointments  I didn't make the progress I had aspired to regarding my finances, my writing career or my fitness goals. And worse of all, I was not a very good wife to my sweet husband this year.

But my melodramatic response to my cousin was a rather bratty one as it discounted all the good things that happened in 2012. And those things were on my mind this morning when I started my day doing the Resolution Run (a 3, 5, or 10 mile walk/run through the trails of Red Mountain Park) with some ladies from See Jane Write.

Jennifer Dome, Jennifer Howell and I at Red Mountain Park for the Resolution Run

I signed up for this run on a whim last night after a blogging buddy asked me to do so. This go-with-the-flow spirit is exactly the kind of attitude I want to have in 2013. If I hadn't gone on this run this morning I would have missed out on so much fun and fellowship. And I even won a door prize -- a zip lining adventure for two at Red Mountain Park!

As I've mentioned before, I also want 2013 to be a year of gratitude. So let's kick off that now with a list of some of the things I'm grateful for as I look back over 2012.

  • I completed my first half-marathon, without dying or passing out. 

This photograph was taken shortly after I crossed the finished line. Read my post "Why I Run" here

  • I started freelancing for USA Today and Magic City Post. 
  • I had the chance to interview Nina Garcia and write a profile on her for Hispanic Executive magazine
  • I feel I have finally hit my stride in my teaching career.
  • My husband got a great new job as a community engagement specialist for 

  • The Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham recognized me as one of the city's smartest, most innovative women thanks to my work with See Jane Write.

Accepting my award at the Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham SMART Party

  • See Jane Write grew in ways that I never expected and through this group other local women writers and I started building amazing community. 
A few of the ladies of See Jane Write and I before sitting down for a post-jog picnic at Railroad Park.
Read more about this awesome day here.

  • I continued to build friendships with some of the wonderful women I've met at my church. 

My Church of the Highlands girls and I at this year's ReCreate Women's Conference.
Read highlights from this year's conference here

And I am most thankful for the breakthrough and epiphanies I had at this fall's LIFE (Living Every Day in Freedom) Retreat. There I realized how much I fear rejection and how much that was negatively affecting all my relationships and even my creativity. During the LIFE Retreat I felt God's love and grace in a way I never have before and I learned the importance of finding confidence not through how others see me but through who I am in God. Holding on to this idea is all I need to make 2013 my best year yet!

Something New for the New Year

Friday, December 28, 2012

Image by Derek Key via Flickr/Creative Commons

Each December I compose a long, long list of goals for the coming year. Sometimes the list has as many as 99 or 101 aspirations. My rational, reasonable self tells me there's no way I'm going to accomplish all those goals in 365 days, but the dreamer in me drafts the list nonetheless. 

And I get so excited about this list of mine. I pray over it on New Year's Eve. I party in celebration of it on New Year's Eve. (Such a well-balanced girl, I am). And I celebrate it some more on New Year's Day with a yummy brunch.

For the first time probably in two decades I am not making a list of goals for the New Year. Mark Twain, one of my favorite authors, once said "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." I think he was on to something and for 2013 I'm following his advice. I'm trying something new.

I'm just going to live my life one day at a time, letting three words guide me -- communion, gratitude, and joy.

This doesn't mean I'm going to be a loser sitting on the sofa all day. I'm still going after my dreams. Throughout the year I'll be composing a bucket list of sorts using the new app Everest;  and to keep things interesting, I'll be accepting some fun challenges through that program as well. But there will be no master plan labeled "2013." Instead I'm going to focus on living each day with intention. Each day I will reach for my heart's desires in some small way as the Spirit moves me. Or maybe on some days I will just sit on the sofa and do nothing, because sometimes I need to just breathe.

Also, I won't be partying on Dec. 31. I'm going to spend the daytime hours journaling and reflecting on 2012 and that night hubster and I are going to spend some quality time together at home. I will, however, definitely be having brunch on Jan. 1. (Let me know if you'd like to join me!)  But this year as I'm munching on my French toast or Belgian waffle, I won't be celebrating my laundry list of aspirations; I'll be simply celebrating the fact that I'm alive.

31 Days to a Better Blog

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

super cute photo found here

I’m not a fashion blogger, but I regularly read the Independent Fashion Bloggers website because it always features such great tips for bloggers of any niche.

At the beginning of this month I came across a blog post on that website on 31 Ways to Boost Your Blog into 2013. Taylor Davies gave a list of 31 things to do in the month of December to make for a more successful blog in the New Year. Unfortunately, I didn't see this post until a few days into the month and since I’m not a fashion blogger several items on the list didn't really apply to me. Then I thought, “I feel another blogging challenging coming on!”

Drawing inspiration from Davies' post, I’ve put together a list of my own: 31 Days to a Better Blog. Here are 31 things to do in January (that’s one task for each day) to improve your blog. What a great way to kick off the New Year.

Below is the entire list so you can play along, but each day I’ll be posting or tweeting @writeousbabe about the tasks (with the hashtag #31Days).

If you plan to join me on this challenge let me know in the comments so I can swing by your blog to check on your progress.

Happy blogging!

Writeous Babe

31 Days to a Better Blog
  1. Carve out a new niche for yourself. Create the blog you wish existed!
  2. Create an editorial calendar and stick with it!
  3. Update your Twitter header.
  4. Write a mission statement for your blog. 
  5. Revamp your About page (and include that new mission statement). 
  6. Redesign your header. 
  7. Take a photo that you will use on all your social networking sites and add the photo to your blog as an "About Me" graphic that links to your About page. 
  8. If you've been thinking about changing your URL, title or platform, do it! 
  9. Sign up for a blogging class or conference.
  10. Recommit to being more engaging on Facebook and Twitter. 
  11. Dust off your LinkedIn profile. Believe it or not, I've had more people contact me about writing and social media gigs through LinkedIn than Facebook or Twitter. 
  12. Update your Google profile. 
  13. Learn how you can use Pinterest to boost your blog. 
  14. Update your blogroll. 
  15. Now recommit to leaving thoughtful comments on most of those sites in your blogroll. 
  16. Cut ties with some of your tweeps to streamline your Twitter experience. 
  17. Make commenting on your blog easier.
  18. Organize an event for bloggers in your area.
  19. Get connected with an online blogging community such as BlogHer, Skirt or IFB.
  20. Make a pitch to be featured on or to contribute to one of your favorite blogs. 
  21. Make a pitch to be featured in local (or even national) media. 
  22. Start a video post feature on a topic related to your niche. 
  23. Post an interview with someone you admire. These posts generally bring lots of pageviews.
  24. Introduce yourself to important people in your niche. 
  25. Blog about a controversial topic. These posts are shared over and over in cyberspace and are sure to bring you more traffic.
  26. Start an e-newsletter.
  27. Have a blog date. Go to your favorite coffee shop and blog for hours.
  28. Highlight your best blog posts. 
  29. Cover a local event. These types of posts tend to be popular, too.
  30. Compile a post of all the lesssons you've learned about blogging thus far. Your readers who are also bloggers will appreciate it, and this will be a great post for you to refer back to when you feel you've lost your way.
  31. Create a list of great blog post ideas for 2013. 

Humor, Homicide and the Holidays: A Chat with the Author of Murder on the First Day of Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2012

You may think that a novel about homicide isn't exactly something that could get you in the holiday spirit. And you probably think that there's no way a story about a Christmastime murder could also be funny. Stephanie Naman is here to prove you wrong. 

Naman's new book, Murder on the First Day of Christmas by Billie Thomas, cleverly mixes humor, homicide and the holidays to make for the perfect murder mystery and a great vacation read. 

Set in Birmingham, Alabama, the novel follows Chloe Carstairs and her mother Amanda, two decorators who find themselves in the middle of a homicide investigation after two of their clients are killed. Chloe and her mom soon become amateur sleuths determined to crack the case. The first of a series of Chloe Carstairs mysteries, this book is filled with laugh-out-loud humor, romance, irresistible mother-daughter banter, and a bit of Southern hospitality for good measure. 

I recently had a chat with Naman, a Birmingham resident who published her book under the pen name Billie Thomas, about the series, her writing, the Magic City. 

Tell me a bit about how you came up with the idea for this story.
My mom and I always traded mysteries back and forth and one day, out of the blue, I asked her to collaborate on writing one with me. I think I surprised us both, since I’d been struggling to write another book and hadn’t planned on putting that aside, much less starting a project with my mom. We had something of a rollercoaster relationship, but the idea of a fun, funny mystery with a mother-daughter relationship much like our own, appealed to both of us.

Why did you decide on a Christmas murder mystery and how did you get the idea for Chloe and her mom to be interior designers?

My mother wasn’t a professional decorator, but she could’ve been. She had great taste. And several years ago, I wrote a monthly column for Birmingham Magazine about some of the most beautiful homes in town. I got to interview a lot of interior designers, including one who did Christmas decorating like the kind Chloe and Amanda do in the book. Since this is going to be an on-going series, being decorators will get my main characters into a lot of houses, where they can find lots of skeletons in the closets.

I love reading all the Magic City references! What do you think makes this city a great setting for a story like yours? 

I love Birmingham and want everyone to know what a great city it is. It’s a character itself – often underestimated, full of surprises. Another Birmingham author, the late Anne George, was a master at using Birmingham as a backdrop for her stories. She was a definite inspiration.

Even though this book is a murder mystery, it’s also hilarious and I’ve always envied humor writers. Any tips on how to be funny on the page? 

The better you know your characters, the easier it is to find the humor in your story. The way they relate to a situation or to other characters are great sources of humor. Chloe, for instance, is self-deprecating and a little ditzy. Amanda is more sophisticated and has a dryer sense of humor. Their differences make their banter funny, but their affection for each other keeps it light.

Let’s talk about your writing process. How long did it take you to write this book? Did you have a writing routine that helped you complete the project? 

The first draft just flowed out in a couple of months. It was a joy to write. I’d work on a chapter, send it to my mom, she’d make suggestions and I’d rewrite. Easy. I workshopped it with my writing group and looked for an agent, getting some lovely, mystery-series-are-a-hard-sell-right-now rejections. We put the book aside for a few years and I worked on other things. Since then, I’ve become a lot more disciplined with my writing – writing every day unless work is out of control. A thousand words a day is my goal but I often do more if the story is taking off. And it never takes off if I’m not writing consistently. I keep a journal and scribble ideas all the time, so I have a stockpile to refer to if I get stuck.

Why did you decide to go with e-publishing with an independent press instead of self-publishing or going after a larger publishing company? 

At the last few writers’ conferences I’ve been to, indie publishing has been the hot topic. It’s no longer waving the white flag and admitting you can’t find a traditional publisher. It’s a way to take the reigns of your own career – something that’s right up my alley. Because my book is the first in a series, I thought it would be perfect to start with. When my mom died unexpectedly of an aneurism at the end of 2011, I became more determined than ever to see it published. My friends were using an independent press and it felt like a head-start on the process. I could get my manuscript professionally edited and not have to learn all the formatting that goes into self-publishing. Plus, we could cross promote – always a good thing.

What advice would you give to those out there who are looking to get published? 

Connect with other writers. I love writing but it’s not the solitary experience everyone thinks it is. You need to workshop your early drafts and network at conferences. You need people to commiserate with when rejections start rolling in. And you’ll need connections to help you market your book – which you’ll have to do yourself whether you go the indie or the traditional publishing route. I’ve met some of the best, most creative and generous people through writing – my See Jane Write girls included.

Why did you decide to publish under a pen name? 

My mom’s name is Billie and my Dad’s name is Thomas.  They both have been so encouraging of my writing, it seemed like a nice way to honor them. I’m so thankful I have this series because working on it makes me feel close to my mom. If I ever hear that a daughter loved it and passed it along to her mom, or vice versa, saying “this is so us”, I will be thrilled. I’ll bawl my eyes out, probably, but sometimes I do that when I’m thrilled.

Cross-posted at the See Jane Write blog 

Everyday Fitness: Can I Exercise Every Day for a Year?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Two girls exercising (one doing a push-up here) and walking their dogs at Cayucos State Beach two-girls-exercising-cayucos-beach1
Image by Mike Baird via Flickr/Creative Commons
Maybe after exercising daily for a few months I'll be able to go out in public wearing a sports bra and no shirt. 

Even though I'm supposed to be training for a half-marathon, lately I have been completely unmotivated to exercise. I'm bored with routine and I'm discouraged by a lack of results. 

Recently a friend of mine told me she plans to exercise every day for a year and blog about her experience. When she told me I my first thought was, "Wow! That's so awesome. I could never do that." But why not? Why couldn't I do it?

So I started thinking I'd give it a try. I figured I'd begin on January 1. Then I remembered a recent blog post by my pal Tanya Sylvan. In her post she shared this quote:

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” 
– Ivan Turgenev

Tanya went on to say: 
We can’t predict what our life will be like in two weeks or two years, yet we sit and wait for that “perfect moment” to make a leap into something new.
I do this all of the time. Everyone does. I hear people say, “Next year I’ll run a 5k” or “My diet will start after the weekend.” Hell, I’m guilty of waiting until Monday to start new training plans or workout routines. In our minds we rationalize it as waiting for a fresh start or blank slate. In reality, it’s just an excuse.
Guilty as charged. Why do I need to wait until Jan. 1 to start exercising daily? I should have a sense of urgency about this matter. My physical, emotional, and mental health (all of which are improved by exercise) are too important to be put on hold. 
And so here goes. Starting today I'm going to exercise daily for 30 to 60 minutes for the next 365 days. 

Though I occasionally will update you babes on my progress, I don't plan to blog about this regularly. Instead I'll be tweeting my daily workouts. So be sure to follow me @writeousbabe

Wish me luck! 

Thoughts on 12/12/12

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On the R198 at 12:12 12/12/12  #fivetwelves
Image by Philip Daly via Flickr/Creative Commons

Media outlets and people all around are making a big deal out of today. It's December 12, 2012 -- 12/12/12. 

Last night just before bed I felt a bit weird that I wasn't jumping on the bandwagon. I'm always looking for an excuse to celebrate. And 12/12/12 is a date that will never again occur in our lifetimes.  

Then this morning I logged onto Facebook and saw a very poignant status update from the online magazine The Indie Chicks:
Up and at 'em power babes! So many people are emphasizing how 12/12/12 will never again happen in our lifetime! 
Newsflash: Each day we live will never again happen in our lifetime. Live it up, work it hard. Make those dreams come true!

How silly that we put such an emphasis on this day just because the date looks cool. We need to live every day with both an attitude of celebration and a sense of urgency. Each day is a gift, but one we will never see again; and we don't know how many more of these gifts we have left to receive. So, as cliche as it might sound, live each day to the fullest, doing all you can to realize your dreams, and doing all you can to let the ones you love know how much you care.

After all, you never know when the zombie apocalypse is going to strike. 

Monday Motivation: 3 Words for 2013

Monday, December 10, 2012

"By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command..." 
~ Hebrews 11:3

Image via Flickr/Creative Commons
I believe in the power of words. Since I'm a writer, you probably already knew that.

But the Jesus freak in me also drives my belief that words are important. With words the Creator spoke the world into being and with the written words of sacred texts, that same Creator communicates with us humans. John 1:1 says that Jesus is actually the living Word of God. Thus, it seems like words are a pretty big deal to God, so they should be a pretty big deal to me too.

Last week Sheree Martin of The Ben Franklin Follies asked such an intriguing question about words:

Can three words inspire, motivate — even define you for an entire year? A lifetime? If words shape our thoughts, our emotions, our actions, it would seem so.

And I completely agree with Sheree, who chose zoom, vivace, and jazz for her words. I was eager to come up with three words of my own to guide my year. Then I remembered my vow to let direct my plans for 2013 and I started pouted saying, "But God, I wanna play too!" 

Right after I read Sheree's post a tweet by Jamie Golden led me to her blog Jamie's Rabbits. Jamie confessed that she'd had a "Bah humbug" attitude toward the gratitude posts everyone was sharing on Facebook during the month of December.  "Then," she said, "God found Himself in my face for the upteenth time. He started with scripture. HE ALWAYS STARTS WITH THE DANG BIBLE." 

That scripture was 
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 -- Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances...

And just like that God told me I could play along too and showed me what my three words should be. 

I've struggled with depression most of my life and since anti-depressants turn me into a zombie I've been searching for other ways to cope. 

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon the quote "Joy is a choice" and added it to my vision board hoping it would serve as daily encouragement. Instead it became a daily annoyance. Choosing joy is hard! And that cute little quote scribbled on a yellow index card was not making it any easier. (I confess to throwing a shoe or two at my vision board thanks to this quote.)

I shared this story with someone who was praying with me this weekend at a church retreat. She looked at me and said, "God wants you to know that joy is a Person. And that person lives within you." And with that I felt the weight 10,000 vision boards lift from my shoulders. Instead of working to be happy I need to simply bask in God's presence, which leads me to my second word...

Prayer booth 3
Prayer Booth
Image by Zach Alexander via Flickr/Creative Commons


Merriam-Webster defines communion as an act or instance of sharing or intimate fellowship or rapport. In 2013 my hope is to have intimate fellowship with God through prayer, worship, and study of the Bible, and by serving other people. The word communion not only makes me think of God, but also the people I love. In 2013, I want to spend more quality time with my friends and family and find more ways to inspire women writers.

true to form
Image via Flickr/Creative Commons


In 2013 I want to "give thanks in all circumstances." When things are great at work, when See Jane Write is being celebrated, when more and more people start reading my blog, and when freelance gigs come pouring in I want to give thanks to God and be careful not to take credit for these blessings. And when my students are driving me crazy, when I'm frustrated with See Jane Write, when I feel like no one cares about anything I write, and when the freelance jobs are scarce I want to still give thanks because I know that bad days only make good days sweeter and challenges only make me stronger. And I will give thanks because I believe the words found in Romans 8:28 --  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

What three words will guide you in the year 2013? 

Blog Like a Girl: Alexis Barton of Same Chic Different Day

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Alexis Barton
Photo by Lynsey Weatherspoon
 of Lynsey Weatherspoon Photography
If you need advice on how to put together an outfit, you can't go wrong going to fashion blogger Alexis Barton of Same Chic Different Day for help. Earlier this year Birmingham Magazine selected her as one of the city's most beautiful people and in 2010 she was a finalist in the Birmingham Belle contest sponsored by the online fashion magazine MyScoop

For those of you who live in Birmingham, Barton is teaming up with Birmingham Magazine and the Birmingham Public Library to offer free holiday fashion advice. The event is called Fashion Friday and will be held this Friday, Dec. 7, at noon in the Arrington Auditorium of the Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library, 2100 Park Place. Expect to learn how to take your office attire from day to night and how to look great without breaking the bank. And you can finally learn the difference between cocktail, creative black tie and dressy casual. 

Barton, however, is a good person to turn to for blogging tips, too. Her blog has only been around for 15 months and already has had the honor of being a finalist for best blog in Birmingham Magazine's annual Best of Birmingham contest. Barton was also once recognized as a top blogger for Skirt magazine

I had a chat with Barton recently about her upcoming event and her blogging success. 

How did you come up with the idea to partner with the library and Birmingham Magazine to have this event? 

It was actually the library's idea; Chanda Temple, BPL's Director of Public Relations, invited me to participate.  I love reading. My first job was in a library. And I enjoy visiting the downtown branch frequently so I was happy to help.

What's the biggest mistake you see people making when it comes to their holiday fashion choices? 

The biggest mistake people make in general when choosing what to wear is overthinking it.  It can make a person talk herself into wearing something she should leave on the hanger.

What inspired you to start a fashion blog? 

I needed a project to keep myself busy last summer, and decided to create an opportunity to use my creative writing and social media skills.  Most writers are advised to "write what you know," and since I've been shopping forever and enjoy putting outfits together, I thought writing about style would be a natural fit. 

With so many fashion blogs around, what do you do to stand out?

I really don't do anything in particular or intentionally to stand out.  If anything, I think people connect with my "voice" and writing style. 

Your blog seems to have become pretty popular in a short time. How did you spread the word and build a following? 

Honestly, it has spread through word of mouth.  When I began the blog, I really only thought my mother, sister-in-law and friends would read it; that it has caught on with others is a pleasant and welcome surprise.

Do you have any advice for other bloggers out there hoping to make a name for themselves? 

Yes: don't focus on "making a name." If you focus on putting in the work necessary to make your product or your blog the best it can be, people will notice.

Cross-posted at the See Jane Write blog

Could I Learn to Love Christmas?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Last week I mentioned I deleted my goals for 2013 so I could replace them with the things I believe God  wants me to accomplish.

Last week I also mentioned I hate Christmas.

Well, over the past two weeks I've felt urged by sermons and bible studies to do something about my disdain for the holiday season. And so the first goal that I'm adding to my 2013 list is this:

Learn to love Christmas. 

Since I'm sure learning to love Christmas will prove to be a difficult task for me, I'm going to start working on this goal now.

One of my common quips to defend my bah humbug ways is that Jesus wasn't actually born on Dec. 25. And even if he was why do we give other people gifts on Jesus' birthday?

My pastor once said that during the Christmas season we should focus on giving Jesus the gift he wants most -- us. So during Advent I'm going to spend more time in prayer and bible study in an effort to truly commit every area of my life to God.

Still, I'm not sure that's going to keep Christmas music from making my stomach turn.

So I'm also trying to change my Grinch-like ways for the sake of another man in my life -- the hubster.

My husband loves Christmas. He loves filling our apartment with gaudy garland and the like and believes that when it comes to holiday decorations the tackier the better. He even uses words like "magical" when talking about Christmas. (Shudder.)

But since he is my beau for life, what's important to him should be important to me.

I have this dream of one day being this woman who bakes Christmas cookies while humming carols, who gets really excited about decorating the tree and who can't wait to sign and address Christmas cards. I know these all sound like normal things to the Christmas-loving kind, but for me, these activities take a Herculean effort. I'd rather run 13.1 miles in below freezing temperatures.  Seriously.

But the message from God that's been clearest lately is "Javacia, it's not about you."

So here goes nothing...

Blogging Is About People, Not Pageviews

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A few of the ladies of See Jane Write before our morning walk

I have a confession. 

When I came up with the idea for #bloglikecrazy several months ago I had an ulterior motive. While I, of course, wanted the challenge to get other women motivated to write and blog regularly, I also hoped the project would increase traffic to my blog. And I did see a small boost in traffic, but by the second week of the challenge I didn't care about my stats. Something much more important and more exciting was happening. Thanks to the number of See Jane Write members participating, women bloggers in the Birmingham area started using #bloglikecrazy to build community. The ladies shared their posts on the See Jane Write Facebook group page and in the process discovered a host of common interests. One thing we quickly learned was that several of us were fitness fanatics. 

So Tanya Sylvan had the great idea of organizing See Jane Move

Yesterday morning I started my day with a gathering of a few of my favorite women who write at Railroad Park. The weather was absolutely perfect as we did laps around the park for about an hour and then sat down for a potluck brunch. We noshed on fruit, confetti rice and bean salad, and other healthy snacks and talked about nearly everything from personal branding to blog design to DIY manicures. 

Here we are before sitting down for our healthy potluck brunch

And as I sat there I saw a blogging lesson come to life: it's all about people, not pageviews. No amount of web hits could have created the joy I felt this morning.  

I left the park feeling so inspired by the girl power in the air and very hopeful about the future of See Jane Write. 

See Jane Move was an excellent way to start a Saturday and a perfect way to end #bloglikecrazy. 

Prompts to Help You #bloglikecrazy

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Image by Mike Licht via Flickr/Creative Commons

The #bloglikecrazy challenge for November is over. All month long several other bloggers and I strove to blog daily and we shared our posts via Facebook and via Twitter with the hashtag #bloglikecrazy. 

For the first time ever I blogged every day for 30 days. And I loved it. I loved it so much that as I woke up today and realized I didn't have to publish a post I felt strange. So I just had to post something!

Today I've decided to share the writing prompts I emailed to other bloggers who took on the #bloglikecrazy challenge with me. A few were Thanksgiving related, but still can be used anytime of the year. I hope they'll inspire you to blog like crazy too. 

Thursday, Nov. 1 -- November Intentions: I'm a big believer in living with intention. Kick off the month by listing your intentions for November. This list can focus on what you hope to get out of #bloglikecrazy or detail your personal and professional goals for the month. 

Friday, Nov. 2 -- Defense! No, I'm not talking about football. Write a post defending something or someone that usually gets a bad rap. This could be a celebrity, a book, your favorite food, a region of the country, etc. The possibilities are endless. To narrow your choices, pick something that's somehow related to your blogging niche.

Saturday, Nov. 3 -- Write something risky. You know, that post you've always wanted to write but didn't because you're afraid of how your readers will react. You're afraid of what your family and friends will think. Yes, that one. That's the post you need to write and you need to write it right now. I did just that earlier this year. That post received more comments than anything I've ever published online and received more page views than nearly all other posts to (In case you're interested, you can read the post here:

Sunday, Nov. 4 -- Link Love: Compile a list of links to some of the most intriguing and insightful articles and blog posts you read online this week. Try to pick articles related to your niche and add some meaningful commentary to your list so your fans will understand why they should take the time reading these posts too. This is a great way to keep your readers informed and to show love to other bloggers. You may even consider making this a regular feature of your blog. 

Monday, Nov. 5 -- Noteworthy: I am an obsessive note taker. Whether I'm at church, at a conference, or in a meeting you are bound to find me scribbling in a notebook. Chances are, you can relate. Spend some time thumbing through notes you took at a conference, meeting, or other event (preferably one related to your blogging niche) and compose a post sharing what you learned. 

Tuesday, Nov. 6 -- Blog the Vote! Don't worry, I'm not asking you to divulge who you're voting for or share your thoughts on abortion, Obama Care or even Big Bird. Simply write a post explaining to your readers why you vote, or if for some reason you chose to sit out this election, I'm sure your readers would love to know your reasons for that too.

Wednesday, Nov. 7 – Who What Wear: Write a post about fashion, yes, even if you’re not a fashion blogger. Whether you’re a style maven who’s always dressed to the nines or the type that just rolls out of bed and throws on jeans and a t-shirt, we all have at least one interesting story about clothes and wardrobe.

Thursday, Nov. 8 – Fit for Life: Write a post about fitness, yes, even if you’re not a fitness blogger. We all need to think about our health because you can’t be a blogging star if you’re dead. Share with your readers fitness struggles you may be having or a fitness goal you recently accomplished. Or tell us how you plan to get or stay in shape.

Friday, Nov. 9 – Today on my blog I discussed the importance of having a clear vision for your blog’s purpose. Write a mission statement for your blog and post it.

Saturday, Nov. 10 -- Re-watch one of your favorite movies (preferably one related to your niche) and write about a lesson you learned from it. For example, here’s a post I wrote recently after re-watching Julie & Julia:

Sunday, Nov. 11 – Write a How-To Piece. It can be on anything you want. You can either give your readers advice based on your own knowledge, or if there’s something you want to know how to do, go ask someone and report back as I did in my post Howto Blog Every Day For a Year.

Monday, Nov. 12 – From Mundane to Magical. Sometimes we can find inspiration in the most mundane moments, such as the wisdom I gleaned from cleaning out my closet. (You can read that post here: Take some time to think back on life lessons you’ve learned while doing seemingly dull or ordinary tasks or while out enjoying nature. 

Tuesday, Nov. 13 – Legacy. The pastor of my church has been talking about legacy for the past month. Regardless of your religious beliefs I think we should all be thinking about the kind of legacy we want to leave behind. So how do you want to be remembered and what are you doing about it today?

Wednesday, Nov. 14 – 4 Simple Goals. Recently, I published a blog post on setting four simple goals for the remainder of the year. Check it out and post 4 simple goals of your own.

Thursday, Nov. 15 – Why I Blog.  At this point you’ll be halfway through #bloglikecrazy. But are we crazy for blogging like crazy? What’s the point of blogging when the blogosphere is so saturated? Why do you blog? Feel free to check out this post for inspiration:

Friday, Nov. 16 – Currently. Share with your readers what you’re into at the moment. Check out this post for ideas:

Saturday, Nov. 17 – Bloggers Night Out. Write about an event going on your town. This is a great way to reach new readers.

Sunday, Nov. 18 – Family. With Thanksgiving just around the corner you’re probably looking forward to spending some quality time with your family. Or you’re dreading it. Either way our families are always rich with good writing material. Today, blog about your family.  

Monday, Nov. 19 – Why Do You Love Being a Woman? That’s a simple question, but one that most likely has a complicated answer. So let’s write a blog post about it. Special thanks to Evette Dionne for this idea. Check out her post on this question:

Tuesday, Nov. 20 – Elevator Pitch. Pick something you’re passionate about – the company you work for, the business you want to start, the non-profit organization you want to launch, you blog, your book – and write an elevator pitch for it, then post it on your blog.  

Wednesday, Nov. 21 – Food Stories. You’re probably thinking a lot about food right now as you’re preparing for Turkey Day! Write a blog post about food.

Thursday, Nov. 22 – Give Thanks. Many of you have been giving thanks on your blogs or on Facebook all month long, but let us all make a list of things we’re grateful for today.

Friday, Nov. 23 – Music Mantra. In a blog post about why she blogs, Erin Street quoted my favorite Ani DiFranco song, “Joyful Girl,” and inspired today’s prompt. Choose a song that you would consider your mantra. Briefly explain why you chose this song and post a video of the song or the lyrics. (You can check out Erin’s post here:

Sat. Nov. 24 – Manifesto. Now that you’ve thought about your musical mantra let’s take it a step further. Write a manifesto. Not sure where to start? Here are two examples:

Sunday, Nov. 25 – Picture This. Share pictures from your holiday weekend, your favorite Instagram pics or Pinterest pins, or snapshots of yourself, your home or all the junk in your bag.  The images you share are totally up to you. Just post pictures and tell us a little about them. Or better yet, let the images inspire a meaningful and thoughtful post.

Monday, Nov. 26 – Letter to Self. Write a letter to your younger or future self.

Tuesday, Nov. 27 – The Power of Unpopular. Do you have an unpopular opinion on an issue? Probably so. Be fearless and write about your controversial stance.

Wednesday, Nov. 28 -- Q&A. Do a Q&A with someone you admire or someone who has achieved something you aspire to do.

Thursday, Nov. 29 – Write a post with this title: “Things You Don't Know About Me.”

Friday, Nov. 30 – Now that we’ve reached the end of our little adventure of blogging like crazy, reflect on the month. What did you learn about yourself as a writer? What’s next for you and your blog?