Written by barbaravaranka on December 1, 2015
I am thrilled to share our latest interview with writer, public speaker, and creator of self confidence workshops, Ashley Olafsen. Ashley is the co-founder of MOVE, a company designed to promote self confidence and positive body image, through self confidence workshops. Ashley is an advocate for self-confidence, positive body image, and media representation. She is currently a freshman at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Over this past summer, I had the pleasure of editing a version of Ashley’s upcoming book, tentatively titled Survival of the Prettiest. I enjoyed working with Ashley, and always admire her passionate spirit and relentless drive. Her book is not only well-written and well-researched, its quality is amplified with a powerful message and a desire to truly make a difference in teenagers’ lives. I am so looking forward to reading the finished product when it hits the shelves.
To learn more about Ashley and to follow her online, visit:
Written by barbaravaranka on November 29, 2015
When I have conversations with people interested in publishing a book, or those who dream of becoming consistent writers, there is almost always a hint of shame in the air. (more…)
Written by barbaravaranka on November 9, 2015
You’ve probably heard that most writers write every day, first thing in the morning, for at least a few hours. But what about the rest of us? (more…)
Written by barbaravaranka on November 8, 2015
My book manuscript word count is now up to 24,331 words! I’m so freaking proud of myself.
I finally feel like I am building momentum on my book manuscript, and making it my own. (more…)
Written by barbaravaranka on November 2, 2015
An important part of being a writer is surrounding yourself with other writers who support you and challenge you to grow.
Written by barbaravaranka on October 26, 2015
One of my favorite things about writing, which is also (funny enough) what makes it terrifying, is that I never know what I am going to create when I sit down to write. (more…)
Written by barbaravaranka on October 23, 2015
Wow. It’s been a tumultuous month full of changes, endings, new beginnings, and travel.
Even though I have had more free time in the last month than I usually do, I put off working on my book until today.
Have you ever given yourself a deadline, and then put it off, day after day?
I challenged myself to write 1,000 words, but I just kept moving the task from one day’s to-do list to the next.
The more I put it off, the more I dreaded it, but I couldn’t understand why. All I needed to do was go upstairs to my office, and write 1,000 words. I didn’t have to turn it in or show it to anyone, and I knew I could revise it after I was finished, but just the thought of facing the page felt painful.
Written by barbaravaranka on October 21, 2015
“I remember liking blocks as a kid…I think that’s a good way of trying to describe the pleasure I get from writing and building a sentence…when I’m enjoying [writing] the most and when it is the most engaging to me is when it feels like I have…this tower I want to build and these blocks available to me and I’m finding all these different ways of piecing them together.”
— Andrew Johnson
I am thrilled to post our first Wavelengths interview with my dear friend, Andrew Johnson.
Andrew and I met when we were both graduate students in the creative writing MFA program at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. I have always admired Andrew’s thoughtfulness and commitment to his writing, and I still enjoy the friendship we have developed through the years. I always learn from our conversations, whether we’re talking about writing, teaching, spirituality, current events, or Royals baseball. (You can’t really see it in the video, but Andrew wanted me to tell you he’s wearing a KC cap. Go Royals!)
I had fun keeping it real and talking about writing, not writing, reacting to current events, using social media to respond to the world, and the best way to penetrate the human heart (hint: it’s not with a tank).
To learn more about Andrew and to read his work, check out the following links:
Written by barbaravaranka on September 29, 2015
Recently, a friend of mine said, My mother always wanted to be a writer, but she was embarrassed by her grammar.
I hear this a lot from people who want to write, but are embarrassed by their command of spelling and grammar. When I was a teacher, I worked with so many students who were scarred for life by teachers who used grammar as a weapon. Often, when I would tell one of my students how great their essay was, they would respond with, No one has ever told me I’m a good writer before.
Written by barbaravaranka on September 26, 2015
One of the scariest parts of writing is getting started. Even getting to the place where your butt is in the chair, and the paper and pen are in front of you can be tough.
Many people say they aren’t writing because they don’t have enough time, but I’ve found that it’s typically for a different reason: the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect.