November 2018 [Goals]

2018 November Goals | blogging | creative writing | reading | goals | RachelPoli.com

Reading

As always, I’ll be reading and reviewing four books this month. I also plan on going through my bookshelves as well. I want to organize them and also make a list of books I still need to read… without buying new ones… but we all know that won’t happen.

To keep up, you can check out my Reading List and Goodreads.

Writing

NaNoWriMo is officially back in session! I’ll be working on a few different projects, as I’ve already mentioned. I won’t go in too much deal since I already did, but I’ll be working on writing flash fiction for 2019’s Short Story Sundays, Sunday Morning, and a little bit of George Florence & The Perfect Alibi.

Blogging

I had tried to get as much of my blogging done for this month in October because I knew NaNo was going to take up the majority of my time. So, November is just about done and I also planned a lot of December so I won’t have to worry about getting ahead for next month either. This will also free up December so I can plan for 2019, which I’ve already started. New things are coming!

What are your plans for November? Are you participating in NaNo? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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October 2018 [Wrap Up]

2018 October Wrap up | blogging | creative writing | reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I said I was going to try to read a scary book or something for Halloween, didn’t I? Well, I didn’t do that. I kept up with my reading though, so that’s good! You can check out my Reading List or the latest Book Reviews I’ve done.

Writing

I got done when I needed to on my writing this month. I prepped for NaNoWriMo for tomorrow and I also made progress on Sunday Morning. If you’re interested in more about my writing, you can check out my Patreon. Right now I’m running a special promotion for Sunday Morning. If you give $1 a month, you’ll get an exclusive promo box (including a free copy of the book) when the book is published!

Blogging

I ended up getting a bit behind in my blogging for a while. I had wi-fi problems and then I got sick. However, I pushed through the last few days of October and managed to get a good chunk of November done as well as planning December.

Overall

October was kind of a weird month. It was successful, but so much happened on and off the screen that it’s kind of a blur to me. November is already looking super busy so… challenge accepted.

Posts to Remember

1. 7 Places To Find Novel Ideas
2. The Sticky-Note Method For Outlining A Novel
3. 3 Elements To Include In Your Novel Outline

How did October treat you? Are you looking forward to November? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Needing A Break

Monday has come again. This past weekend went by pretty fast. Last Thursday I had made a to-do list for myself for the weekend. I got a decent amount of it done but certainly not all of it.

This was not the blog post I had planned to write for today. I simple had no motivation to write the one I had originally decided to write about. I’ve been in a slump with a lot of things recently.

I’ve been busy – on and off the Internet.

Last night I was overwhelmed by all the work I needed to do. One of the tasks was writing today’s blog post because I somehow have gotten behind with them. Instead of writing the post I logged off the computer and took a bath for an hour.

It was refreshing. (Despite Chip coming in and out of the bathroom looking for attention. She’s not a fan of baths so I also think she was concerned that I was willingly sitting in the tub.)

I wrote in my journal for the hour I was soaking and it was nice. It was quiet – aside from Chip’s low-toned barks here and there.

This isn’t the typical blog post I normally write. Every once in a while I’ll talk about general life and my well-being. I don’t know why I don’t do it more. I don’t even know if you guys like these kinds of blog posts.

Honestly, I’m partially writing this because I don’t like to skip a day of blogging. I like to keep in touch with you guys no matter the content of the post. I love what I do, but I especially love getting to know all of you guys. I’m pleased you guys care about what I have to say each day.

I’m not going to take a break from blogging or anything like that. I think I just needed a post that didn’t require as much work and thought as the rest.

Baths and journaling always seem to help. And if there’s anything I’ve learned tonight, it’s that I need to get a doggy-door for my bathroom.

What do you do to unwind for a bit? Do you ever get in blogging slumps like this? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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October & November 2018 Writing Submissions [Writing Contests]

October and November 2018 Writing Contests | Writing Submissions | Creative Writing | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

October 2018

Genre: Poetry
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: October 1, 2018 (early-bird)
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: Grand – $1,000

Genre: Any – see website for list
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: October 15, 2018
Entry Fee: $30
Prize: Grand – $2,500

Genre: Fiction (unpublished writers only)
Website: Glimmer Train
Deadline: October 31, 2018
Entry Fee: $18
Prize: First – $2,500

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: Life Lessons from the Dog
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: October 31, 2018
Entry Fee: N/A
Prize: $200

November 2018

Genre: Fiction
Theme: Short short story
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: November 15, 2018 (early-bird)
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: Grand – $3,000

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: Life lessons from the cat
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: November 30, 2018
Entry Fee: N/A
Prize: $200

Genre: Fiction
Website: Glimmer Train
Deadline: November 30, 2018
Entry Fee: $2
Prize: $700

Genre: Fiction & Nonfiction
Website: Narrative Magazine
Deadline: November 30, 2018
Entry Fee: $26
Prize: First – $2,500

Ongoing

Genre: Stories, essays, plays, poetry, art
Website: Literal Latte
Entry Fee: $3

Genre: Various
Website: Narrative Magazine
Entry Fee: Yes, but amount is not listed

Genre: Flash fiction and short fiction
Website: CRAFT Journal
Entry Fee: N/A

Genre: Short story, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, novel excerpts, poetry
Website: Rejected Manuscripts
Entry Fee: N/A
*Your piece must have been rejected for publication or failed to win a prize at a literary competition in order to qualify.

Please be sure to read through the guidelines for each submission. Information may change.

Do you know any other deadlines coming up? Are you thinking of submitting to any of these? Let me know in the comments below. Good luck! If you liked this post, please share it around!

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October 2018 [Goals]

2018 October Goals | Creative writing | reading | blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

With four Saturdays this month will come four book reviews. I was thinking of reading some spooky books for the month. I mean, have an “unofficial” theme for the book reviews this month. I don’t think that’s going to happen though. I do enjoy my sleep. I might try to read a couple though. As always, check out my Reading List and Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading and reviewing. If you’re an author, my Book Review Policy is open.

Writing

This is going to be a busy month for writing. I have multiple projects I’m working on. I’ll be continuing my mystery novel, George Florence & The Perfect Alibi. I’m going to finish another round of edits and then hopefully get some rewriting and more edits done during NaNoWriMo.

Speaking of NaNo, I’ll be doing prep for that this month. I can’t believe it’s already one month away. I’ll be working on 2019’s Short Story Sunday posts for the blog. So, for this month, I’ll be creating writing prompts for myself so when November comes I can just sit and write. In addition to working on that, I’ll also spend NaNo working on my mystery novel and Sunday Morning.

Sunday Morning is a collection of flash fiction based off the various Short Story Sundays I’ve done on this blog. This will be the first volume and it contains the first 52 Short Story Sundays I’ve ever posted on here. They’re being revised, rewritten, and edited to be much better stories with more meaning. This project is being made possible with my patrons over on Patreon. My patrons will get exclusive inside information on the book and will also get some extra goodies once it’s out! If you’re interested, please check out my Patreon page where you can join the journey for as little as $1 a month.

Blogging

Blogging will go as usual. I’ve almost got my October posts done. I’m hoping to get as much of November done as possible – if not all of November – so that I can solely focus on writing and NaNo next month.

I’ll also be working on something extra for the blog that will be revealed at the end of the month. So I’m excited for that!

What are your plans for the month? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Short Story Sunday 231: Wish

Short Story: Wish | Flash Fiction | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

“Close your eyes.”

“Why?”

“So you can make a wish.”

“Why do I have to close my eyes in order to make a wish?”

Ash glanced up at his wife, who shrugged her shoulders in response. Still holding the round cake in his hands, Ash looked back at his now 6-year-old daughter.

“I guess you don’t have to close your eyes if you don’t want to, Julia.” He said.

Julia tilted her head to the side. She tapped a finger to her chin and stared at the seven burning candles on top of her cake.

“What are you thinking about, honey?” Her mother, Zoey, asked with a smirk across her face. Julia was exactly like her father, though Zoey knew Ash didn’t see it yet.

“How does blowing out candles make my wish come true?” Julia asked.

Ash put the cake down on the table in front of her and he stood up straight. He looked at his wife and shrugged pointing to their daughter, allowing her to take this one.

“Well, candles are special.” Zoey stated.

“I blow out candles all the time when you light them around the house.” Julia countered.

Zoey paused and Ash snickered.

“Birthday candles are special.” Zoey said quickly. “They mark another year for you. They make it so this next year is going to be extra special for you.”

“But I’m six years old now. You put seven candles on my cake.” Julia counted the candles with her fingers.

“It’s for good luck.” Ash stepped in again. He smiled down at her thinking that was going to be the end of the conversation. Instead, Julia craned her neck to look up at her father with a confused expression on her face.

“Wait, I get a wish and luck?”

Zoey facepalmed. Ash stared at the six-year-old with his mouth gaping open. Why was she asking so many questions? It was her birthday, people blew out candles on a cake on their birthday, why was she reading into it so much?

“…Yes…?” Ash replied slowly. He wasn’t sure what the right answer was.

“You don’t sound sure.” Julia shook her head.

“The extra candle is what gives you the wish and it also has a bit of luck to help the wish come true.” Zoey joined in on the conversation once more. She nodded to Ash, who nodded as well. Certainly they made a great team under pressure.

“Why doesn’t my sixth candle give me the wish and the good luck, though? I am six, after all.” Julia commented again.

“Well, the seventh candle is there because you’re six now, but this year is your seventh year, leading up to your seventh birthday.” Ash explained. He scratched the top of his head. He had never thought about birthdays like that until now.

“If I’m going on my seventh year, then why isn’t this my seventh birthday?” Julia asked.

Ash finished scratching the top of his head and was now rubbing his eyes instead. He had to admit that she brought up good points. Birthdays were certainly weird. She was going on her seventh year, so why wasn’t this her seventh birthday? Then again, she wasn’t exactly seven year old, so that made it her sixth birthday instead… she’d been alive and in this world for six whole years.

“Julia, blow out the candles, you’re getting wax on the cake.” Zoey said sternly with her arms folded across her chest.

Julia opened her mouth to protest – or maybe she just had another question – but Ash stepped in. He bent down so his face was beside his daughter’s and smirked at her.

“Blow out your candles or I’m going to get to them first.” He drew in a deep breath acting as though he was going to blow them out.

Panicking, Julia blew out the candles quickly. No six-year-old could resist blowing out candles. Ash straightened up taking the cake out of her way while Zoey clapped and cheered.

The great birthday debate was now over as Julia quickly forgot and just wanted to eat the cake instead.

Words: 681

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Sabbath By Yecheilyah Ysrayl [I Am Soul Blog Tour – Guest Post]

It’s my pleasure to welcome Yecheilyah Ysrayl to my blog for the I Am Soul Blog Tour!

I am Soul by Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Poetry | Blog Tour | Blogging | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I just wanna turn off my brain.
Not completely, just enough to gather my breath
and lay it at the head of the bed.
A temporary moment to which renewal finds itself,
Back to my pillow
to which I may die,
And in the same second be reborn.
I want my eyes to bow in submission to my bones,
And my soul to fall slowly to the contours of this mattress.
And for a second pretend that the world has dissolved around me.
For a second, for just a moment, let me lay my body
at the foot of sleep’s doorstep,
Pretend to swim with the clouds,
And at the same moment,
taste of rejuvenation’s delicacies.

About Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Yecheilyah Ysrayl | I Am Soul Author | Blog Tour | Book Blogger | Blogging | RachelPoli.comYecheilyah (e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet and lives in Marietta, GA with her wonderful husband. She has been writing poetry since she was twelve years old and joined the UMOJA Poetry Society in High School where she learned to perfect her craft. In 2010, at 23 years-old, Yecheilyah published her first collection of poetry and in 2014, founded Literary Korner Publishing and The PBS blog where she enjoys helping other authors through her blog interviews and book reviews. The PBS Blog has been named among Reedsy’s Best Book Review blogs of 2017 and 2018 and has helped many authors in their writing journey. I am Soul is her fourth collection of poetry.

Fun Facts about Yecheilyah:

  • She loves to laugh, and her favorite comedy TV show is Blackish
  • She is originally from Chicago, IL
  • She’s been married to her husband 8 years, together for 11 years
  • She believes eggs makes everything better
  • She is a twin
  • She is addicted to reading and new notebooks
  • Her favorite desert is ice cream

Author Website | Blog | AmazonAmazon Author Central | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

I am Soul is now available on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Scribd. Click Here to choose your retailer.

Greenbriar Mall
The Medu Bookstore
2841 Greenbriar Pkwy SW
Atlanta, GA 30331

I am Soul Blog Tour | Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Poetry | Blogging | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Have you read I Am Soul yet? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Short Story Sunday 230: Vision

Short Story: Vision | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

“Tell me what you see now.” Scarlett said.

Isaac shrugged. He had one hand covering his right eye and he was supposed to read the fourth to last row of letters on the seeing chart that hung upon the wall on the other side of the door. “You know, this would be a lot easier if you just let me look with both eyes.”

Scarlett cracked a smile. “Yeah, that’s not exactly how this works.”

Isaac groaned. He narrowed his left eye trying to see well, but the letters in the row weren’t getting any less blurry.

“Try reading the sixth line from the bottom instead of the fourth.” Scarlett suggested.

“Sure,” Isaac took a step forward.

“Hey,” Scarlett said catching him immediately. “Step back.”

Isaac obeyed taking a step back but didn’t reply as though he had done nothing wrong.

“Read the letters to me.” Scarlett ordered again. Her tone was calm and gentle though it was obvious to Isaac she was getting a little impatient. It wasn’t his fault she was making him close one eye and stay ridiculously far away from the chart.

Isaac groaned. She probably already had it written down in her chart that he was blind. She was probably making him continue just to get a kick out of it.

“Okay, this isn’t working. Try covering your other eye.” Scarlett said.

“Well, now this is much worse.”

Scarlett looked up from jotting something down on the clipboard. She sighed when she noticed Isaac had both his eyes covered. “Stop being a smart-guy, Isaac. You know what I meant.”

Issac uncovered both his eyes and grinned at his eye doctor. “Yeah, but it was funny, right?”

“Cover your left eye and read the sixth row from the bottom.” Scarlett repeated unfazed by Issac’s antics.

Issac did so and wrinkled his face in disgust. “This is worse… my right eye is all blurry. How do you expect me to see anything better than I did with my left eye?”

Scarlett let out a sigh. “Your eye is just adjusting to the light again Issac. Give it a minute.”

Issac nodded and silence filled the room for a little bit. He remained in his spot, his hand still covering his left eye. Scarlett watched him, waiting. Expecting him to be begin but he didn’t seem like he was going to anytime soon.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I’m letting my eye adjust.”

“Issac.”

“Alright, alright…” Issac sighed.

More silence.

“You can’t read the chart, can you?” Scarlett finally concluded.

“Nope.” Issac said quickly.

“Can you at least read the first time?” she wondered exasperated.

Issac uncovered his left eye and squinted. Scarlett let that one slide despite him still needing to cover an eye.

“A, B, C, D, E, F, G.” Issac beamed. He turned to Scarlett and nodded with a large grin.

Scarlett let out an annoyed sigh. “There are only six letters on the top row.”

“Oh,” Issac turned his attention back to the chart. He tilted his head as though that would help him read it better.

“Okay, I think you need some glasses.” Scarlett finally declared.

“What? Why?”

“You can’t see.”

“I can see in front of me.” Issac protested. “Why do I need to see things far away? If you want to see something that’s far away then just walk up to it. Unless you’re at the zoo, then you should stay away… so probably just don’t go to the zoo at all.”

Scarlett pinched the bridge of her nose. “Issac, how did you get here today?”

“I drove,”

“And how was that?”

“I hit two curbs and took up two parking spaces. Why?”

Scarlett sighed exasperated. “This is why you need to have the ability to see far away.”

“But–”

“I don’t want to hear it. If you don’t get glasses today, I’m going to call your mother to come pick you up.”

Issac folded his arms across his chest and pouted. “This is stupid.”

“Well,” Scarlett couldn’t help but smirk, “this is what happens when you don’t come for an eye exam in seven years.”

Words: 687

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 229: Union Academy [Part 2]

Short Story: Union Academy (Part 2) | Flash Fiction | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

“It wasn’t a mistake, Erin.”

Erin turned to look at Kay. She furrowed her brows in confusion. She wanted to ask what she meant, but was almost afraid to say anything. She looked all around her hoping that no one was overhearing this conversation.

Kay pressed her lips together rubbing in her fresh coat of lipstick. She closed her compact mirror and turned around to face her friend. “I told my parents that I wanted my own room this year. Only poor kids have to share dorm rooms.” She sneered.

Erin rolled her eyes. “I know. We can all afford our own dorm rooms. But the four of us agreed that we would share so we would all be together. Olivia and Zoey were supposed to share a room and you and I were supposed to share a room.”

Kay shrugged her shoulders. “Well, I changed my mind.” She turned her head to look the other way as though she was bored with the conversation.

“Fine, but you could have at least told me. I would have told my parents I wanted my own room.” Erin protested. She folded her arms across her chest and lifted her shoulders up. She turned her gaze down to the ground. Even though Kay wasn’t looking at her, she felt intimidated for some reason.

“Where are they…?” Kay muttered.

Erin looked up and noticed Kay craning her neck over the crowd of people. Did Kay even hear her? Of course she did… She was just ignoring her.

They stood in silence for a few more moments. Kay standing before Erin with her head held high looking like the almighty while Erin stood with a slouched posture and her gaze plummeting to the ground.

Kay scoffed. “Whatever,” she turned her attention to Erin. “Let’s head up to my room. We can text the other girls from there and tell us to meet us.”

Erin nodded her head and stepped to the side. Kay shouldered her way past Erin and walked on ahead, Erin following reluctantly behind.

*

Kay opened her dorm room door pushing it all the way open. It opened wide knocking into the wall and starting closing on its own. Erin pushed it back open to let herself in. When she crossed the threshold she looked around the room in awe.

“You already decorated the place?” Erin asked.

The walls were painted a pale pink and her silk throw was already covering the bed with a white see-through canopy over it.

“My father made some calls and they allowed me to come in a little earlier to set up the place.” Kay explained. She crawled onto her bed. She sat up by the pillows and put one on her lap.

Erin walked over to the other side of the room where Kay’s desk was set up. Her notebooks and pens were lined neatly up on the surface. A picture frame was on the corner of a picture herself with Kay, Olivia, and Zoey. Erin smiled remembering that day.

“Hello, hello!”

Erin turned around to see Olivia and Zoey enter the room together. Olivia closed the door behind the two of them and crawled onto the foot of Kay’s full sized bed. Erin watched not realizing that she had a bigger bed size than the other dorms too.

“Kay, this room is amazing! I wish I could have gotten my own dorm.” Olivia said.

“Hey, what’s wrong with bunking with me?” Zoey asked.

“Nothing. But it’d be so cool if we all had our own space, you know?”

Zoey nodded with a satisfied shrug. “Still, I’m glad you and I are roommates.”

“Me too!” Olivia giggled.

Erin folded her arms across her chest and leaned her back against Kay’s desk. She looked down at the ground. She couldn’t believe this was how high school was starting out. She was ditched by one of her friends and had to bunk with someone poor. Meanwhile, Olivia and Zoey were having the time of their life as though nothing was going on whatsoever.

“Who’s your roomie, Erin?”

Erin looked up like a deer in the headlights. Olivia and Zoey were staring at her expecting an answer while Kay was smirking at her. She sighed wondering if this was something Kay had cooked up to make their high school career start off with a bang.

Erin swallowed a lump in her throat and let off a shrug knowing her friends wanted an answer.

“I don’t remember her name.” she muttered.

“Sorry you have to share a room with a stranger.” Zoey frowned.

Erin cracked a small smile, but only because Zoey seemed genuinely sorry, despite that it wasn’t even her idea in the first place.

It was Olivia’s idea for the four of them to share rooms so that they could stay close with one another. Now that Erin thought about it, Kay didn’t seem to be too thrilled about the idea. They picked each other’s names out of a hat so the room assignments would be random. Olivia had pulled out Zoey’s name. That left Kay and Erin together.

Erin was excited at the time. She always had a feeling that Olivia was Kay’s favorite one of the group, but she thought that if they were roommates then maybe she would get to step up in the ranks of their small group. Apparently, Kay didn’t want to be with Erin.

She wondered if she was bunked with Olivia would she still have opted to get her own room? What if she was bunked with Zoey?

“Erin, it’s fine.”

Erin looked back up at the three girls. Kay was rolling her eyes at her.

“Just think of all the juicy gossip you can get on your roommate and her friends.” Kay explained.

“What makes you think she has friends?” Olivia laughed.

“Poor people have to stick together.” Kay replied.

Erin cleared her throat. She took her phone out of her pocket and checked the time. “Guys, I should probably get back to my room… I haven’t unpacked any of my stuff yet.”

“Be sure to meet us in the lobby tomorrow before orientation.” Kay reminded her.

She nodded as she put her phone back into her back pocket and headed for the door. She opened it up and noticed that the halls were clear. Everyone must have been in their rooms, unpacking, meeting their roommates, or meeting up with old friends. That was something she should have been doing, but for some reason… She just didn’t feel comfortable with them anymore.

Words: 1,093

I hope you enjoyed this final part of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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If You Can Dream It… [Guest Post]

Please help me welcome DreamItRealiseIt to my blog!

Guest Post: If you can dream it by DreamItRealiseIt | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Dear valued reader,

I would like to speak directly to you to offer you advice and guidence from my own knowledge base and experience.

Writing is hard. Without a doubt.

Some days you are staring at a blank page for ages, hours even, and you can’t seem to gain ANY inspiration at all. On other days you write solidly for four hours without even a toilet or a drink/food break and it feels like you’ve been writing for only minutes! Then on a different day you may read something that you’ve already written and be so disgusted by it that you rip the page up right there and then. Trash. It is just trash.

It does not reflect your amazing writing ability at all. Or you may not even have the confidence to believe you have much writing ability. You may feel disillusioned and depressed… Let me tell you something my avid reader and aspiring writer – DO NOT EVER GIVE UP.

Why do you think you read, huh? To gain inspiration for your writing. People who read widely will without a doubt find the writing part easier than those who don’t. Other writers’ novels, short stories, and articles are great places to find inspiration for your own works. Remember those other writers all started somewhere.

And yes I appreciate when you first start out it is difficult to have confidence in your own writing. Maybe you wrote in secret and have never shown anyone your writing… perhaps you have shown people and they did not like it. Other peoples praise or criticism can affect your wish to be a published or established writer. But, and this is important, try not to let it affect you so much. So maybe someone didn’t like your work – who cares? Plenty of other readers will LOVE it, I promise you. Just make sure you always write, no matter what obstacles come in your way. And above all remember – If you can dream it… YOU can realise it.

Lots of love and hugs and support from someone who has been there.

PS. Never. Never. Never. Give up! Follow your dream at all costs!

Please let DreamItRealiseIt know in the comments below what you thought of her post! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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