Living and Writing By the Sea

I love living and writing by the sea.

I get inspired to write whenever I walk on the beach and take photos of all the beautiful things I see.

Last night was a beautiful evening at the beach.

Here are some of the photos I took.

living and writing by the sea

A lone surfer sat waiting to catch a wave.

living and writing by the sea

There must have been food under this rock because this little bird was most interested in it.

I took several shots of this group of birds that was busy searching for food in the sand.

living and writing by the sea

living and writing by the sea

living and writing by the sea

And, of course, I love taking photos of the clouds.

living and writing by the sea

living and writing by the sea

The beach feeds my creativity.

Right now, I’m working on three books and I’m creating a new course for writers.

And here’s the cover of an upcoming book that will contain stories from writers in my Fearless Freelance Writing mentoring program and e-course.

snapshots from real life

Well, guess I need to get back to work.

But I’ll post more photos and some writing tips here soon.

Happy weekend!

Make More Than a Plan

The Morning Nudge Video

It’s good to have a plan for building your writing career.

And since any writing career involves writing, it’s even better to have a writing schedule.

Watch this Morning Nudge video to see what I mean:

Happy writing!

The Working Writer’s Coach
Become a Fearless Freelance Writer!

Visual Writing Prompts for You

Try These Visual Writing Prompts

Every week at the Working Writer’s Club, we post 10 new creative writing prompts.

Usually these prompts are just a few words, sentences, or a paragraph that can be used to start a new story.

And I know that at least one person (Gladys Swedak) turned one of our prompts into an entire novel.

But I’m a visual person, so sometimes, I find it more inspiring to look at a picture and use it as a prompt to write something new.

With that in mind, here are several photos that I took recently.

See if any of them inspire you to write a new story (or maybe even a complete novel).

visual writing prompts

To start your story – figure out who lives here. Then write about what has been going on here.

visual writing prompts

Who are these people? Where are they? Where are they going and why?

visual writing prompts

Is everything here as it seems?

Get in the habit of using prompts as a way to start a new short story or just to practice writing on a regular basis.

Visit the Working Writer’s Club to see all the various prompts we have there.

And visit every Monday when we post 10 new prompts.

Happy writing!

The Working Writer’s Coach

visual writing prompts

P.S. Let me show you how to build a career writing about what you know and love. Learn more at

Why Writers Should Exercise in the Morning

Best Time to Exercise

best time to exercise

An early morning bike ride among the banyan trees is a great way to start your day in south Florida.

It is no big secret that exercise, proper nutrition, getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of water throughout the day is a proven recipe for health.

And good health is most important for writers who must sit and work for sometimes long hours, day after day.

But, regarding exercise, is there a particular time of day when working out or staying physically active will deliver greater rewards?

The answer to that question seems to be “yes”, and the time you should be exercising is in the morning.

When you are productive in any area of your life, you enjoy less stress and anxiety, more happiness and a sense of fulfillment, and more success.

Writers like Elin Hilderbrand exercise in the morning. Hilderbrand says she runs 8 to 10 miles every morning, not only to stay in shape, but to stay disciplined. And this discipline carries over to other areas of her life, including her writing.

To boost your productivity, get active more often.

Jogging, taking a walk, lifting weights, cycling, and performing yoga or Pilates will give you more energy than if you are sedentary, which will naturally lead to better productivity.

When you schedule that exercise in the morning, you supercharge that productivity.

Los Angeles writer Nina Revoyr has to work in her exercise around her writing and her full-tine job as executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Children’s Institute, a nonprofit serving children affected by violence and poverty in Los Angeles. And she prefers morning workouts, saying, “I work out when on I’m on a normal routine four or five days a week. I prefer to work out early in the morning before the day gets started.”

And writer Carol Tice, in a post at, advises writers to, “Exercise first thing.” She says, “My best-case scenario is to go for a one-hour mostly uphill walk before I sit down at my desk.”

So why is morning exercise so beneficial?

Here’s how it works.

Exercise in the morning means fewer scheduling conflicts.

You never miss a workout when you wake up early, and you don’t have to push other responsibilities aside to make sure you get a workout in.

This means after your morning workout, your entire day can be focused on productively knocking out your to do list, and daily responsibilities.

Get your exercise in first, then you’ll be ready to write.

Waking up is hard to do for a lot of people.

This means sluggishly getting through the morning and heading to work without much energy.

Exercise fires up your endorphins and cranks up your energy levels.

Enjoying even just 20 minutes of physical activity in the morning can lead to energy reserves to fuel a productive day.

Early-morning fitness means a spike in your metabolism.

So when you have a mid-morning snack and lunch while you are working throughout the day, you effectively burn more calories.

This means you’re less likely to suffer a mid-afternoon energy crash.

Moderately intense to intense physical activity also wakes up your brain.

So you start the day with a clear head, improving your chances of keeping ahead of your workload and responsibilities all day long.

As far as motivation goes, getting your workout in early gives you a boost of self-esteem.

You have barely begun your day, and you have already accomplished something important.

Success can build upon itself.

The feel-good hormones that exercise releases make you feel good about yourself for exercising in the morning, a time when it may be tough to think about physical activity.

This successful early-morning achievement develops the proper mindset to attack subsequent goals and commitments with a lot of productive energy and positive feelings.

So exercise in the morning, then have a productive day writing.

Try it!

The Working Writer’s Coach

Morning Nudge

P.S. For writing tips and great resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge now at

What’s YOUR Morning Ritual That Helps You Be More Productive Each Day?

My Morning Ritual

morning ritual

When my husband and I moved to the beach in 2013, I developed a new morning ritual.

I quickly got in the habit of getting up early each day to sit outside on our balcony in my rocker, so I could watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean as I wrote in my journal for at least 30 minutes.

There’s nothing quite like greeting a new day this way. I highly recommend it.

Most Highly Successful People Have a Morning Ritual

I’m not the only person who believes in having a morning ritual.

Most highly successful people have a very specific morning ritual, too.

Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, even Lady Gaga, all have morning rituals that they say have contributed greatly to their success.

So what’s your morning ritual?

Staggering to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee might be considered a morning ritual if you do it each and every morning.

But it probably won’t lead to great success in any area of your life.

Instead, you need a morning ritual that will set a positive, yet relaxed and enjoyable, productive tone for your day.

Watch this short video to learn 5 morning rituals that will keep you more productive all day:

Then share your morning ritual here as a comment.

It’s always nice to know how other productive people start their day!


All the best,

The Working Writer’s Coach

morning ritual for writers

Subscribe to The Morning Nudge on Youtube!

P.S. If you haven’t developed this morning ritual yet, be sure to subscribe to The Morning Nudge on youtube, so you can watch a short video every morning before you start your day. Subscribe here now!

It’s National Coloring Book Day, So Relax and Color!

Did you know that today is National Coloring Book Day?

No matter what else you’re doing today, take a little time to relax and color.

You might be surprised at how it energizes, yet relaxes, you.

There are coloring book parties and other events going on all over the country today.

But you can create your own coloring book party.

Simply download this free coloring page here and start coloring:

Free coloring page

If you’d like to color on a regular basis, consider joining our Coloring Book Club for Adults at Creative Caravan Club.

national coloring book day

Learn more about it here.

I also have these two coloring books at that you might enjoy:

national coloring book day

This coloring book contains mandala patterns and other pages that are perfect for tangling, which is something I love to do with coloring book pages:

national coloring book day

Happy coloring!

Do You Tangle?

Well, the weekend went by in a blur.

Yesterday we had so much to do, we didn’t get out to the beach until late evening.

Still, the water and the sky were so beautiful as the sun was setting.

Take a look.

what to do with zentangle patterns

Doesn’t this look like a painting or a scene from a movie?

We always say that you just never know what you’re going to see at the beach.

Each day is different.

And there is always something different to see.

But last night we were really surprised at what we saw.

We expected to maybe see a sea turtle, or some speckled crabs, or ghost crabs, and pelicans.

But here’s what we found:

what to do with zentangle patterns

Who knew pigs like the beach? This one loved the ocean!

Yep. That’s a pig (on a leash) at the beach.

We had no idea pigs like the beach, but this one seemed to love the ocean.

Anyway….on to what this post is really about.

Do you tangle?

You may have heard of Zentangle.

The Zentangle method is actually an easy-to-learn, relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.

I’m not that good at it, but I love it because it is so relaxing and it seems to enhance my creativity, which is always good if you’re a writer, like me.

And tangled designs are showing up in more and more places.

Even at our church giftshop!

Just look at these cute little notecards I bought there.

Each of the designs is actually a tangle.

what to do with zentangle patterns

Isn’t this notecard cute? And the artist just used a few patterns to create the apples. How clever is that?

And here’s another really cute design that uses just a couple of simple tangle patterns.

what to do with tangle patterns

Tangle patterns don’t need to be complicated. Look at simple these are.

And here is one that is a bit more complicated.

what to do with tangle patterns

More complicated than the others, but still not too difficult to do.

Today after I finish all my writing for the day, I’m going to practice some new tangles.

Zentangle is really fun and something you should definitely try, too, if you love drawing, painting, and even just doodling.

Once you’ve come up with a few favorite tangle patterns you can use them to:

• Make notecards like these
• Create beautiful paintings
• Put tangle designs on coffee cups, mugs, etc.
• Use tangle patterns to illustrate your personal journal (this is really fun)

As you can tell, there are all sorts of ways you can use tangle patterns. You’ll come up with even more ways the more you tangle!

Try it!

The Working Writer’s Coach

Morning Nudge

P.S. Be sure to register for The Morning Nudge if you’re a writer. It’s free at

Feeding Your Creativity

How Are You Constantly Feeding Your Creativity?

feeding your creativity

Since I’m a writer, people are always telling me I’m so creative because I manage to come up with all sorts of ideas for stories, books, blog posts, etc.

But I think everyone is creative.

We just have to learn how to feed our creativity.

For example, yesterday I visited my friend Aruna and she taught me how to paint on rocks.

Yep. Rocks.

We had such a great time.

And it was so nice to take a break from writing to do something different to feed my creativity for a change.

First, I’ll show you some of the paintings she’s made on rocks.

Rock Paintings

She’s really good at this and very creative, although she doesn’t see herself as a creative person, which seems odd to me because you can just mention something and it gives her a new idea for something else she can paint.

Here’s one of her rock paintings.

feeing your creativity

A cute crab painted on a rock found at the beach.

She also paints on seashells – even broken seashells– and comes up with some beautiful pieces, like this fish:

feeding your creativity

A simple piece, but so striking painted on a huge broken shell.

And here’s another example of her creativity. She decided to mold a turtle out of Play-Doh®, then she glued the turtle to a rock, then painted the turtle. I love the way this one turned out!


I love the splashy effect she created with the paint on this turtle.

Okay, now keep in mind that I had never painted on rocks before yesterday.

Yet I think my two little paintings turned out pretty well.

But that’s more a testament to Aruna’s instruction and the techniques she’s developed for painting on rocks than it is to my painting ability or talent.

For my first try, I decided to paint a sea turtle because I love sea turtles!

feeding your creativity

I love “cool” colors so I decided to use them for my sea turtle.

Next, Aruna showed me how to paint a cute little starfish that really popped!

feeding your creativity

Just imagine all the color combinations you could use to create your own starfish paintings like this.

One of the things I loved most about painting on rocks like this was how relaxing it was.

And relaxation is a state of mind that, I think, increases creativity.

So all this leads me to my writing tip for you today.

Writing Tip: If you’re having trouble with something you’re trying to write, take a break from writing and feed your creativity in some other way.

• Paint something. You don’t have to paint on rocks. You can paint on anything.

• Go to the beach and just enjoy the view or sit in the sand and build sand castles!

• Take a walk in the park.

• Watch a good movie.

• Read a good book.

Once you take a break from writing and do something totally different, when you come back to writing you’ll feel refreshed and energized because you will have fed your creativity!

So take a break from writing this weekend and go out and feed your creativity by doing something fun and different from your usual routine.

Try it!

The Working Writer’s Coach

Morning Nudge

P.S. For more writing tips and resources, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge now at

What Inspires You to Write

What Inspires You to Write?

Sitting on the beach in the afternoon, watching the pelicans glide by often inspires me to write.

what inspires you to write

And just watching the clouds and the endless ocean relaxes my mind and allows me to let go of all the jumble of thoughts that make it difficult to focus and get a little writing done.

what inspires you to write

But sometimes I need a little more than that.

And that’s when I drag out my bookmark collection.

what inspires you to write

I have all sorts of bookmarks – leather bookmarks that I’ve collected from fine giftshops across the United States and Europe – colorful cardboard bookmarks, and even some bookmarks that are miniature watercolor paintings.

I love my bookmark collection!

Just reading the book descriptions on some of the many bookmarks I’ve collected through the years, or looking at the colorful pictures on other bookmarks, makes me want to write something that will one day be published.

My bookmarks also inspire me to read more books.

And once I read a good book, it often inspires me to start writing one.

Another thing that inspires and motivates me to write is when I have been contracted to write a book.

It’s so much easier to start writing, and continue writing, when I know ahead of time that I’m writing a book that will be published and I will earn money from (in the form of an advance and royalties).

So, what motivates you to write?

I’d love to know.

Happy writing!

The Working Writer’s Coach

A Morning Ritual for Writers

Morning Ritual for Writers


If you’re struggling to become a published writer, how do you start your day?

Do those doubting voices in your head start whispering to you the moment you sit down at the computer to write something?

You know the voices I mean.

The ones that whine, “You’re wasting your time. You’ll never get published.”

I truly believe in the power of positive thought.

After all, I never knew anyone who accomplished something by thinking they couldn’t do it.

But I’ve often been awed by the amazing feats positive people have accomplished simply because they had confidence and a strong belief in themselves.

Tomorrow morning, start your day a little differently.

Start a new morning ritual.

Sit down and summon the positive voices in your mind that very rarely get a chance to be heard.

The ones that remind you that anything worthwhile usually takes time, patience, and hard work.

Silence those negative voices and refuse to give them a chance to undermine your confidence and belief in yourself.

To help you get in the mindset for this, subscribe to The Morning Nudge on, then every morning, first thing, watch and listen to a short, positive message with a few words to help inspire you and motivate you to get a little writing done.

Here’s an example:

When you watch one of these videos every morning, the upbeat music, along with the gorgeous images of the coast, and the positive message will help you get in a good frame of mind to start you day.

After you’ve watched one of the videos every morning, next, spend some time writing.

Be patient with yourself.

Just write for a few minutes each day.

Develop this morning ritual and eventually you’ll no longer doubt that you can be successful.

Try it!

The Working Writer’s Coach

morning ritual for writers

Subscribe to The Morning Nudge on Youtube!

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to The Morning Nudge on youtube. Do it here now.