Writing Life: Finding my Zen

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Hey, y’all! Today I’m talking about “Finding My Zen”- or getting myself in a positive headspace.

I’ve had a lot of things happen in my career over the last several months, most of which are great blessings. They also came as a surprise to me, because I’m used to just keeping my head down and working, without much regard for the outcome. The new deal with Sourcebooks was something my agent pursued for me, but you never know how those thing are going to go down. Once I’ve done my best submission package, and Sha-Shanna (my agent) sends it out into the world, it’s pretty much out of my hands.

Another surprise came when I was asked to be on the Advisory Committe for this year’s Nielsen Romance Summit. It’s all about best business practices for romance writers in an ever changing market, and Deb Werksman, my new editor at Sourcebooks, recommended me to the committee chair based on my “broad experience” in the industry. While my husband and friends say I’m too modest, I was totally shocked by the appointment. To be on a committee with such talented writers as Minx Malone and Caridad Pineiro is beyond flattering, and I’m excited to share what I know at the summit this July.

So I have all these wonderful new things on my plate. More deadlines, more responsibilities. Believe me when I say I’m extremely grateful for all the positive things coming my way. I would be lying, however, if I said I never get overwhelmed or worried. So, below are two apps I’ve found helpful for getting centered and whatnot.

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1) Calm- plays this really soothing nature sounds track (or silence if you prefer) while guiding you through mindfulness meditations. There’s no spiritual aspect- it just reminds you to focus only on your breathing and to let thoughts pass without judgment or assessment.

Calm is free in the Google Play store, though it does have an optional paid subscription aspect.

B2R Icon2)Breathe2Relax- helps you practice diaphragmatic breathing. No meditation, just some soothing music and a little bar that fills and empties on screen to help you control your breath. Years of stress breathing (shallow, fast breathing) had reduced my lung capacity (yes, that’s a thing) and this app really helps me with increasing it again. We need oxygen to think clearly and when we stress breathe our bodies are oxygen starved which only makes us feel worse.

Breathe2Relax is free in the Google Play store.


These are just tools I use, that I find helpful in keeping a level head. Your mileage may vary, of course, but it’s worth a shot since both apps are free. It’s my hope that this post will help someone who needs something to take the edge off, something that isn’t a vice.


Until Next Time,