Tag Archives: Blogging

NEW BLOG – ITSERYNE.COM

Hi friends.

I finally did it. I’d been thinking about doing this for quite some time, and I finally made the decision.

I have started fresh with a new blog, over at www.itseryne.com. I hope you’ll come and join me over there! It’s still getting up and running, so bear with me as I continue to add and update.

The New Blog_ItsErynE

This blog will remain online for the time being, but will eventually be pulled down. I’m in the process of going through my better blog posts, updating and so forth, and will be posting some on the new site.

Thank you to everyone for your support over here. I will cherish my time here, but it was time to rejuvenate and make the blog a much better to place to visit :)

Visit it here: www.itseryne.com

#MicroblogMonday #12 – A Breather

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


Do you ever hit that point where life just feels so overwhelming that you need to take a step back to evaluate and breathe?

I recently did, and if you follow this blog at all, then you’ll now that the blog took the biggest hit.

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Life hasn’t been overwhelming in a negative sense. In fact, it’s been the complete opposite. But with the photography season picking up and work being quite busy, I needed to step back and re-focus. I needed to think about my goals and look at time management. I needed to find ways to devote time all of the things I love, without over extending myself and burning out.

So that’s exactly what I did. I stepped back and took a breather.

And in taking this breather, I realized that the only person putting the pressure on me, was me. And what I found was that I missed writing. I missed my little corner of the web. And while it was the first to be pushed to the back, I’ve also realized it probably takes up the least amount of time in my day, especially if I pre-plan my content.

My photography takes up a good bit of my free time, and I always make time for it because I love it.

This breather allowed me to realize that this blog is an extension of me and I need to make time for this too. It’s also allowed me to refocus and recharge, and I’m ready to write.

Have you ever just needed to step back and take a breather?

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Time to Crush Goals – Monthly Goals, June 16 – July 30

Wow. Thank you for the response on yesterdays post ! After a brief hiatus from blogging, it felt good to dive back in and receive such a warm response from everyone on this post!

Now we move on to the first set of monthly goals to help me achieve my yearly goals. You’ll notice this first one is over 6 weeks, as opposed to four weeks, and that’s because I would like to have the goal starts at the beginning of each month, not in the middle. Which means that this first set will be a little bit longer.

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Lose 10 pounds

This might seem like a lot for six weeks, however, I have a lot of weight to lose, and I know a good majority of the first pounds that will come off will be water weight. I have a feeling once I adjust my nutrition and begin consistently working out, the first ten pounds will be pretty easy. At least I hope, since in the past it hasn’t been! Losing 10 in the first six weeks will put at a good starting point in my yearly goal as well.

Exercise a minimum of three times per week

My overall goal is to incorporate more exercise into my life consistently by the end of the year and I know to lose weight, I need to keep moving. Starting now, I want to be active at least three times a week this month. That’s completely doable, and still allows for days when I just need to rest.

Create six blog posts that I’m proud of

What do I mean by this? Simple. Not fluff. I don’t want to bring this blog back and have it consist of me rambling about my day. I want to provide interesting and/or valuable content that people want to read and that will want to share and have their friends read and so on. In order to do that, I need to be inspired and plan. I bought a new Moleskine planner that will help me to create a content calendar, so to speak, and keep my posts that are in the works organized. I also purchased a new journal to jot down any inspiring words or ideas that pop into my head.

Complete updating all older blog posts

I’ve been in the process of updating all of my older blog posts, not just with some edits, but also make sure any affiliate links that could be used are. I don’t intend or plan to overload my posts with them, and I’m only including where I mention a product or already link to something somewhere, but I want to make sure they are there. It’s the first step to begin monetizing my blog.

Put an extra $400 in savings (on top of what is already going in!)

I already set aside a good chuck each month for my personal savings (thank you Automatic Savings Plans from Capital One 360), and I’ve been working hard to build my account back up. It was looking pretty sad for awhile. Eventually I will have a mortgage to pay and I’m not going to have as much extra to put into savings, so at some point the chunk I put away currently will get reduced down. Before that happens, I want to continue to put as much extra away as possible.

Treat myself to a spa pedicure

I just had a pedicure at the end of May for a friend’s wedding, and normally I wouldn’t go again until there was no polish left on my toes. But I plan to treat myself again well before then. It’s summer and I want my feet to look nice.

Well, there you have it. My goals through August 1st. I will be tracking everything to be able to give you the most accurate update possible at the beginning of August!

Have you set up monthly goals for yourself? What about yearly?

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29 – The Year of Crushing Goals

It’s hard to believe that I’ve entered the last year of my twenties. I have to constantly remind myself that I am an adult. And I have been adult for several years. There are times when I still feel like I just turned 21, and I don’t have a worry in the world, but in reality, I’m in my late-twenties, with bills to pay, a wedding to plan and a full-time career.

29 is shaping up to be a pretty big year with our upcoming wedding and our goal to purchase a home of our own. We have a lot to look forward too.

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However, there has been one thing I’ve been bouncing back and forth with for some time now. I’ve been wanting to start finding  a way to keep myself accountable with my many goals. And this blog might just be the place to do this.

In this post, you will find my for the next year; all to be completed by my 30th birthday, exactly 364 days away. At the beginning of each month, I will post my monthly goals that will ultimately help me to achieve my yearly goals. At the end of each month, I will post a recap of how I did with my goals for that month, and where I’m at.

Setting goals is important. I’ve come to realize that, at least in my adult life.

In high school, my goals were simple. Ride often, compete and have fun. Study hard, work hard, graduate and get into a good college. In college, they were to study, learn, enjoy the college experience, graduate and find a job.  Same with graduate school, minus the college experience and swap out find a job with find a career.

After I finished graduate school, my goals went by the way side. Sure, I set weight loss goals and money goals, but I never really worked hard to achieve them. I simply shrugged them off and said “I’ll just try again,” when I failed.

I don’t want to shrug my goals off anymore. I want to achieve them. I want to CRUSH them. I want to turn 30, and look back and say, “Yep, 29 was one hell of a year,” pat myself on the back, and set my goals for the next year.  I want to finally achieve my adult goals.


Goals for the 29th Year

Lose 60 pounds (give or take a few pounds)

My weight has been an ongoing battle my entire life. I won’t be documenting everything I eat or do, but I will track the overall goal. I know 60 pounds in a year is attainable; it’s 5 pounds per month. With my wedding coming up, I want to look the best I can, and I want to regain my health. I also want to be comfortable with what I wear.

Create a habit of working out at least 3-4 days per week

Habits take 21 days to be created. I need to focus on exercising for at least 21 days to get myself in a groove and keep up this habit. I want working out to feel like second nature to me. I don’t want to think twice about going to the gym in the morning. I want it to just be part of my routine, and the only way that will happen is to be tough on myself and make it happen. I need to make the time.

Blog 1 to 2 times per week (more if I have time!)

I love blogging. I love writing. But when life gets busy, I push the blog to the back seat. But I want to commit to for the blog at least one or two times per week, with good content.

Make at least $100 a month of the blog

Again, long term goal. I know plenty of bloggers out there that make full-time salaries blogging, but I’d like to make enough to put back into the blog for hosting and monthly fees. My hope is to start doing monthly income reports, like many bloggers do, to show my growth and how I’m doing it.

Join the BlogHer Publishing Network

I’ve been blogging over at BlogHer since last year. I’ve posted many times and have had many featured posts included in the Blogging and Social Media section. Once I get back to blogging consistently again, I plan to apply to join the publishing network. I love this organization and can’t say enough good things about them.

Save an additional $2,000 in my emergency account

Ever since I’ve paid off my credit card debt and my car, I’ve been making it my personal goal to build my savings account back up. I intend to continue doing that.

Finish editing my manuscript

This has been my goal for probably the last 6 years. I finally finished the first draft of it. I decided it needed to be longer. Now I’ve been adding to it whenever I can. I really want to have it completely done, in terms of additions and length, by next June. I want to be able to shop it around or self-publish it if I decide too. But I want to be done with it.

Make time for self-care one to two times a month

Self-care for me means facials, pedicures, manicures, haircuts, waxing, etc.


I feel very strongly about all of these goals. All doable, and manageable, especially given my hectic schedule.

I’ll be posting my first round of monthly goals later this week.

Time to make 29 a goal-crushing year.

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Why I Started Blogging

I could do a nice in-depth list on what drew me to the blogging world. I do like to make lists. It’s probably my Type-A personality. But this isn’t a list kind of post. This is the story of why I started blogging. I’ve told bits and pieces of this story on and off since the blog began. Particularly when I was trying to brand the blog and figure out what I was doing. Now is the time to tell the whole story.

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Unsplash // William Iven

A little background

I’ve been writing my entire life. Ever since I could pick up a pen, I was creating stories. When we got our first computer, I began writing there. I kept a journal all through high school. I wrote in it daily with a calligraphy pen, purely because I loved the look and feel of them. I filled around 12 journals over the course of 3 years. I wrote about everything. Yes, there were plenty of details of my life as a 16-year-old high schooler, but I also thought a lot about my life. In a way, I was blogging long before blogging was popular. Only no one else could read it.

Words continued to reign supreme in my life as a Journalism major and English minor. I was in my element. I was writing, but now I was learning to write for a career. Words were my life.

Once graduate school ended in August of 2011, I felt disconnected from the creativity I once had felt. I decided I needed a place to express myself; to be able to write and let the words flow from my fingers once again.

So, A Glimpse Into Eryn’s World was born.

It started as just a place where I wrote. Similar to my journal back in high school. Then, as my photography business began to grow, it became a place to share my favorite imagery. Which I quickly moved away from.

It’s taken me a few years to find my niche and remind myself that I’m not blogging for business. I’m not blogging to make a living. And I’m not blogging to be blogger famous.

Why I Started Blogging…

You know how I said this wasn’t going to be a list post. I lied. This is definitely going to be a list post. Because I love lists.

I started blogging to write more. As I said above, words were my life. And I needed them to be back in my life. This was my way of doing that.

I started blogging to remind myself that I have opinion. When it comes to controversial things, I don’t like to openly express my opinions. I don’t like to get into debates, and I don’t like people telling me my opinion is wrong. I don’t discuss many controversial topics on here, but blogging has reminded me that I’m just as entitled to my opinions as the next person. And if I’m putting them out there, I need to grow thick skin and not get so offended.

I started blogging to allow my creativity flow. There are times when my posts are simple updates. Sometimes they are just a necessity of blogging. But my original thought was to write; personal essays, creative pieces, and more.

I started blogging to share my triumphs, success, failures, and more. I wanted a place, besides social media, to share all the good and the bad. I wanted to share in my success, and I wanted to bask in my failures (which are all learning experiences).

I started blogging because I wanted too. I didn’t start blogging because everyone was doing it. I didn’t start blogging because I wanted to make money. In fact, at the time I didn’t even know I could. I started blogging purely because I wanted too. And that’s what I remind myself every day. Especially when I start focusing on the numbers and the sharing. I take a step back and remind myself that I started this for me. And everything that comes after it is just gravy.

Now I want to know. Why did you start blogging?

Why I’m a Failure at Blogging

You’re probably looking at the title of this post wondering, “Why would she even write something like this for her blog?”

And you’re right. I’m asking myself that too. But, here’s the thing. In terms of being a “blogger”, I do fail at it. Here’s why.

Failure at Blogging

I go for long periods of time where I just don’t post.

A long period in the blogging world is a few days. I sometimes go for a week or two without posting anything. New content is key. Especially when you’re trying to build your audience. And if you don’t post, there isn’t new content for new and old readers to read. But it’s okay, because I didn’t start this blog to have hundreds of thousands of readers (even though it would be nice). I post when I feel the inspiration, or feel I have some worthy to say.

I forget to comment on other blogs.

Another key piece of blogging 101. To build a following, you must comment and connect with other bloggers. I try really really hard to do this. But sometimes, weeks go by when my time is limited, and I forget. It has nothing to do with the blog I’m reading or the content. I honestly just forget. Having said that, I might start setting reminders to check out my favorite blogs and comment on them.

Twitter and I have a love/hate relationship.

Yes. I love social media. I have a degree in it after all. But when it comes to using my own personal twitter, I find that sometimes I just don’t have the energy for it. I’ll go in spurts where I’ll find lots and lots of content to schedule via Hootsuite, including my blog posts, and try to connect with all the right people, and grow my following. And I’ll be really good about it for like 2 weeks. And then, something happens, and it all goes to hell. Literally. At the time of this post, I can’t tell you the last I actually scheduled something for Twitter (okay, it was probably in January). Or even really interacted with people on Twitter (again, that was probably last month). But whatever, you get the point.

My blog doesn’t have a niche.

My blog will never have a niche. Ever. I like to talk. I ramble a lot. This blog is essentially me thinking out loud. When I finally figured out a tagline I actually liked, see header above, I realized that it’s okay to not have a niche, because this blog is all about my musings. It’s who I am. I don’t fit into the healthy living category or the beauty category, or even the book review category. It’s a lifestyle blog. Purely because it’s the ramblings of my life.

It’s disorganized, random and sometimes unruly.

And no, I’m not talking about my life or my hair. Yes, my blog is all of those things. You many not be able to see it, but I certainly do on the back end. And boy is it a disaster. I’ve cleaned it up quite a bit since I redid the blog. But it’s still not organized. I just hope none of you notice, but you probably will now that I mentioned it.

But what I don’t fail at

Loving my blog to pieces. My blog is an extension of me. So it may fail in the traditional blogging sense, but to me, it’s a huge success and something I am oh so proud of.

My Must-Have Tools for Blogging

As a blogger, I’m always on the hunt for new tools to help make my blog look better and keep functioning. From tools that I can help make my images look nice, to apps that can help spark some inspiration, and even to apps that can help me on the go, in case I don’t have access to my laptop.

Blogging ToolsUnsplash // Jeff Sheldon

Here are some of the apps I rely on.

iPhone Camera

This one might be pretty obvious. I love taking pictures with my Nikon D610, but it’s not always feasible to carry it around with me. My iPhone 6 has an incredible camera on it, and since my phone is always at my side, I always have a camera with me.

PicLab or PicLabHD

I love imagery with motivational quotes. I love posting them on Instagram, but also for use on my blog. Both of these apps (you get them here and here) are great because you can add your quotes right on your images. The free version doesn’t have a ton of quotes to use, but you can purchase packages that will open up more for you.

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Created with PicLab

VSCO Cam

VSCO Cam is probably one of my most used apps. I edit a lot images in this app, as many people do. I love the filters they offer, but also the fading effect you can create with it. It can help to create some really lovely images for your blog. Plus I want to be insta-famous for my pictures, and I feel like everyone that is uses VSCO Cam.

PicMonkey

I use PicMonkey for just about everything. Most of photos that have that a title included on them for the blog were done here. My blog, Facebook and Twitter header were created there. You can do pretty much everything there. There is a free version, but I pay the $4.99 a month to have access to all of their features. It’s a minimal fee for the amount of things you can do with it.

Trapper

When I’m not near my computer, and I have an idea for a blog post, I run to this app. It’s a place where you can literally trap your ideas. As someone who gets inspiration at random times and through random things, this has been a lifesaver on a few occasions.

Hootsuite

I know many fellow bloggers use some form of a social media management system. I love HootSuite. It’s my preferred one. I’ve been using it for years. What I usually do with HootSuite is, once a post has been published, I go in and will schedule it to post a few times throughout the day on Twitter, as well as a few more times throughout the week. Then I’ll choose other new stories, tweets, and other things from other people to fill in through the day.

I have the app on my iPhone as well so I can pop in and check on things throughout the day.

Blogsy

Blogsy is my go to app when I’m out of town and want to blog. I don’t bring my laptop with me on trips, but I do bring my iPad, and this app is my blog away from home. It can be a bit tricky to figure out at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty great.

What apps and tools do you rely on for your blog?

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Thoughts on a Blog Rebrand

I’ve been thinking about re-branding the blog. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE A Glimpse Into Eryn’s World. It will always be my first love. But as I grow up, I am closing in on 30 after all, I feel the blog should grow up with me.

It’s been a difficult process for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been truly happy with my blog design. I do like the one I’m currently using. It’s cleaner. Simpler. But I’m still not in love with it. I look at some of my fellow bloggers and love their clean, elegant looks. And then I look at mine and it looks like an amateur blogger. Which I am, but I don’t want to portray that. I want my blog to appear more professional and pretty. So pardon as I ramble to gather my thoughts, but this is the only way I know how to get to a decision.

blog rebrand

My thoughts on doing a full redesign…

Name: The name will change. But, it’s not going to be to much of a stretch. If you follow my social media, then you know you can find me at itseryne on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. It seems like it would only make sense for the blog and Facebook to follow. Plus, it will be much easier to remember.

Design: I’m picky when it comes to design, but I know I want something with a white background, pretty fonts, and clean looking. With sidebar space. I’d like to begin monetizing the blog a bit more, so I would need the space to have ads. Preferably including some of my favorite colors; aquas and pinks, and some fun feminine fonts. Some blogs that I love, not only for reading, but their design are:

Content: This my friends will not be changing. This is a lifestyle blog, and I intend to keep writing about what I feel like writing. I don’t have a particular niche and I’m okay with that. This blog is 100% me and that’s exactly what I want the content to reflect.

What’s holding me back?

Well for starters, I’m finally seeing my traffic grow every day. And my fear of changing domains is that my traffic will take a major hit.

Also, the idea of essentially redoing my Bloglovin and BlogHer accounts. Also a challenge. They have both finally gotten established, and are beginning to grow as well. I’m not talking huge numbers, but I would have to re-establish a new domain and blog at both of those places.

What could I do?

Instead of jumping into an entire re-brand, I could start slow.

Keep the aglimpseintoerynsworld.com domain name, but begin using the header “its eryn e” on the blog, as well as change the Facebook page over. Eryn E was a nickname of mine growing up, so it at least all pairs well together.

I could work on finding a design I love. And giving the blog a brand new look. A look that’s clean and fresh, and really represents me.

Decisions decisions.

I’m thinking that keeping the same domain, changing the look, and updating the header name seems like the best idea.

What would you do? Have you ever gone through a blog rebrand and name change? How did you go about it? I’d love to know your thoughts!

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A Viral Post and an Outage

If you pay any attention to my little corner of the web, then you probably noticed that it’s been a bit dark for a few days, and not just because of a lack in posting. You probably stopped by and got a glaring error message, or a weird looking version of the blog, or perhaps just nothing.

My blog had it’s best traffic to date last week. Beginning on January 28 and ending on February 1st, my blog tripled, maybe even quadrupled, in traffic due to one of my posts being shared on StumbleUpon. February 1st took the cake though. We’re talking like 1,300 visitors (I’ve been averaging about 40, and around 200 when the post was first shared.) I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to check my stats the next morning as a new week started.

viral post!

And then the worst thing possible happened.

Yep. The blog went down. And I’m talking like full out, they weren’t sure if they were going to be recover it, down.

So what happened?

Last week, after finally reaching my breaking point with my blog going down with GoDaddy at least once a day, I decided to make a change and move hosting companies. I made the switch to BlueHost (where my photography blog is hosted) knowing how much I’ve enjoyed working with them.

I followed the steps, got the confirmations and all was well. This was last Tuesday.

I sat down Monday morning to write my #MicroblogMonday post. I opened my laptop and typed in my admin address. And my website was not there. Just gone.

I jumped onto chat with BlueHost. They explained to me that I didn’t purchase the website migration, so without it, I basically migrated the hosting and domain, but not any of my files. WHAT?! That’s a thing?!

Maybe this is all because I’m newish to the world of blogging. But it never crossed my mind that I would have to migrate my website. Not only that, it was not even provided as an option when I went through the steps. Had it been I probably would have questioned it.

The support guy tells me they could probably restore it if GoDaddy had any backups, or if I had any backups (which I didn’t – lesson learned there). I immediately called GoDaddy. I was on the phone with them over nearly 2 hours.

They worked with me, they understood my frustrations, they were trying to figure it out. They said they would be able to do a restore, but it would cost $150 with no guarantees that it would even work. I hemmed and hawed. I actually considered just saying screw it and starting over. Letting this be my chance to rebrand. I was trying to face that I might not have any other choice. I was in tears. I had lost all of my writing for the past three years.

I decided to take a chance and ask a question that I assumed I would get a no too.

“If I am willing to sign up for a 3 year hosting with GoDaddy, can you waive the restore fee?”

The answer was yes. 

Before I knew it, my support guy was working with his co-workers to determine the restore of my website. After finding out it was a wordpress site, they realized they should have no problem restoring everything. Yes, EVERYTHING. You have no idea how elated I was. He created the database and then escalated the incident up so it would more like 2-3 days as opposed to 7-10. I could handle 2-3 days. I w

The biggest hurdle was going to be when GoDaddy did their last backup (not the same kind that would have been needed for BlueHost… don’t worry, I asked.) And I lucked out, they did their last one on 1/30. The last time I had posted was on 1/29.

Before I knew it, I was back to hosting with GoDaddy, working with BlueHost to get a full refund, and trying to stop panicking because it was all going to be okay.

So here we are. 2 days later. My blog is back. It’s functioning just as it should. I didn’t lose anything and have already backed it up, just in case!

I’m so happy it’s all over. That was something I never want to go through again. Lesson learned – always keep your blog backed up. I won’t lie though – I’m bummed it happened just as I had a post going viral for the first time. But, all that matters is that my little corner of the web is working again.

And is being backed up ALL.THE.TIME.

Have you ever had something horrible happen to your blog? If so, what happened? How did you handle it?

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Writer’s Block Isn’t Fun: Ways to Help Inspire a Blog Post

Finding inspiration to write can be hard sometimes. I suffer from writer’s block a lot. Usually, it’s because I have so many other things running through my head and the piece I want to write just can’t make it out.

Blogging has taking my writer’s block to a whole new level. But the good news is I feel like I have finally found a rhythm and flow with my writing, and can now focus my thoughts to get something down on paper, so to speak. And as of late, the writer’s block hasn’t been so bad. I’ve found some ways to keep the writer’s block at bay, and make sure I always have something to write about. And even things to help when the dreaded writer’s block hits. Here are my tips for inspiring a blog post.

How to Inspire a Blog PostGratisography

When you think of an idea, topic, or keyword, write it down. Toss it in an e-mail to yourself, put it in the notes of your iPhone, or on a napkin. Write everything down. The one thing that’s helped me tremendously is making note of any ideas that come to mind. I keep a document in my Dropbox with various ideas that have popped into my head. I also have some drafts saved with loose title ideas.

Read the news. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been stuck for something to write, and I found myself checking out the latest news stories. Something will usually strike a chord and inspiration sets in. The other benefit? Writing something that’s current and being talked about will usually help your SEO. As long as you’re keeping up with your keywords.

Read what other bloggers are talking about. There are some incredible bloggers out there that always have great content flowing. Sometimes it will be something fun like a Reverse Bucket List (my own post is coming!), sometimes it’s a list of some sort (check out Helene In Between’s 28 Things list), or sometimes they will even create a list of different blog ideas. Usually reading other blogs will trigger something that I want to write about.

Google. I can’t even tell you how many times I have googled “blog post ideas.” Definitely more times that I’d like to admit. But when you have writer’s block, you’ll do anything to get out of it. Here are some of the links that come up.

Search on Pinterest. Same thing as Google. You’ll be amazed at the results you get.

Download an app. I recently discovered a couple of apps that have helped spark my creativity. The one that I’m completely in love with is Brainsparker. When you open the app, it shows you cards face down, and you select one. On the opposite is a writing prompt, a phrase, a quote or a word. It’s been really great for helping to keep my creativity and inspiration on track.

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I’m sure I have numerous more, but to keep this post short and sweet, we will call it quits with six today! 

So tell me: What helps you to beat writer’s block?

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