Blogs / Life

Where have I been?

Drowning in work, mostly.

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Hey guys, Kayla Ann here with an update on life. Usually I stay away from these kind of blog posts because they seem very focused on myself instead of the community, but I also feel that I owe an explanation. Many of you have read my exhortations to remain a part of community, reading other posts, commenting on other blogs, reciprocating responses with other bloggers, etc. Well, I’ll admit, I have not done a great job of this lately.

As some of you may recall, I started a new job in August as a full time English teacher at a Middle School. It was a job I had prayed and waited for. I love my job, and because I love it so much, I put almost everything I have into it. It has been a hard struggle lately to find the balance between giving enough of myself and not too much of myself. I am having to find boundaries between my work life and my home life for my own mental and emotional health. All that to say, there hasn’t been a ton of time for blogging.

I did have some posts pre-scheduled so that I did not disappear from the blogging sphere, but I haven’t really been able to visit and respond as I would like. I’m still working on finding that balance between work and home and so I ask for patience from my blogging friends. All this to say:

I do not want you to feel as though I have dipped out, I’m here, waving through the window.

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Blogs / Life

Big Changes Ahead…

The First Day of School Starts Today!

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A month ago, I was all set for taking on the role of Yearbook Adviser. My syllabus and curriculum were ready to go!

A week ago today, I was asked to take on the role of 8th Grade English Teacher. For the past year, I have subbed in this class, prayed for this spot, and I truly felt led by God to this position. There was only one issue. The job was taken and it did not look like there would be an opening any time soon. In fact, as I mentioned above, I was all set to be working in a different position that I had prepped for over the summer.

Instead, due to God’s direction and working in my life, I am the new 8th Grade English Teacher, starting my first day TODAY! As you’re reading this, I’m teaching my very first classes!

When I was asked to take this role, there was no hesitation. I immediately said yes and felt confident in that decision. However, there was a lot of work to be done and even more yet to do. Due to this unforeseen and extremely work-heavy load, I will unfortunately have to be taking a step back from blogging.

What does this mean exactly?

I still plan on continuing my Alphabet Challenge so make sure you are working on your entries! However, my Alphabet Challenge will most likely be my only entirely new posts in the next few months. I do plan on re-posting old blog posts (with some updated content included).

I will not be able to visit as many other blogs as I usually like to do, but I will do my best to continue the rounds as I can.

Please wish me luck in this new venture and if you pray, I appreciate your prayers!

Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.” 

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blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Don’t Feel Like Writing? Visit Your Reader

Do you ever open WordPress, look at that blank screen and think, “This is it. This is the moment when I run out of topics to blog about.”

And in that moment, you begin to panic. Will you ever blog again? Will you be reduced to merely someone who used to blog instead of someone who blogs? What will your followers think? Will they even notice? Should you just shut down your blog?

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Seriously, calm down and stop freaking out.

Yes, you have run out of topics to write about and things to blog about (for now). Just because you are currently stumped does not mean that you will continue to be. However, you cannot stare at a blank screen and force yourself to write (most likely nothing will happen and if you do produce anything, it probably won’t be any good.) So calm down, and allow yourself to accept that you won’t be writing today.

However, do NOT sign off!

Do you want to grow a successful blog? Writing blog posts is only a part of blogging. Another large part of blogging is building your community and engaging with fellow bloggers. Go visit those other blog sites (that you should be following) and maybe even find new blog sites to follow. Click on your “Reader” and type in something that you are interested in. When you can’t write or blog, you should be reading! Reading other blogs:

  • Encourages community.
  • Helps you get to know other bloggers
  • Helps other bloggers get to know you
  • Creates a society of reciprocation

So, get out there and start reading!

Happy Blogging Everyone!


© KaylaAnn and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: 4 Ways to Attract More Followers

Hello fellow bloggers! Today we’re going to talk about followers, because as much as we all enjoy writing, sometimes blogging can feel like shouting into the void when we receive no response to our latest post. The best part of blogging is the community that comes with gaining and becoming a follower(s).

QUICK HINT: It is just as important to be a good follower as it is to find followers.

Here’s the thing. I do not have an astounding number of followers. I am still a relatively small blog compared to the people who do this for a living. I began this blog on October 8th, 2017 and since then I have gained 2,237 followers (and some really great friends among those numbers). What I have going for me is consistency.

In the past, I was asked, “How did you gain so many followers so quickly?”

Even now as I garner followers at a slower pace, I stick by my four ways to attract followers:

  • Hard work. No seriously, if you really want followers you are going to have to work hard. You cannot just come at it from one angle. Which leads to the next three points.


  • Post often. I do not think it is necessary to post every single day, although I applaud those of you who can. However, you should be blogging at least 3 times per week and not only should you be posting something, but it should be something of importance. Your content needs to be clear, interesting, helpful, engaging, etc. When creating a post consider what your intent is. Are you trying to entertain? Be encouraging? Give advice? Call for action? What will your reader gain from reading your post?


  • Engage OTHER blogs. This does not mean visiting random blogs and leaving a link to your blog. Do NOT go and spam someone’s blog with “support” and then comment “support back” or “follow back.” It becomes very clear that you are not actually interested in their site at all, you just want followers. Seriously, it’s frustrating and really, just rude. Instead, find blogs that are like yours or that interest you. I search for other blogs that relate to authors, books, writing, etc. Then I engage on the post and comment directly about what the other blogger has posted. I even ask questions. I engage in dialogue about THEIR blog, not mine. Now of course you can eventually bring up your blog if you think the other party would be interested, but don’t go into the conversation solely for your benefit. Go in to learn more about other blogs. Seriously, being a good follower is a key part to gaining followers yourself.


  • Engage with your FOLLOWERS. You’ve got followers! Great! Now, if their blogs interest you in the slightest, follow them back! You don’t need to subscribe to instant emails, but maybe just weekly emails or even just follow, but you should be engaging with them still. Just because you reached your goal and achieved your follower doesn’t mean that you move on from them. Be RECIPROCAL. When their posts come up in your “Reader” take some time to go through and like/comment on at least a few. When someone takes the time to comment on your latest post, click their name and check out what they have been up to.


  • HARD WORK. Are you understanding the hard part now? Maintaining a blog is hard enough, posting often is difficult, and engaging with new/old blogs is time-consuming. However, in my experience, this is a successful strategy that not only results in more followers, but also helps me to gain new insights from other blogs!


What about you? What are your blogging strategies?

Happy Writing & Blogging Everyone! 

Get out there and start engaging!



© KaylaAnn and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life

New Year, New Blogging Schedule

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe that we have officially left 2018 behind and are no fully drawn into 2019?

Now I’m not the kind of person who looks at the New Year as something magical. Nothing really changes at the stroke of midnight. We don’t magically become better people who will hit the gym more and the carbs less. We don’t automatically become best selling authors over night. Our problems don’t just vanish into thin air. Sometimes people look at the New Years Eve/New Year’s midnight as some mystical power to start over. The truth is, it isn’t.

That’s because we can start over at any time. Which is partly the reason why I am posting this on January 2nd instead of January 1st (even though to most my New Year post would make more logical sense to come on New Years Day). New Years Day is not physically magical, it is a mental reminder and that’s what I love about New Years. Perhaps this year will be just as wonderful or as devastating as the last, we can’t know for certain. But what we do know is this:

New Year’s Day represents a fresh start.

For the most part anyway. After all, we are still the same people as we were forty-eight hours ago with the same hopes, dreams, fears, and sins. But we always have a chance to start doing better, to start improving ourselves. This, of course, leads to the idea of New Year’s resolutions.

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Don’t we all, Kirk?

Most of you know all about New Year’s resolutions, I’m sure. And I’m not here to down on them, there’s nothing wrong with setting yourself a goal. The problem with New Year’s resolutions comes when we set impossible goals and then feel like failures when we cannot meet them. So this year, be kinder to yourself and set realistic resolutions.

Here are some of my resolutions for 2019:

  • Be a better, kinder, and more patient professor (and person in general)
  • Finish Planning and Celebrate my Wedding without worrying if it’s “perfect”
  • Finish my book with the same excitement with which I began
    • Sell 100 copies! (Hey, it could happen :D)
  • Visit my Papa and remind him what he means to me.
  • Take advantage of the moments I have with the people I love.
  • Be kinder to myself and stop demanding more than I can give.

I am going to address that last resolution immediately by reducing the amount of blog posts that I demand from myself every week.

Currently, I publish a post every weekday (Monday-Friday), which is five times a week. Beginning immediately, I will be posting every Monday/Wednesday/Friday, which is three times a week.

I believe that by reducing the amount of times I am posting, I will not feel the need to put up sub par work. Instead, this will give me ample time to create posts with detailed content.

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Don’t worry though, I’m not going anywhere! While I plan to only be posting on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, that does not mean that I will only be active on those days. I still plan to pop in and check out as many of your blogs as possible.

Thanks for checking in and reading this blog update, I hope that you all will continue to stop by and check out the new blog posts.

So, what about you? Do you have any New Year Resolutions?

Happy Writing Everyone!

Blogs / Life

Please Pardon . . .

Please Pardon my temporary absences for the next two Tuesdays.

As you all know, it was my intention to challenge myself with maintaining my five posts per week goal. However, as I have been working two jobs every day this month and I recently heard back from the publishers, I’ve decided I that I need to take off one day a week.

On this day off, I will be:

  • Catching up with my grading,
  • Creating lesson plans, and
  • (More importantly) Revising my book, The Agency Games, which is due back to the publishers at the end of the month.

Please wish me luck as I take the next next two weeks by the horns!

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Blogs / Life

You Won’t Believe What I Did This Weekend

Well everyone, I did it. I made a Twitter.

But before I go anything further, let me just take a moment and thank all of my guests who popped in and out of my Weekend Blog Party. You guys were amazing guests, so kind, thoughtful, and engaging with one another! So many of you were able to promote your own work and support one another’s. I had so much fun hosting that I am considering making it a monthly or bi-monthly occurrence. However, I’ll leave that up to you guys. Let me know if I should host another Blog Party and how often!

Back to Twitter: I kept seeing on multiple author/blogger sites that every author/blogger should use Twitter. In fact, I’ve heard that Twitter is the “most” successful at engaging followers, and although I’m not sure if that’s true, I figured I would expand my horizons and try it out.

However, now that I’ve dived into this new form of social media, I find myself at a bit of a loss. Therefore, I implore my followers (particularly those with a Twitter account) to leave a comment with a link to their Twitter accounts (so I can follow) and their #1 Twitter Tip!

Here is mine!

Find me on Twitter and let’s tweet!



blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Schedule Ahead of Time

One of the biggest obstacles to blogging (I think) is consistently pushing through posts on a regular basis that contain great content. What I mean by this: it is hard to post every day, or even every other day, and on top of that, it is harder to post great blogs every time.

Let’s be honest, some days we just don’t feel very creative. We’re tired either physically or mentally or both and we just don’t have anything to say. We sit down at this blank screen and think, “wow I literally have nothing to say.” Indeed, there will be days when you simply cannot write, you can’t think, and you definitely cannot create a blog post. That will happen, so prepare for it and plan ahead!

Part of blogging is spontaneous creativity, the other part is planned posts.

You heard me, Planned Posts.

When you have great days where creativity is flowing, don’t stop after one post and do not (I repeat, do not) post multiple times a day. Instead keep creating and schedule them for in advance. For instance, this is the 7th blog post I have written today on May 31st (even though this post is not scheduled to publish until later in June). I now have my next week or so of blogging post planned out ahead of time so that I am not struggling the night before.

How do I come up with all these blog posts ideas?

Here is my strategy. Whenever I am out and about, or even when I am home, and I have an idea for a blog post, but I don’t have time to write it, I save that idea in my draft section. At times, I have up to 30 drafts just sitting there filled with ideas. So, on my good days, I go through those ideas. Some are no longer good (and never were), some need adjustment, and some I save for later.

Write in advance on your good days so that you don’t need to worry on your bad days.

*If you enjoyed today’s Writing Tip be sure to check out additional tips under the “Writing Tips” category on my home menu!

Happy Writing & Blogging Everyone!

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© KaylaAnn and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life

Mail Time

Let me just begin today’s blog post by stating that I am a total dork sometimes who gets excited by the little things and today is one of those days.

Today is the second time that I have received mail from one of my followers. It’s not a big deal, it’s not a “fan” letter or anything like that. In fact, it’s his book that I plan to review and blog about in September.

I’ve had other books emailed over via PDF. I’ve even had a manuscript in unbound pages mailed to me. But this is the very first book, solid and complete, that has been mailed to me for a review. Now, while I love all of the books that I have been sent, all bibliophiles know that there is something simply wondrous about the physicality of a book itself.

Also, (beyond gaining a new book for my library) this was a super amazing incident for me because it shows that my hard work is really paying off. When I began blogging, I really hoped that I would reach out to this community and gain, not only followers, but friends. Well, I have definitely gained friends (you guys are awesome)!

Also, call me a dork, but receiving that book in my mailbox was a huge deal for me because I truly feel immersed in this writing community! I am engaging with so many different writers and it’s been great.

If you are interested in having me read, review, and blog about your book, please leave a comment below or message me. You can also check out the original post here: Now Offering: Book Reviews.

Blogs / Life

Not Him Again…

Whether it’s working on my non-fiction scholarly response to The Hunger Games series, writing poetry, or even when I revised my Master’s thesis, I repeatedly come across that brutal and calloused villain known to all writers: Writer’s Block!

*Dramatic music*

I am bent over my desk, pen in hand, words are sprawling across the page. Yes, I think, this is wonderful. I am getting so much done!

Then, the door is thrown open. Wind fills the room, sweeping up my papers and scattering them across the floor. In he walks, his trenchcoat dripping with rain as the cliché lightening bolt strikes behind his silhouette.

Not this guy again, I think.

I try to hide my writing utensils, but it’s too late. He’s already crossed the room and snaps my pencils in half, removes the ink from my pens, and just for good measure, slaps duct tape across my mouth. With a gleeful laugh, he handcuffs my wrists to the arms of my office chair and then leaves the same way he came.

I stare around in dismay at the mess he caused and look down at the blank page he left on my desk just to mock me.

Writer’s Block strikes again.


What does Writer’s Block look like to you?


© KaylaAnn and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.