Thursday, August 30, 2018

BOOK SPOTLIGHT - Make Your Writing Bloom by Shonell Bacon

You stare at the blinking cursor on the page, the blank page you’ve stared at for the last hour. You rifle through your story ideas folder for inspiration, and none appears. You open your current WIP and read, hoping to get the urge to continue writing: nothing.

Writer’s block. Writer’s drought. Writing slump.

Whatever you want to call it, the inability to write when writing is your passion is painful.

It’s even more so when that inability turns into a way of being. You go through your busy life, taking care of every single thing on your massive to-do list but your writing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not when you have Make Your Writing Bloom.

Make Your Writing Bloom is a tool to help writers who are stuck get unstuck. Through a seven-day process, you will examine and write about your love of writing, your favorite writing experiences, the fears and daily goings-on that usurp your writing, and the work needed to blend writing into your busy life. Once you complete those “therapy” sessions, you’ll be ready for the last leg of this journey: picking a story idea, doing some timed writing, and planning your writing for the next 30 days.

If you’ve lost your zest for writing, Make Your Writing Bloom is the book to help you reclaim the zest and put pen to paper.

About the Author

Writing evangelist Shonell Bacon is the owner of ChickLitGurrl, a company that publishes her books and offers editing and manuscript evaluation services. In a span of 18 years, Shonell has worked with indie authors and small presses to edit thousands of projects—from loglines, synopses, and short stories to novels, self-help books, and theses and dissertations. For over 17 years, Shonell taught courses in English, mass communication, and fiction at the university level, and now she combines those experiences into ChickLitGurrl to help writers become better writers with each project they write.

When not reveling in words, Shonell is crafting, collecting pens and journals, drinking sexy java and demure teas, spending time with her family, and singing her life like a musical.

Learn more about Shonell at the following outlets:

Website: || Facebook:

Twitter: @chicklitgurrl || Instagram: @chicklitgurrl

Let's start with a topic most writers cringe at: writer's block. Do you believe in writer's block?

I find this a funny question because Make Your Writing Bloom is for those writers who are stuck in their writing--for whatever reason. I do believe in writer's block--to an extent. I think the writing is always there, but something causes it not to flow. Maybe we have too much going on in our daily lives to give writing the breathing space it needs to flow. Perhaps, you're letting your own doubts and fears that keep you from writing. Writing is always there, tapping a foot, waiting for your return. It's US that have to come back, settle in, and get the work done.

Speaking of your latest project, why should someone buy Make Your Writing Bloom?

First, let me say to all readers: do not let the sweet-looking cover fool you. MYWB can be for every writer who feels stuck, who needs to remember their love of writing, what writing does for them, and fall back in love and into the swing of writing enthusiastically. If you're stuck, MYWB can get you unstuck. Also, don't let the "7-Day" in the subtitle make you feel that the book requires you to apply a quick fix to your writing journey. The book can be used in 7 days or in how many days you need to work through the activities and get to the point that you can start work on a new (or yet-to-be-finished) project.

What experience do you have to write this book and to have others buy it?

Well, I taught university courses in English, mass communication, and fiction writing for 18 years; most of those classes were in writing: English Composition, Writing for the Media, Fiction Writing, etc., so I have experience in helping others develop content for various media outlets. In addition, I have been an editor for the same amount of years, working with indie authors and small presses to edit loglines, synopses, short stories, novels, non-fiction projects, and academic work, such as theses and dissertations. Couple my experiences with my sheer love of writing, words, and helping writers hone their craft, and you have me.

What was your favorite part to write in Make Your Writing Bloom?

I'm not sure I would call it my FAVORITE, but the section on fears was an important one to me. We ALL, at some point, have fear, and fear is so freaking crippling. It kills. It kills our spirit, our minds, our bodies, our hearts--and even our writing. It's something that I fight nearly every day of my life, so I felt compelled to write about it and to help writers fight fear, kill fear in their writing, and get back to the safe spaces that provide maximum productivity.


Does writing energize or exhaust you?

BOTH. When I am writing, the energy thrums through me. However, there are those scenes that completely drain me because of the emotions built within them.

Did writing Make Your Writing Bloom energize or exhaust you?

Ha. Again, both. I love writing, and I love helping other writers to write better, so writing MYWB totally energized me. However, this book is also a personal one in some respects because I ask writers to reflect on things like why they love writing, what was one of their favorite writing moments, what does writing mean to their lives, and as I'm writing, I can't help but to recall my own answers, some of which conjured up emotions that exhausted me.

Aside from self-help or how-to writing, what other types of writing do you do?

I write fiction. I have some projects published in mystery (Death at the Double Inkwell and Into the Web) and rom-com (Saying No to the Big O). I have other projects completed or in the process of being completed—mostly mysteries. As I move through this journey called life, I see my writing consolidating into a few arenas: mysteries, books on writing, and faith-based self-help works. I have also written screenplays and currently have an adapted screenplay making the rounds with some production companies—fingers crossed!

Does your family support your career as a writer?

Yes, they have always supported me, which at times, I felt odd about because I had the mentality that I expected them to have--"Oh, you want to write? So, you think you can have a career doing THAT?"

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

Yes, yes, I do. SO very much. They both need faith and a walk in that faith to stay deep in your practice. Three books I'm reading (and highlighting and notetaking like crazy) deal with this very thing are Pray Write Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together by Ed Cyzewski (, The Art of Spiritual Writing: How to Craft Prose That Engages and Inspires Your Readers ( and The Soul Tells a Story: Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life ( by Vinita Hampton Wright.

You talked about writing and spiritual practice in the last question; here’s something that ties to that: inspiration. What inspires you to write?

One word: LIFE. I once had a short story-turned-novel come to me on a bus ride when I saw an empty swing set and sadness gripped me. I took that sadness and that swing set home and ruminated over them for days until a story began to unfold itself. I sit at cafes and watch and listen to those around me, and pieces of conversation will turn in dialogue; the bright pink strip of hair in the mane of someone who looks like a schoolmarm will have me conjuring up a new character to write about. Being smack dab in the middle of life will inspire most to write.

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