I just want to be me, not all these pen names.

I wanted the insecurities to go away. I also wanted creative freedom without the fear some of my writing is “not on brand.”

So, I created a pen name. It’d be like when Stephen King moonlighted as Richard Bachman. It was the same person in the same field, just a different name. Suitable enough for me to handle, I thought.

It was my chance to experiment to see what takes off and what doesn’t. All the rewards without the risk of confusing people or having a trail of failed ventures.

Unfortunately, I took it too far.

The first pen name

It was in relation…


Follow all of your dreams

Every time I try to figure out my career choices and where they’ll lead, one thing is certain. I want to do so many things. I can’t stick to one path no matter how hard I try.

The only career I want is to be a writer. Other than that, I’m lost. Do I want to be a full-time author? Blogger? Editor-in-chief of my own online magazine? The possibilities are endless.

The question I started to ask myself is, Why not? Why can’t I do it all? Even if it’s for the sake of experimentation?

You know the saying, “So…


It’s all in how you manifest change

We’re all in search of something greater than ourselves. But before we can reach that hypothetical mountain peak, accomplish that goal, or make a difference in the world around us and beyond, it starts within ourselves.

We want to heal. We want to grow. We want to build a life of our own making. We read self-help books, take up yoga, work with a therapist, pick up a new hobby, even quit our job. What seems like small efforts add up in the long run. Until they don’t.

When you can’t feel any change

When we crave change, we seek to find it everywhere. In ourselves…


Not what you’re passionate about

I’ve had a lot of passions in my life. I’ve also had a revolving door of potential careers. I wanted to be an artist, a writer, a teacher, a jewelry designer, a fashion designer, a stylist, a boutique owner, a bookstore owner, a website designer…you name it, I probably wanted to be it. Whatever involved an almost idealistic and aesthetically pretty lifestyle, I considered it.

Most of those options never came to fruition. They were nice dreams, but ones I didn’t take seriously. As for others, like fashion and jewelry design and styling, I tried. …


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

It’s never too late to start

We’re just about halfway through the year. While it hasn’t been easy, with all the changing guidelines and uncertainty still ahead for us, it’s possible the end of this rough time is near. With that becoming more likely, it’s time to answer some hard-pressed questions. What do we want after this is over? What will be our new priorities?

For some, myself included, it’s a question of what will we do with our second chance at life. Maybe we’ll travel more. Or take a chance with our dreams. Or maybe — just maybe — we’ll stop holding ourselves back. …


Regain that creative spark.

As creatives, we push our abilities to the max on a daily basis. Whether we paint, write, or design, we’re constantly putting out content — most of which is commissioned work. We’re paid to be creative, combining our skills with clients’ visions.

It doesn’t leave a lot of room to be creative just because. We sacrifice our own ideas knowing they will yield little to no profit. We’re often left feeling incomplete, wishing there were more hours in the day to tend to our own personal projects.

Surprisingly enough, creativity is a great stress reliever. However, it can feel like…


Reclaim the calm

Our perception of time affects the way we deal with our surroundings. If time moves slowly, we notice more of what’s beyond our control. The feeling of helplessness settles in, allowing chaos to roam free in our lives and our minds.

While we don’t have the power to make the clock move faster, there are ways to resolve the frustration of our lack of control. It’s important to focus on what we have authority over.

Your attitude

There are plenty of instances when patience runs thin. It could be dense traffic, a prolonged meeting, even a tiring wait at the car dealership…


My new take on the gig industry

You probably read the title and thought I’m crazy, right? Charge what you’re worth is like a battle cry. It’s the first thing that’s taught in any Freelance Writing 101 course. I’m not here to change the waves of a tried-and-true method — and I’m not talking about monetary values. It’s a new (more like renewed) approach to instill better trust in this revenue stream.

My past thoughts on freelancing

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article (and then another) about my early years of freelance writing. I’ll be honest, at the time, I was frustrated. Taking a look in my drafts folder…


Stop the negative self-talk.

We all have our ideas of what success is. Maybe it’s making lots of money monthly or living a peaceful life in the countryside. Whatever your definition of the word is, we all have our own ways of reaching it.

Most strategies include hustling; grinding through work on the day-to-day for exposure and experience. Others include networking — meeting the right people to get you where you want to be. Or, we go back to school to get a jumpstart on harnessing our craft.

One common thread throughout all these tactics involves how we talk to ourselves. Motivation is at…


Regain your energy and mindset.

A lot of soul-searching has been done in the past and current year. Life became stressful and breakdowns happened often. I questioned where my career was headed, if I had the strength to endure more failure, what I was doing with my life. I gave up, picked myself back up, then gave up again.

It was a vicious cycle, one I can’t say I’m entirely over. But, I’ve found ways to weather the dark days. By remembering these simple yet empowering things, I’m able to keep going, no matter how hard it gets. …

Kayla Peart

Storyteller — I put my thoughts and imagination on virtual paper.

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