Career + Academics

how to stay sane and productive working from home

How to Stay Productive Working from Home

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As someone who has been working from home for the majority of my adult life, I feel like I am in a great position to dish tips on how to work from home during this era of quarantining/social distancing. It’s hard to stay on task not in an office setting, and the self-discipline needed seems unreachable. So allow me to offer some advice on how to stay productive working from home for the coming weeks!

Keep Yourself Accountable

Aside from the social interaction that an office provides, a lot of you are going to deeply miss the social pressure that comes from an office environment. Left to your own devices, who knows how much work you’d actually get done?! You need Bill from HR slowly walking by your office every hour and Cheryl, your boss, rapidly tapping her keyboard only a few yards away. They hold your feet to the fire and ensure you’re productive! Hell, you only ever took legitimate breaks whenever office culture deemed it *socially acceptable.*

So…what happens when none of those people have any clue whether you’re actually working or not? 

On paper, productivity goes right out the window along with every other aspect about our lives that we’re used to. What at time to be alive!

But we aren’t going to let that happen. If you are lucky enough to still have your job (more on that later), we can’t afford to completely drop the ball with our careers. So instead we have to find the new normal.

So let’s go back to the whole external reward system for a bit, shall we? I know we are supposed to lean towards internal rewards for pure fulfillment in life, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And here we are.

What would you rather be doing rather than working? Netflixing, yogaing, eating, sleeping, pup playing…yeah all those sound better than your job, don’t they? So get in the habit of finishing tasks and projects and rewarding yourself with a treat or fun activity. The social pressure is all but gone (unless you count timely email responsiveness ‘social pressure’) so we need to hold ourselves accountable by staying on top of our work and trying to enjoy (some of) it along the way.

Try to Keep a *Manageable* Schedule

Creating a “lax” schedule can help you stay on task, but not beat yourself up for trying to force an office environment from home. It goes something like this:

Wake up, spend some time with family, or if you’re quarantining solo, do whatever clears your head for the day. Take your time. Eat your breakfast. Do your thang.

Once you feel prepped for the day, log on and get some preliminary morning work done. Catch up on whatever you missed from last evening, join your Zoom meetings, focus for as long as you can. Once you feel productivity waning, take a break. Do some jumping jacks, make more coffee, spend some time with a pet or family member, listen to part of your favorite podcast. Once you feel refreshed, plug away until lunch.

Once lunch arrives, E N J O Y  I T. No eating at your desk. No shoveling food down your mouth while you’re on a conference call (gross). Just take a breather. After lunch, resume some productivity in spurts as much as you can. Take breaks. Join meetings. Reward yourself (see above). Catch up on emails.

And once you are typically done for the day (when did you usually leave work beforehand?) – call it quits.

Shut the laptop off. Put your phone on DND. Not having the clear line of demarcation between office and home is going to be incredibly toxic if you can’t create proper boundaries.

That’s it. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

If you need more tailored help coming up with a manageable schedule while balancing homelife – that’s what Blush is here for. Remember we now offer unlimited chat!


Do What You Can to Create a Separate Workspace

As I mentioned in a previous post, not all of us are blessed with Texas style 3,000 square foot homes. Many of us in the “shelter-at-home” cities are workin’ with square footage flirting with a thousand – and that usually doesn’t bless us with a private office of our own. As a veteran WFHer, I made the decision to rip out the guest bedroom closet and literally carve out an office for myself. Because who needs to hang their clothes when they visit us?!?! Live out of your suitcases, pls.

If you have a spare bedroom or an office, great. Please leave all work duties confined to that room. If you don’t, and you’re living in a studio or a smaller one bedroom or have roomies, it’s time to get creative. In your mind, I want you to mentally divide your space into three sections: work, rest, and sleep. Ideally, those areas shouldn’t overlap – but if any of them do, I’d rather it be rest + sleep. At least they are part of the same family!

The key is to trick your brain into thinking you are in a work environment, and then when you’re done for the day, code-switching to a rest environment. For instance, if you work from your bed, can you imagine how difficult going to sleep is going to be? Have you ever slept in your office? Yes? Okay, dear lord, we need to have a separate discussion about that.

But for those of you who would never *dream* of spending the night in your office, please don’t start now! 

Create separation between your work and your life  (even if you feel like you barely have one of those right now). It’s a lot harder to create mental boundaries when you aren’t physically creating distance between the two realms. Work in the living room, sleep in your bedroom. If you don’t have a living room, set up a small corner with your laptop. a small table and a chair. Work at the kitchen bar! More than likely you have what you need to make a semi-sustainable work environment. I know it’s not ideal – most of us would prefer to be working from coffee shops (or yes, our offices), so we have to do what we can to stay sane and productive.

No Shaming, Please!

So is the goal here to have the most productive days of your entire life right now? Hate to break it to you, and I know that blog title seems a bit misleading now that I think about it….but probably not. This is a huge adjustment. Aside from the fact that we’re all exceptionally nervous about our own personal health as well as our friends’ and family’s health, we’re also stir crazy, hoping that our jobs stay steady, and being incessantly bombarded with more bad news every hour.

Not the best working conditions for productivity, if you ask me.

So what we’re not going to do is beat yourself up for not mirroring the same level of productivity you’re accustomed to in an office environment. Not to point fingers here necessarily……………..but this country was woefully underprepared for what was coming, and therefore you were woefully underprepared for what came. Plenty of y’all left work on a Friday having no idea you weren’t returning on Monday.

RIP office plants!

Therefore we can’t expect ourselves to *immediately* adjust to this new normal. You are still in the transition phase, even if you got a head start on social distancing. Be kind to yourself. Be compassionate toward coworkers. Remind yourself that your team is processing this global pandemic in their own unique ways – so it’s not personal if people are acting “off” right now. Some will bury themselves in work, some will find it impossible to focus on anything other than existential doom.

Refrain from shaming others, and refrain from shaming yourself. The less judgment we pass around, the better off we’ll be.

Practice Gratitude

We are going back to basics here. While you may not love your job, or even want your job – it’s time to feel grateful that you have a job.

So many Americans are currently unemployed, furloughed, or on the brink of being laid off. My husband is one of them! And while perhaps the government. might wake up and decide to not bailout corporations and instead help out its citizens, we have no timeline as to when things will resume to “normal”. Many people are scared and would do anything for a semblance of job security right now.

I’m not telling you this to shame you into feeling guilty. None of us benefit from everyone feeling miserable. I’m telling you this so that you can latch onto gratitude. Let it carry you through this crazy time. Wake up every day feeling thankful that you are continuing to receive a paycheck from the comfort of your own home. It’s really a miracle when you think about it.

I am sending you all of my productive/energetic/creative/organization vibes for this next phase of your life.

If you’re feeling lost, unmotivated, or beating yourself up over this – it might be time to talk to someone about it. Remember that Blush just launched an *app* and now offer unlimited chat – that way you can improve while keeping it on the low down from your quarantine buddies. Join us and let’s work on it together.

setting boundaries

9 Benefits of Setting Boundaries

By | Career + Academics, Friendships, Relationships, Self Improvement | No Comments

Let’s talk about the benefits of setting boundaries.

But, before we go into the benefits…what exactly is a boundary?

A boundary is an imaginary line that separates your body, feelings, thoughts, needs, and responsibilities from others.

They can come in many different forms, but are typically put in place to protect yourself from poor treatment or situations. In its simplest form, boundaries are one word: “No.” But they can become much more complex than that, such as “I will not stay at the office past 6pm for my own mental health,” or “I will unfollow people on social media who bring up my feelings of insecurity” or “I will not stay in friendships or relationships with people who disrespect me.” 

Typically when you set a boundary, it has to happen more than once. The best way to know if a healthy boundary has been set, is to see how fiercely people push back. The stronger the pushback, the more necessary the boundary. 

While boundaries are definitely not easy to set, the rewards and benefits that come with them make boundaries more than worth it. Read more about nine benefits of setting boundaries:

1. Setting Boundaries Means You’re an Actual Adult

The most obvious benefit of setting boundaries is not having to do the things you don’t want to do, so you can do things you do want to do. Even if that means doing nothing.

Being an adult is hard enough. We have to constantly think about paying bills, to-do lists, performing at work, taking care of whatever critters back at home, being nice to strangers, and not getting abducted walking to the grocery store (wait, that’s just women!). But you get the point.

So the L A S T thing we want to do is take over some bullshit committee at work, arrive early to a dog’s birthday party to help set up, or write some unpaid article “for exposure.” We just don’t have the time or energy for it. And frankly, even if we DID, that doesn’t mean we need to be jumping out of our seat for every favor someone asks of us. We don’t need a reason. We are fully functioning adults with agency and we can spend our time HOWEVER we LIKE.

But we forget that rule! Like, every day!

So next time you’re thinking about setting a boundary and feel a bit iffy about it – remember that you’re a full blown adult. And you can do whatever the fuck you want.


2. Boundaries Protect Your Energy

Ok so if the whole “I’m a Big Girl Now” logic didn’t quite stick with you, I’ve got another one for you.

When you continuously jump through hoops for others, you leave little to no time to energy for yourself. And you need time and energy. You need time and energy to do house chores, you need time and energy to play with fur babies…(or actual babies)…you need time and energy for your job so you don’t get fired, and you need time and energy for your friends/family/spouse.

So if my math is correct…you need a lot of time and energy.

Which means you can’t be giving it away all willy nilly! No ma’am! You have to be really selective!

Creating boundaries with others protects you from totally depleting your energy before using it up on things you actually need in your life. You need to be present for people and you need to take care of yourself. You don’t need to listen to a neighbor vent about their grandchildren’s poor decision choices for an hour.


3. Boundaries Reduce Resentment

We all know what it feels like to be taken advantage of. It’s the actual worst.

Not only do you feel betrayed by someone you trusted who completely abused the relationship, but you also feel pretty stupid for getting yourself into this situation in the first place. Very rarely do you not have a hand in getting yourself trapped into a thankless dynamic. You are responsible for deciding how you spend your time, and when you say “yes” to a small thing…and another thing…and oh yeah, that other thing…people start to think you have all the time in the world. Or that you’re super woman. Or that you don’t sleep. So they keep piling it on. And then eventually, you grow pretty freaking resentful that you are even involved in whatever it is in the first place.

So let’s avoid those situations, yeah?

It’s really easy to do so, too. Whenever someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, just say no.

That’s all. It’s pretty easy.

Don’t worry, you won’t turn everything down. There are plenty of people and plenty of events and plenty of situations where you’ll actually want to help out! I promise. We are all surrounded with enough inspirational causes and humans that lending our time or energy will feel like an honor instead of a burden. The important thing is that you are taking pause to THINK about how your time and energy are being spent.

When take the time to decipher whether or not something sounds enjoyable/honorable/exciting/rewarding, then we feel a sense of control. We feel power in our decision. When we don’t, however, we can easily feel resentful. For instance, if a relative of yours is in the hospital and someone asks you to visit them, you’d probably say yes. Not because trips to the hospital are your secret guilty pleasure, but because you want to be there for someone. Being a good person to others makes us feel good about ourselves. Trust yourself to make the right call in the moment, because when you actually take a second to think things over, you’re going to realize it’s SO EASY to make the right call. It’s just a bit harder to say no.

But you gotta do it. Otherwise, you’re going to become resentful as hell. Resentment is essentially cyanide to any functioning relationship. It will poison everything in its path, and you will lose so much more than you anticipated. So don’t let resentment take over. Set the boundary instead.
benefits of boundaries

4. Boundaries Let You Show Up For The People You Love

We all have those people we would do ANYTHING for, and when the time comes, we’re so excited to be able to show them how much we love them. But the problem occurs when we have too much on our plate, and aren’t really able to be there for them because we’ve promised ourselves away earlier. So in order to create space for the people who deserve it, we need to set boundaries across the board.

I’m going to take it even a step further.

In my humble (not really humble) opinion, I think it’s better to OVER set boundaries than to under set boundaries. That way, if you are all rested up with some time on your hands, you can call up whoever you need to and volunteer your time. Otherwise, if you under set your boundaries, you’re going to show up for the people in your life tired and drained – or worse – not show up at all and make the situation even worse.

I can tell by the way you’re cringing that you’ve totally done that before. Tsk tsk.

So by over setting your boundaries, you surprise people with your generosity instead of causing additional stress and anxiety by letting them down at the last minute. I mean, think about it: Would you rather be a superhero, or an unreliable twat?

Your choice.

Give yourself the time and space to show up for the people you love by protecting your energy from distractions. Focus on what you love, and you’ll have the energy for everything you want to do.

5. Boundaries Increase Relationship Longevity

Boundaries are paramount to keeping relationships healthy. Without boundaries, relationships have a tendency to become messy and unruly. They need structure to thrive. And you have to be the one to provide it.

It seems counter-intuitive to those who are new to boundaries (or maybe that was just me!) and might take some practice. You may think, “Telling people ‘no’ all the time is going to help my relationships? Everyone is going to hate me!!’ and to that I would say – YES, saying “no” to people keeps relationships healthy, and also you might need new friends if you’re seriously concerned everyone is going to hate you for telling them ‘no.’

By protecting your own energy and decreasing any future opportunities for budding resentment, you are establishing the expectation that you are not on call for others. You have a life, you have your own responsibilities, and you have your own priorities. If others can get on board with that, then there will be less things to quarrel over. People won’t have false expectations or assumptions about you and your time, and you won’t feel taken advantage of by others.

Realistic expectations + not being taken advantage of = healthier, happier relationships that can last a lifetime. Everyone stays in their lane, supports each other when they can, and focuses on how to be the best person they can be. Trust me, you’ll like it!


6. Boundaries Weed Out Toxic Relationships

Deep breath: not all of your relationships are going to survive your boundaries. 

Eeeeeeeeeeeee sorry. I hate to be all negative and such, but it’s just true. If you’ve been living your life boundary-free, then you probably have some horrible friends that are used to your spineless style. It’s just how life works. People who like to take advantage of others tend to cling to those with weak boundaries. So yes, unfortunately, some of your friends are only friends with you because you say yes to everything.

Don’t! Shoot! The! Messenger!

What I am really wanting you to take away from this, is that you are a lovely, caring, beautiful person who deserves to have relationships with no strings attached. 

And if those “friends” don’t like an arrangement where you get to enjoy yourself instead of slaving away for them….then is this really a loss? Do you really care if these relationships slip away? To me, it sounds like a friendship that should have died a long time ago. If I were you, I would definitely be asking myself WHY I decided to stick around with such a selfish butthead who clearly cares more about themselves than anyone else…but that’s just me.

You are worthy of a friendship/romantic relationship/career that doesn’t ask everything from you while providing barely anything in return. And hell, even if you DO get something in return, isn’t that still weird?! Don’t you want friendships to be an organic flow of give and take, instead of a massive game of keeping score? That sounds exhausting.

So give boundary setting a try. Start saying no, and see who’s really a friend, and who can see themselves out the back door.

7. Setting Boundaries Help Solidify An Abundance Mindset

Quick refresher: subscribing to an abundance mentality means you believe there is more than enough resources, people, opportunities, wealth, nourishment, or whatever else in the word that will contribute to your happiness. And not only that, but there’s more than enough for everyone. Subscribing to a scarcity mindset means you believe there is a scarce amount of resources in the world, and therefore we must cling to what we have, because we don’t know if we will ever have the opportunity to have it again.

Meaning…some of you who have been holding onto shitty relationships may have been doing it because you’re scared you won’t find anyone else.

That kind of thinking practically invites a full-blown scarcity mindset to set up shop in your head. And it’s really not healthy for you.

The good news is, boundaries are in total alignment with an abundance mindset. When you set a boundary with someone who doesn’t respect it, they’ll try to pushback. Again. And again. And again. And you’ll be in charge of continuing to set the boundary – until you give up and decide to walk away from the friendship for good.

But you can do that. You can literally just walk away. You know why? Because there are plenty of people out there who will RESPECT your boundaries and love you for exactly who you are without any expectations. They’re just waiting for you to ditch your narcissistic buddies and come and find them.

8. Setting Boundaries Sets a Precedent With Others

Here’s the lovely thing about setting boundaries with people already in your life: other people will take note.

Let’s take MoviePass for example. They started out about, what, two years ago? Their initial offering was unlimited movies per month for something ridiculous like $9. Absolute bananas. And because the deal was SO good, it caught on like wildfire. Until…MoviePass couldn’t handle the volume anymore. Passes were being declined, the app was buggy, and customer service took about 4 months to respond to any sort of claim. While I’m sure initially they fanatic about their ability to scale overnight, they quickly regretted it. It was a business nightmare.

So they recalibrated, and released an amended business offering. You could only see three movies per month, no opening weekend showings, blackout dates all over the map, and the price increased.

I think we all know the ending to this story, but if you can’t remember, they went out of business. Current customers realized, hey, MoviePass, y’all don’t know WTF you’re doing. And those who weren’t customers probably heard the complaints from their friends. So, with no customers, they went away.

So who are you in this metaphor? You’re MoviePass! The “company” that can’t figure out how to maintain giving an offering away for way less than it’s worth. I’m not sure what phase you’re in, but more than likely you’re in the HOLY F&(# THIS WAS A BAD IDEA phase. And we really want to get you to the going out of business phase.

Because the business you’re in is giving your time and energy away to anyone for free. And let me tell you – that’s just bad business. 

You don’t want to be known as the person who habitually says YES! no matter the circumstance. People talk. And more and more people will come out of the woodwork asking for this or that due to your reputation.

So let’s get the OPPOSITE of that in full force! Become the person who says NO! and needs a friggin Powerpoint presentation before agreeing to give your time away to ANYONE or ANYTHING. That way, when someone asks you for something – they aren’t doing it just because they think it’s an easy ask. They’re doing it because they believe it’s something you would actually enjoy or they truly need your unique help. And those are the exact kind of requests you’d like to field in the future.

9. Boundaries Are Great For Your Career

So some of you are reading this and might be thinking – Ok, I’ve got the relationship boundaries down, but what about work? 

Oh, girl. You need boundaries at work arguably more than you need them elsewhere! The entire concept of boundaries is to prevent you from giving your time and energy away for little to nothing in return…and I don’t know of a more egregious example than having a boss asking you to work FOR! FREE!

This is a little more cut and dry when you’re an hourly employee. If you’re not on the clock, you don’t work. It’s that simple. It’s also ILLEGAL for there to be any other sort of arrangement anyway. So just stick to that rule.

If you’re salary, things get a bit more dicey. There might be duties outside of your job description you’re expected to cover, and staying extra hours doesn’t get you paid more. So here’s my take:

Working past normal business hours isn’t a great look. Aside from the fact that it causes a lot of stress to grind it out beyond the conventional hours humans are supposed to work in a day, it also cuts into your personal time that you NEED in order to recharge (whether that be hanging out alone, being by yourself, spending time with family, etc). Plus, working long hours is telltale sign of inefficiency. Bosses don’t like inefficiency. It signals that you can’t handle the workload you already have…so why would they promote you?

Instead, set boundaries. Work on what you can during working hours, and go home. You’ll be refreshed, replenished, and ready to take on your workload the following day. Your ability to work smarter will increase when you have enough sleep and free time to disassociate from work and gain perspective.

What I’m saying is boundaries will make you a better employee. Don’t be afraid to set them whenever possible.


Having issues setting boundaries?

Don’t panic. Most of us aren’t that great at setting boundaries because we were not raised to do so. But that doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to live with healthy boundaries! All it means is you might need a little extra help. Luckily, that’s what Blush Online Life Coaching specializes in. Check out our affordable and convenience private life coaching memberships so you can learn how to set boundaries quickly for healthier and happier relationships.

How to Change Careers in Your 30s

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So, you hate your job. But not just like, hate your job – like how normal people hate their job – you LOATHE it. I’m talking pit in your stomach, shaky hands, hair pulling, hot tears, warm cheeks hate your job. Or maybe you’ve worked so hard to get where you are, but now that you’re there, you realize you hate your dream job. Thinking about a career change at 30 or really any age is scary, scary business. Read More

How to Ask for What You Want (Even if the Answer is No)

By | Career + Academics, Self Love & Empowerment | No Comments


Hello! It’s 2018! And I’ve finally decided to become more assertive!

lol took me long enough.

And for the record, I’m learning to ask for what I want not because I made an actual conscious effort to do so – but because over the past few months I’ve chased after some responsibilities that pretty much made it a requirement. A new career endeavor. Buying a house in Los Angeles (omg I’m broke). Remodeling. Hiring new people. Hence why this blog has sounded eerily similar to crickets. Read More

How to Write a Book (And Actually Sell Copies)

By | Career + Academics | One Comment


So ICYMI, I wrote a book.




And while I have been desperately seeking positive feedback to nourish my ego, I’ve come across a lot of women who are actively trying to write their own book. They ask for advice, insight, or even have specific questions on what it’s like. So I figured I would address it all right out in the open so that any of you who are too shy to email me can still reap the benefits 🙂

Sooooooo here’s my advice on what it’s like to write a book and sell copies!

Self-Publish vs Publisher

The new trend right now is *all* about self-publishing. You write up your own book, you edit it, you package it, you design a cover (or let’s be real you hire someone to do that for you) and you use a distributor to get your books in front of people’s eyes. The pros are that you retain wayyy more of the profit (sometimes 100% if there’s an upfront distribution fee) and you have more control over the final cut. It can be a great fit for those who are scrappy, hardworking, determined, and patient.

I considered doing self-publishing…for like, a second. I’m a terrible editor. You all know this by now. On any given blog post there are bound to be 5-7 spelling or grammatical errors give or take – so let’s just say self-publishing could have been a reckless disaster for yours truly. Lucky for me, Thought Catalog, a popular media website geared towards none other than millennial females, has been syndicating my blog posts for years AND has a book department. Boom.

Not only did they edit my work (Thank GOD), but they designed a beautiful cover with a photo taken by the lovely Jason Flynn (if you are in LA he should be your go-to photographer), they customized the layout and sourced production, they placed it on Amazon, and created a super kewl PDF version for the Thought Catalog site itself.

All I had to do was submit a manuscript (I’ll get to that later).

However, using a publisher does come with some drawbacks. For instance, my profits from the book are WAY less than if I were to self-publish. By going through an actual publisher, you are giving away a hefty amount of monies from future sales.

But to me, it was worth it.

I like that I have the name Thought Catalog behind my book and I like that they provide free marketing for my book (not a ton – don’t get me wrong – but some). Self-publishing does not establish as much credibility in the space, and for a niche like female self-help, I wanted to make sure readers knew I at least somewhat knew what I was talking about. I also like that the book looks incredibly professional (no thanks to me) and that any avid Thought Catalog reader will be directed to my book while on the site.

For me, it was the perfect fit. But if you are someone who truly enjoys editing and isn’t afraid to shamelessly promote your book without any backup, then definitely self-publish. Ideally you’ll make more money depending on the success of your marketing, and you don’t need to get the green light from anyone other than yourself to put your work out there. Win-win.

Don’t Start from Scratch

Oh, gawd. Why would you EVER want to start from the beginning when you could start from the middle?

If you’ve been reading my blogs at all AND purchased my book, you will see that there are some similar concepts lurking around in both. Eerily similar, in fact. The book I wrote did not hatch out of a dream I had years back. It did not take me years and years to write. It did not encourage me to stretch my beliefs and force in new concepts in just because they were novel or clickbait.

I just wrote what I knew. And what I knew, was already written.

Now before you get all uppity – I did not take a bunch of blog posts and glue them together and slap a cover on it. That would be tacky and super redundant. And you would probably be pretty pissed at me that you paid $14.99 for something you could get for free. Eeeek.

What I did do was take my favorite posts that I thought had a lot of merit and I reconstructed their fundamental essence. As I kept adding to my “faves” pile, I realized they sorted themselves into nice little categories. Self-Confidence. Friends. Relationships. Career. Quarter-Life Crisis. Which makes COMPLETE logical sense, because those are the topics I focus on the most during coaching, too. Le duh.

And guess what?! My book miraculously has five sections to it! *Gasp*

Point is, you already have everything you need in order to write a book. You have already been writing on napkins or on a blog or for other outlets or on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. You have been creating content for a while now, in fact. Maybe you just didn’t realize that a bunch of Instagram captions could actually be turned into anything of value. Trust me, they can. So don’t try and come up with this larger-than-life pitch because you think that’s what you need to impress people. The best writing comes from those who TRULY believe in their work.

A great example: Cheryl Strayed. Cheryl Strayed has not reinvented the wheel, guys.

Her writing largely surrounds the death of her mother, her rebirth as a good human, and the struggles she’s faced as a young adult. That’s it. And she’s BRILLIANT. But she doesn’t sit down and churn out brand new concepts with brand new words that hold brand new meaning. No. She focuses on her basics. What makes her who she is. Her audience knows what’s coming and can depend on Cheryl for some hearty advice and soothing semantics.

So take it from Cheryl and grab some of your original content that you’re proud of and see how you can tweak it to become something more. Once you focus on that, you’re already halfway there.

Your Different Audiences

This is going to sound weird, but when you are writing a book – or a blog, for that matter – you have to pretend like no one is going to read it.

I know, I know. That sounds ludicrous. The entire POINT of writing is so that SOMEONE, ANYONE (please?) out there reads it. (Unless you are writing for cathartic reasons and then I solute you.)

However, I have found that if you are writing creatively, thinking about others’ reactions and opinions will obstruct the process. You’ll start taking parts out, wondering if you are being too “expert-y” or “raw,” you’ll second guess everything you’ve typed out and want to start over from the beginning. You’ll ask yourself if you’re any good.

(You are.)

People don’t want a piece of writing that was solely intended for them. It feels creepy and inauthentic. It’s like in the movie Groundhog Day when Bill Murry tries SO! HARD! to win back Andie MacDowell by doing what he THINKS she wants, and it never works out. She always gets the heebie-jeebies. It’s not until he starts being himself that she actually falls for him.

Same goes for writing. People genuinely want writing that was tugged out from someone’s heart and put on paper because the author had the cajones to share it. And the only way to do that is to forget someone is at the other end of the screen.

Ok now things are about to get a *leetle* confusing so stick with me.

At the same time, you must always remember your audience.

But your audience is a vague term, not a specific one. For example, I know that my specific audience consists of my friends and family who feel guilty if they don’t read my blogs (especially when I’m casually like SO WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT MY BLOG TODAY???????), and clients who have decided I know what the hell I am talking about (thanks guys!).

Outside from those special people, my vague audience consists of twenty and thirty-something women who are feeling stuck in at least one aspect of their lives. So when I write my book, I am not thinking about my specific audience because that would scare the shit out of me. Knowing that one of Andrew’s friends who I semi-know and has a decently good impression of me is reading about my embarrassing breakup (plus other humiliating tidbits) would cause me to never never click “publish.” It’s too intimidating and vulnerable and scary AF.

So, when I write any blog, book, caption, whatever – I’m using my vague audience to make sure I’m staying “on brand.” I want to avoid writing a book about pizza and skiing and furniture and politics because none of that goes together and that would be a shit compilation. It’s my vague audience keeps me grounded. It guides me to remember that any interested readers want to learn about how they can get UNSTUCK.

But in my head they also don’t have faces or reactions other than “Kali is a genius” so I like writing for them.


(Yes, Kali. You are a genius. Go forth and prosper.)

Aww, thanks vague audience!

Finding a Publisher

So I pretty much already gave away how I found my publisher, and to be honest that’s the only experience I have. I do know that finding a publisher has proven to be difficult for a lot of people, and I have a few ideas how to circumvent that. Otherwise, I think my publisher is pretty bomb and you should check them out.

First, in order to find a publisher for a book, you need to find a publisher for your smaller work. That might be via Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Elite Daily, Bustle, or any other media outlet that takes contributors. It really doesn’t matter. You just need an established source to publish an article so that another established source would consider publishing your mother of all works: a book. And, if the media source has a book department, that’s the best way to land a book deal.

It’s a sad reality that a lot of large media outlets don’t pay their writers. It totally sucks. However, it’s also great for new and upcoming writers who just want exposure and credibility to their name. Honestly, I feel torn about it. I don’t love contributing to the problem by submitting my work for free (which undercuts the market for paid writers), but it’s also given me incredible opportunity to grow and expand my audience. I guess the jury’s still out on my ultimate conclusion. But if you don’t have any ethical dilemmas about submitting free work, go for it. There are plenty of organizations who would jump at the chance for your beautiful words.

Anywho, as I mentioned before, I found my publisher because years ago I submitted a recycled blog to Thought Catalog for syndication (yes, for free!). There, I met my producer Kendra, who is a fabulous go-getter and works her butt off to make TC approachable and intriguing. From there, we established a relationship and she knew that she could pull whatever blogs she thought were relevant to the Thought Catalog audience as long as she cited the work and gave me authorship credit. Pretty standard.

After I had submitted ~15 blogs, Kendra set me up with their book department. My editor, Alex, asked if I would like to submit a book proposal for consideration. Due to the fact that Thought Catalog already trusted my writing, they essentially asked for me to pick a topic and piece together posts for a full manuscript. They would then edit completed work, design a cover, and do all the things I talked about earlier.

And that was it.

Not too stressful, y’all. But that’s because I had already established trust with my publisher. I already know them, and they knew me. We trusted each other. And that’s the ideal situation.

Be Uncomfortably Shameless

I have a confession to make: I hate promoting myself.

They say that when you write, 20% of your energy should be focused on creation, and 80% should be focused on promotion. Yikes.

Whenever I hear that breakdown, I cringe. Why? Because it’s SO STUPIDLY TRUE.

Writing a book is honestly the least of your worries. You can do it. I have zero doubt. It’s the marketing and promotion part that you need to beef up for.

If you are anything like me, you are going to feel icky and narcissistic and egotistical and desperate and embarrassed whenever you promote something you’ve worked for. I know that I have issues about it, and they probably won’t ever fully go away. But at the same time, I think a lot of people feel this way.

It’s vulnerable to put your heart on a platter and force-feed it to strangers walking by.

Some people get really turned off by self-promotion and that’s part of the game. But if you want to get your book (or blogs) in front of others’ eyes, you have to do it.

You have to post it on all of the social platforms. You have to reach out to reporters and influencers to see if they have any interest in reading a book to cover or share. You have to give away free copies to people who seriously aren’t interested. You have to hit up people to review your book (PS WILL YOU REVIEW MY BOOK?) and share it with their friends and buy copies as gifts. Your book will sit and collect dust if you don’t push it out there – even if you have a publisher. The success of the book will fall on you.

Talk about pressure.

And if I’m being honest, self-promotion is going to be the source of almost all of your success if you are working for yourself. I know that my short-comings have been due to my lack of shameless promotion. Because IT’S THE WORST AND I HATE IT.

But we gotta get over it together.

So please, take it from me and be 295783589735879% prepared to push your incredible, talented, and inspired work onto the world whether they welcome you with open arms or not.

Most of the time, they won’t. But when they do, it’ll feel like magic.

If you are still determined after reading how to write a book and sell copies, I say go for it.


But you’re going to need encouragement along the way. The process can be invasive, exhausting, and intimidating – so it’s a requirement to have a support group helping you keep your spirits up along the way! Thank goodness we have a team of life coaches ready to do just that for you. Work one on one with a coach who can guide and mentor you throughout your book writing process, and everything else in between.

And, if you’re looking for inspo on how to write a self-help book, you can use mine as a guide! *shameless self promotion*


Tips for Dealing With Unemployment

By | Career + Academics | No Comments
unemployment tips


The only thing worse than having a job, is not having a job.

Not working stirs up the absolute worst in us. It brings out our anxiety, boredom, frustration, and even despair. We lose faith that we have anything to offer society. Did we trick ourselves into thinking we were actually worthy of earning money in exchange for our skills? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?????

*panic* Read More

What No One Tells You About Starting Your Own Business

By | Career + Academics | 10 Comments
entrepreneur advice



Hi, my name is Kali. I’m the founder of Blush. And I’m going to tell you what no one else will tell you about starting your own business.


Chances are you either know me or work with me, or you’ve seen my writing elsewhere (hopefully?). So you probably know that I started Blush roughly two years ago – three if you count the development – which puts me back in my early twenties. Read More

What Career is Right for Me? Best Careers for Your Personality Type

By | Career + Academics | 4 Comments
careers personality

Updated August 21, 2019

Although it might seem like common knowledge that there are certain best careers for your personality type – that wasn’t the trending belief for a long time in the United States. Due to wars, the Great Depression, and societal pressures, many believed that work was an obligatory endeavor necessary to keep food on the table and contribute to a bright future for offspring. But times have changed, and in this period of prosperity many people are asking “what career is right for me”? Read More