Writing For Both Joy and Catharsis

Writing is a uniquely individual pursuit. 

Each writer has her own pace, her own style, and her own way of telling her stories.

But the main reason most writers start to write is because of two reasons; either it provides her with great joy or for an opportunity for catharsis and release.

My own writing has been an example of both.

When I first began to write, it was about the fun of stringing pretty sentences together.

It was all about flowery language and lots of descriptive words. 

It took me a while to learn the importance of getting to the point of the story, but once I did I was surprised by the detour my writing took.

My writing went from lots of description that dragged out too long, to a face-paced and deeply emotional plot line. 

My plots were dark, too.


And looking back at my first novel, I realize I had some real darkness inside my soul I was attempting to exorcise. 

A funny thing happened, though.

When I tried to write a sequel, which I had fully planned to do, I just couldn’t get into it.

I hit roadblock after roadblock.

I couldn’t figure out why. 

Then, just for fun, I began another story.

And it flowed out of me like a swift river.

No more struggling.

No more writer’s block.

My first novel took ten full years to come to fruition, but my second story, a Christmas novella, took a mere five months.

My first novel was dark, gritty and intense, full of serious subjects like abuse, loss, and victimization.

My novella, though, was much lighter.

It was still a thriller, but there was a lot more fun involved.

Sure, there was intrigue and a death-defying escape, but there was also some really fun sex scenes.

While my first book was all about catharsis and the release of pent-up emotion, for my second I was back to the joy.

Then, I changed things up again and went into writing short nonfiction personal development eBooks meant to help my coaching clients.

But no matter what I write, I’ve discovered that as long as I write what I NEED to – whether it’s to purge negativity or just for the pure joy of it – I’ve never had to deal with writer’s block again.

Have you been struggling with writer’s block?

Check out Jeannie’s eBook on the subject.

WIMJ Write your way to joy

Jeannie’s romantic thrillers and other eBooks can be found here. 

Jeannie also has a personal development podcast you can listen to for free: Create Your Empowered Self podcast 

New Podcast Pic

Or if you’re really struggling and would like more one-on-one assistance, Jeannie is also an NLP Certified Creative Empowerment Coach taking on new clients. Check out her coaching page for more info. 

Get EMPOWERED coaching

Thanks so much for reading! For more cool reading and writing stuff, please like and follow our Sisterhood of Suspense Facebook page! 

We appreciate you stopping by!

Variety is the spice of life

Variety is essential in any long term writer’s career. 

When I started my writing journey at 33 years of age, eleven years ago, I fell in love with writing romantic thrillers. 

My first story was about a pair of young sisters who escape a dangerous, religious David-Koresh-type cult. The sisters run from a horrific past, looking for a new life states away from there hidden compound in rural Oklahoma.

The eldest, Lynea, falls for a college professor, bringing an element of hope and romance to the story. Lynea’s past is nightmarish and full of abuse, making her new romance difficult. 

At times the plot grows as dark and disturbing as an episode of Criminal Minds. 

This novel is called Violation of Faith.


I loved the fast paced nature of that plot. And since you’re reading this, you probably like this suspenseful type of writing, too.

But one thing I discovered after getting published was that writing the in the same dark and intense vein for my second book didn’t appeal to me. 

I kept trying to write a sequel and couldn’t seem to make it work. But when I chose a lighter, sexier tone for a different project, I completed it quickly.

I also went from being traditionally published for my first novel to self-publishing my second project, which was a Christmas novella called A Midnight Clear. 


It was incredibly liberating to be in complete control of my plot and editing. It left me feeling free and happy with my end product. 

My next four projects were of a whole other variety in that they were nonfiction ebooks called the Writing in my Jammies series. These were brief, easy to consume in one sitting self-help books with exercises at the end, written with spirituality and personal development in mind.


All this variety – a dark and intense thriller novel to sexy suspenseful novella to little nonfiction ebooks – kept my creative muse very active in 2016.

In 2017, I found more inspiration in adding even more variety to my writing by creating blogs that corresponded with a recorded podcast. 

By adding the variety of audio content to my writing, I’ve discovered an entirely new audience for my writing. 

Listen to this post as a podcast

So now variety isn’t just igniting my creative sparks, it’s allowing me to use a fresh new medium to share my stories. It’s also making my listeners aware of my endeavor to serve as a Creative Inspiration Coach assisting other writers struggling with their muses. 

It’s as exciting as it is rewarding. 

Variety is a wonderful thing.

Another beautiful example of variety is the Sisterhood of Suspense. 

This amazing sisterhood of authors write everything from straight suspense to spine-tingling thrillers. Everything from traditional mysteries to supernatural romances. 

Some of the Sisterhood also write nonfiction like I do. 

This variety means we can offer our visitors, followers, and readers a uniquely wide variety of genres and voices.

That is the extraordinary gift joining together provides us as authors and you as readers. 



Not only is it the spice of life, it’s the joy of camaraderie, the combining of resources, and the ability to share individual talents and abilities with all of you.

If you’re looking for romance and mystery – or just really love Las Vegas – check out Pat Amsden.

For multiple romantic comedies featuring unique handbags, Vicki Batman is the author for you.

Want a romantic suspense with a tough alpha male or something a bit more supernatural? Look no further than Jacquie Biggar.

For emergency room romances, go to Sam Bradley writing as McKenna Sinclair. She also has her own long-running disaster podcast here.

Author Veronica Forand is where you’ll want to look for romances with thriller edges to them. 

If you like your romances to make you both laugh and cry, Claire Gem would be perfect for you. 

In the mood for a series of cozy mysteries, paranormal romances, or inspirational literature? Try Joanne Guidoccio.

Like a mix? Kathryn Jane writes novels full of mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance often featuring animals. 

For contemporary romance and romantic suspense, be on the lookout for Mia Kay.

Marian Lanouette writing as Merry Holly is a multi-published author of both mystery and romance. 

Julie Mulhern writes mysteries, historical romances, and romantic suspense – including the Country Club Murders.

Want high emotional stakes balanced with a touch of humor? Check out Stephanie (S.A.) Taylor’s contemporaries and romantic suspenses. 

If you like your romantic suspense flavored with second chances at love, give Marsha West’s Second Change series a looksee.

Are stories of adventure, suspense and love your cup of tea, grab Sharon Wray’s Deadly Force series. 

I consider it a privilege to work with such a fantastic group of authors, and I know you’ll enjoy their books, as well. 

Jeannie Hall is a multi-published author, blogger, podcaster, YouTuber, and Creative Inspiration Coach specializing in helping authors reignite their creative sparks. You can find her (and her various social media links) at WritinginyourJammies.com

Sneak Off and Read: Lines about LOVE, #RSsos #RomSuspense

sisterhood of suspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines about LOVE for a great start to the week. Enjoy!

jacquiebiggar_holdem_800pxAs Grannie would say, “You can’t force love, you can only give it a gentle push.”

Jacquie Biggar

51gy4a7prl-_sy346_He felt the love he had convinced himself didn’t exist. If only he could have known this before he spent so many years feeling worthless and abandoned.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair

617rxjidlShe hadn’t met the boyfriend, Miller Stanford, whom Angie either claimed to love with all her heart, or wanted to eviscerate with a Phillips head screwdriver, depending on the day.

Claire Gem

Jeannie Hall - book cover - violation of faithBrennan did shout this time, his aggravation not allowing anything less. “How can I not be safe? I love you!”

Jeannie Hall

daring-to-loveHe touched the back of her neck with his fingertips, and she turned to him with a smile that nearly took him out at the knees. Open and exposed, peacefulness and love…

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Celebrating my first featured @Bookbub #Sale #MFRWauthor #RSsos @jacqbiggar

sisterhood of suspense

For an indie author, the tough job of writing a book, editing, choosing covers (all of mine are done by the fabulous Kim Killion), learning how to format (if you’re doing your own I highly recommend Vellum!) and uploading to your chosen vendors can seem overwhelming.


Fortunately, there are many informative blogs, such as Kristen Lamb, Writer Unboxed, and Bookbub to guide our tottering steps through an unfamiliar territory.

One of the main pieces of advice I’ve heard over and over again is the importance of building a backlist. It only makes sense; how can you keep a reader’s interest if you only have one or two books to share with them?

To this end, I’ve been hard at work the past couple of years and just listed my ninth book, Missing: The Lady Said No for pre-order!


Another tip I’ve learned thanks to the mentorship…

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Inner Demons


One of my favorite bloggers, Kristen Lamb, recently shared a post about plotting inner demons in your writing. Inner Demons Shining Meme

But I don’t write about exorcisms, you say. Well, I don’t either – or at least I haven’t yet – but that’s not what she was referring to.

What Kristen, in her awesome writing brilliance, discussed was plotting your characters in a believable way. In other words, if someone is an alcoholic in your story, having that character talking or whining about their addiction all the time is going to bore your reader. To tears.

Cry Meme

The best writers know how to illustrate a problem in glimpses without overwhelming or annoying their readers. If you’ve ever met someone or know someone who gripes about their problems – even if that problem is truly horrible – all day, then you probably try to avoid that person whenever possible. If on the other hand you know someone who has acted out of character, has had alcohol on their breath, and over a period of weeks they break down and tell you they have a drinking problem, you’re much more likely to feel sympathetic.

One of my favorite writers, Nora Roberts – especially when she writes suspense as JD Robb – is perfect at this. Her main heroine, Eve Dallas, is portrayed up front as a hardass cop. She’s intelligent, shrewd, and fabulous at catching the bad guys. But… she’s plagued with nightmares. Not just the kind you wake up from and within a minute drift back off, but the kind that make you scream and sob in your sleep. Over the course of her series, we learn more and more about Eve and why she has these nightmares – she is a victim of some horrific child abuse. But Nora doesn’t have Eve go around complaining about her past, not ever. Instead, Eve deals with it the best she can, and only in brief little spurts of memories or flashbacks do we see the real damage done to her.

Kristen Lamb Writing Meme


When I first starting writing, plotting was – and still is – the hardest thing for me. I’m not one to sit down and write out a twenty page outline, but I know what I want to happen. Still, one mistake I used to make all the time was explaining how my characters felt instead of showing how they felt. I also tended to drone on about it for far too long. Characters facing their inner demons is kind of like back story, you need to dribble in a little bit here and there, not all at once.

Inner Demons Humor

Since I love to write drama, angst and inner demons, I’m also drawn to writers who are really good at writing it. Do you like reading about characters with inner demons? If so, who is your favorite author(s)? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂

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