31 Days to Becoming an Author: Creating a Space to Create


UPDATE: When I set out to write this series of posts, I NEVER imagined it would be as popular as it has become. But in the almost year since I published this series, it’s gotten consistent traffic, and remains my highest trafficked post via Pinterest to date. So…


I have decided to publish this series as an ebook. 30 Days to Becoming a Writer will release on Amazon on August 25, 2014. 

Click here to purchase your copy today!



No, that’s not a typo – The book is a 30 Day Guide, not 31 Day Guide. I condensed the material into readable chapters, and organized it in a way that gives readers a comprehensive guide to writing and publishing in an easily digestible format. 


I will be removing the posts from this space in an effort to preserve the integrity of the book, but as soon as the book goes live, I will include the link where you can purchase these posts for your online library.


My hope and desire it that people will be inspired to continue to create, to write, and ultimately, to author the words that float in their heads and hearts. I’m so honored to have you all on this journey with me. I hope that you will benefit in your career as a writer from the tips offered in 30 Days to Becoming an Author. For more information on the book, and for more Pinterest-worthy images to promote it, go to KelliStuart.com.


Thanks for taking this journey with me!



The one where we get cozy

My parents are remodeling their condo and in so doing they needed to get rid of some furniture. So we sacrificially chose to relieve them of said furniture out of the goodness of our selfless hearts.

Stand back. I might get struck by lightening.

In the eleven years that we have been married Lee and I have bought exactly six pieces of furniture. Everything else has been given to us by our parents. Couches, chairs, beds, buffets, cribs, dressers and on and on. We live in a house full of hand me downs…and we love it.

Mostly because these hand me downs are…kind of gorgeous.

We set up this entertainment center this weekend along with a couch and two oversized chairs. It looks so good, we might need to get cable.

Just kidding.


This room, which has been cluttered and kind of boring since we moved in, looks down right cozy now. It’s livable and functional and…pretty.

Of course, my total lack of style and inability to decorate is on broad display now that I have this fancy furniture in my house. My bare walls scream at me and look at that pitiful fireplace mantle and the bare, empty shelves on the entertainment center. Folks, I literally have nothing to put in those places.


This is where my pinterest friends tell me that I can get all kind of ideas if I would just give pinterest a try and I promise you all *holds up three fingers* I am trying.

You can’t understand what pinterest does to a non-creative, non-crafty person like me, though. It literally makes my head spin and my throat close. The overwhelming cuteness and undeniable style that floats through those web pages leaves me feeling entirely incapable of pulling anything off. I don’t have cute knick knacks to put on the shelves. I have books and picture frames. And a C-3PO doll that Sloan dug out of his toy box and wrapped up for me for Christmas.

What do I do?!

This is such a first world problem. Seriously, I don’t care that much…except when I get on pinterest and I curse my inability to create beauty out of paper clips and a toilet paper roll.

But wait! There’s more. Look at how this room, which was completely empty two days ago, turned out when we moved our couch and chair and piano into it.

Isn’t it happy? And the best part of it is that every item in that room was lovingly donated to us by our parents. The couch, chair and buffet belonged to Lee’s grandmother. The piano is the same one I learned to play on (and subsequently forgot how to play) as a child. The blanket was a wedding gift.

I also love this little corner.

We are so blessed.

need want something for the wall above the piano and again something for the back of the piano to dress up the room. I’m open to suggestions. Seriously, friends. I stink at decorating. I have some Christmas money saved so I am hoping to get out sometime soon and maybe get a few things to set out.

This is where I open it up to you all. What do I do and how do I decorate? If the suggestion requires me using a hot glue gun or a needle and thread, however, just know now that I appreciate it, but I will likely never do that. I need my decorations cheap, but pre-packaged. Martha Stewart, I am not.

In all seriousness, there are people all over the world who will never understand this problem and I recognize that and humbly walk the halls of my home grossly aware of how much we have. I am constantly praying that my home will be a blessing to those who enter and that I will never take it for granted. Ever. I am grateful for this space that we have, but I hold it loosely with outstretched hands.

So what say you, bloggy friends? What do I need to do to make our space finally feel complete?


My new favorite room

The office is nearly complete and I have fallen in love with it.  It all started with the paint which I absolutely adore.  It makes me extremely happy.  Ridiculously happy.  Giddy, even.  My blue walls make me giddy.

I still have a few things to do to make it just right.  I need a plant to cover up the boxes screwed to the wall, which were installed by the previous owners and need to be removed at some point.  Likely just before we decide to sell this house and move again.  Because that’s how we roll.

I also want something to go over the desk.  I’m thinking a mirror, but I’m open to suggestions.  I may get rid of the behemoth black chair, too and get something a little prettier, although that chair happens to be ten shades of comfortable so I may let her stay for that reason alone.

For those of you who are decorating savvy, I am completely open to suggestions.  Do you have any ideas of ways I could make this room even better?  I want people to applaud when they walk in the room.  A rousing round of applause from everyone who visits.  That’s what I’m aiming for.

Pictures of the happy office.

The gene that skipped me

I am good at many things.  I know this and I embrace it.  Sometimes I doubt it, but deep down, I know the things in which I excell and I chase after them, sometimes with great glee.  Sometimes with trepidation.

I also know, however, of a great many things that I do not do well.  Like sewing – can’t do it.  I can’t even sew a button on a shirt without it falling back off within a few days.

I made an Octopus pillow in 7th grade.  I sewed it to my jeans…twice.  Ultimately it turned out pretty darn cute, what with its crooked eyes and all.  I haven’t sewn a single thing since then.

Ironing.  This is another skill that somehow passed on by me.  I can do it, of course.  It’s not rocket science, ironing a shirt.  But I’m not great at it.  I never know how to lay the shirts right on the table and I end up making more creases that need to be sprayed and ironed out and…

I felt a bit of shame over this one when we first got married.  I felt that ironing my husband’s shirts was a wifely duty that I needed to conquer in order to honor him.  I was certain that my initiatiation into Wifedom would not be solidified until I hung his shirts and pants, starched and pressed, in his closet.

I surrendered all of those feelings of failure a long time ago and, thankfully, I have a husband that doesn’t mind ironing his own clothes.  If he’s in a pinch and needs something – I am his gal!  But mostly, I don’t iron.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I ironed.

And I don’t feel bad about that.

Decorating.  Ah, decorating.

I stink at it.

I don’t know if this pillow should go there or if that picture should hang here.  I don’t know how to arrange a book case to make it look cute and not cluttered.  I don’t know how to hang knick knacks on the wall in a way that is cute and doesn’t make my house looks like it’s inhabited by an eccentric old woman with 99 cats.

I don’t like to watch HGTV, because it makes me feel inadequate – and it bores me a little.  I actually just heard some of you gasp in horror. 

Picking out paint colors sends me nearly into shock and the decision to move our TV over the fireplace almost gave me a heart attack.  My husband has been wanting to do that for eight years.  I have resisted because I just couldn’t see it.

Then my neighbor came over.  My neighbor who had a table that she thought would look better as a bench so she sawed the legs off and painted it white and low and behold, she had herself a bench that looks like it walked out of Pottery BarnI would never have thought of something like that.  Ever.  If I didn’t know what to do with a table, I would get rid of it.  Or better yet, just sit and look at it for a decade and mutter repeatedly, “I hate that stupid table.”

Carol walked into our house on Sunday and in two hours the entire house was transformed.  Trans-flippin-formed!  Our front room, which has always been a bit of an eyesore has now morphed into a warm, cozy music room.  For eight years we’ve wondered what to do with that room and in one hour Carol fixed it.  We sold a desk, moved furniture and lamps around and voila’!  Transformation.


Then she tackled the rest of the house.  Like the foyer, which has felt like a cave for the past two years.  See the beautiful hutch in the above picture.  That bad boy was in our foyer.  And yes, for two years we have tripped over it, muttering under our breath and we were prepared to get rid of it.  Until…


And yes, she moved our TV over the fireplace, turned all the furniture toward it and by God if it doesn’t look like the room is twice as big.


Lee has been smugly strutting around the house all week.  Yes, dear.  You were right.  The TV looks great over the fireplace.  *eyeroll*

So now you know.  The decorating, designing, making cute from drab gene passed right on by me.  And it laughed as it raced by yelling “See ya, sucka!”  And I’m left with nothing to do but put this picture here and that painting there and then sit and wait for someone to come along and do it right.

I’ll try not to wait eight years this time.