About Fixin’ to Write

We met online in 2015 as members of a six-week commitment to writing, called the Renegade Writers’ Group led by Renegade Mothering blogger, Janelle Hanchett. For our full origin story, be sure to read our first post.

Through our work together, we’ve discovered tools to help us write through the challenges of writing and working, writing and mothering, writing and being a friend, a daughter, a sister, a partner.  We’ve seen tremendous growth and progress in our own writing and in one another’s writing. And some days we don’t get to our writing at all. Some days we are just fixin’ to write.

But more often than not, we find time to get words on the page. More than ever before, we trust the creative process. We trust that writing a first draft will feel like being lost. We trust that first drafts look nothing like an author’s published work. And we remember what it felt like before we built that trust in the process.

Most of us listen to more writing podcasts now. Some of us escape family events and go to a coffee shop to get writing done. We’ve read lots of books about writing. But mostly, we’ve learned and evolved through doing the writing itself.

We are not in an immersive creative environment like an MFA program or Paris in the 1920s. This group of women is our immersive creative environment. Through the posts and resources we’ll share here, we hope it will become yours as well. We’ll write about finding our voice, about what happens after the dream of publishing your first book comes true, about coming back to writing after a long break, about how we get our writing done in the midst of everyday chaos.

Let’s move from Fixin’ to Write to actual writing, despite the self doubt, despite all of our obligations, despite the fact we don’t write like the writers we love. Let’s write through everyday life together.

Meet the Renegades

Amy Smith Elliott

Amy is a writer who lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. She is a chef and currently runs the Specialty Cheese department at Whole Foods Market. She’s always written; she has drawers, boxes and a wallet full of napkins and scraps of paper but has thankfully transitioned to a laptop. She loves food, words and any IPA she can get her hands on. You can read more of her writing on her blog Elliott’s Provisions.

Jessica Gilkison

Jessica is a writer with a background in law, teaching, and social justice advocacy. She’s passionate about LGBTQ rights, and health care access and coverage. Jessica lives in Madison, WI, with her husband, their teenager, and a pack of rescue dogs. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Jen Hamilton

Jen is a writer and community college professor based in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her three dudes: a husband, a son and a dog. She writes essays, book reviews and fiction. When she’s not writing, grading essays or basking in equal parts toddler sass and toddler charm, Jen can be found hiking, enjoying live music, drinking fancy craft beer or reading in her papasan chair. You can follow her on Twitter and find out more about Jen and her writing on her website.

Carrie Lamanna

Carrie is a writer, coach, and editor living in Fort Collins, Colorado. She she is originally from Pittsburgh, and despite her love of Colorado sunshine, her heart is still there. She is currently working on a memoir about her educational experiences tentatively titled, Why I Left School. When she is not writing you can find her gardening, cooking, and attempting to spend quality time with her husband and two children. You can read more of her writing and learn about her work on her website, and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tracy Walker Morales

Tracy Walker Morales is a writer and Physical Therapist Assistant. She has a passion for the magic of Disney, holistic health and chocolate. She lives in South Jersey with her husband Dennis, her daughters’ Emily & Lauren and their dog Bentley. You can find Tracy at  her website, Health and Holistic News, and follow her on Instagram.

Anna Nidecker

Anna hails from Carmichael, smack dab in the center of California’s central valley, where she lives with her husband and two young sons. Obsessed by the brain since childhood, she has a degree in neuroscience and is a physician specializing in neuroradiology. She spent three years working as a reporter before going to medical school, and has found her way back to writing in this group. She is writing a memoir in between brain scans, school drop off, and bath-time. In other words, she usually writes in increments of 20 minutes, in the closet, after everyone else is asleep.

Dianna Pharr

Dianna is an Education Advocate and founder of Texas Education Advocacy LLC in Austin, Texas.  She advocates for the education rights of children with exceptional needs. She also volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) representing the best interest of children who have been abused and neglected.

Dianna is an Austin native and lives in Pemberton with her husband and their two miniature schnauzers. Her children are grown and still her best teachers. When she isn’t advocating, mediating or talking, she is thinking about what she is fixin’ to write.  She writes to discover and document what she believes at that moment in time.

Holly Walker

Holly is the literal outlier in the group, in that she lives at the bottom of the world in Wellington, New Zealand. There she works as a children’s advocate, wrangles a pre-schooler, and writes memoir, personal essays and reviews. Her first book, The Whole Intimate Mess: Motherhood, Politics and Women’s Writing, a memoir about becoming a mother and leaving a career in politics, was published in June 2017. You can read more of Holly’s writing here or follow her on Twitter.