Welcome To My Blog

Hi, I'm Kathryn Kay, the founder of A Writer Within. As a personal writing coach and editor, I help women writers who struggle to define and meet their writing goals. I offer support and inspiration in getting started, organizing ideas, overcoming the inner critic, and completing projects. Creative solutions are my forte.

It's not a question of whether you have a writer within—it’s a question of how to set her free.

6 Great Revision Tips For Polishing Your Prose

In this post, I offer six essential tips to help guide you through revising your creative work. Whether you're crafting a short story, novel, poem, or memoir, these tips will serve you well through yo...

September 18, 2023 / Craft

5 Tips To Get You Writing Everyday

Writing every day is ideal; if you can do that, it will serve you well, but many of us find it challenging to achieve or sustain a daily writing practice. Use these five tips to help get you into a daily writing practice.

May 29, 2023 / Craft
silhouettes of people jumping with a sunset behind them

10 Great Writing Prompts For Creating Captivating Characters

We all want to create memorable characters that our readers will remember long after they've finished reading our story. You'll be well on your way to creating captivating characters with these uniquely crafted writing prompts.

May 1, 2023 / Craft

The 5 Biggest Hurdles That Keep You From Writing And How To Overcome Them 

Here are five of the most common hurdles that keep writers from writing and some suggestions for surmounting them. I’ve included links to blogs that will give you additional insights, tips, and solutions to some of the most common hurdles to getting started and sustaining forward momentum with your writing.

April 2, 2023 / Craft
A hand holding a blue pen, writing in a notebook with white pages.

How To Know If You Are A Writer?

You don’t have to be born a writer; you can learn to be a writer. Writing isn't necessarily a talent; it's a craft you can master with practice, just like anything else.

March 6, 2023 / Craft
two cupped hands holding a baby bird. Black background.

How To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed – Hold It Lightly

Having too many great ideas can be as stressful as not having enough. Holding them lightly can help you find balance in both your creative and daily life.

February 6, 2023 / Inspiration

25 Great Creative Writing Exercises To Awaken The Senses

These writing prompts are designed to help you develop your understanding and use of sensory imagery. Write from the senses and engage your readers.

January 23, 2023 / Craft

5 Easy Steps To Create Attainable Writing Goals

Want to make your writing dreams a reality? Without goals, it's unlikely that will happen, and having attainable goals is key to making that process successful.

January 9, 2023 / Craft

What Do You Want From A Writing Retreat?

If you've ever considered going on a writing retreat, you probably have a lot in common with these women. What do you look for in a writing treat?

December 12, 2022 / Retreats

6 Favorite Excursions in Tuscany

When I take a group of writers to Tuscany for a week-long writing retreat, I tend to take them on excursions to my favorite places. That doesn't mean we don't visit the must-see sights, like Siena and San Gimignano, because we do, but I often include lesser-known, out-of-the-way gems.

November 21, 2022 / Retreats
close up of a bright pink flower

How To Rediscover Your Beginner’s Mind

Cultivating a beginner's mind allows you to see the world around you with fresh eyes, and it engenders joy, playfulness, wonder, inspiration, and creativity.

November 7, 2022 / Craft

Favorite Quotes To Inspire You

I've been collecting quotes for years on various topics including, but not limited to, life, love, contentment, creativity, nature, and of course, writing. I'm sharing some of my favorites to inspire, enlighten and comfort you as you go the way of life.

October 24, 2022 / Mindset

6 Great Tips for Writing Engaging Dialogue

  In my previous blog, How to Format Written Dialogue, I covered the traditional approach to formatting dialogue and the general rules to keep your dialogue flowing smoothly and clearly. T...

October 10, 2022 / Craft

The 7 Best Books On Creative Writing

Perhaps I think of these as "the best" books on writing because they are my favorites. These books are the top picks from a longer list I give to my coaching clients and retreat participants and are the ones I always recommend first.

September 26, 2022 / Craft

How To Start A Writing Practice (that will last) 

We all have busy lives, and it's essential to be realistic about how much time you can consistently devote to your writing. Consistency is critical, so decide on a goal that you can maintain—whether it's 2 or 3 mornings a week or every Sunday afternoon. 

September 12, 2022 / Craft
A lined notebook with a hand holding a black pen. Green bracelet on wrist.

How to Format Written Dialogue 

Good dialogue is essential to most stories; you want it to help develop your character and move the story along. However, the most natural and engaging dialogue will only be effective if formatted correctly, allowing the reader to follow it and keep track of who’s speaking.

August 29, 2022 / Craft

How to Create Compelling Characters for Your Stories

To create characters that capture your reader's attention and serve your story well, you need to know your characters inside and out.

August 15, 2022 / Craft

A Day at A Women’s Writing Retreat in Tuscany

I recently returned from Tuscany where, after an absence of more than two years, I resumed my week-long writing retreats for women. The only way I can think to describe to you how wonderful it was to ...

August 1, 2022 / Retreats

How to Use the Sense of Sight in Your Writing

Showing how your characters see the world and how they feel about it will go a long way in capturing your readers’ attention.

July 18, 2022 / Craft

How to Use the Sense of Hearing in Your Writing

Sounds enrich our environment; we depend on them to help us interpret, communicate with, and express the world around us. 

July 4, 2022 / Craft

How to Use the Sense of Taste in Your Writing

Taste might be the least used sense in writing but think of all you can learn about your character through her taste buds.

June 20, 2022 / Craft

How to Use the Sense of Touch in Your Writing

Think of all the tingling, scratching, banging, fumbling, kissing, and nudging a character might feel. Explore how to use the sense of touch in your writing.

June 6, 2022 / Craft

How to Use the Sense of Smell in Your Writing

One of the most remarkable aspects of the senses is how they span time. Our senses connect us intimately to the past in a way our ideas cannot, and the sense that does this more powerfully than any other is the sense of smell. 

May 23, 2022 / Craft

Use The Five Senses and Bring Your Characters to Life

Using the five senses in your writing will draw the reader in and bring your writing alive. Learn how and why we use sensory imagery in our writing.

May 9, 2022 / Craft

10 Tips To Support Your Writing Practice 

Here are 10 great tips to inspire and support your writing practice. All genres will benefit from any one of these motivating tips.

April 25, 2022 / Craft
7 women writers sitting in living room at A Writer Within's Tuscany retreat

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Writers

Comparing ourselves negatively to others doesn't help us as writers. Here are some steps you can take to help you stop comparing yourself to other writers.

April 11, 2022 / Mindset

How to Create an Inspiring Writing Space

Wherever you go to write, having an inspirational space will make your time spent writing more fun, and you’ll see the benefits in the quality and quantity of what you produce.

March 28, 2022 / Mindset

5 Short Writing Prompts To Inspire and Keep You Going

Short writing prompts work with both fiction and memoir. The more you do, the faster you will find the flow and discover your authentic voice.

March 14, 2022 / Craft

How to Accept Your Inner Critic and Write Freely 

We spend far too much time trying to deny the critic, ignore it, or bargain with it, and it's exhausting. We're using precious time and energy better spent on our writing—so, let's accept it.

February 28, 2022 / Craft

6 Reasons Why You Should Attend A Writing Retreat

I’ve been running workshops and holding retreats for many years and am excited to share my top 6  reasons a writing retreat could be just what you need to take your writing to the next level.

February 14, 2022 / Retreats