Friday, August 10, 2012

The Writer's Life with Heather Hummel

Thrilled does not even begin to describe how I feel about introducing you today to someone very special to me.  What started out as two authors connecting through social media, has blossomed into a beautiful friendship.  Heather Hummel is one of my trusted confidants in life, love, and the pursuit of chocolate.  To tell you I love her to bits is the biggest understatement of the year.  It is my sincere honor to give her the floor today at Princess With a Pen.

The Writer’s Life
Heather Hummel

Ever since I quit my teaching job in 2005 to follow my path as a writer, people think I don’t work. It’s been seven years now and they still seem to wonder just what it is that I do all day. The stark reality of it is that I have never been more focused in my life. It seems to be a mystery to people–what we writers do all day behind a closed door or behind a laptop screen at the local coffee shop, which is where I am right now. Yet, my life is actually more structured now than it ever has been.

A Day in the Life

My first priority in the morning is tending to my two dogs, Julie and Stephan. They require exercise as much as I do.  Any number of rainy days in a row is detrimental to all of our mental states! You’d be likely to find both paw prints and human toe prints left on the walls by the third day. Besides managing Julie and Stephan, I indulge myself in a hearty breakfast. I’m definitely not one of those people who can grab a cup of coffee and a muffin and run out the door. In fact, I’ve only ever had the total of ¼ cup of coffee in my entire life. (On the other hand, coffee ice cream is my absolute favorite–go figure!) Every morning I make the slow-cook oatmeal, not the instant, and add slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and what is probably too much syrup. Real maple syrup. I wash breakfast down with an orange juice and soy protein powder “shake” that leaves my friends shaking in their pants when they see it. Only a few have dared to try it.
While eating breakfast and allowing the dogs to play, I check e-mail, upload a batch of the day’s Tweets to Hootsuite, stop by Facebook to ensure everyone has posted their positive thoughts for the day, and send a few texts out.

Admittedly, the best part of my day follows…my 20-or-so mile bike ride. A high percentage of my written material is a result of my mind working cohesively with my body during these rides. It’s as though my thoughts are filtered of all the floating dust bunnies and sticky tar pieces, allowing new ideas to formulate almost effortlessly. The process still amazes me and, knock on my bike wheels, I have never had “writer’s block.” And with Rocky Mountain views like this schoolhouse, the muse is always flowing.

A day that starts with the dogs and me exercised is a much happier one. By late morning, I’ve responded to the morning e-mails, and tapped into social media, all without fighting traffic, stopping at Starbucks, discussing the most recent episode of American Idol by the water cooler on the way to yet another Monday morning meeting, or having to explain to a boss where project #1 is and when #2 might be ready.

Late morning is when I “leave for work.” I venture over to my favorite coffee shop, currently Bonfire Coffee in Carbondale, Colorado (stalkers, beware…I have a bodyguard here. Well, at least an old guy in a Hawaiian shirt who can probably kick butt in my defense). Ya know those large corner offices with the windows that corporate executives strive for? Bonfire Coffee provides this for me along with friendly service, great hot chocolate or ice tea and lunch, let alone ample material for writing! My desk is whichever table is available. There’s always plenty of room for my laptop and the wireless internet connection rocks. I spend a good portion of my afternoons working in a pleasant environment, get an occasional glimpse of a hot guy sitting at another table (note to self: always dress nice when going to the coffee shop), and amazingly I’m able to accomplish more work here than I can usually at home.

By dinner time, my dogs are ready for round two of their sibling battles in the backyard. Having two dogs is definitely easier than one–they tire one another out, keep each other company, and when one comes to me, the other follows. My evenings are spent editing client’s work or reading (all writers read as much, if not more, than they write) and by time I hit the sack, well after 11:00 p.m., I’ve written and/or editing over 2,000 words per day­­­­, my personal goal.

While I may not work 9–5, I work everyday of the week during all hours of the day and night. It’s some people’s nature to require a structured work environment with a boss and a reliable salary, and I am grateful for those who do because they provide my banking, shopping, mechanic, and other needs when I expect them to be open.

For me, though, being a writer is all I ever wanted to be. It took a huge leap of faith, but for my 40th birthday, I walked away from being a high school English teacher and dove into my writing career. I’ve since added photography to my creative ventures, and as such am a self-titled “PhotoNovelist.”

I believe that when you leap with faith, the Universe will catch you. It’s something like that dream people have that they’re falling and always wake up just before landing. What leap of faith are you ready to take?

Heather Hummel is a "PhotoNovelist" who blends her love for photography with her award-winning career as an author. Heather has ghostwritten for politicians, corporations, and public figures. Her books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Health, Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million. A graduate with High Distinction from the University of Virginia, Heather holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with concentrations in English and Secondary Education. She is currently earning a Ph.D. in Metaphysical Sciences.

Her published works include:

Journals from the Heart Series:
Whispers from the Heart (2011)
Write from the Heart (2011)
Life in the Iris of the Beholder (2012)
Signs from the Universe (2011)
Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw-Hill, 2008)

Messages of Hope and Healing ( Sunpiper Media, 2006)
Blue Ridge Anthology (Cedar Creek, 2007) with David Baldacci and Rita Mae Brown
2009 Mature Media Awards, Merit Award
2009 New York Book Festival, Honorable Mention

Visit Heather’s websites at and


  1. Hi Heather!! I love your post here on how you became to be a writer!! your books are amazing and I'm always telling my friends about them! the books are so encouraging and inspirational to me! keep doing a fabulous job! i look forward to reading "Wisdom From The Heart"!!

  2. Hi Heather--so nice to meet you via Jen! Great bio and background . . . and legs!

    1. Dee, I have the Rod Stewart song, Hot Legs, going through my head! I love it when my fabulous writing buddies meet. Makes me smile. XOXO

    2. Thanks, Dee and Jen-Jen! xoxo