Book Review: On Writing Well by William Zinsser

book review by christine c renee On Writing Well

“I’ve used writing to give myself an interesting life and a continuing education…Learning is a tonic.” ~ William Zinsser

One of my goals for 2016 was to become a better non-fiction writer.  I never pursued bettering my writing skill past college. However, I knew that if I was going to be any good at blogging, I had to learn how to write better.

I was starting a new relationship with online writing. A complete 180 degrees from my days of business and college writing. So, I hung out in the blogs of successful non-fiction writers. Authors whose writing style I enjoyed.

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This is Not Your Typical Way to Set New Year’s Goals

christine c renee setting new years goals
christine c renee setting new years goals

Green Chamelion - Unsplash

I wrote my future self a letter instead of making goals for 2017.

Every January 1st, I wake up early – or stay up really late- and ponder the old year and the new year together. What have I accomplished? What will I accomplish one year from now?

I don’t usually set myself goals but I do make a mental list of what I’d like to accomplish. Last year at this time started a successful spending ban on January 1, 2016.

This year I had no particular plan to write down a set of goals. They don’t always work for me. I know it’s not the goal’s fault, it is my fault for not sticking with it. For not ensuring daily systems were put in place so I could forge a new habit that would make my goals successful.

I got depressed when I thought about making a list of goals for the year. They’re just a bunch of words lined up in a to-do style, on a piece of paper that will get lost within a week.

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Save Money! Extend The Life of Older Devices

extend the life of older devices by using these tips

Your 3-year old tablet still has a lot to give.

extend the life of older devices by using these tips



That means not giving in to holiday and after-holiday deals!

Ahh, the delicious lure to buy the newest phone, tablet, or computer that’s on sale. You’re in love with the idea of owning the newest design.

The longer you stay in this bliss, the more likely you are to buy. But, if you’re trying to save money to pay off debt and struggling to save a  money, the holiday sales can be a wicked curse. Like Hansel and Gretel attracted to that sugar-laden siding.

Let go of the holiday sales, you could stand to spend a few more months or even years with your old devices. Read on to see what you can to do to extend the life of your phone, tablet, or computer.

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Organize Your Business Systems For The New Year

better business systems

This is a lengthy post intended for the first of December but missed its deadline. It didn’t feel “perfect” enough. I’m going to stop trying to be perfect in 2017. And so, before 2016 ends, I’m pushing this one out as is, imperfections and all. Hope you enjoy it and find new things to help with your business in 2017.

Are your freelancing business systems organized for 2017?

Have you tamed your inbox or organized your swipe files yet? Do you have a standardized way of managing your business systems?

While most people like to clean things out and organize stuff in the spring, I love doing it in the winter. Just before Christmas and New Years. It’s a slow time for freelancers anyway.

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Perhaps 2017 Is a Good Time To Change Directions

christine c renee changing directions


Ever feel like you’re just spinning your wheels?

Lately, I don’t know what it is. The holidays, the cold air or constant craving for sweets and a nap but I’ve been feeling less motivated to manage my freelancing business this season.

I can’t be the only one that feels like this.

I want to change directions in 2017. I find the whole process of blogging to be tedious and time-consuming. Deep down I know blogging wasn’t supposed to be this way. I also think that social media has become something like a jealous boyfriend who makes you feel guilty for not being there constantly to respond to every tweet and comment.

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Book Review: Blackout By Sarah Hepola

book review by christine c renee Blackout by Sarah Hepola

“He wasn’t drinking too many Long Island iced teas; he was punching a hole in the space-time continuum.”

Amazon Kindle had an 80% off sale. I clicked on the banner with skeptical curiosity. There’s no way I would find anything remotely worth reading in here. But I’m a sucker for  pretty book covers with enchanting typography.

Then, I came across Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget. An odd title and just the opposite of a “pretty, enchanting” cover. I also thought to myself that this was going to be just another “woe is me, I drank till I passed out too many times, my parents were cruel, the world is cruel” kind of memoir. But I gave the sample read a try anyway because as a former heavy drinker, I was drawn to this story.

It is about a woman who lost large chunks time after drinking too much; “the free prize at the bottom of every vodka bottle.” ~ Big Bang Theory.

Needless to say, I’ve experienced the same thing during my twenties and thirties. And two minutes into the sample, I was hooked!

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Book Review: Slipstream Time Hacking by Benjamin P. Hardy

book review by christine c renee Slipstream Time Hacking

“There are doors remaining open that need to finally be closed once and for all.” ~ Benjamin P. Hardy

In a world that supports multitasking, to-do listing, and super goal setting, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. And very easy to get sidetracked from a path that’s right for you (not someone else).

What if you could find the one thing that was good for YOU?  What if you could learn how to slow time down? And what if you could learn how to get more done and live a better life?

In his book, Slipstream Time Hacking, Benjamin P. Hardy talks about hacking your time, finding a slipstream to get more done, and, in simple terms, live a better life doing what’s right for you.

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17hats – Superpowers For Your Freelancing Business


If you were a superhero, 17hats would be your trusted sidekick!

This one is for all you freelancers out there.

Solopreneurs offering your amazing skills at writing, designing, creating, or any online service to the world.

Being in business for yourself is exciting.


And can be utterly exhausting.

You are the ultimate multitasker!

You do it all! Blogging, writing, editing, image design, client management, social media management, personnel management.

You’re a bookkeeper extraordinaire, accountant nerd, spreadsheet diva, and lead capture developer.

17hats was designed with you in mind!

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Book Review: The ONE Thing by Keller and Papasan

book review by christine c renee The One Thing

“Connect today to all your tomorrows. It matters.” ~ Gary Keller

I heard about this book from a wonderful client who asked me to write about goal setting. It was going to be featured in an e-book.  When I first read his instructions, I didn’t know what he meant by “the one thing.” He just said to cover it. I thought he meant to pick out the best thing a person needs to set good goals.

However, on a hunch a week after starting the project, I Googled “the one thing” and came across this book. After a quick facepalm, I confirmed that he was talking about the book. So, I bought it and was astounded by the way this book helped me with a client project, and became the answer to some things in my personal life at the time.

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Everydollar Review

Everydollar review by christine c renee

Everydollar app review The Frugal Single

No More Spreadsheets!

Are you making budgets the old school way? Pen and paper, spreadsheets, or in your head?

Well, now there’s the perfect app to manage your budget and tame your money so you don’t have to muddle your way through a complicated spreadsheet or deal with papers.

It’s called Everydollar.  It’s based off the Dave Ramsey platform, and uses the zero-budget technique, It automates your budget faster than you can say “budget.”

Here’s a breakdown on this one-of-a-kind online and mobile application.

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