The Ericksons

Author Archives: heatherericksonauthor


attached to our cell phones

In the palm of our hand we can hold a library filled with books, stacks of CDs worth of music, movies and videos galore, a flashlight, a scientific calculator, information on anything you could ever want to purchase, news, the ability to send someone a letter, a short message, or a phone call. In fact, we can take and send pictures—even talk to loved ones through a live video feed. You can mix audio feed and play complex video games. You can even take classes online—all of this in a phone that weighs a few ounces. It’s no wonder we’re so attached to our cell phones! But is it all a bit much?It can be.All of these amazing abilities can make our lives safer and more convenient—when used in a responsible way. Take for example the problem of using your phone while driving.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3NoNSRrzuYIf that doesn’t make you think twice about picking up your phone while driving, I don’t know what will/What about how attached to our cell phones we are with family?Many families have grown frustrated with cell phone use at family functions. Grandmothers, who wait all year to see their grandkids, are often ignored in favor of text messages. Read more…


book review

It’s All in Your Head: Brain Storms, Gray Matter, and What Makes You You, by Keith Blanchard is a delightfully informative book about the way your brain works and how it helps make you uniquely, you.Buy the Paperback.I read this book in ebook format, which is usually what I prefer, but in this case, I would recommend buying a paperback copy of the book. It’s heavily formatted to accommodate interesting pictures, sidebar information, and graphics that help make the book extremely engaging.The book was never dull.From one topic to the next, I stayed interested and looked forward to learning even more about the way brains work. I thought I knew a lot about the brain, but I found plenty of new (to me) information on every page.  And all of it was encompassed by interesting stories and statistics.One of the things that made this book so special was the author’s unique brand of humor. His personality comes through every page so that you laugh while you learn, rather than feel lectured by a professor.A word of cautionKeep in mind Keith Blanchard is the editor in chief of Maxim magazine, and some of his humor borders on the racy side. Even Read more…


device dependency

It’s that time of year, again. Last January, I took a month-long break from my devices and the internet (with a few exceptions). I wasn’t sure if I would attempt it again this year since it is quite a commitment. But there are so many benefits from a digital fast that I can’t resist.  Here are just a few that I am anticipating as I reduce my device dependency:More time to focus on the projects I have on my to-do listImprove my sleep/wake cycleRegain control of distractions/interruptions, and improve my focus.More time to focus on the projects I have on my to-do listI have some major writing projects that I’ve been pushing down the road. I’ve been revising my first book for re-release. There are, of course, other books in the works. Plus, I would really like to participate in the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April, but that means writing 56 blog posts (for 2 blogs). I know that if I really buckle down, I can make major headway on these things. The idea of accomplishing them is really exciting to me and worth the effort.Improve my sleep/wake cycle by eliminating device dependencyBetween my husband’s wacky sleep schedule Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. This month I will be discussing when people ask a favorite or least favorite question about my writing, as I answer the Insecure Writer’s Support group question for January 2nd.What is your favorite and least favorite question people ask you about your writing?I don’t really have a least favorite question about my writing. But there are some that I love.  Here are some of my favorite questions people ask about my writing:Favorite question about my writing #1“How is your writing going?”Last year at the Minnesota State Fair, we ran into a friend of my husband’s from way back. I don’t know him really well, but he asked me this question and it blew me away. Very few people ever ask me about my writing. So, when someone does, it feels so validating. There is an acknowledgment that I am a writer. And, since writing is my favorite thing, I love to talk about it.If you know a writer, be sure to ask them about how Read more…


Your Goal's Timeline

Today we’re going to talk about putting a deadline on our goals and incorporating them into a reasonable timeline. Then, we will combine the timeline with the other elements we’ve been looking at for the past month, in our “Goal Posts” series, and write some SMART Goals. For a general overview of what SMART GOALS are, check out this post that I wrote a year ago.SMART goals are written based on criteria using the pneumonic acronym SMART which stands for the following:S=SpecificM=MeasurableA=AchievableR=RelevantT=TimeWe will take all of the elements of your SMART goal and combine them.We will start with the first three:S=Specific                   Publish bookM=Measurable            Book should be 30,000 words.A=Achievable             Self-PublishWrite these into a meaningful sentence (or 2):I will self-publish a 30,000-word non-fiction book that will be sold on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.SMART Goals have a deadlineCome up with an ultimate deadline that’s realistic. Don’t get discouraged. You are running a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s use the example of writing and publishing a short nonfiction book.I will launch by Christmas of 2019.There are many ways you could approach this goal. The following is just one example:Now, how do you reach this goal?R=Relevant                 All the relevant steps toward your ultimate Read more…


book review

One of the best non-fiction books I’ve read this year is The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction. I was immediately drawn to the idea of simplifying life and reprioritizing my day in a way that I can feel good about. I was sold on the idea. How about the actual execution of it? Was The Common Rule going to present a solution to today’s hurried lifestyle that I can easily implement into my work and family routines?Yes!I could easily relate to the author.Justin Whitmel Earley desired to serve God and his fellow man, and at the same time was driven in both his law career and his family life. That drive led him to an anxiety-filled breakdown. He knew that there had to be a better way. This system of habits was born out of that experience.To call it a system might make it sound stiffening. It is actually something very freeing. Throughout the book, I continued to see that this is really a set of habits combined with grace, rather than legalistic rules. Over and over the author recommends that the reader decides for themselves just how to form these habits.  He offers a Read more…


Is it relevant to your goal?

In today’s installment of our “Goal Posts” series, we will look at whether or not the steps you are taking toward your goal will get you there. Each step should be relevant to your goal.  I will be breaking down the process of setting SMART Goals. For a general overview of what SMART GOALS are, check out this post that I wrote a year ago.SMART goals are written based on criteria using the pneumonic acronym SMART which stands for the following:S=SpecificM=MeasurableA=AchievableR=RelevantT=TimeIs it relevant?Do the steps you are taking, lead toward your goal? Is now the best time to be taking these steps? As a blogger and author, I started out trying to learn too many things at once.I wanted to learn:How to create webinars,Web designHow to market my books.SEO (search engine optimization) to get my blog seen by a wider audienceHow to monetize with affiliate marketingI had to write:my bookscontent for my blogsposts for blogs where I’m a guest writercontent for newsletters and other material as favors for people I care aboutAs you can see, I had a lot on my plate, and opportunities abounded for me to get an education in all of the above—and more! The problem was that Read more…


Goal Post Measure Up

This week, as we continue the Goal Posts series, we are going to look at how your goals can measure up to be achievable in 2019. For a general overview of what SMART GOALS are, check out this post that I wrote a year ago.SMART goals are written based on criteria using the pneumonic acronym SMART which stands for the following:S=SpecificM=MeasurableA=AchievableR=RelevantT=TimeHow does your goal measure up? How will you know that you’ve reached your goal? Your goal can measure up several different ways. Find a way in which to track your progress that is relevant to you.Baby StepsIf your goal is big enough to involve several steps, break it down.Visual RemindersSome people like graphs that they can pin in a prominent place, such as above their desk, on their laptop screen, or on their bathroom mirror.You can also use some effective low-tech ways to encourage you to keep going. I know a woman who has a weight loss goal. She got a large vase and filled it with 5o small stones, each representing a pound she needed to lose. Each week, she weighed herself and removed a stone for each pound she had shed. When the vase is empty, she’ll fill Read more…


book review

The Stranger Inside, by Laura Benedict, was a treat to read. This suspense novel gripped me from the beginning. Early on, I was reminded of the film, Pacific Heights. As the story continued, I discovered that the mystery behind the stranger inside of Kimber’s home goes much deeper than a squatter who has taken over.What stood out the most about this book was the complexity of the characters, particularly the main character, Kimber. She isn’t the innocent protagonist who has been deeply wronged. There is much more to her than that. This is precisely why it’s so difficult for her to figure out who could have it out for her—so many possibilities.It is easy to see through her story how guilt and shame can keep you prisoner. Deception truly tangles a complex web that can be difficult to escape.  I loved the development of her character and the transformation of who she was as a person. The dialogue was realistic. I felt like each character had his or her, own voice.The pacing of the book was perfect.Things got moving right away. Just when you think one problem is about to be resolved, another shoe drops. Even though the plot was Read more…


It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. This month, I won’t be answering the optional #IWSG question of the month. But I encourage you to check out some of the answers the other fabulous insecure writers have written. Instead, I will be continuing my Goal Post series. Each week we will be one step closer to having a clear plan for achieving your goals in 2019. This week, that step is for you to get specific.For a general overview of what SMART GOALS are, check out this post that I wrote a year ago. SMART goals are written based on criteria using the pneumonic acronym SMART which stands for the following:S=SpecificM=MeasurableA=AchievableR=RelevantT=TimeIn order to get specific, ask yourself:Exactly what do you want to accomplish?Why is it important?What’s it going to take to get it done?Let’s look at an example of a career goalExactly what do you want to accomplish?I need to put together my 2019 content plan for both heatherericksonauthor.com and facingcancerwithgrace.com.  I want to have a detailed content plan for January-June and Read more…

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