A lot of people have been going through challenging times lately. Hurricanes, politics, health, and personal issues. Around the Academy we've been chatting a bit about how it can be hard to focus and be creative when things around us seem challenging. So, how do you do it?

One way to meet the challenge is to do exactly what you're doing right now. Carve out a bit of time for yourself. Turn off the TV, give yourself a break from having to cope with whatever challenge is on your plate, and feed your creative soul. And remember — it's often difficulties and hard times that allow us to take our writing to a deeper level.

We've found four great articles to help you.

This is Hard to Talk About: Writing Difficult Subjects - Author Carrie Mesrobian tackles this topic with heart and provides some grounding question and things to think about, such as, "What’s harder? Living through difficult things? Or writing about them?"

Tackling Tough Topics in YA — Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest shares advice that's relevant to any story that tackles tough topics, really. His big take-aways: think of the character and don't worry what readers will think as you're writing.

Odawni Palmer shares Advice for When Depression Takes Your Creativity that sounds, well, just so sensible even if you're not technically depressed, just not in the mood to write. One tip she shares: Don’t wait until you feel better. Create something now. When you’re better and you look at the work, you’ll see that you are just as creative as always.

And finally, if you're writing memoir and struggling with how to tell the hard stories, author and therapist Cami Ostman shares tips in this YouTube video, Why People Write About their Trauma.

~ New this week in the free Resource Room ~

One thing we remind our members to do is to celebrate all of the writing milestones that we, as writers, achieve en route to becoming published authors. Whether it's submitting a query to an agent, sending a story to a contest or journal, or even finishing the crappy first draft — these are celebration-worthy achievements. Heck, we even celebrate rejections since it takes courage to put ourselves out there in the world as writers, and rejections mean we're brave!

If you'd love some free (and really inexpensive) ways to celebrate, Eileen's got you covered with 8 Ways to Celebrate Good Writing News. (And like we say — it's celebration-worthy good news when you're submitting!)

~ For Creative Academy Members ~

Ever Feel Like an Imposter?

Have you seen this chat with the divine, multi-published Liza Palmer on coping with the imposter syndrome? This is a challenge that pretty well all writers face — even super stars like Liza Palmer! Have a listen and then celebrate the fact that you're a normal writer with normal writer hang-ups!

Join the Creative Academy today for author accountability, coaching and community