Friday's Star: Judith Evans

Judy EvansJudith Evans has been blogging and writing professionally since 2009. She specializes in articles about gardening, home improvement, health and fitness, and spirituality. Her work appears on several websites including SFGate, eHow, and Lifescript. Evans has a BA in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire and a JD from Vermont Law School. She received her personal trainer certification from American Fitness Professionals and Associates, and her social media certification from Hootsuite. 


Hello Judith and welcome to Mandy’s Pages! I’m really honored that you are here today! Please tell us a few words about yourself. How would you describe yourself as a writer?

Hi, my name is Judith Evans, and I am a freelance content writer and blogger. I specialize in articles about gardening and health and wellness, and I mostly blog about spiritual and creative topics. I really need to take more time to write poetry, which is my first love as a writer.


Do you remember the first time that you started writing? What triggered you? What inspired you to start writing? 

I can’t really remember when I started writing. I wrote stories – mostly for myself – when I was a kid, as soon as I knew how to spell! Then I started to write little poems and songs. I still love creative writing, but I also have a passion for sharing knowledge about medicinal plants, gardening and health. My faith often intertwines with my subject matter, too.


Intriguing! I've seen you around a long time now.  I've read your work, and you come across as a prolific writer on a variety of topics. So, being a really diverse writer I understand you pick your ideas from various sources. Is that correct?

I love to learn about things that interest me, especially nature and spirituality. As a freelance writer, I have an excuse to learn and share what I’ve learned. Everyday life, my faith and the beauty of nature inspire my poems and blog posts. If something encourages me or lifts my spirits, I'd like to write about it.


What do you write about the most? 

My blog posts are often reflections on creativity or my faith. I like to write articles on plants, gardening, and mainly on herbal remedies, but I will do research to write about other topics as well. When I was in high school and college, a favorite pastime of mine was refinishing wood furniture, so I write about that sometimes, too. 


Very often we see prolific writers following a specific routine.  Many are 'dedicated' writerholics with a definite plan for the day / week and with strict schedules.  Is that the case for you too?

After I finish my morning coffee, I check my article assignments to see what is due next. I write for a few hours in the morning, and then I take a break. I write some more in the afternoon. I usually research content for the next day’s articles and write the next day’s blog posts in the evening.


There you go.  You just confirmed my assessment of you as a dedicated writer. Would it be safe to assume you are an expert in the field of herbal remedies since you write profusely on this topic? 

Well, I studied herbal medicine with herbalist and author Susun Weed, and I was a Channel Manager for Alternative Health, so yes, I think I qualify as an expert in herbal remedies. I’ve been growing vegetables and herbs since I was a kid, so I have at least above average knowledge in gardening. I write fitness and women’s health articles based on my personal trainer certification and my own experience as a patient.


Many fellow writers, including myself, struggle with writing blocks. Does this sound familiar to you?

I don’t know if I have blocks, but sometimes I can’t write another word because my brain just needs a rest. I’m really blessed that I never seem to run out of things to write about. My problem is probably mental fatigue rather than writer’s block.


Almost every writer faces some form of challenge.  Do you face challenges or hurdles as a writer?

I tend to push aside my creative writing so that I have time for article writing. I’m thankful for the paycheck from the articles, but I need to make time for poetry and short stories. It’s a question of taking the initiative and setting aside time, and not leaving the creative writing for my “spare time”.


Judith, If a publisher were to review your work, how do you think they would grade you on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best?

That’s a difficult question to answer because I am always learning. Maybe an 8, but it probably depends on the publisher and their ideas of good writing. I know that there is always room for improvement. Since I’ve been writing professionally for four years, I hope they would rate it at least above average!


How would you rate your quality of writing from 1 to 10?

Maybe an 8, on a good day a 9. I think I do my best writing when I can be creative and when I’m not trying to write for a particular publisher or website. If it’s strictly creative writing, I’d give it a 9.


Being such an experienced and diverse writer, how would you like to inspire others to write? What are your Top Five Writing Tips?

1)    Just start writing; the inspiration will come eventually.

2)    Cut out words that are not necessary.

3)    Write about subject matter that interests you.

4)    Read good writing whenever you can.

5)    Get up from the computer, stretch and take a break.


(Grins) 'Get up from the computer' is something that definitely needs reminding.  Get a chance to sit at the computer and we can be at it all day; if not writing, then reading. Which brings me to ... Do you like to read books? What kind of books? Do you think they have an impact on your writing?

I love to read history, biography and historical fiction. My favorite author is Ernest Hemingway. From his writing, I’ve learned the importance and effectiveness of clear, concise language. After I read Hemingway, I become braver about cutting out excess words! Another favorite book, On Writing by Stephen King, has become a sort of writer’s bible for me.


Any favorite quotation or any personal advice you would like to share?

For writing, I like this by Mark Twain: “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” My favorite quotation about life in general has been attributed to several people, including John Barrymore: “Happiness sneaks in through a door you did not know you left open,” by John Barrymore. It reminds me that life can surprise us in good ways even when we feel discouraged.


What stands out for you when you visualize your future?

I think that whatever I do, I will stay on the creative path. I am always finding new ways to express myself, whether it’s writing, drawing or photography. My husband always encourages me to “stay creative.” Creativity is energizing, it’s nurturing, it’s therapeutic, and just plain fun! It always keeps me moving forward.


Why should a publisher or client hire you? 

My writing style ranges from formal to conversational, and I am a detail-oriented writer and researcher.


That was a lovely interview, Judith.  Thank you for your time and co-operation.  From all of us at Mandy's Pages, I wish you the very best in your writing career - full of success, and an overflowing of creativity.  Thank you once again being part of the Friday's Stars program.  God bless you! 


For more information on Judith, check out her personal profile:

Judith Evans

Image Credit: Judith Evans