Angela Breidenbach

Angela Breidenbach is a multi-award-winning inspirational speaker, popular conference presenter, and author of the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life and the new Kindle release of Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guideposts, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She connects missions to her work with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries and the Jadyn Fred Foundation. Angela serves as an assisting minister for her congregation in Missoula, Montana. Angela Breidenbach on the web:,, and on Wednesdays each week. 

Visit her Christian Speakers Service page for speaker bookings.

Angie's Place

Hobbies Help Writing Happen

She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

                                                             Proverbs 31: 22, NIV 1984

Write what you know: Constant advice given to new writers. Better advice may be to write what you enjoy. In the push to get published or a new promotion have you forgotten to play?

Too often, we find ourselves stressed and in a rut. Work harder, longer, and forego any entertainment and you’ll reach the goal, right? Wrong. For some reason, we believe our creative brains will benefit from closing a box around them. Refreshing our minds and bodies will not only drive creativity, but lower stress and enhance satisfaction in our journey to the goal. Goofing off sounds irresponsible until you stop and think about your productivity level.

In fact, you’re not just goofing off! You’re opening pathways in your brain when you play. Solutions to problems tend to pop into your brain when you change settings and work on your hobbies instead. It’s a common result for the light bulb to go off in the middle of a miniature golf game or while out on a sailboat or during a Yoga class. Why is it showers are known to provoke brilliant songs and ideas? Because the shower has nothing to do with work. The faucet’s soothing downpour takes your mind off of the small picture and lets your imagination run wild.

Hobbies help writing happen by deepening the connection between the writer and the character. The story flows fast when writing about something you love to do. Imbue your character with your favorite activities. Hobbies also help connect the writer to the reader via sharing the character’s interests. It’s easy to make friends with people who enjoy what you enjoy.

Do you like knitting, skiing, painting? What about cooking, tinkering on cars, or refinishing antiques? How fun would it be to write about it as part of your character’s life? Enrich your novels with a part of yourself. Dig deep. Share what you love, what you love to do, and what makes it fascinating. Bring your reader close to the real you through your hobbies.

Ultimately, both you and your characters will lack depth and your joy for life will wane if nothing new is introduced. It’s terribly difficult to feel like you can’t get to know people. Working on hobbies connects you to dynamic people around you who enjoy what you enjoy. What hobby can your characters engage in to round out their personalities? Rounding out life means different things to different people.

Be sure to make time for additional education each week. Add a hobby as research. Choose one you’ve been interested in for a long time. Do what you’ve never done but always wanted to do, at least for a short time. You may find a new hobby. Then translate what you’ve learned into your characters’ lives. You’ll make new friends and have blast on the journey.

Abingdon Press has a line of sixteen titles, Quilts of Love, releasing fall of 2012, one each month, all surrounding quilting. Why? Quilting is a huge hobby for American women. By bringing such a popular artistic interest into fiction, everyone wins.


Super Easy Mild Guacamole

Avocado is a great healthy fat to eat and a green food for your Saint Patty’s Day celebrations.

2 avocados
Salt to taste (start with ½ a teaspoon)
½ tsp. powdered cumin
½ tsp. garlic salt (or powder if you need to keep sodium down)
1 tsp. fresh chopped garlic
1 Tbs. lime juice (keeps it fresh)
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, diced small
1 Tbs. dried onion flakes (easier to tolerate than fresh onion)
Serve with baked tortilla chips (avoid the fried version to lower the amount of fat)

Optional: Fresh cilantro, ¼ tsp. chili powder, ¼ cup diced onion as tolerated, and black pepper to taste. Adding 1 Tbs. nonfat sour cream or Greek yogurt mellows the flavor further, but it’s not my personal preference. Nonfat Greek yogurt adds more protein too.

Cut and scoop out avocado into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher. Add all spices and lime juice. Mix well. Add dried onion (or fresh chopped), tomatoes, and stir well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Spices blend and the taste is enhanced if it can sit for at least an hour ahead of the meal; however, it should not be made the day ahead because it turns brown quickly, not because it’s spoiled but because of oxidation. If you have some leftover and it turns brown, simply stir and serve. This very fresh food will spoil after three days, though.


Gems of Wisdom