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Freelance writer, distance runner, lifelong learner. Let’s chat! brynnmahnkewrites.com

Freelance writer. Distance runner. Reader. Outdoors lover. Useless facts memorizer.

Photo credit: Author

Hi! I’m Brynn. I’ve been writing for years, but just recently started putting my work into the world for others to see.

About Me

I’m a freelance writer based in the Midwest. I am married and have seven kids, and before you ask — yes, I know what causes that! Five of our kids are adopted through foster care. It’s been a bit of a crazy last decade or so!

My kids attend school two days a week and I home school them the other days. This blended model is perfect for our family after trying both public school and full-time homeschool.


Find the good in the bad and pivot for next time

Photo by Capstone Events on Unsplash

Sometimes races don’t go well. As much as we hate to admit it, there are days when despite all the training, the planning, and doing everything “right,” it’s just not our day. But if you can take a microscope to the days leading up to your race, you just might be able to find a few small mistakes you made or little things you can tweak for next time.

I had been training for a marathon since December. I’m no stranger to the marathon scene, but I really wanted to break 4:00 in 2021. Over the past year, I have…


I love them so much I bought three more!

Credit: Author

As much as I love kayaking alone, I like to do it with other people too. The thing is, not many of my friends have their own kayaks. I have six kids at home and a husband too, and while getting time alone is nice, it’s also nice to have cool stuff to do as a family.

So I went ahead and bought THREE more Tucktec folding kayaks. I placed my order in March, reasoning that they should arrive by mid-summer and leave us plenty of time to get on the water before winter set in.

I was pleasantly surprised…


I tried one. Now my whole family is hooked

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

I’m bad at sleeping.

I remember lying wide awake in bed at night as a child while my siblings slept nearby. I knew I needed to sleep, but I just couldn’t. And so I played quiet games with myself to pass the time until I finally fell asleep.

One game was doing math in my head, doubling numbers until they got high enough that I couldn’t do it anymore. Two plus two is four, four plus four is eight, and on and on. …


I’m on constant suicide watch

Athena on her favorite roost. Credit: Author

We’ve had chickens for seven full days. I swear they’ve at least doubled in size as their floofy exterior has come to resemble feathers more than fuzz. They’re learning how to roost and settle down to nap like proper birds, though they still occasionally flop over from exhaustion.

Athena has taken to roosting on top of the feeder. The sticks I placed carefully in the bottom of the brooder were apparently not good enough for this queen. Raise your hand if you’re surprised! I tried setting them up off the ground a bit and tried a few different thicknesses of…


It’s going well…I think?

Photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash

I’ve always loved the idea of chickens. Little pets that entertain you, feed you, eat bugs, and fertilize your yard? What’s not to love about that?

My husband gifted me a used chicken coop for Christmas and, more importantly, finally gave his blessing on our family having chickens.

To his credit, he’s put up with a ton of my hare-brained schemes including:

  • Fostering eight puppies
  • Fostering two adult dogs
  • Fostering children
  • Creating a sprawling organic garden
  • Adopting four children while being pregnant
  • Various household projects that I attempt to tackle on my own but then eventually require his help because…


Connecting with history one step at a time

Photo by Guillaume Flandre on Unsplash

When you’re visiting a city, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with all the things to do. Do you want to spend time in nature? Take part in the nightlife? Sample the local cuisine? Whether it’s natural or man-made, the new things around you capture your attention and delight your senses, as they should when you’re on vacation!

But what about the history of the place? What was happening in this city ten years ago, generations ago, or centuries ago?

That’s exactly what a running tour can help you discover.

My running tour experience

My husband and I recently visited Galveston, Texas, for a week…


Working together makes all of us better

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

When you’re just starting your writing journey, it’s easy to feel like the world is working against you. Thousands of creators are vying for the same piece of the pie you’re after. If they get it? Well, that leaves less for you, which means you’ll need to work even harder to get what’s yours.

Or does it?

I started writing professionally about a year ago. Over the past twelve months, besides just writing, I’ve spent a lot of time reading what others have to say about writing and marketing. I’ve met numerous people who have been more than willing to…


How I did it, and how you can too

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

I like to have a goal race. On the days I’m struggling to get my running shoes on, my goal is there yelling at me, telling me to quit being lazy and to get out there and get it done. I don’t mind cranking out a few miles with no end goal in sight, but having one drives me to work harder and be more consistent.

The racing season won’t start here until April. There are a few frosty 5ks in fall and winter, but in November I suddenly got it into my head that I wanted to go long…


I filed a DMCA takedown notice for the first time — and it worked!

Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

When you post anything online, you risk having your work stolen. Unfortunately, it’s part of the world we live in. Good content costs money and, rather than paying for it or producing it themselves, some lowlifes are willing to skim content from reputable websites, package it as their own, and try to make a few bucks on the backs of hardworking writers without breaking a sweat.

Some of the more popular writers on this platform have written about their content being stolen repeatedly, but it had never happened to me. Until this month.

The editor at Runner’s Life, Jeff Barton

Brynn Mahnke

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