Catching up with myself

This week brought me one major accomplishment – passing my licensing exam. I rarely share it here, but one career goal is to be a licensed professional in my field.  No more waiting for the exam date, no more stressing out over what I know or don’t know and no more darn studying.

I’d been studying for seven months now and felt stuck in other aspects of my life because I was waiting to pass this one exam. I stuck with it because I knew that gaining my licensure would open many doors.  I’m in shock right now that something I set out to do six years ago has finally come to pass.

I realized that this morning as I shared the news with a friend. Six years from the time I started grad school until now. The first thing I wanted to do was sleep because I hadn’t slept well for several nights prior to the exam. To suddenly have the weight of this lifted from my shoulders and see this huge goal achieved has really caused me to stop and reflect on what I want to do next.

Of course, the next step is to find a new dayjob with my shiny, new license (ie better pay and better hours). Then I started thinking of what else I wanted to accomplish because I really can do anything I put my mind to.  So, I thought about my writing.

I’ve felt stunted in the writing process simply because it wasn’t my central focus for the last several months. I still wrote, but not in a planful way because I didn’t make the time for it. My time was for studying and building up my self-confidence for the exam.

I’ve now been doing research on breaking into magazines (yet again), but with small goals in mind. I’m starting with fillers just to get my feet wet. I’m also doing research on effective blogging so that I can grow The Freshman Writer blog as well as to market myself better as a blogger in general.

I can see that my writing talent now is in blogging. Since I know I can blog, why not put my energy into it? Other ways I’m catching up with myself is to focus on things that I love doing – writing, reading and having time to myself. I really missed just being me.

Under Pressure

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about being under pressure and how that affects your writing. I came up with this after going through my own ‘dry’ period and wrote about it here.

For some, being under pressure works. It can motivate you to push yourself harder and further in your writing. That kind of pressure can get you to try new forms of writing, submit to that magazine (that you think is out of reach) or start a new writing project. It can help.

For others (like me recently), being under pressure doesn’t help. It turns our brains into mush, keeping us from writing a coherent thought. Pressure can be intimidating and makes the road to publishing daunting.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. I have a couple of tips that can help you depressurize and get back to your writing.

1. List all of the things that are bugging you. Even the small act of writing out our stresses can lighten the load and helps get the junk out.

2. Separate the things that you can change and the things you can’t. There’s so much that we think about that is out of our control. The weather, the economy, gas prices – there’s just too much out there that we can’t do anything about. So why worry about it? Get rid of the stuff that you can’t fix and work on the things you can.

3. Figure out ways to deal with the things you can change. Maybe change your writing schedule or read a good book. Take a walk or start a journal. Your power is in your hands and you can make your writing happen. No one else can do that for you. Life will continue on without you anyway, so focus on the stuff that matters to you.

4. Give yourself a break. Being under pressure can be hard because you feel you don’t have a chance to breathe. Take five minutes or 30 seconds to just sit and breathe. Take in the oxygen (good stuff) and get rid of the carbon dioxide (bad stuff).  The act of deep breathing (if you allow it) can calm you down and prepare you for the next step.

Life is hard and we all know that. These tips have helped me let go of the junk, empowered me to get back on the horse and allowed me to write again. I just wanted to share with you the tricks that get me through challenging days. Feel free to share what helps you Freshman Writers release pressure and write.

Happy Writing!

Depressurizing

I wasn’t sure if the title was even a real word, but on Free Dictionary depressurization is defined as such:

tr.v. de·pres·sur·ized, de·pres·sur·iz·ing, de·pres·sur·iz·es

To reduce the pressure of air or gas within (a chamber or vehicle, for example).
 
The pressure is my life and the chamber is my brain. I’ve been feeling under pressure over several things going on in my life. Dysfunctional relationships (both near and far), limbo at the day job and generally overthinking things has all been affecting my writing. I’ve been talking about writing, but not doing it lately.
 
Other than the posts for the parenting site, I’ve not done much. Not even journaling. After a rough start to my morning (thanks to one dysfunctional relationship) I began journaling. I can’t say enough how great it is to get the junk out of my head and onto the screen. My innermost thoughts are exposed (though only to me) and I feel lighter already.
By finally writing about all the crap taking up space in my brain I feel better able to focus on where my writing (and the rest of my life) will go.
 
Depressurizing has really helped me today and inspired me to write a post for The Freshman Writer. Happy writing for me!
 

Need Inspiration – Take a Walk

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post came from my walk this morning.

When I heard the weather this morning (62 degrees), I decided to walk to work today. The 20 minutes of solitude was great. It allowed me to run through the things I did yesterday, things I needed to do today and things that were picking at my brain.

Sans Ipod, I was able to think about goals, dreams and tasks. I also enjoyed the silence of the morning. There were a few birds chirping, but there was silence for the most part to join me on the walk. 20 minutes was enough to bring me clarity about things that were bugging me and inspired this post.

Writers, if you stuck on a piece or can’t get yourself organized to write – go for a walk. Stepping away from writing for a while can help you stop, breathe and think so that you can get back to it.

Happy Walking and Writing!

Feeling Stuck

I’m feeling a bit stuck with my writing today. Maybe it’s because I’m tired. Or because I’ve been writing a lot. I don’t know what is going on, but at least I can share that here.

What I will say is that I’ve been doing a lot around writing this week. I emailed three posts for the Naptime Blog along with my invoices, I bought a few new books this week (one writing book included) and I posted a list of favorite websites over at The Freshman Writer.

Not too bad at all for a week of feeling a bit lazy and disconnected from my writing. I’m going to start journaling again because it was the only thing that helped clear my mind, get rid of the junk and get back to writing.

How do you get out of a rut? Feel free to share your thoughts with me.

Later!

March is Humorists are Artists Month

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about humor. So, here’s a brief joke to get you started.

Knock, Knock.

Who’s there

Humor.

Humor who?

Humor me will ya!

Okay, I know that wasn’t a good one at all. Humor writing is HARD. It is much harder to make someone laugh through writing (at least for me) than it is to make that person laugh by telling a joke.

Writing about humor is hard, I think, because it seems easier to write about anger, happiness and/or sadness. All of these feelings can be communicated, especially when you’re in the moment. I’m not saying that writing any of these is simple, but humor is something that has to be thought out, timed well and executed well also.

Ok, now that I’m writing this I guess all writing is hard. I’ve also tried my hand at it so I know that humor-writing is hard.So scratch this idea writers. Instead, I’ve got a few sites for you all to check out. A few pals of mine write humorous posts and I love them. Read on for some humor writing and see if you get inspired!

Happy Writing

Amy Mullis – This is an amazing writer if I do say so myself. She’s fun about all the things you expect and some of the things you don’t. She’s a great humor writer and I want to be like her when I’m further along in my humor writing.

An Army of Ermas – This website is packed full of Erma Bombeck fans and writers of wonderful humor. I love reading as much as possible and I know you will, too. And you’re welcome to submit your work should you take on the challenge writers. And I think you should!

Naptime Stories – I blog once (or more) a week on this site about my adventures as a mom. I’ve tried to make it as humorous as possible. Not necessarily for the readers per se, but to crack myself up when I want to tear my hair out! lol

A book recommendation – Since the website above was inspired by Erma Bombeck, I’m recommending Forever, Erma – a great collection of years of her columns sharing her parenting adventures, advice and humor.

Ch-Ch-Changes & hot topics!

Hello all. I’ve decided recently to be more proactive here on my blog by expanding my subject range and writing about hot topics in my life.

As I have more time on my hands lately, I’ve chosen to keep busy by writing regularly here or at the very least once a week or so.

That being said, thanks so much for keeping up with me as I’ve struggled for the last several months with writer’s block. My hope with changing the mood here is to keep my writing fresh with news of the day, week or simply anything that I’m thinking about. Feel free to come by to visit, comment, or suggest topic ideas. I hope you like what you read here and keep sticking by me.

Thanks!

Not Writing much

Yesterday was “I love Writing Day” (November 15). Haven’t been writing much lately except for the day job. I haven’t been loving writing lately either. Between work and issues with kiddo (and his father), my writing muse hasn’t shown up much. I think she decided to take a vacation without telling me. Not very nice of her.

Then again, I’ve not been making the effort to write-through my negativity. My journal has been collecting dust in my bedroom instead of being pressed in my fingers while I write down all of my thoughts and feelings. So I haven’t had a place to put all of the crap I’ve been dealing with. And that has not been good for me either because (therapist talking here), my negative thoughts get stuck in my head and have no place to put them.

In this way, my writing has suffered so much. Simply because I’ve been ignoring my inherent need to write. Even my negative thoughts. Time to get back on track and be good to my writer-self and my muse.

Btw, still writing for Momslikeme.com and Naptime Stories. I like the new blog and love the focus on parenting. My blogs go up on Fridays so I get to cap off each week. lol Look for me there if you like.

Chugging Along

Well, October was pretty good for me. Got a new blogging job while maintaining the one I already have, plus my dayjob and kiddo. I’m pretty proud of myself. The new blogging gig is a parenting site and right up my alley.

I’m blogging more and more now and it’s starting to feel like this is my niche. Blogging is a great avenue for me as a writer. Not only do I keep the writing short, but my work is usually up in a few days, which is great for me because I like instant gratification. lol

My goals are to keep blogging/writing regularly as well as to plan out my editorial calendar for the month so that I can keep up. I felt a bit stuck today and I don’t like the feeling.

Also, it’s National Novel Writing Month. I chose not to participate this year since it was a disaster for me last year. My dayjob craziness took over to the point that I stopped writing for months. So, I’m cheering on my writer pals taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge this year! Way to go peeps! Freshman Writers can read about it here.

Other than my writing goals, I also have a studying goal. I’m studying to pass the exam to be a licensed mental health counselor. Since I’m doing this, I really need to be on top of my writing. That’s all folks!

A Belated Happy Anniversary

Hello once again Freshman Writers! As always, I hope this finds you well and writing.

Wanted to reach out to all of you Freshman Writers to thank you for coming along for the ride for the last two years. Yep, The Freshman Writer’s been around for two years and continues to challenge me to do more to help out beginning writers. Thank you so much for reading and commenting and sharing your stories with me.

That being said, I wanted to get back on track with posting here. My goal for now is to have two posts up a week. I think I overdid it with posting three times a week considering that I have a very demanding day job as well as writing projects to work on in addition to being a single mom.

My hope is to continue sharing great tips, advice and humor with you Freshman Writers and help you succeed. Feel free to ask questions and share what you’d like to see on The Freshman Writer.

Happy Writing!