2011 in review

Here’s a round-up of my success here. I couldn’t have done it without my faithful readers. Happy 2012!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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!

February Round-up

Well, February brought me a bit of clarity as well as a new accomplishment to add to my list. I took a break from the parenting site. Even though I didn’t publish anything there, I came up with ideas for future articles.

I also completed and submitted an essay for a book in the Chicken Soup Series. It was not anything I had planned for, but I had a story that was a perfect fit. I wrote about “Taking your time” a couple of weeks ago on The Freshman Writer. I took my own advice and did just that.

From beginning to end, it took me a month to finish the essay. I had it in mind months ago when I saw the call for submissions, but didn’t plan on it since I’d never tried essay writing. But, I took on the challenge and met it after beginning a book titled “A Writer’s Presence.” This book is all about various types of essay writing. After a bit of reading, I felt that I could write essays and started the project.

It was a struggle and a process which found me stopping and starting several times. I had to take my time and give myself breaks from the essay. Whenever I felt I was going cross-eyed, I put it away and focused on The Freshman Writer and here. I’m glad that I had a good month. It felt balanced and unhurried. I found myself challenged for the better and confident that I can take on new writing projects. Here’s the round-up.

Accomplishment List:

1. Wrote and submitted an essay for Devotional for Mothers for Chicken Soup.

2. Wrote 12 blogposts for The Freshman Writer.

3. Wrote two blogposts here.

4. Read up on essay writing.

5. Researched two regional parenting magazines.

6. Came up with a salable article idea for one magazine.

7. Explored book review writing as well as a class on the subject.

So, here’s my list of accomplishments for February. I’m thinking March might bring me new projects as well. I’m so excited!

Passion and Writing

Well, I’ve been keeping up with The Prosperous Writer newsletter from Christina Katz. Check it out when you have a chance. Very uplifting and inspiring.

Passion was the theme of the newsletter this week. Passion means that I work on something when I love it and stick with it when I don’t.

Writing can sometimes be challenging for me for many reasons – a full-time day job, raising kiddo mostly on my own and a part-time job along with volunteer activities. In addition to that is keeping up with friends and family. All of this impacts my writing and I have to work hard to make time for writing. But, I do it.

I find gaps in my schedule during the day to write. Two minutes to jot down ideas, 15 minutes on my lunch break, or half an hour while commuting to see clients. Passion is sticking to a goal even when I think I can’t make it. It’s keeping a promise I made to myself to pursue my dream of being a published writer despite any challenges I face.

Whether my blackberry has a low charge or I run out of paper to write on, passion means I’ll find a way to write.

January Check-in

Well, here’s the end of January 2010 and it finds me very busy with my day job, son and writing. I’m happy to report that I’ve been blogging and writing articles/interviews this month. I’m so excited about the progress I’ve made in my goals and know that all the writing I’m doing now is preparing me for this year’s goal of breaking into a regional or national parenting magazine.

So, here’s my tally for the month:

1. Posted at The Freshman Writer 11 times.

2. Posted here five times.

3. Posted at my parenting site three times.

4. Posted two interviews and two articles at Momslikeme.com.

5. Reading up on magazine and essay writing.

I have come up with article ideas left and right since I started reading up on my craft. I’m reading about three or four books on writing as well as Writer’s Digest. Between all of that, working full-time and taking care of kiddo it’s been a busy few weeks for me. But, I’m still going to move ahead and put myself that much closer to my goal.

I even came up with an idea for an article while writing an email. So, I know that I have something inside of me to share with the world and that I can shape that into different things.

One thing I have noticed is that my confidence is growing that much more everyday. I can see my name printed in block letters with an article title nearby. And if I can see my name in print, I can see myself getting it done this year. So, the next step is to work on my query letters and send those out. I’ll keep you posted.

Being focused

I received my newsletter, The Prosperous Writer, from Christina Katz and in it, she asked her readers to write about focus. What does it feel like when I’m focused? And how does being focused create different results that in a time in my life when I was unfocused?

I’m more motivated, excited and upbeat when I’m focused. When it comes to writing, I share my accomplishments with my fellow writers. And the longer my list, the happier I am and then the more focused I am. I use this methods in all aspects of my life. I list all of my achievements throughout the day and am amazed by all that I get done.

For me,  being focused means that I’m determined to complete a task (or goal) I set for myself. Even if it’s a small task such as writing a blogpost or reading up on query letters. Focus is about going after what I want. I’m focused on living a great life with my son, enjoying my career and writing.

My staycation helped my writing

Well,  I know I just checked in about my writing a couple of days ago, but I have to report some good things that have happened since then.

I’ve been reading up on query letters and went back to a curriculum for a class that I took in 2006. I It was Christina Katz‘s class : Writing and Publishing Non-fiction Articles.I highly recommend this class to all Freshman Writers looking to write and publish non-fiction.

It was (and is) a six-week email class with weekly check-ins and support. Each week I received one assignment and one check-in. In the process, I learned about various forms of non-fiction writing as well as developed one article and query letter to send in. My article was published in a limited distribution newsletter for a non-profit serving mothers in New Jersey. I didn’t get paid for that piece, but the letter and article got me a credit.

I edited my interview with a working supermom and finished my query letter. I also came up with several ideas after spending a couple of hours reading today. Now I just have to work on all of them and send out queries. I’ll see how that goes. I’m just so excited that I spent my week focusing on my writing.

My hope when I go back to the day job next week is that I can continue working on my writing consistently so that I can reach my goal of breaking into a regional and/or national parenting magazine. Small steps will get me there.

So there it is. 🙂 See you later!

Mid-week Check In

Well, I’ve had a lot of things happen writing-wise this past week.My day job had taken over all of my attention the last couple of months. So much that I only wrote only one or two articles a week. And that’s with the examiner site as well as The Freshman Writer.

Then this past weekend I found out about a deduction in pay for one job and a raise in pay at another. Where one door closes, a window opens. So, it’s not all bad, just unexpected.

Last Saturday, I went to a local history museum to see a kid’s science show with kiddo along for the ride. That’ll be an article for the examiner site. I also posted about National Organization Month (January) earlier this week at the examiner site.

At The Freshman Writer, I posted the editorial for the week along with the Notable Quotable. And I scheduled a new post for Friday for a new feature I’ll have there as well. I’m excited about it and glad to add to my writing rather than moving backward. It’s nice to see my progress as it happens, which is why I love posted my accomplishments rather than my goals.

Besides that, I’ve dug out some old ebooks that I had printed out so that I can study up on query letters and magazine articles.

One booklet I have is from a class I took with Christina Katz, “Writing and Publishing Non-fiction Articles.” When I first took the class in 2006, I did the work on separate pages so that I can use it again. Katz told us that we should so that we can use the booklet to write articles in the future. Thank you Christina for offering such a great class with resources to help me along my path to being a successful writer.

I hope to do much more this week. At least another article for the examiner site and maybe applying for another online writing job. I’m limiting my job search because I want to focus on my magazine writing. 2010 is my year and with the way I’m going, I’ll do it! 🙂

So, that’s what I’m doing – writing, posting and studying. And tweeting along the way. lol Come back soon for more updates on my writing journey.

2009 Accomplishment List

Well, my pal Annette Fix just issued a challenge to her writer pals and readers. What did I do in 2009? I met and surpassed my expectations for the year and had a great time doing it. I also learned alot about myself as a writer. Learning about what makes me tick as a writer and how I can meet challenges that come along the way.

So here’s my list for 2009:

Wrote 63 articles as the NY Parenting Examiner on Examiner.com

Wrote 64 posts at The Freshman Writer (including a two month stint without writing).

Wrote 50 posts here at my portfolio (again including a two-month period without writing).

Landed a blogging job at Flaimahmy.com (pronounced Flymommy.com).

Maintained my discussion leader position at Momslikeme.com.

Jumped into Nano for the first time ever.

Earned triple the amount of money in 2009 than I did in 2008.

Met Annette Fix in person. lol Love you Annette.

Went on vacation with kiddo to California and had a blast!

And all of this I did while being a full-time therapist and mom to the kiddo.

I did alot in 2009 and I hope do to much more in 2010. Thanks for the challenge Annette.

Surfing and thinking

Yes, this is what happens when I surf online, I think. I think about what else I could be doing to further my goals of establishing my career as a writer. Keeping in mind that I have a full-time career working with kids as well as raising a child mostly on my own.

I was on AbsoluteWrite where there was a thread about portfolios and clips. One writer wanted to know how to organize her previously published articles. I read the responses and wrote one myself. Then I started thinking “I need to update my porfolio and clips.”

What should I put on there? How should I organize my work? What exactly should I say about myself? Yep, I start thinking and the thinking leads to stressing.

How do I combat this “stressful thinking?” I look at writers that I admire. I check out their websites and blogs to see how they’ve done things. I list what I like and what I don’t like. I also think about how these methods work for them. Evaluating what kind of writer I am along with my current responsibilities (child and work) as well as my writing goals.

I like using the KISS principle for myself because I can easily get overwhelmed. So, I’ll be working on my portfolio and clips here as well as my editorial calendar so that when 2010 starts, my writing goals can become accomplishments.

Later!