Taking a leap on Leap Year Day 2012

I often don’t write about myself on the blog, but I wanted to do it for today (since it only comes around every four years). I’ve decided to take a leap of faith in myself and try new things this year.

My leap began in January after I left a position that wasn’t a good fit for me. I then chopped off my hair (after five years of growing it out), smoked my first cigar (very enjoyable – guys I see why you do it now!) and decided to stay home for awhile to find the job that is the right fit for me.

My work career spans nearly two decades (I’ve worked since I was 16). I started out as a temp working in corporate environments for a couple of years and landing a full-time permanent position. I worked there for seven years and hated every minute of it. It wasn’t for me. I benefited greatly from the job as I became a union member and received tuition reimbursement after going back to college to finish my undergrad degree. I also have great memories of the people there. I did love the people. šŸ™‚

From there I moved on to a non-profit position at a foster care agency and earned my graduate degree along with licensure as a mental health counselor. My ultimate goal (and dream job) is to work at an in-patient psychiatric unit with kids and teens. I’m absolutely fascinated by why people do the things that they do and how mental illness affects them.

My hope is to get a hospital position working with people. I also want to break into magazines while continuing to blog. My biggest hope is to help others through my clinical work and my writing while remembering to have faith in myself (which is very hard for me).

So here’s to my leap of faith. Are you taking a leap?

New Job, New Chapter

I don’t often write about my daytime work (counseling). This week finds me beginning the next chapter of my life – a new job. While I can’t go into the specifics of the job here, I will say that it is a major shift in work for me.
My previous job had me running around on a crazy schedule, commuting everywhere and underpaid. This new one, while still crazy, will have me on a consistent weekly schedule, in an office (omg! My very first!) and with better pay. I know that I’ll be crazy busy from start to finish, but it’ll be a welcome one after the four years I’ve had at the other job.
I know that this job will lead me closer to my professional goals, but I also hope that it’ll give me the extra motivation I need to move my writing career forward. Wish me luck!

Burnt Out

I’m burnt out. I finally finished my second homework assignment for the writing course I’m in. I was supposed to write a short story based on a character sketch (Assignment #1) I did previously. It was due in early September. I Just emailed it about two hours ago. Horrible on my part because being late with the homework pushes back my progress in the course.

I have never done fiction before. I’ve played around with it before but only for me. Not to send out for review or publishing. I admire fiction writers and screen writers for being able to come up with characters, a dilemma and a great ending.

As a non-fiction writer, the words just flow out of me, depending on the topic. Especially when it’s something I’m really interested in.

Not only am I not confident in myself as a fiction writer, life just got in the way. My mother’s anniversary was at the end of September, I was dealing with stressors at the day job and broke up with my son’s father.

As a writer, I like to write to get through the everyday. To be distracted from life itself. But, when I didn’t allow myself the time to go through the process; to feel the feelings I just couldn’t write. I was not motivated to put anything on paper and send out.

Being burnt out is no fun because not only does it stop you from writing, but you still have to deal with whatever problems are causing you to be burnt out in the first place.Ā  I had to cry, talk, hug, share, play, etc to be able to get to the point that I could write again. Acknowledging that life is hard is good because it allows you to deal with it and move on. So I did.

I’m not saying that I’m not still hurting or that I don’t miss my mom, but I will say that allowing myself to feel those hurts has allowed me to write again. šŸ™‚

Productivity Pays Off!

Recently I wrote about productivity and writing. My productivity led me to two new writing jobs today. One for article writing and another to be a discussion leader on a social networking site for moms. The networking site is split into cities and I saw a posting on Craigslist for Seattle and just asked if there was a possibility of that expanding to New York City. What happened? I got an email asking for more information about myself and why I wanted to join. Then I was sent some forms to fill out and now I’m in. šŸ™‚

The article writing gig was one that I had wanted to apply to before but didn’t. So I worked up the courage to do it late last night and sent out the application. I was approved to write and will now start writing articles for pay.

Now to get my homework finished so I can send it out. I’m taking a long-term writing course and at the end will earn a certificate and seven college credits.

Other than that, I’ll be drafting ideas for my writer and parenting sites along with the articles and discussion leadership.

How are you being productive?

Productivity and writing

Productivity and writing don’t always mix for me, but lately they have been. An essay for Cup of Comfort and various articles plus updating the blog has left me so busy that I can’t believe how much I’m getting done!

One of my biggest challenges was making sure that I had enough time to write. Now that I’ve finished grad school, I have huge chunks of time open. I’ve found that evenings and weekends work best for me.

Having a day job outside of writing is helpful because it helps me focus on other things. When I get home, I’m so full of ideas that I could burst. I’ve set aside about three hours Monday thru Friday for writing and a few hours every weekend.

I’ve also found that accountability keeps me busy with my writing. Why? Because my wonderful writing buddies ask me what I’m up to. And I have to have something to share. What keeps you productive?