Why I should win a free year in Freelance Writer’s Den?

Note: This contest is now over. Thanks for all of your support!

Because I’m a damn good writer who needs lots of support, that’s why. I’ve been writing for a years and have a few print and online clips under my belt. But my ultimate goal (has been for the last five years) is to break into magazines. I’ve been struggling with this goal while having achieved others along the way – grad school, becoming a licensed bilingual therapist and being a blogger in my own right. But, breaking into a nice glossy, shiny magazine is the one writing goal that hasn’t happened yet. My hope is that a year in the Freelance Writer’s Den will get me there. So what’s my problem?

My struggle isn’t having the money in my budget to join the den. It isn’t putting words together that make an impact. My struggle is simply that I need more cheerleaders and accountability partners to keep reminding me that I need to get out of my own head and get my head in the game. I can write, but I’m afraid of succeeding.

I go through this with anything new I try. I get anxious, then need support (sometimes a lot of it) then get comfortable and confident. It’s my pattern of behavior. I’m confident as a mom, therapist and blogger. I want to be just as confident as a freelance writer – seeing my name in print magazines that I can show to my dad and my son who are my two biggest cheerleaders.

So please, if you think I deserve a free year in Freelance Writer’s Den, share my post via Twitter, Facebook, Linked In (anywhere else you can think of is great, too thanks!). Then check out this contest courtesy of Carol Tice & Linda Formichelli. Thanks friends.

This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Read Heiddi’s Full Disclosure Policy.

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi all! I just wanted to send out warm Thanksgiving wishes and blessings to all of you. Thanks so much for all of your support in the last three years. Many thanks to all the readers, commenters, retweeters and subscribers out there who keep up with this blog and The Freshman Writer. I’m truly blessed to be able to share my thoughts with such amazing people.

Please check out my peeps in the blogroll and onTwitter. Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Cheers!

My Struggle with Self-doubt

Hola people. Hope this finds you well and much better than I’ve been in the last several months. My last post here was ages ago and unfortunately, my joy did not last very long.

Since April of this year, I’d been struggling at my current day job (which is highly stressful and taxing physically, emotionally and mentally) with all of the responsibilities that weighed heavily on my shoulders. It led to my irregular eating and sleeping habits, which left me 12 lbs lighter and sleep-deprived.

I also must add that the emotional and mental toll didn’t make my outlook any better. Because I felt ineffective and without control at my dayjob, that also funneled down to my writing.

My spirit took a battering over the last few months, leaving me doubtful of any talent (counseling or writing) I have. So, I took the break from writing. I got off the blogs, stopped tweeting (OMG! I know) and disconnected really from the computer. It was a needed break that I didn’t allow myself.

I allowed myself not to be a writer for a while and try to remember why I wanted to write (and counsel) in the first place. I also took the time to reflect on my spirituality and counted my blessings again. I’m looking more and more for the positive and have been reaching out to other writers and motivators to help me get back on track.

I’ve recruited a great friend to be my accountability partner and ask me about my writing. She did and so I had to report what I’d done so far and what I’d be doing tonight. lol It was great and not so great at the same time. Great because she was checking up on me and not, because she was checking up on me.

I connected with a few mentors about my situation and received so much support an understanding. I also decided to take baby steps by journaling semi-regularly as well as writing down random thoughts that I had along the way. It’s helped too that I put my writing journal back in my purse where it belongs. No more excuses, I’m writing again.

I’m reading “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch to remind me of my dreams and why I set out to write/counsel. I’ll be giving it a long, thorough read-through this time around.

While I still have doubt, it’s no longer the big monster that loomed over my head before this weekend. Hopefully, I can keep the doubts away by connecting with my writer pals/mentors, being held accountable by my friend, remembering my dreams and of course, writing.

Til next time!

Bravery

In this week’s edition of The Prosperous Writer, Christina Katz asks her readers to share their definition of bravery.

For me. bravery means doing something despite my fears. There are times when I’m much braver than others, especially when it comes to writing. It seems like I have a tendency to try new things without fear, but when I realize there is a risk, then I get scared. I can laugh at my silliness later, but in that moment it is hard for me to feel brave.

Another definition I have for bravery is to work on a goal despite challenges or obstacles that may stop the journey. I remind myself of my bravery when I decided to go to graduate school full-time while working full-time and raising my son. Granted I had help from my son’s father, but I did that. Though at the time I didn’t think I was brave. I wanted to do it, get my degree and do something I was passionate about.

Sometimes, bravery show up when I get tired of not having what I want. It is much easier for me to be brave when I’m trying to reach a goal and on my own, I can’t. I am fearful about trying new things (new projects/genres), but I’m more determined to follow my dreams. Determination then leads to bravery.

I know that other writers have fears and bravery happens sometimes in numbers. With support and encouragement, I am brave. By seeing the example of a fellow writer (as well as reading about their fears/hang-ups), I’m encouraged to face my fears and be brave.

So there it is.

Good Health

Well, I received my newsletter The Properous Writer from Christina Katz. Another great issue discussing good health for writers. Christina asked her readers how they practice good health.

I admit that I don’t sleep well or consistently. I’m glued to the television sometimes and then can’t fall asleep. Not because there is something good on, but because I love my couch and tv. But, I do other things to promote my good health.

I make sure to eat well everyday. I’m not always successful, but I have managed to get more veggies into my diet everyday to get at least two servings a day. This was a big acheivement for me. I’m also drinking more water and exercising as much as I can. My day job requires me to travel everyday so I take advantage of it by walking and taking the stairs regularly. I’ve been doing well with it so far.

Making time for fun is a big part of my good health. I play board and card games with my family. I also keep in touch with family and friends by meetig in person, calling or emailing. I feel that many people, not just writers, forget that good health includes fun. So there’s my good health plan. 🙂 Now, I need to work on getting more sleep.

Commitment and Mid-Month check-in

Commitment was the theme of The Prosperous Writer this past week. I questioned whether or not I was committed to my writing after avoiding it this week. On vacation to avoid paying for childcare, I did a lot of relaxing and resting.  I also threw a bit of cleaning in the mix. But, writing was not my top priority.

So here I am on Day five of my vacation and have realized that I am dedicated to my writing. Despite my laziness, my writing still happens. I still find myself at the keyboard typing away; sending out my thoughts to cyberspace. I am committed to my writing.

What does commitment mean to me? It means staying focused on my writing even when I’m bone-tired from the day job. It means hanging on a bit longer with an article or blogpost when I want to quit. Commitment means making my writing dreams a priority so they will come true through my hard work.

Here’s a round-up of my writing so far this month:

1. Nine posts at The Freshman Writer.

2. Two posts (including this one) here at my portfolio.

3. Applied to two writing jobs today.

4. Reading A Writer’s Presence on essay writing.

5. Drafted several article ideas for parenting magazines.

6. Researched two new regional parenting magazines.

7. Wrote and edited my essay for Devotional for Mothers by the creators of Chicken Soup. Had a writer pal edit it for me.

All in all, a very productive few weeks for me. Let’s see what the rest of the month brings me. 🙂

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.

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.

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.