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.

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.

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!
 

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!

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.

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!

Groundedness

In this week’s edition of The Prosperous Writer, Christina asked “what keeps you grounded?” There are a lot of things that keep me grounded and remind me to keep pressing on.

My son is a bright-eyed and happy kid. His laugh is infectious and I love to make him laugh. He lets me know when I’m being silly or when I’m driving him nuts. Sometimes, he just stops me with his wisdom. Like the way he says “I love you, Mom” in those strange moments when I need to hear it on the spot. He looks up to me and asks me things that I don’t know, but because he depends on me (and thinks I know everything) he looks to me for guidance. That grounds me often.

My day job working with kids in foster care is another way I find groundedness. I see children who’ve been through so much trauma and somehow have been resilient enough to find joy in life. And I look to them as an example when I feel like I can’t move further ahead.

So I have my son who can bring me down from the rafters and my work to remind me of blessings. Works for me.

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.

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.