agenda, books, Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Beating the Clock

I almost missed it. I almost finished up my day without doing the post I had scheduled. Almost. But I didn’t. Yes, I’m tired. It was the last day of work before I have an extended time off, a stay-cation, if you will. But I was also dealing with the big kid’s car insurance and arranging a plumber. Long story. And dogs and traffic and on and on…. Then the normal routing – get the kid to bed and work. That all went well. Swimmingly. No complaints. But I ran out of words just before the end of the last review and I had to force my way through. Never good. If you do that, be sure to re-read it 3 times. No less. Because you have to see the actual mistakes.

shallow focus photography of hourglass
Made it just before 12 – technically, it’s still Friday!

Anyway, all that is done and I was gonna just go lay down but nope. I have committed to this blog and that’s what I’m gonna do. Write. At this point it’s just stream of conscious but there was a word of the day if you’d like to discuss: Archaic. And the funny thing is, my reminder to do this, is fairly archaic. I write on an actual paper planner. I use that as my reminder. It has my deadlines, my assignments, I note when I complete projects on there, and it has my commitments (hello WordPress).

person woman apple hotel
A lot of nights, this is me. Anyone else? It’s just so comfy!!

So yeah, maybe I’m not the queen of technological advancements. I haven’t programmed my phone to remind me when things are due and when I should be doing something. The truth is, that requires actual setup and messing with my phone even more than I already do. And I’m just too lazy for that. I’d rather just scribble it down and keep it moving. If that makes me archaic, I’m okay with that. It’s kind of a cool word.

Along those same lines, I’m committing more and more. My business is amping up and it is amazing. However, I’m not finding any more time in my day. Do you happen to know how to go about that? I’m not convinced that digital reminders will save me time, so that one’s out. Any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them. Because I need to add some house projects into that schedule, too, and maybe some TV time because I’m told that I’m missing quite a few good shows on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon/etcetera…

closeup photo of person holding panasonic remote control in front of turned on smart television
For some reason, ours is always on Kids Netflix… hmmm…

But, for now, I’m content to keep my planner going, carrying it with me like a schoolgirl. I don’t mind. It’s a quick snapshot and I don’t have to remember passwords or find apps. That’s what happens when you’re lazy. You go old school. I’d love to hear your ideas – please share!!

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agenda, books, Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

One Thing Leads to Another

Do you ever think you have a plan and then something comes around and you shoot off in a completely different direction? No? Liar.

I’m convinced that every single person on this planet has something in mind but it hasn’t quite worked out the way they planned. Maybe taking a slight detour or maybe a whole ‘nother direction entirely. That’s the story of my life. I think I know what I’m doing. I see the trajectory I’m on, and then out of nowhere, BAM! I’m writing a story about my life and sharing it with the world. Not unwelcome, just unexpected.

san pedro signage
Which way to go???

I’ve tried a few different things. Not super different, but enough to know that I’ve definitely taken a different road this time around. Those roads have twisted and turned and taken me through completely different worlds. And I don’t regret any of them. They’ve been great. I’ve learned a LOT. Some of it I thought I knew but apparently it needed some reinforcing. But it’s okay. Those lovely twists and turns are worth it in the end. They made me who I am.

brown rope tangled and formed into heart shape on brown wooden rail
What sweet twists and turns…

I’m happy with that person. I love that I work hard on my family, my writing, and everything else in my life. I love that I still try to think outside the box and make things happen. I firmly believe that things will work out for the better, in the way they are supposed to – whether that’s the way we have planned or not.

That’s where I am today. It started with the word search books, then the memoire, and now I’m contracting out to write blogs and web content and product descriptions. I’m editing and reviewing. It’s a funny twist but I absolutely love this road. The viewpoints are amazing and I can stop the car and breathe whenever I’m ready to do so.

blur business coffee commerce
If only I were this organized when I write…

I hope you’re finding your passion. And that it’s filling you with a sense of purpose, a drive that you can’t resist. I’m typing this very late at night because I just finished a project but I’m still wide awake because I’m hyped up. I just wrote a 6,000 page review for a company as a part of an ongoing project. All I can say is, “Wow.”

This life is good. Put your all into it and do whatever it is that you love to do. And share it with me!  I’d love to hear where you are on this never-ending road trip.

agenda, books, Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Words are our Friends

In case you’ve been playing along at home, I’ve decided that I’m going to be a writer. Like, a real writer. One who gets paid to write. And in that vein, I started this blog to pour out everything in my little mind that relates to writing. Some days it will be about my current projects and other days it will just be an attempt to create, in whatever direction that takes. Today might be one of those days.

person holding black and orange typewriter
I kinda want this old school typewriter. But I’m worried I’d knock over my entire manuscript and cry because I forgot to number the pages. Nevermind.

There are times that we just get stuck in the details and creating something new is a challenge that might seem insurmountable. Today, for instance, was a BUSY day. I always start it off with the kid, the dogs, the commute, worrrrrrrkkkkkk, then a reverse commute, daycare, the kid, the dogs, food, bed time for said kid, then finally, quiet. At that point, I’ve poured everything out, or most of everything, and I’m running on fumes. At that point I just don’t have much in me to create with. Sometimes a glass of wine is pretty good inspiration. Other times I just close the computer and take my tail to bed because I’m just done. Like dinner.

woman sleeping
Ahhhhh….. Sleep….

But all of that is okay. It’s okay to push through sometimes because that can be where the magic happens. And it’s also okay to just go to bed and give yourself a break. I was talking with a friend today about taking some time off from the day job and getting some work done. He actually suggested that I sit down and binge watch Netflix. I had to laugh because that is always the last thing on my list. But it is also a great reset button. It’s okay to detach from the schedules and goals and timelines (as long as you’re not missing a deadline), and just give yourself a rest. You deserve it. You do so much every day that a break is needed.

high angle view of lying down on grass
It looks amazing but I’m sure my mind would be focused on bugs and what could be possibly crawling on me. Nope.

I started all of this with the daily word inspiration, Disappear, and I was going to talk about how it’s necessary to just disappear from time to time. By that, I mean from the noise. Take a step back from social media, from the everyday nonsense, and give yourself that needed break. You need to fuel yourself as much as you fuel the rest of the world. If that means disappearing, then so be it. Go off into the mountains for a weekend. Unplug. Go hide out at your best friends for a few days. Whatever it takes to get back to you. Laugh. Be silly. And come back renewed and reinvigorated.

You’ll be more effective and productive. You will have a renewed focus and maybe some new ideas. You never know. Your next novel might be waiting for you in the middle of a campsite.

Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Today’s Word: Complication

There are always times when we think we are on a roll or everything is gonna be smooth sailing when BAM – you’re hit with writer’s block or an unexpected bill. Or worse, a car accident or hospital visit. It seems like life is full of complications no matter how well-planned you think it is. That’s the nature of living, we can’t predict what will happen tomorrow. Heck, trained weather professionals can’t even tell us with 100 percent certainty that it will rain tomorrow. That’s where our fighting spirit comes into play.

 

person wearing blue hoodie near body of water
But, is it gonna rain??

 

Most of us don’t really have a fall back. Yeah, we take out car insurance and homeowners insurance and medical insurance. But that’s because we have to. What happens when stuff does happen that we aren’t prepared for? Plumbing backs up and you have to dig up your entire yard, your animals get sick, things don’t work out for your young adult, not-quite-grown kiddo out in the real world. You do what you have to.

 

black and white clean housework launderette
Ever had a broken washer or dryer? This would be a familiar scene… Ugh..

 

Maybe you take out credit cards or short term loans. Maybe you get a second job and cut out your daily coffee run. Maybe you just suffer through it, knowing that things will work out in the end. Maybe you scream and cry and fight it out. Whatever your response is, that is your way of dealing. And you’re not wrong.

Taking time to figure out what the problem is and coming up with a viable solution can be daunting, especially if it’s a big dollar item, like new central air conditioning. But you do what you have to. If it means a window unit for the time being while you save for the new one or you bite the bullet and finance through the HVAC company, choose the option that works for you. But do your research and make a sound decision.

 

photo of a woman thinking
Check local recommendations and use trusted professionals.

 

Most of what I’ve described is money-related but complications also come in the form of mental health issues, physical health issues, relationship and family issues. I would offer the same advice. Always do your research and make as well-informed a decision as possible. Have thorough conversations with doctors and providers before taking medications. Discuss your problems with your significant other or the family you’re at odds with. A lot of time a simple conversation can resolve what you may have felt was a much larger issue.

But above all, with any complications that jump out at you in life, give yourself a chance to work through it. Knee-jerk reactions and emotional responses aren’t always the right way to resolve conflict. Sometimes they feel fantastic, but in the end they can cause additional problems. Take deep breaths and do what you can to resolve the issue after some thought and conversation. You’ll thank yourself.

Have a lovely, uncomplicated evening.

agenda, books, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

The Day is Over but the Work Goes On

It’s been one of those days that seems like everything just blurred together. From the wake up, hurry up and go, to the commute, to the work day, to the 3 hour training, to driving the kid home, to editing and editing and editing, to finally sitting down for a blog post. Yeah, that was a long sentence. But that’s how the day went. Crazy busy and constant. I kinda love it when things get accomplished on that level though. While I’m exhausted from my day, I’m also feeling like I’ve done some pretty big things today. Like a real adult who knows what she’s doing. It’s a lovely feeling.

 

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How about that? Planning stuff, working it out, like a real adult!!

 

So, the update. There’s so much. Let’s see, the copywriting is going strong. I even got an opportunity to double my part time job income without doubling the work. Crazy, huh? It’s an awesome site I’m writing for and I really enjoy the content so it’s a win-win for me. And I realized tonight that I’m enjoying editing blog posts for the other site much more than writing for their specific topic. It’s pretty cool that all of my clerical marking experience is coming in so handy. Life has an awesome way of bringing things full circle.

 

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Life is awesome. So is this. 

 

As for the book, I’m still writing it back in to my schedule. I’ve been pretty bad about getting the kid to bed on time but it’s still on the to-do list. In the next few days, I’ll be back to Monday night creative, fiction writing. I know some of you are waiting on this one and I plan to deliver! And the April/May projects are also in the works. I have a project that’s in editing. The layout is giving me fits and I keep threatening it but for some reason it just won’t behave. The second project is still in the creative piece, namely, my brain, but I do know what it is and how I’ll be knocking it out. Deadline is May 31st, so hold me to it.  Hint – it’s not your Grandma’s word search!

That’s where I’m at. Currently staying busy but still looking for the next great client who would like me to ease some of their content stress. Also, studying up on my craft daily because it’s my passion. Webinars, recordings, audiobooks, articles, newsletters, whatever I can get my hands or ears on. I’m soaking it in. Maybe I should sleep on the paper copies. Can you learn by osmosis?

 

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The hairnet scientist guy says, No, I cannot learn by osmosis. Dang it.

 

How do you learn your craft? Are you a reader? Paper or audio? Do you prefer a good lecture or TED Talk? Maybe you’re a YouTube fan? Maybe you’re a student of life and have just figured things out by trial and error… How do you go about doing what you do? I’d love to hear it. I’m a mix, really. I love a good book but don’t mind a fantastic speaker. I still have to take notes though. It’s just how my brain works. I’m also a trial and error kinda person. I like to get my hands dirty but I also need soap nearby. Let me know your thoughts!

 

 

books, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Why not now? Maybe later?

I’ve already told you how much of a procrastinator I am. So, why am I even talking about this again, you wonder… Because it’s a huge problem! So many people I know get caught up with a series on TV/Netflix/Hulu and don’t get off the couch for a few hours. Hours. That precious time when you’re not required to be anywhere or do anything. Nobody is watching the clock, looking for you to show up. Yes, I know a good binge is important from time to time but that’s just it – once in a while, not every day!

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If this is what you’re watching, I’m just gonna assume you life in a nightmare. Is it talking to you??

I found a FANTASTIC article today about how to avoid procrastinating as an author. And I’m so motivated! I even bought a planner so I can old-school schedule stuff. Don’t judge me. I’m a visual person. If I can’t picture it, did it really happen? But that got me onto a whole anti-procrastination search. Yes, I’m also a huge tech  nerd. Love to find answers in seconds…

Tools! There are actual tools to help get past procrastinating and reopening that notebook or laptop or whatever your weapon of choice may be. How awesome is that? People have actually thought through this and have put together lists and helpful hints. Were you aware of this? I don’t think you were since you’re on season 6 of Archer and you just started watching it yesterday.

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I wish I had tools this organized!!

I actually go in spurts. I have days when I can get a blog post done, edit an article, do research for another one, and even spend quality time with the family. How? I have no idea. But I do know that it doesn’t include Archer. Or television at all. For some reason that is such a huge time-suck for me. If I actually sit down and get interested, all plans are out the door. OR, I bring the laptop into the living room and half watch and half write. No bueno. That is not a good combination for me. I don’t do well with distraction and my writing suffers.

But I do love the idea of giving myself a timer or a deadline for the day. I’ve talked about a 2 hour a day commitment. Yep, that’s my goal, to write for 2 hours a day, or work on my business somehow for that time period. Today, I’ve put in about 3 hours. But others will be 6 or zero. Who knows. That’s the beauty of this life. I can be flexible and meet my own needs and desires. It’s absolutely lovely. But I have to be organized too.

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Gotta have that balance in life!

If I don’t have things written out or emailed to me regularly, something will certainly fall through the cracks and that is also no bueno. That’s not me. I’m a control freak when it comes to my work and my creative outlets. Ask anyone who has ever worked with me. I’m a team-player but I need to make sure it’s getting done. That’s just how I’m wired.

So, tell me, how do you get past your distractions? Do you see them for what they are or do you just roll with them? I’m curious! I love finding new ways to be efficient and productive but still maintain balance. Because, who doesn’t like to goof off??  Tell be in the comments!

 

books, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Stay Humble, But Brag

I can’t stand writing about my accomplishments. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love to write and talk about my books and I love to dig into them and relate them to other peoples’ experiences because, let’s just agree on this, life is pretty universal and there is very little in this world that another person hasn’t already experienced. But that’s why we reach out. We want to connect. We want to relate. We want to know that we aren’t alone on this gigantic, floating rock, hurting through space. Right?

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Your bio should have a quick shot of fireworks that makes the reader stop and say, “hey, I like this person”…

That’s the fun part. But actually putting in writing what I’ve accomplished in my life and trying to pull someone into my world is a challenge to me. Especially if I’m going to keep it under 300 words. I’m a bit of a Chatty Cathy when I’m at the keyboard, if you haven’t noticed yet. I’m not sure if it’s humility or shyness or if I’m just no good at summarizing who I am. This is my current struggle.

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I can get to talking sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time. But there’s so much to say!!

On the back of the books, or on the inner sleeve if it’s hardback, is generally a quick bio of the author. And some people are really witty and silly while others are serious with credentials up the wazoo. My credentials aren’t necessarily in creative writing or fiction writing or journalism. But I can write. And my life is fairly standard, 2 dogs, 2 kids, a husband and a house. Where do you add the personality?  Where’s the character? What will draw you to connect to me as an author and make you want to ready MY book?

I found a great blog post today with some instruction on exactly how to do that. And I’m going to revisit my own bio and play around with it. I like it but it’s missing a little something. I need to add some originality, some Jenn to it. Because it is me. It came from me. I want it to invite you to get to know me and come hang out with me for a while because we have a fantastic story to discuss.