Productivity. Or…

The dichotomy of my personality is apparently endless.

I completely understand that I am the type of person who requires routine and structure in order to be productive. So I give myself routine and structure. I write to-do lists and sit down to schedule out my days each week.

Then I just do whatever I feel like anyway, or plans come up, or I need a nap. I want/need the routine, but I struggle to follow it! Not always. I do cross things off my to-do lists pretty often. But then I blink and it has been SEVEN MONTHS since I wrote a new blog post?! What is that?!

It’s a never-ending struggle.

It would help if my childhood dream of just hanging out writing in the park all day could be reality… when I was four I didn’t quite understand bills and full-time jobs, it seems. :)

WRITER TIP: If you are a writer searching for an agent/publisher… check out if you haven’t already! I just discovered it, and I’m obsessed!

When You Need A Good Push

Fact: It is nearly impossible for me to resist a good writing prompt journal.

A few days ago I walked through a Barnes & Noble and on one of the end caps of an aisle I saw discounted journals, one of which being a writing prompt book. For only $6! I had to make the purchase, of course.

I really like this one. First of all, I hate when a journal/notebook won’t open fully, so you have to force the pages down flat with your hand. This one opens flat, which is lovely.

It has some pretty great prompts, too. So far anyway. I’ve only done about 4. But I’m enjoying it!

It’s simply called “300 Writing Prompts.” I don’t even know who the publisher is. It just has a blue cover. No publisher information anywhere on the outside or inside.

Anyway–sometimes you just need that little bit of inspiration, and it’s awesome to find a helpful tool. :-)

Freelance As A Career?

I have a new website for my freelance editing services! Woo hoo!

I’m sure there are still tweaks to be made and things that I will change in the future, but for now it’s all set and ready to go. I love it.

Check it out! Let me know what you think. :)

Sometimes I think it would be so great to get my freelance career up & running enough to just do that full-time, but then I hesitate. Probably partially because it sounds terrifying to not have a steady, guaranteed income. I’ve struggled financially so much since turning 18 and being on my own, and that’s WITH steady, guaranteed paychecks! Obviously most of that time I was only working part time due to being in college, and that had a lot to do with the struggle. Being young and a bit oblivious to smart finances also had some effect. HaHa. You live, you learn!

All of that being said, now that I am some version of a successful adult with a salaried position which I do enjoy, thinking about tossing it all away for a freelance career sounds terrifying and probably a bit stupid. It would take me a few years to get enough money saved and enough knowledge to feel comfortable doing that.

It is something I’m keeping in mind, though. When my brother and I were young our mom stayed at home with us. There are obvious benefits to having a stay-at-home parent around, especially in the formidable elementary school years, if you ask me. I loved having Mom home with us. We had fun, and it was a stable, safe environment. As we got older she started working sometimes, but not really consistently until I was a senior in high school.

I would LOVE to be able to stay at home with my kids, particularly when they are young. However, the financial benefits of a two-income family are also worth considering. Also, my sanity. I think that if I didn’t work at all and interact with others in a more professional way, I would lose my mind. Some women are wonderful at being 100% stay-at-home moms without a paycheck and more power to them! They are amazing and the hard work they do on a daily basis is not to be undermined, by any means. Like I said, that was my own mother for most of my childhood. I just know myself well enough to know that I would need to be contributing financially to the household in order to feel satisfied; it’s just who I am, personally. But I also wouldn’t want to be away from my kids for 40+ hours a week!

SO maybe it will be a good move in a few years when motherhood happens for me. :)

Write In Order to Heal

It amazes me that more people don’t utilize writing as a therapeutic tool. There are few things in life more cathartic than writing down your struggles, stresses, painful experiences, and emotional turmoil. So many of the issues I’ve faced have been worked out on the page.

Studies have shown that there are obvious benefits to it, as a matter of fact. I am in complete agreement. It’s the same concept as talking out a problem–either with a friend or in actual therapy. Simply telling your story can help release some of the pain and hurt from a situation. I definitely attribute a lot of my emotional strength to my love for writing. I’ve been journaling since about second grade and while I have never tried writing poetry to be published (nor am I sure I ever would), I use poetry quite often to tell a story about something that I’ve gone through, or some emotion I’ve felt.

For me telling my stories (even just to myself in my own journals) essentially gets them off my chest. If I’m stressing about something writing it down makes it possible for me to move on from it; leave it behind me rather than hold it inside and let it fester.

This is why it has become a dream of mine to start some sort of writing program for high school kids. Life goals!

Freelance Resources of a Spoiled Generation

The Internet makes life so much easier, doesn’t it? I’ve come across various online resources for my freelance business, and it makes me wonder what people did before the Internet. We are so spoiled. HaHa! One resource I really like, though I haven’t used it all that much yet, is I use it to search for writing and editing gigs, and it seems like there are tons of options. So far I just haven’t really cracked down, but as I mentioned in my previous post I am working on changing that! I would definitely suggest checking it out if you are a freelancer yourself. There are posts from all over the globe, really. For all kinds of projects–personal, corporate, educational, etc. They were pretty thorough in the whole profile verification process, too. You have to schedule a Skype call where an Elance employee takes a photo of you to verify your identity, based on your display photo, I believe. I hope everyone is having a fabulously productive Tuesday! It’s gloomy & rainy here in normally sunny Phoenix. Makes for a nice change of pace, but I must admit that I miss the sunshine!

Creativity & Business Collide

Fact: I need to learn more about marketing myself as a freelance editor.

I am not naturally a “business-savvy” type of person. Some people are born for business dealings and the like, but that is not me. My brother is that type. His mind is that of an entrepreneur. Business, finances, marketing, etc… that is where he excels.

My mind is (clearly) that of a creative type. Thinking about the nuts & bolts of business just… ugh… makes me cringe. What I’ve recently realized, though, is that it makes me cringe because I’m not familiar with it. I’m not confident in that realm. And what is life if not a never-ending opportunity for personal growth?!

So, I am taking it upon myself to get a little bit uncomfortable, and learn something new. I mean, I need to anyway, if I want to be successful as a freelance editor. I’ve had some clients and created a website (possibly switching to a new site in the near future), but I’m lacking the necessary marketing tools/knowledge to grow it further.

To Amazon I went. Two used books are on their way to me, and I’ve carved out a bit of time every morning to do some online searching for gigs. It’s a start, right?

As always, wish me luck! HaHa.

Am Reading

Lately I’ve been making myself sit down to read more often. As I’ve stated before, it’s not that I don’t LOVE to read… but ever since becoming an “adult” I can’t sit and read for hours upon hours like I used to. I get distracted with all these other things I need to do, or I’m exhausted from a long day and reading puts me to sleep.

So anyway, I’ve been reading more often and currently I’m about 80% through QUEEN OF THE TEARLING. It got some craptastic reviews on Goodreads, but I’m really enjoying it! I must not be part of the cool kid group. HaHa. :)

It’s quite long, but there haven’t been many places where I’m skimming entire pages (that happens a lot for me when writers get super wordy with descriptions of landscapes and what-not). I like the main character and I’m entertained by the plot so… no problems for this girl! I don’t know if they’re marketing it as young adult, but I wouldn’t call it young adult. Some of the events are a little graphic (rape, violence, etc.) and there are some “f bombs” throughout.

Anyway–that’s what currently holds my interest! Next up is going to be some more Carlos Ruiz Zafon. <3