Tag Archives: motivation

Hi There!


I know, it’s been a while, I’m sorry. If I had to describe the last six months of my life, I’d have to say it looked something like this:

tangled ball of yarn2

Between health issues, work issues and an overall displeasure with my life’s path, I knew changes had to be made. But look at all that tangle and mess! Where does one begin?

Well, I started with the obvious. I started taking some meds and I started changing up my diet. I’m still getting around to exercising more, but since the meds seem to be working, I’m dealing with less pain so now I can seriously look at the exercise options.

I also made some professional decisions. I went back to a regular, 9-5 day job like normal folks.

Yeah, stop laughing. It was worth a shot. It didn’t last long but I did learn some valuable lessons. No, I’m not sharing them here, and I’ll explain why in a moment.

There’s something I’ve always known about myself that I tend to ignore for a myriad of reasons. I don’t “do” normal. I don’t think normal, I don’t react to things the way normal people do, my brain has some different wiring. And I’m okay with that, until I start to believe when people say I shouldn’t be okay with it. When people (who for the most part only want me to be happy) tell me that if I just “play along,” or “play the game,” or “think of it as a role and I’m going for the Academy Award,” I’m tempted to buy into it because quite frankly, being me is exhausting. So, I try it. Then I quickly remember why I stopped playing along in the first place.

Because you see, as exhausted as I am being me, at least I don’t feel defeated. As tired as my own brain makes me, at least at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and stare down my own reflection. And as weary as being me can make me, at the end of the day, I’m proud that I am who I am and when I get up the next day, I’m ready to do it all again.

If that’s not enough for some people, if the real me isn’t good enough, I really don’t give a damn.

Okay, got a bit off topic, but apparently I needed to say that, so there you go. 🙂 Now to the real reason for this post: I’m switching this blog to writing only. That’s kinda what it was supposed to be from the beginning but me being me, (see I get in my own way!) I kinda let it become a catch-all. Well not anymore. This blog is about writing. My books, articles, rants about clients, all that will be here. My personal thoughts have a new home: Unapologetically Mocha. Follow me over there for my thoughts, feeling and rants about the world.

This is just my attempt to unravel the tangles and make my life more doable. If I had to wager, I’d guess my life currently looks like this:

not so tangled balls of yarn

Progress! 🙂

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Nailed it!


One of my birthday gifts was a nail appointment. So Tuesday the Diva and I headed to the salon to get our nails done.

Now, I like getting my nails done. I like how they look when they’re done. But considering I spend hours pounding keys, working with wire and metal and tools, to say I’m rough on a set of acrylics would be an understatement. But again, I like how they look so get them done once in a while.

I was at a loss as to what to get on them. I knew my desired length and shape and I knew the color.But what to get on them…

Then it hit me. They should serve as a reminder of what I do. So..

 

So, I havea question mark on my thumb, an exclamation point on my index finger, a semi-colon on my middle finger, a colon on my ring finger and a comma on my pinky. Yes, I picked each one for each finger for a reason. No, I won’t tell you, but feel free to post your guesses in the comments. 🙂

 

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It’s Not Supposed To Be Easy


Today has been an interesting day. It seems like every other conversation, every other tweet, every other Facebook status has been someone complaining about a situation — they don’t like their jobs. They don’t have enough money. They can’t get x,y, or z. The gist of it all is: Life is hard.

Well, no s&*^, Sherlock. Yeah, life IS hard. If it wasn’t would you appreciate those brief fleeting moments when it isn’t?

If you had a truly easy life: all the money you ever needed, all the friends in the world, a job you loved…would you appreciate it?

No, you wouldn’t. You would grow to expect it. If you can’t be honest about it, then I’ll have to be honest for both of us, because I know I’d take it for granted.

That’s why, even though it bugs the hell out of me at times, I’m glad I have to work for what I have. Every new skill I gain, every new client I land, every check I cash — I know I worked for it, and I worked damn hard to get it. Nothing has been handed to me…ever.

And if I had to choose between working for it and having it handed to me, I’ll take the work. I don’t want to live on Easy St. Easy makes you complacent; it takes away your motivation and your drive. And when you are no longer motivated or driven, that’s when the rug can get pulled out from under you. Don’t believe me? Reread this.

So, to those who are complaining that life is hard — yep, it is. Accept it and keep pushin’. If it gets easier, find out what else you can do. Cuz, as soon as it gets easy, it can all slip away.

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It Could Be Worse


So, today has been a struggle writing-wise for me today. I’ve just not been “into it”, and have only accomplished a fraction of what I needed to get done today.

But that’s okay, cuz ya know, sometimes it happens. Sometimes the words just won’t flow. The ideas are stuck…just out of the reach of your fingertips. It’s frustrating, but sometimes it’s part of this life. Not every word you write will be brilliant. Sometimes the things you write will be utter rubbish.

But no matter how bad a writing day you’re having, someone else is having a worse day. And for the really unfortunate, some of the greatest writing guffaws actually make it to print. So, in honor of a lousy writing day, and in the hopes of a better one tomorrow, I offer you “When Headlines Go Wrong” aka “Hey, things could be worse, this could have been YOUR headline.

And because I want to retain my “Snarky” attitude, I’ve included comments. Cuz, that’s how I roll.

Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter (Wait…how does THAT work? Was a seance involved?)

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says  (Other than the plane crashing, I can’t imagine what else could have gone wrong…)

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers  (Wow…I guess a ticket just doesn’t cut it any more…)

Miners Refuse to Work after Death (So much for RIP…)
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant (And what happens if they fail…or succeed?)
War Dims Hope for Peace (Yeah, that’s usually how it works…)
If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile  (Nothing like a good dose of stating the obvious!)
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures (Uh huh…)
Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide (Nah, it was the Masque of the Red Death)
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges (Next time, try cement!)
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge (I got nothing for this other than *groan*)
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group (Big Macs for everyone!)
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft (Well, they shouldn’t have pulled his finger!)
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks (Yeah, but they’re quick, crafty and hard to kill…)
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half  (Well, that’s one way to decrease the dropout rate…)
Chainsaw Massacre all over again! (Wait — it happened before?)
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors (Next – legislation requiring all hospital ceilings be at least 7’1″.)
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead (So, did that increase or decrease the occupancy?)

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My Path…


is being laid out in front of me. I have felt like I has headed toward someplace for the last several years, and being that I’m a rather Zen person, I allowed myself to just go with the flow (for the most part). But I think my path as led me to the door I am supposed to open and walk through. It might mean the closing other other doors, but I really think I am where I am supposed to be, doing the things I’m supposed to do.

I’ve picked up skills that I really had no reason to learn, considering my career path, but they were of interest to me, and the opportunity was there, so I took it. Those skills led me to other interesting avenues and now I find I spend a lot of time using those skills, which I didn’t even think I needed at first. More to the point, no only do I use them, I enjoy using them. And since I made a point of stating here that my goal is to work smarter and be an expert, I believe it is time for me to practice what I preach.

I know this all sounds cryptic, but for those of you who have been around awhile, you know how I am. When everything is ready to be revealed, I’ll reveal it. I’m really only writing this because…well…because. LOL

As soon as I am ready to make the big reveal, you all will be the first people I tell.

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It’s Time


Taking a break from my usual writing-related posts to discuss something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’ll return to more writer-friendly banter tomorrow, but for now…

In the midst of Occupy Fill-In-the-Blank-with-the-location-of-your-choice-here, Tea Party rhetoric, and general politicizing, one thing still stands out to me: Everything is still a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Herman Cain is better than Mitt Romney, but both are better than President Obama. The Republicans are out to destroy the Democrats. Progressives are subversives out to overthrow the government.

Stop. Just. Stop.

When will we learn that this is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. None of it. The political affiliation has noting to do with any of this.

This is a Us vs. Them issue, and the “Thems” belong to both parties.

The US is US. The average American who expects their elected officials to do what we sent them to DC to do.

Take a look around, people. Are ANY of them doing that? Any?

Name one. Please. Think about it. I’ll wait.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

The American people have been sold a pack of lies. Doesn’t matter what political wrapper it’s in. It’s all rotten underneath the pretty foil used to sell it to us. We’ve been had. Plain and simple.

And if you don’t think they aren’t sitting in their respective war rooms laughing their asses off at us, you’re deluded.

Wake up people. Stop letting them divide us. As a friend posted earlier on her blog, we cannot in good conscience leave the politics to the politicians.

Every day, millions of Americans sit down with their checkbook and pile of bills and figure out who gets paid and who gets to wait til next payday. We don’t have the benefit of printing more money or creating a new credit card from thin air. We have to make do with what we have. We make it work, because we don’t have a choice.

And yet, our government, who has no problem sticking their hand in my wallet every April, cannot manage this feat.

And spare me the well, the Democrats/well the Republican crap. That’s not even the issue.

Our elected officials have probably never had to live within reasonable means either in their entire lives or it was so long ago, they forget how. Face it, you can’t be broke and run for political office.

So, we have a bunch of people who have never had to balance a budget, trying to balance the biggest budget in the world. Yeah, makes perfect sense.

I say we ban all attorneys (who are notoriously bad with money!), and people who have amassed wealth from holding public office. I think only bookkeepers and people who have had to live within their means for the past 10 years or more should be sent to Washington. Why we thought a bunch of rich, privileged individuals could come together to represent us was a good idea, I do not understand. But obviously its not working.

So, I propose a third party. Call it the Real Party. The candidates are REAL people, with REAL issues and a REAL grasp on what life in America is really like.

Because this is no longer a Democrat vs. Republican issue. It’s a REAL one.

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Day 11, Post…er…


I don’t know. I’m not really keeping count. I’m doing good to know it’s day 11. LOL

Spent the better part of the day applying for new gigs. Some were for content mills, others were for, well, not content mills.

Still haven’t decided to re-try my hand at feature writing. As much as I enjoy creating unique article angles, interviewing people and writing features, I really did not enjoy the adminstrative end of it all.

And no, I don’t mean the query letter. I got pretty darn good at writing those. It’s the other backend stuff that drove me batty. Namely, the waiting. Seems like I was always waiting for something.

Waiting to hear about a query.

Waiting to hear if the article was accepted.

Waiting to get paid.

Waiting. Always with the waiting.

Bleh.

Now, I’d imagine, I’d hope the process has sped up a bit, what with email, instant messaging and even Facebook, but the one drawback to writing for content mills (or at least the ones I write for) is the almost instant feedback/results and relatively quick payment for my work has made me impatient. We are living in an instant gratification world, and I’m an instant gratification girl.

(Sorry, Madonna).

But really — having to wait days, even *gasp* a week to hear back on a query might send me up a tree. Of course, I would have other things to work on while I waited, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. And I did just spend a day applying for other places to write and I haven’t melted into a puddle of goo yet, and it’s been all of 12 – 14 hours…

Hum…

Well, I think I’m going to continue pondering whether I’m going to go the features route again. Until then, Imma just keep on doin’ what I’ve been doin’.

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Not Doing the Work For You…


Remember yesterday I mentioned that one of my clients was scaling back and there was pandemonium and rioting in the virtual streets of that client’s writers forum?

Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly how I described it, but I should have…

Anyway, so now, some of the panic is wearing off and people are asking, “So where can I write now?” A few people are throwing out some ideas of places that are hiring others, but the vast majority (well, the majority that is responding to the posts. The vast majority of those reading the posts are keeping their mouths shut), are saying things such as “Google it.”

This is causing some a great deal of stress. Know what I say to that?

Dude, pick a new profession. If you can’t use Google to find work on the ‘net for WRITERS then maybe you should do something else. Like basket weaving. Or professional badminton. Anything but writing.

As I said in my last post, as writers we are expected to be able to research and write with authority. See, it’s the research part that’s important here. If you can’t (and I’m throwing out a bone here) type “write for us”, “needs writers” or “freelancers wanted” into a search engine and follow the links? How in the hell did you manage to write any article for anyone?

So, let’s just call it what it is: you want people who have spent hours upon HOURS searching for writing opportunities to just hand you that research because you asked for it.

Really? REALLY?

This ain’t The Waterboy. I’m not Coach Klein, and you ain’t Coach Beaulieu. I ain’t handing you my playbook (though I did have those pumps in several colors in the 90s…)

But I digress. If I did the work to find the leads to get me the jobs so I wasn’t in full-blown panic when I got the dreaded “We’re cutting back so maybe you should go with Plan B for your income needs.”, then you can too. Google IS your friend. So is Bing, and Yahoo and any other search engine that gets the job done for you.

So, go forth and be the good little researcher and writer I know you can be. And if you choose not to, that’s fine. That’s one less person in the freelancing pool.

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Why Content Writing?


I’ve been asked this question a lot lately. Why do I want to make a writing career out of writing “fluffy” articles about “How To Recycle a Modem” and “How To Cash a Jury-Duty Check.”

My response: “Why not?”

But, Quillie, you could be writing feature articles in big name magazines. You could be interviewing and writing about politicians, famous people, successful business magnates. You could write a best-selling novel…a Tony-winning play, an Emmy or Oscar-winning script…but instead you write, “What Determines If You Qualify For Rapid Refund”!

Why, Quillie, why?

My response: Because I want to, that’s why.

But…but…you could be making WAY more money than you are now! You could have bragging rights about where you’ve been published! You could be a success!

My response: Been there, did that. Got the t-shirt. Donated it to Goodwill. And I am a success, thank-you-very-much.

I’ve been around the freelance writing block more than once. I know the stores. I know the homes and the churches. I also know where the scary man with the van and the bag of candy is parked, the corners where the winos that just want my money slink out of, and where the smooth-talking Pimp likes to pick up the unsuspecting and naive, making big promises to make them a star if they’re nice to him for just a little while…

Yes, I know the business. Sometimes, I think I know it all too well.

So, why do I choose to write content when I could be writing 1,243,675 other things? What it really boils down to is this: I write content for two reasons. I enjoy it and it’s easy.

Yeah, I said it. It’s easy. Lemme say it again:

E-A-S-Y.

Now before you accuse me of taking the path of least resistance, let me make one thing perfectly clear: You’re right. I AM taking the path of least resistance. For once, I’m not killing myself to accomplish a monumental task. I’ve done hard. I  was good at hard.

But hard is, well, hard, and after a while, you get tired.

Hard work is hard work. Hard work makes you tired. Exhaustion from hard work can make you resentful…

Resentment of hard work can make you walk away from a career you loved…

For five years.

So, why did I make the leap from traditional freelancing to content writing?

Because I could. What the hard work taught me was how to optimize my time and turn my interests and talents into marketable areas. It taught me how to research quickly and effectively, write fast, and ask the right questions the first time. In other words, hard work taught me how to work smart.

I mean, jeez, people, of course I know I could be writing for national magazines and/or newspapers. Of course I could write a novel or a screenplay.

But I don’t want to. That’s not where my heart is right now.

For now, I enjoy answering the easy questions. If someone wants to know how their social security benefits are calculated, I am more than happy to answer that question. If a small business owner is struggling to choose the proper organizational structure, I’m thrilled to explain his options.

Because what is easy for me to explain might be causing others to lose sleep while looking for that information. And I get a great sense of inner satisfaction knowing that I provided information to someone seeking an answer.

It ain’t about the Pulitzer, Emmy, Oscar or Tony for me. It’s not about being able to say, “I’ve got a feature in “——-” this month.”

It never was. Not to say one day it won’t be, but for now…

Life is easy, and I’m glad for that.

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Question for the class…


So, I posted this question on my Facebook page today:

Question for my business-owning, self-employed, entrepreneurial friends –what are your biggest concerns about running a business/being self-employed? Also, if you’ve considered starting a business, what do you consider your biggest obstacle? 

Seemed like a perfectly good question to pose here, as well.

I’m working on a series of articles for a client regarding Entrepreneurship, and I would appreciate feedback from fellow entrepreneurs, business owners and the like.  Not sure where or when the articles will run, but as soon as I know, I will pass that info. along.

And seeing that I never ask a question that I would be unwilling to answer,  here are my responses to the questions I posed.

My biggest concerns about running  a business and being self-employed: getting everything I need to get done, done and not screwing things up in the process.  I wear several hats, see. I’ve got a decent freelance writing career going (again!) and I have my jewelry business. There are times when I am so busy, I forget to eat and sleep becomes a series of catnaps between deadlines. There are times when I think, “Ya know, K, maybe you should scale back the number of articles you write, or decline that client’s job offer. Or maybe you don’t have to attend that jewelry show after all.”

Then I laugh (sometimes to myself, sometimes out loud), take another sip of coffee and go back to work.

Cuz, that’s the thing — yes my gigs  are work. Yes, sometimes I don’t want to do any of it. But there is nothing else I want to do more.  Writing and  creating jewelry are more than just a profession — they are my passion.

Which leads me to my other big concern — sometimes there IS such a thing as too much passion or dedication to your work,  especially  if it constantly bleeds into other aspects of your life.

Or, if you listen to my daughter, completely takes over.

Admittedly, if my professions were the Borg, I would be considered assimilated. I do spend the lion’s share of my life working. But even I question the cost at times. So, it’s important to strike a good balance between work and life. I’m still looking for that balance. I’ll let you know when I find it.

Probably through a blog post.

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