Return of the Ducky

World's Larget Rubber Ducky

I don’t know who should get credit for this photo or this meme, but I thank them.

Since I started this blog, I’ve wondered how much personal stuff to share.

On one hand, I want this blog to be useful and relatable. Plus, it’s part of my portfolio, and there’s only so much the professional world needs to know. On the other, I’m a human being and it’s my blog about life as a writer, interrupted by the occasional post about rubber ducks and cupcakes.

That said, this is the longest I’ve gone without blogging. So, for that reason and because I stopped posting right after a life event—being laid off—I’m going with an update.

If you’re not into personal updates, I’ve made a list of future posts meant to be helpful. For now, though, for anyone who’s curious, here’s what’s been going on.

Since January, I have:

  • Taken on freelance work (nifty)
  • Been through a major depression (crap)
  • Found a new job I enjoy (yay!)
  • Sprained two fingers, which are still healing (what the…?)
  • Begun implementing creative processes at work (back to yay!)
  • Had emergency surgery to remove an internal organ (oh c’mon!)
  • Adjusted to a major change in diet as a result (dear bacon, I miss you)
  • Lost 16 lbs (sweeeeeeeet!)
  • Gotten out of debt (can’t describe the joy)

It’s been an emotional journey. Sometimes you really find out who you can count in, including yourself. And who’s there for you when you can’t be.

On the bright side, I have so much for which I’m thankful, such as:

  • An amazing husband I can count on when I’m down
  • Health insurance
    (I saw the tally for what I’d have to pay if I didn’t have it; holy crap.)
  • An amazing new job with amazing new people who stuck by me when I wound up in the hospital a month in to my new role
  • My friends
  • My fellow colleagues who’d also been laid off getting new jobs
  • Freelance clients from heaven
  • An adorable kitty who kept me company while I was in bed for two weeks
  • A pile of books to read
  • The ability to take care of myself
  • A new world of healthy food I enjoy
  • Being—and staying—debt-free

Things are finally settling down.

I’m tired of being poked and prodded by doctors, but I’m doing well and living healthier than I was. I’ve also ordered a Fitbit to help me stay on track and keep getting healthier.

My new job is an exciting new challenge, and I like it. I get to apply what I’ve learned over my career to this new role. I’m part of a brand-new creative team; it’s me and a designer. I’m implementing creative processes. I’m defining and standardizing the brand voice. I even get to write a new brand voice book—from scratch!

I feel useful again. And I work with sharp people, so I’m going to get to learn even more about various aspects of marketing in general. Good times, people.

This also means I’m back to posting.

I love this blog. It’s my creative passion project and where I can be myself. Incidentally, it also helped me land my new job. Truth. I don’t see myself ever giving it up, no matter how long of a hiatus I may need to take once in a while.

I have a two-page list of topics such as:

  • Staying social when writing is solitary
  • Building your brand versus building relationships
  • Bullet journaling for writers
  • Other skills you need as a copywriter
  • Elements of a good creative brief
  • Career paths for copywriters (series)

If you’re still reading this, thanks. I appreciate your reading my blog. I promise to get back into the groove of posting on a regular basis again.

Until next time,
Your Faithful Rubber Ducky

If you have any suggestions for topics you’d like me include, please comment below.

Been there, done that, naptime

Safety Ladder

This year, I’ve tried to offer more helpful posts than not-as-helpful-but-hopefully-still-entertaining-to-some-degree posts. This post will likely fall under Column B. And it’s much more personal than I usually am here. This is not stuff I usually share outside my immediate friends and family because I like my privacy and hate being judged.

But this blog is about my life as a writer, and these past few months have impacted my ability to rub two words together.

Therefore, I share.

If you’d like something helpful, here’s Flex your skills with 5-minute freewriting.

Over the past few months, I’ve been working through one of the worst bouts of depression I’ve had in years. I haven’t been well physically or emotionally, and my creative well ran dry. By the time August rolled around, my well was more barren than Mordor.

My level of self-care went from being proactively seeking new ways to nurture myself and those around me to “Yay, my socks match and I remembered to floss! Naptime.”

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5 keys to taking feedback like a badass

Gandalf and Saruman

No one likes to work with someone who refuses to take feedback. We’ve all worked with people like that—someone who’s determined that he/she is right and that others are wrong and that the work produced is without flaw or need of improvement at all, whatsoever. Period.

It’s not easy.

There was a period of two years during which I worked with two graphic designers who are absolute opposites when it comes to handling critique of their work.

Note: When I refer to these creative colleagues, I’m obviously not going to use their real names. So I’ll call them Gandalf and Saruman. Personal preference.

Watching them showed me their distinct approaches—and how to be better at taking feedback myself.

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An open letter to Writer’s Block

Bust Writer's Block

Dear Writer’s Block,

Thanks to you, it’s taken me almost ten minutes to write this sentence. You’re the gag gift that comes with every blank page. The side of half-baked brussel sprouts with every meal.

You are more persistently irritating than a grain of sand nailed to the eyeball. You are a plague to writers around the world. You poison our creative wells with anxiety and depression to make sure we still suffer even when you’ve moved on to your next victim.

We cannot find peace even when you grow bored with us. For when you leave, we know you’ll come back. You always do. When we least expect it. When we most need you to leave us alone and let us work.

You, dear Writer’s Block, defy all reason and logic. Many, even fellow writers, simply don’t believe in you.

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Why writers should blog

Evil Plans LOL Cat

Writers write. Good writers write a lot. Or so I keep telling the junior writer I currently mentor.

She’s talented, has a terrific attitude and a bright future ahead of her. I still want to flick her in the forehead when she rolls her eyes at the suggestion that she start blogging. Especially when she follows her eye roll with “Yeah, I know I should,…but…you know…”

Incidentally, “…but, you know” is one of the worst responses ever and sets my teeth on edge every time. But I’ll spare you my rant and move on.

There exist tons of articles and posts on why writers should blog. These articles exist for a reason.

Blogging is good for you. For so many reasons. Even if no one ever reads it.

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