100 Projects to Recenter

Evil Plans LOL Cat

Life happens. Constantly. We’ve all gone through those phases in which work overwhelms us and so does family and so do these commitments and so does this and so does that. The list never ends.

As I covered in my previous post, this year has been especially, well, full. I lost track of my inner duckyness. I was getting by and handling business, but I wasn’t having a whole lot of fun. Okay, no fun. I was having zero fun. And it was exhausting.

This kind of life creeps up on you. Before you know it, you can lose track of all your hobbies and outlets that make you your awesome self.

A friend of mine recently went through the same lack of joy. And she had a great idea, which I’m sharing with anyone whom I think could use a recenter.

She calls it the “100 Project.”

Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading

Getting back in writing shape

Writers Feel the Burn

One of the hardest things about stepping away from your blog for a little while is figuring out how to get back in it. That’s the problem I’m having trouble with now; the brain won’t kick in.

It’s like taking a break after you’ve been working out regularly and then trying to pick up where you left off. You realize just how out of shape your writing has gotten, how slow your pace is now—and how likely you are to sprain something.

Nothing like shame to try to keep you from getting back in the game, huh? Ironically, it’s often when we least feel like writing that we often most need to do so. I’m no exception.

What’s a writer to do?

Continue reading

What do you feed your Cowardly Lion?

The Cowardly Lion, Wizard of OzI *do* believe in spooks,
I *do* believe in spooks.
I do, I do, I do,
I *do* believe in spooks,
I *do* believe in spooks,
I do, I do, I do, I *do*!
The Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz

Fear, worry, panic — oh my!

They’re almost every creative’s steadfast companions. Because regardless how good we are, professional writers are expendable. Freelance, full time, part time, no time…there’s a Stop sign at the end of almost every Client Road.

(Gives ya the warm fuzzies, huh? Yeah, me too.)

Yet even though we know this, we’re still rattled when something in our work environment changes. New editor? New director? Someone leaving? Client folding?

What ever shall we do?

Here’s the problem: Evolution has hardwired us to seek more information about what’s scaring us so we can protect ourselves. Our imaginations can go nuts.

Here’s the thing: The Cowardly Lion never got much done by himself and if you’re gripped by fear, neither will you.

Here’s the good news: You decide what to feed your Cowardly Lion — panic-inducing information or empowering information. Continue reading