How a Change of Scenery Can Help Your Writing

The original goal of this post was to discuss my time out in nature, because, let’s face it, this pasty gal doesn’t go out in the sun very often. However, the more I recount that time out in nature, in a new place, I recall how much more productive I was with my writing. I was surrounded by the buzzing of life, the shock of green in an untouched forest, and the damp, heat of the Alabama weather. As a result, I found that my writing was matching my surroundings. It was intense, fresh, and new. While I still will be discussing my time out in nature, I want to focus on how a change of scenery can help your writing.

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First Rejection Letter of 2019

Not many people would be excited about receiving a rejection letter, and I’m thrilled that my work has been rejected. However, I am sure there are plenty of you out there who are also receiving your first rejection letter of 2019. While this isn’t fun, I do want to congratulate everyone who has received a rejection letter this year. Whether it be your first or your 50th, the fact that you submitted at all is a wonderful achievement.

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3 Things You Need to Do When Your Hobby Begins to Feel like a Job

It’s been a long, long, long time since I’ve actually stopped and enjoyed the process of writing. It came to a point where I would put things ahead of writing time. I had to prepare for my promotion, then I had to train once I received the promotion, then I had school, then I had tests, etc. Those things do take priority, but even during downtime, when none of those things were even happening, I still found myself saying, “It’s okay, I’ll write tomorrow.” My hobby was beginning to feel like a job.

I became the one person I always blogged about, trying to avoid. I am the writer who talks about writing, but never actually does.

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Coming Back from a Hiatus

How this all started

I was in my senior year of high school, and I was trying my best to be a writer when being a writer had never been so accessible. Self-publishing was booming, and I wanted to boom right along with it. A hiatus was nowhere in sight for me. I read so many blogs, books, and articles on writing and publication. All of them suggested creating and cultivating a social media presence.

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How to Be a Bad Writer, Then How to Get Better

What is a bad writer?

Not someone who isn’t sure where to put a comma, not someone who isn’t sure what the difference is between “effect” and “affect,” and not someone who writes in run-on sentences. No, none of these things mean that someone is a bad writer. No, no, in fact, it is something much simpler than that. You are bad writer if you don’t write.

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How to Deal with Hate Comments in Marketing and Writing

So, I have been playing around with various ad managers out their (Facebook, Instagram, etc), to try and get more feedback on my blog, as well as just get more eyes on it. I tend to see pretty far reach, high impressions, a reasonable amount of clicks, but not very much engagement with either the ads or the blog post linked to the ad. So, I tried to go a bit more informal with my ad copy and just straight up asked people if they would be willing to check out something I wrote. I was not expecting hate comments.

Well, I got what I wanted. I received a comment not long after I started my campaign. The comment was poking fun at my ad copy and how if that was any indication of my writing ability, they most certainly would mind reading anything else I wrote. It was the sickest of burns, to be perfectly honest, and had it been directed at anyone else, I probably would have laughed. However, because it was pointed at me, it felt like the worst possible thing to be said. I wouldn’t call it a hate comment, personally, but I could see how others might see it as one. Now, in that vulnerable state, there were many things I could have done, but I think I did what was probably best, and I want to share that process with you today:

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Entering a Writing Competition

I entered a writing competition

Writing competitions aren’t that different from submitting your work for general publication, but it just feels different. I feel like there is more at stake (though it could be that I had to pay a submission fee, which I have also never done before), and I feel that if I fail to win or place that it will just prove all of those insecure, internal voices right. Ultimately, though, if I ever plan to do anything more with my writing than just publishing one piece a year, I need to start taking chances, dipping my toes in bigger pools, and putting myself in more uncomfortable situations.

So here I am, I have entered a writing competition, and I am scared to death. The process itself wasn’t very difficult. I did the same thing I have done anytime I have submitted anything to anyone, expect I had to put in my credit card info, which felt really weird and wrong. Ultimately though, I shouldn’t be as worried as I am right now. At this point, though, you are probably wondering why this matters to you:

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4 ways to change your work environment for the better

Since finding my first real job out of college, I’ve started working with some of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. It truly is a privilege. Even so, we all are very strong in our beliefs, opinions, and ideas, and that, of course, bleeds into our work. As I’m sure you can imagine, this causes a bit of tension. However, like I said, I work with some brilliant people, and they have taught me a lot about how I can alter my work environment for the better. Here are a few of those:

Respond, don’t react
When you get a seemingly passive aggressive email, post-it, letter, etc. it’s very easy to take that shocked, hurt, angry feeling and throw it right back at the person. It will probably feel good for a second, but did that really help rectify the situation? When you coworker gets your response, how do you think they will react? Don’t be the one who reacts. Stop, reread it, think through the message, think through the voice you might have used to read it initially, then craft a response. Try to assume the best so you can, hopefully, avoid the worst.

People aren’t mind readers. Over explain.
We have a bunch of processes at work to help ensure everything gets done as close to perfect as possible. Of course, people want to take shortcuts and may not do everything 100%. This will probably make your job harder. It’s very easy to get angry, complain, gossip, etc. again, though, try to assume the best to avoid the worst. If you must request new paperwork, if you must ask for more information, whatever you need to request, or request be fixed, try to explain why this information is pertinent to the process. They may not understand the importance of something and assume it isn’t important at all. Really, if they have never done your job, how would they know what is/isn’t important? Over explain, open your world to them, and maybe they will be able to see it from your side and do better.

Remember, everyone’s a middle man
This line was so eye-opening for me because it is so true. Unless you are working right under the CEO, the founder, the sponsors, etc. chances are, they are doing something because they told to do it by a higher up. They more than likely aren’t trying to make your life harder, purposefully. Try to assume that whatever odd, inconvenient request that comes your way is only coming through this person because it was forced on them. Makes the whole situation much more palatable, I feel.

It’s all about perception, so change yours
Pretty much everything I suggested prior to this point has been all about changing your own perception on things. The reason for this? Let’s face it, you can’t make people change. You can’t control the people around you, but you can control yourself. Change starts with you. If you assume and perceive everything as negative, then everything is going to be negative. If you can alter your own perception, then your work environment will begin to change. Of course, this is easier said than done. It takes a lot of behavior changes and mental exercises, but you’d be surprised how much changes based on your attitude. Change can happen. Go for it.

What do you think? Do these seem a bit too obvious? Have you done anything like this before? Are you going to try any of these tips? Let me know, and comment below! Thank you so much for your time.

Lissy

I’m a Binge-Eater

IMG_4652When I started this blog, I started it with the goal of running a “talk-shop” blog. I was going to talk about books, writing, writers, and publishing, all as I pursued my dreams of becoming an author. I wanted to meet other writers, make connections, make life-long friends that I could Skype with over hot coffee and talk about our craft. I just wanted to write about writing.

The longer I write and post, the more I realize that I really needed this to write about myself. I have been suffering with something I’m finally ready to admit is a problem: binge-eating. I binge. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s ever going to end. Other days, I feel like I can stop. Food is my enemy, at least that is how I used to think. I am my enemy. Part of it is from stress, part of it is from loneliness… and for some reason, the only way I know how to cope is to eat.

I don’t want pity. Believe me, I’m going to be okay.

Sugar and fast food seem to be my favorite drug. Occasionally, I will go and get something from McDonald’s. “The dollar menu is so enabling,” I tell myself. It’s another excuse. I stop at the dollar store and pick up a bunch of candy bars and snack cakes. “This is too good of a deal,” I tell myself. Excuse, after excuse… When I get home, I look at my hoard, and I start by making a deal with myself. I will have just one cake and one burger. That will be my dinner and dessert. That’s how it starts, but the moment I take that first bite, it’s over. One box of snack cakes, one bag of $1 hamburgers down, my stomach hurts, my wallet hurts, and despite everything, my heart still hurts.

It feels so good when it’s happening, though.

Once again, I don’t want pity. Think of this as a journal entry you happened upon. One entry in an old, tattered journal you found abandoned on a park bench one day. Out of curiosity, you peek, and here you are. I’m tired of suffering in silence. I want to be better, and I’m going to get better. I promise.

Lissy

The Big Question: “Why?”

Hello!

Once again, I’m back with another repost/rewrite/thing. When I wrote this original post, I made it a point to say I was writing for others. I was writing for this selfless reason that made me look like such a giving, thoughtful artist. Yeah, that definitely wasn’t the case then, and it definitely isn’t the case now. I have, and always will, write for myself.

When I decided I was finally going to pursue writing and publishing as a serious endeavor, I sought out as much advice as I possibly could from anyone that seemed even remotely more experienced than me. Don’t get me wrong, I picked up a lot of really great advice along the way, but I also heard a lot of bad. One person I knew, who was writing and posting ¬†his work publicly to FaceBook, was one of those people I sought advice from. I admired his voice and the style of his writing, as well as his confidence (which I had absolutely none of), so, naturally, I asked him for some advice. His advice?

You should always write for your audience. Always write for someone else. Writing for yourself is fun and all, but it doesn’t sell. You won’t go anywhere if you’re not writing for somebody else. Don’t write unless you have a purpose.

I took that to heart back then and did my best to focus on others, rather than myself. He’s not entirely wrong, though. You do have to consider audience when writing as that determines the genre, who will most likely read it, etc. But others shouldn’t dictate¬†why you write. You don’t have to have some great purpose in your writing. There should be plot and structure, yes, but you shouldn’t be forced to write because of some underlying reason.

Sure, if you do, do it. Go for it. Fulfill that purpose to the ends of the earth. More power to you, but I’m not going to pretend that I am writing for anyone or anything. I am not writing for my dad, my brother, my sister, the president, Bradley Cooper, etc. I am writing for me. I like to write. If what I write sounds like hot, steamy garbage, who cares? If it never gets published? Oh well. If I post this repost and not a single person sees it, meh. I am writing for me. It’s cathartic, it’s fun, it’s something I’ve done and crafted for so long just because I wanted to be a better writer.

I write for myself. Don’t be ashamed if you do, too.

Thanks for reading.

-Lissy