Weekly Writing Inspiration: May 3, 2013

I’m a little bit late getting around to this post this week but I’ve been a bit busier than I anticipated. Still, there is inspiration to be found everywhere and I want to take a moment to share that with you.

  1. New clients. Oh how I love the sweetness of getting a new client! It’s exciting. It’s full of potential. Things haven’t gone horribly, horribly wrong. Not that I’m saying things typically go wrong with my clients, but the thrill of new prospects keeps me focused and engaged in my work. All of my work. Old projects and new.

    writing inspiration

    Source: Alan Cleaver

  2. Taking risks. Going out on a limb. Plunging off the precipice. However you want to phrase it, embarking on new things is exciting. This is sort of related to number one on this list but it doesn’t have to do with clients per se. It’s more about my own efforts to expand my business and brand. Sorry for the vaguery, but I’ll offer more details as I have them. In short: I’m excited.
  3. Awesome talks that are awesome by Neil Gaiman. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and watch this video right now I’ll wait. Did you watch it? If you did you should be filled with a warm fuzzy sensation that spreads from the top of your head, down to your fingertips and out through your toes. This sensation is likely caused by microscopic kittens twitching their whiskers. The video is from a commencement address Gaiman gave at the University of the Arts in 2012. It’s called “Make Good Art,” and it’s actually being released as a book soon. I may need to buy this. 

And off we go into another weekend. What’s inspired you this week? Anything I should know about?

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Weekly Writing Inspiration: April 23, 2013

I thought I’d start a new thing here on my writing blog. What’s inspiring me this week? We’ll start out with a handful of things and see how that goes. I may cut back on these or increase them depending on what my life is like at the time. But this week, I’m inspired by:

Writing inspiration

Coffee + blogging = a good morning

  1. 1/2 caf Americanos. Just enough caffeine to kick my rear in gear but not so much to leave me a jittery mess
  2. YouTube videos by Google engineer, Matt Cutts. Learning so much cool stuff. Yes, I’m that nerdy.
  3. Moving forward on projects. After stagnation on a few big projects, they’re finally moving forward again and I’m feeling really positive about them. There is actual measurable progress. Which is awesome.
  4. New routines. I’m developing new routines and plans for my blogs, which is seriously exciting. I’ve blogged forever but never consistently enough. If I want to advise people on how to “market their brands” and “increase search engine traffic” and all of those other buzzwordy things, I need to actually do it myself. It’s more work, yes, but it can only yield positive results. And dammit, I find that inspiring!

That’s all for now. I’m going to try to make this a weekly thing, as I’m sure there will be at least one thing that inspires me each week. And please feel free to share what’s inspiring you this week, whether it’s something someone said to you, a particularly fun thing you did over the weekend, or a quote you read online, I want to know!

Health and Fitness Writing & Content: It’s Sort of My Thing

When I started freelance writing back in 2004, I scraped together projects however I could manage. My first article sold was actually never published. It was about Irish step dancing. From there, I had articles picked up by a few online publications, then print like ePregnancy. Unfortunately, that magazine folded. I did some more print work for Cat Fancy and Critters USA, which was awesome. Several articles appeared in international publications as well.

However, around 2007 I needed to increase my income substantially. I was moving out of my parent’s house and couldn’t just rely on writing for magazines to pay the bills. At that point, I’d done a few content projects here and there. I wrote ebooks and press releases and all of that. Just not as much as I do now.

In fact, for the past five years, I’ve spent most of my time writing web content, SEO, and doing work for companies like crafting white papers and company bios. Still, I never lost my love for the editorial style and it pleases me greatly that my work has once again shifted toward writing for publication.

I already blogged about my gig with Fit-Journey.com, which is exciting and allows me to really stretch my creative writing muscles (see what I did there?) but I’ve neglected to mention my work for other fitness and health sites.

As a contributor to Demand Media, I write articles for several sites including The Nest, AZ Healthy Living, The Bump, eHow, and Livestrong. I will be writing about this more in the future, but I just wanted to mention it now since these articles take up a significant portion of my workload. In fact, I went on a pinning rampage on Pinterest the other day and found I’d written over 500 articles for Livestrong covering health and fitness, beauty and skincare, credit/taxes, and business. Isn’t that nuts? All this time, I was worried I didn’t have enough content to share with you all but I was obviously mistaken!

As I move forward in this niche, I was wondering if any of my readers had preferences as to the subject matter I covered? Is there any area of health and fitness that you would like to see more attention paid? I’m always looking for new angles to cover so feel free to share!

New Contributor to Fit Journey

197345_257590267709483_1812477838_nGood news, ladies and gents! I was just contracted as a contributor to Fit-Journey.com. I’ll be writing eight articles a month for the site, covering the gamut of health and fitness topics from workout info to food ideas to lifestyle tips.

You can check out my latest article here:

5 Reasons NOW is the Time to Get Healthy

I’ll be posting snippets of articles as they’re published in the future. I’m excited to be writing about health and fitness. It’s a niche that is near and dear to me because it marked the beginning of my writing career. Thanks to Julia for the warm welcome to the team!

“Revenge is a Star in the Sky” Published in Bards and Sages Quarterly

THUMBNAIL_IMAGE2013 has been a slow year for me publication-wise but I’m pleased to reported by flash tale, “Revenge is a Star in the Sky,” appears in the April issue of Bard and Sages Quarterly alongside several of my writing friends, which is pretty cool. Here’s an excerpt:

She looked at the darkened sky that lay beyond her bedroom window. The stars mocked her with their twinkling. She lifted an eyebrow. I’ll grow up, I’ll get over it, she thought, smirking. Her eyes fell on one star in particular. It shone brighter than the rest and she knew why. She would make them pay.

And I have a treat for you, dear readers. Want to buy a copy? Go to the following link:

https://www.createspace.com/4229437

Then enter this code at checkout to get 10% off the print price: AK3ENESC

Dear September (Or, Now That You’re Five Months Old)

It’s your mom here. You don’t know me by that name yet. I don’t think you have any sort of name for me other than the outstretch of your arms, the grin on your face when you see me, and the furious way you stick out your tongue when you’re near my breasts. You know me as these things now at five months old. I know you by your brownish, blondish, reddish hair with the bald spot in the back. I know you by the way you grunt in your sleep and “eh, eh, eh” when you’re getting frustrated, or want to be held, or are getting hungry, or have a dirty diaper (or, or, or.) Funny. When I used dictation software to write and you make that “eh” sound, the computer writes it out as “or, or, or.”

I know you by your deep blue eyes and long lashes, a combination that is bound to make some boy or girl fall in love with you one day. I know that you like to nap without any pants on and that you’d much prefer to be hanging out in your diaper than deal with any pesky clothes. I know that you think it’s hilarious when Daddy runs your hand over his goatee and when I nibble your fingers and toes. You blow raspberries all day long and love the sound of your own voice, making new noises that test the range of your vocal abilities.

I know how warm you feel tucked in my arms. Already, you hang off my lap when I feed you. Just five months ago, the entirety of you fit on my lap, folded into the length of one arm. Now you’re big and getting bigger. I’m starting to understand how fast time rolls past us. While we’re caught up in the day-to-day struggles, trying to snatch as much sleep as we can, we forget to stop, breathe, and look. You’re growing up already. You’ll always be growing up. The thought of it fills me with pride and a bittersweet pang of letting go. One day. One day, I’ll have to let you go from my protective arms.

But not today. You are my sweet little baby. You’re perfect as all babies are perfect. You’re healthy and covered in rolls. Your thighs and neck are areas your dad and I love the most.

Most of all, you fill me with such joy. I want to hold you close and treasure you. Already, you want to get going. You want to explore. When you were born, you were pushing away from my chest, trying to lift your head. You were so strong. Still are. You’re trying to learn how to crawl now that rolling is no big deal. You want to move to everything you can, touch everything, put everything in your mouth. You’re my little explorer, fighting to capture the entire world all at once.

I’m just trying to keep up and trying not to let the damage of my past affect our future. I want to be a good mommy. I want to be someone you look up to, not run away from.

But those are concerns for another day. Today, I celebrate hugging you, kissing you, and discovering new ways to make you laugh and wave your arms in glee.

Love,

Mommy

The Things I Can’t Say

Mom.

Do you know how many years I wasn’t very fond of this word? It brought up all sorts of negative connotations for me. It’s not a positive word. It symbolizes anger, frustration, and irrationality. It symbolizes criticism and madness.

It was everything I didn’t want to be.

I held onto obscure hopes for a while. Maybe having a grandchild would change her, make her more open. Maybe it would make her forgive me for whatever perceived wrong I’d done to her. Maybe it would make her love me for who I am.

I was wrong.

When I was in tears three days post-partum, who did I call? Not my own mother. I called my mother-in-law. She was there. She listened.

You know the saddest part? I didn’t even think to call my mom. Not once.

If I call my mom, my dad picks up and I can hear her in the background telling him to say hello and that she loves me. But she never picks up the phone. Too busy rearranging piles of junk. Can’t be bothered with the sound of her own daughter’s voice.

I brought this up in a conversation with my dad recently. “Why doesn’t mom talk to me on the phone? She doesn’t even care,” I said.

“She cares,” he said. “She cares about you and loves you, but I understand why you think she doesn’t.”

Umm. Yeah. She has a funny way of showing affection. In the off chance I actually see her, she’s all smiles and hugs and wants to give us presents. But when there’s physical distance, she can’t be bothered. If there isn’t a “Thank you mom for being so thoughtful and buying me this stuff,” to be doled out, she’s not listening.

So the day after I gave birth, my mother-in-law came over and helped me learn how to breastfeed. I sat there, in a pretty vulnerable position, and she helped get my baby to latch on. I mean, this isn’t something I would have ever dreamed happening. But motherhood changes things. It forces you to be more open. To let your guard down. Emotions bubble up to the surface and you have to find those you can trust, otherwise you’ll just be lost.

I never once thought to call my mom. Because she couldn’t help me. I couldn’t even talk about the birth with her. Her experience was so horrible, I guess she couldn’t bear the thought mine was positive. Maybe if I’d been torn to pieces, I’d have gained her approval.

I wonder if she’ll ever know these things, the things I can’t say to her. I wonder if it would help if she knew.

But experience tells me the truth is something she likes to hide from. It’s something she doesn’t want to know, and when faced with it, lashes out in anger at me.

Always at me.

Because I was the only one in that house that ever spoke the truth. Maybe that’s why the sound of my voice offends her so. She’s afraid of what she might hear, and worse, that she might actually listen.