Promises, Promises

quote-self-trust-is-the-first-secret-of-success-ralph-waldo-emerson-48-37-43
 I’ve hinted a bit lately on Twitter and in other posts that I was working on some exciting things. My plans are still in the works, but I felt at this point I should probably start putting it all out there and making it a reality. Everyone knows, once you tell someone your goals you are more likely to stick with them for fear of public failure. Or, at least that is how it works for me.
 There are so many things going on in my brain right now that it is actually difficult to get it all out and onto this screen without just becoming a jumbled mess of words that make sense to no one but myself, so stick with me here. I’m really trying.
 I have been working on plans for 2018. I’ve told myself that it has to be a better year than 2017. I honestly can’t handle any more bad, not like I’ve had the last year. Not at all if I can help it, but I realize that is probably not possible.
 In my planning I’ve decided a few things about myself and the direction that I want my life to take. I’ve already put some of my plan into motion already. That is, I’ve gotten approved to volunteer weekly at my local Public Library. It may not seem like much to some of you, but books are a huge part of my life. Without them I may not have made it this far into adulthood. I’m unsure I would have even survived adolescence. I start my actual volunteering in January due to some family events I have planned out of state, but I feel it is a great way to start the new year anyway.
 Beyond the Library I decided on a few other things. First being this is the year I finally put myself out there with my writing. And I mean really out there. So far I have a Patreon set up which I am officially putting out in the world for you all to view and hopefully it will really help.
 I have also decided this is the year to get myself into Freelancing. I know it won’t be easy. I know it is going to be hard as hell actually, but I’m determined and somehow I will figure it out and I will succeed. Even if it takes me all year. With that said, if anyone has suggestions or is looking for someone to guest blog- shoot me an email!
 Can there be more? Oh yes, of course there can. It is me after all and if there is one thing I do it is set up millions of goals for myself. Some days having an obsessive personality and Manic episodes can really get yourself into more than you expected. Today may end up being one of those days, but I won’t dwell on that, not yet anyway.
 I finally have an idea for a novel. One that I want more than anything to see finished. So this year I plan to write it. I’m starting my goal with just a first draft, but in reality I’d love to see myself editing a second or final draft by the end of the year. Or if I could have that part done by November for NaNoWriMo that’d be great. I would hate to have to work on a second project for a month while I’m still in the middle of the first one. Speaking of NaNoWriMo- another goal is to participate, and win, both Camp NaNos and NaNoWriMo (April, July, & November). I also hope to continue working on the poetry collection that I started a few months ago entitled “I’m Not Afraid of Dying” and has a large focus on the last year of my life recovering from the loss of my brother. Sure a major underlying theme is loss, but it isn’t all about death. It has been difficult to work on but I do hope to have a final draft of the Chapbook by the end of the year as well.
 This past year didn’t go well for me. I struggled to survive and was just barely able to do that. The one thing I did have that worked for me, when I used it, was my Bullet Journal. This year I decided to make a digital one so that I could save paper, update it wherever I am, not have to try and draw, and so I could share with others if they were interested in making a copy of it for themselves. It is basic and bare bones, but if you would like a copy of it, it is yours. I hope you are able to take the base and add into it all the things you need to keep yourself on track for the year. Do make sure you make a copy of it before you start trying to edit and make it your own. You will not be able to edit the Template, which is why you need a copy. 2018 BuJo Template
 I hope that everyone is as excited as I am for all the new things that you plan to do with your life and your new year. I am forever trying to improve myself, live as my truest self, and to just be happy (that one can be difficult with Type 2 Bipolar).
 As always I love comments, emails, Tweets, whatever form of communication you want so keep it coming!

Time to Get My Culture On

So I don’t lead a very exciting life. I’m working on getting out more and doing activities, but right now the most I do is leave my house to get food or play D&D.
I’m perfectly okay with this of course, but I’d love to start getting more culture back into my life. There was once a time where I was able to go to the museum when new collections arrived and I’d love to start doing that again. In fact I really need to see what they have going on now…. Columbia Museum of Art
Beyond art I have other things that I know I need to do to keep my mind stimulated. My life is about to get busy and it has started to make me panic. I don’t do busy well, I don’t do plans well. I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, but that obviously isn’t working out for me now is it?!

It has been about a month since I wrote this. Good news is, I actually did go to the Museum recently. It was nice. I also had Brunch with friends and walked around the Farmer’s Market. I’m hoping that we make this a regular thing. Just going out to do things outside of the house, but also that aren’t all about D&D.
I still have some great plans for 2018 and upcoming posts, but I wanted to revisit this post that I had started to say that I am at least already making progress in my life. Or at least in this aspect of my life. Eventually things will have to shift again, change is inevitable, but at least I can try to shape and mold the way things change. I hope.

So that is all for now. Just a short post to say that things are getting better. Slowly, but still better.

I did it again….

I have a nasty habit of setting a goal for myself and once it is set and the intention is out there I just ignore it. It is something about myself that I’ve been working on most of my life. As I’m sure you can guess it hasn’t worked out well for me yet, but I will keep trying. This is what has happened with this years NaNoWriMo goals. Actually, it has happened with a lot of my recent goals for myself, but that isn’t something that I’m ready to get into.

Let’s talk about NaNo….

I made the goal to write for the month of November. 50,000 words in one month is quite a goal, but not unrealistic. I’ve done it before, so there is no reason I couldn’t do it again! Alas, what actually happened was nothing. I didn’t even log in once to participate. Not once.

As it stands right now I’ll have to go to my NaNo dashboard and erase the million emails I have there from November and that’ll be the first time since I wrote my original 2017 NaNo post that I’ve been there. It is sad that this happened, but it did and I just have to be okay with it.

My writing has suffered recently. Not just NaNo, but in general. A lot of my life has suffered. I’m working on getting out of this funk, but in reality it has always been this way and I doubt anything is ever going to change it. I just have to continue to remind myself that writing, in all the forms that I love, is what I am supposed to do.

I don’t know how to get where I want to be, but I really hope to work towards a real goal for 2018 with my writing in one way or another. There are so many ways to get there, to be a “real writer”. I want to be paid to do what I love, not just work every day to pay the bills so I can have no energy after the day is done to do what I actually enjoy. That is not a life that I want to lead, but it is the life that I have right now.

Any suggestions on freelancing or how to break into finding places to pay me to write I’m all ears. I can do most anything, if I put my mind to it I know. Any one can. I guess I just have to try harder.

I realize that I really only talk about two things in this blog, writing and mental illness. I am planning on changing that in 2018 as well. There is so much more to me than just those two things. I have so much more to tell you and share with you, so I hope that you do keep an eye out. There is so much more of me to come.

Eventually I’ll have a post, probably closer to the end of December when I’ll have time off, that I can really express where I want to see my blog going for 2018 and what I am trying to set as goals for myself so maybe you all can hold me accountable since I obviously can’t do it myself. For now, this will have to do.

I hope you stick around. I hope you are as excited to kick this crappy year out and try to make 2018 a better one- even though there are things out of our control that are scary and unsettling.

I will be back soon, and I’ll have so much more to show you.

Hamilton

I have been binge listening to Hamilton for several weeks now. This isn’t the first time I’ve listened to it, nor is it the first time I’ve binge listened to it, but for some reason something has really struck a chord with me on this round of binging. There is a line that comes up in several songs “Why do you write like you are running out of time?” and it hit me this morning while I was listening to the soundtrack at work- Why am I not writing like I’m running out of time? I would think that is something I should want to do, always. I do remember a time when this was the case, but for some reason I have lost it. It isn’t like I’m uninterested, or that I lack the passion. I have it. I also have depressive episodes, so it makes things harder to accomplish.
I’ve talked about this before, several times as some of you might be aware. I’m not sure how to always how to keep pushing through these kinds of things, but I am trying either way. What better way then immersion. I’ve spent several weeks doing nothing. I think it was even less than nothing if that is possible, which having lived my life for the last two weeks I know for a fact that it is, but I guess at least the end result is this, me sitting here and writing this instead of continuing to binge watch a show I’ve seen before on Netflix or spending 8 hours a day playing WoW.
Life has a way of getting away with me sometimes. I let so much of what is going on in my head dictate what my life is doing, and not in a good way. I realize that most people don’t know when I’m doing poorly. Instead of taking the time off when I need to get my mind straight I keep up appearances. I go to work and do my job and by the end of the day I’ve spent all my energy for the next week. When I’m out of work it is impossible to get that energy back, no matter how little I do. I could lay in bed and watch Netflix until the moment I’m out of work until I go to bed and guess what? I’m still not recharged when the day starts over again the next day.
I need to start taking better care of myself. I’ve heard so much from so many people about self care, and I know that is going to be different for everyone, but part of my self care involves writing. So I need to be more conscious of what I’m doing or not doing in order to keep and eye on myself and try to get myself into a good head space. There will obviously be times when this is impossible, I do have Bipolar after all, but at least being more mindful of what is going on with myself would be a good idea instead of always trying to ignore it in order to be a functioning adult, or just functioning in general. A few times in Therapy I was asked what I do when I have the kind of day where I just want to build a blanket fort and hide away all day. I didn’t even have to think about the answer. I get up and go to work because I’m required to push myself beyond my limits to pay my bills and to do what is right for my family. I’m going to try to be more aware of those days and maybe at least take it easier on myself. I’m not going to be able to change the fact that I have to get up and do what I’ve got to do, but I could at least be patient with myself while I’m trying to work my way through it.
All of this is circular thinking on my part. I’m talking about pushing myself to write, which is a way that I need to talk care of myself, but I’m also being hard on myself for not writing during a time when I know I should be easy on myself. I guess this just shows that I’ll never really be able to win this fight, but that isn’t really what I wanted to get out of writing this. What I want to be focusing on is taking care of myself. There will be days when I need to push myself in a good way, and there will be days that I need to stop beating myself up and just take it easy.
I want to assume that everyone goes through this kind of process with themselves, but I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one who doesn’t take the time or effort to take care of themselves in a proper way. So today I’m going slow, but I’m still going and that is what is important. For anyone else that is struggling like I am— be kind to yourself and take it slowly if you need it. Only push yourself when it is actually going to be helpful.
As for me: I’m going to try to get some work done this weekend!

writing

Poetry & Writing

When I started writing as a kid, it was originally what could best be described as a short story. It was actually a quite embarrassing piece of work that followed me around for ages, but has been lost in recent years and I’m super sad about it… really. It was something along the lines of: Page 1 – What makes flowers grow? Page 2- Dirt makes flowers grow. Page 3- Water makes flowers grow— I think you get the hint by now. I mean, I was like six or seven when I wrote this, so I feel like it was pretty advanced myself! Who am I kidding, it was awful, but that really isn’t the point of what I’m getting at here.
I’ve spent the last several years straying away from my roots as a writer. I have been trying over and over unsuccessfully to write a novel. I would go from idea to idea never getting past a first draft. Often I would never even complete the first draft. I get a great idea, and for a few weeks I am obsessed. And then I’m not. The thought of trying to work on whatever story I’m doing makes me want to scream so I give up and start something new, or go through all my old scraps of ideas looking for renewed interest. I have been repeating this process on and off for the last ten years. I have recently sat myself down to try to figure out why I’m struggling with writing.
Before I had started to try to figure out this world of novel writing I would write poetry. Sometimes short prose and rarely something that could almost be considered a short story. Why had I moved on from writing that works well for me and I love doing? That is sort of easy. I thought, in order to be a “real writer” I had to be able to write a full novel. I thought there was no way I could ever make any money at all writing poetry, or anything shorter then a novel. I’ve never been one to be about the money, but some day I would love for writing of some form or another to be my “real job”.
Thinking about it all now it seems silly to me. There are plenty of amazing poets out there that I admire. Why would I think that they are not “real writers”? If I could think it about myself, then it must apply to all poets. I’ve recently even put out a request for favorite poets across Facebook and Twitter. It was amazing to see the love of poetry from my friends. It made my heart warm a little bit if I’m being honest. I don’t know why I felt the need to convince myself that the thing I loved so much wasn’t worthy and that instead I had to waste 10 years of my life trying to do something that I should have known I would never accomplish. Who knows, novel writing might be in my future, but it is not going to be anything I try again for awhile. And I’m totally okay with that.
I came across a quote today as I was sitting here writing this. It seems relevant and something that I need to often remind myself.

If you’re writing, you’re a writer.
― Alan W. Watts

At this point in my life I don’t want to waste any more time on something that isn’t making me happy. I will be going back to my roots and living my true self as a writer/poet. I will work on poetry, various kinds of short prose, short stories, and even submit articles around to see if anyone bits. If the ‘Letter to the Editor’ that I wrote in 8th grade taught me anything it is that I can argue my point and stir quite a bit of controversy in a community if I am passionate enough. I have many passions these days. I would love to make my 8th grade self proud of who I’ve become as a writer.
Do any of you have poets that you love to read (or hear in cases like Spoken Word)? I will leave this with a link to one of my favorite contemporary Spoken Word poets right now, who did a TED talk. (I am a bit obsessed with her)

Sarah Kay’s TED talk

Half Year Review

Oddly enough I find myself a week ahead of schedule on blog posts. (Yay for that one morning last week where I got up early enough to write an advance post.) While every part of me says this is the perfect time to take a break and not write anything, I feel like I’m at an advantage and I should take it. For once I’m not scrambling last minute to put together a post. I can actually write this one, and change it or edit it if I feel the need before next week. How exciting? Yeah, I’m easily excitable.
It is that time in the year, it has hit the 6 month mark, and I need to sit down and evaluate where I stand with my goals that I’ve created throughout the year. This is the first year where I’ve actually tracked my goals this long. Usually I’ve given up by now, so the fact that I haven’t speaks volumes, at least to me anyway. One of the things I’ve noticed so far this year is that my goals are always evolving. I’ve probably changed them 5 or 6 times since January. It has taken me a bit, but I’m finally starting to feel like changing or evolving my goals to fit my life and myself as I learn more about what I really want is okay. It is better than okay, it is exactly what I need.
I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my bullet journal. This is the first year I’ve worked with one, and while I have zero artistic abilities and it can be a little plain, it has done wonders for me. I’m not only able to plan out my days/weeks/months/year, but I’m also able to write down anything else that feels important. Bill tracking, addresses, therapy topics… You name it, it is there probably. This is how I’ve noticed the evolving of my goals, as I sit down to figure out what it is that I want out of my year. I realized, when I started this year that not only was I depressed, I was working off a list that I created before my whole world was thrown into chaos. I gave myself goals that I was either never going to accomplish, or that I really had no interest in accomplishing. Or, there were some that I really did want to accomplish, but that realistically weren’t going to happen. I’m trying to be more logical about the goals I give myself now. There is no reason at all to give myself goals to change who I am as a person, when I try, I end up just beating myself up over unrealistic goals instead of trying to find compromises that work for me.
I even tried to do the level 10 life, which you might remember from my April check in post. Well that backfired as without real track-able goals I have a hard time knowing if I’m making progress. It is a cute idea, just not one that works for me for tracking goals, though I might keep it as a visual reminder of where I am with my goals. I think that could be helpful. I guess we will see!
In past posts I’ve provided all the goals that I’m working on. I’m not going to do that this time. Until I got to this point I wasn’t sure if I was going to add them to this post or not, and I guess I even have time for things to change, but as of this writing I do not feel like including them. You may be asking yourself why I won’t include them? It really isn’t anything more than putting that much information about my personal goals out there is starting to make me uncomfortable. At least today. The anxiety is real people! But I also want this post to be about the fact that I realized my original goals were not good for me, so I decided to change them. That is what is important. That is the take away from this.

Routine

Well, vacation is over, I’m back home and going back to work shortly. Reality is setting in and I’m checking out mentally and emotionally. Why? I’m just at that vacation hangover stage. I spent so much energy while I was away that I honestly have nothing left. I haven’t had time to recharge before going back to work and back to all that is expected of me, but that is fine, that is what being an adult is right? Doing what needs to be done even when all you really want to do is stay in bed, with the possibility of blanket forts?
I’m okay being back to the grind as they might say. I do enjoy my job, I’m just tired. What I’m mostly ready to get back into is my routine, or at least trying to figure out what that routine is. There are many things that I feel need to be done in a day, or a week. I’m still working on figuring out how to get all of these things done as often as I’d like. I feel like this is something that I struggle with often and am the most verbal about. I’m not good at balancing my life, which is why when things start to get to be too much I just give up and break down. I just stop, and that is the point I’ve been at for the past few months. I haven’t made much effort to figure any of this out, even though I have wanted to do it. I just do things whenever the mood strikes me, and while that doesn’t really seem like a bad thing the honest truth is that the mood doesn’t strike me very often. More often than not I procrastinate until I have limited or no time left to do any of the things that I want and that makes me frustrated and want to not do it at all. So yeah, that is a nice cycle I have myself in.
I wasn’t really here to talk about any of that, but if you have read any of my past posts, you realize that I write about whatever happens to be on my mind that day. Which is another thing that I’ve been trying to change. I’d love to be able to schedule blog posts and then just write the ‘off the cuff’ ones as the need arises. That’d have me posting more than once a week and I’d really like that, however, that, like most other things in my life right now, requires me to get this damn routine or schedule figured out. One of these days I’ll know what I’m doing. I even have a tracker in my bullet journal that is supposed to be helping me stay on the right path. Really all it has done is show me how little I’m doing of the things that I want to do (that sentence was painful for me to write).
So what are my plans to figure it out now and why is it going to be different than it has been so far? Well, hell if I know. Right now I’m just in the planning stage of this idea. I’m trying to figure out what I’ve done wrong so I can figure out how to do it right this time. I am going to assume one of the first things that I need to do is get on the right sleep schedule so that I’m able to plan out the rest of my day accordingly. For example, today I got up a half hour earlier than I normally would. This allowed for me to get my coffee made, journal, and even write this, which normally I’d not have time to do this part. So, if I continue to get up 30 minutes early, that will allow me time to work on my blog every day, and that is something that I’d really love to be able to do. And today at lunch I will do my best to get my reading in, which is what I’ve been doing up to this point (minus vacation, of course). And after work, well that will be cooking, writing, working out time. And then once all that is done, I can try to fit in whatever other less important things I want to do with my day, before crashing hopefully by midnight. Then repeat tomorrow. I guess that sounds like I have some sort of idea on what I’m going to do. Which is more or less what I’ve tried to do in the past, but procrastinated my way through it.
I guess that means the key to this isn’t the schedule, but actually sticking to it. I will have to do my best to try and do that. What are you suggestions for keeping a routine? Any tips or tricks that might help me?