A New Way Of Planning

Getting sick of my 2019-prep blog posts? Too bad, I’m pulling content out of my rear while I prep for 2019.

A New Way of Planning | Blogging | Blog Posts | Creative writing | RachelPoli.com

I’ve actually decided to do something a little different for next year. I always try to stay a month ahead in my blogging – sometimes it works and other times too many things get in the way and I end up behind. So, I figured I might try to plan a little differently for 2019.

I’m still going to try my best to stay ahead of the game next year, but instead of just doing the planning a month in advance, I’m going to try to plan the whole year.

Sounds like a lot, I know.

But I think if I brainstorm enough content ideas and themes, I can come up with blog post ideas along the way and have the ability to write them a month in advance – or, at least the ones that can be written in advance.

My calendar planner goes from June to July, so I won’t be able to get my 2019-2020 planner (wow, that’s weird to write) until May or so, but that’s what notebooks are for, right? Or, at the very least, I can plan the first six months of the year.

I already know some content changes I’ll be making to the blog, which I’ve already talked a little about. You know, more personal than educational with writing, reading, and blogging. I’ll talk more about why I’m changing that in a blog post in January.

Still, I have a lot of ideas and new features that I need to plan out and organize. I think looking at the year as a whole and getting a basic idea of how I want each month to go will be ideal.

How are you planning for 2019? How do you prep your blog posts? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Blog Prep For 2019

2019 is right around the corner. I have no idea where 2018 went… I don’t even know where December is going. I can’t believe we’re just about halfway through the month. It’s crazy.

December has always been a month of reflection and prep for me. Looking back of all that I’ve accomplished this year and looking ahead to see how I can improve and keep going in the following year. There’s a lot I plan to do in 2019, so this month hasn’t been any different from past Decembers.

Blog Prep for 2019 | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

I’ve been brainstorming and getting things prepped for 2019 since September/October. I don’t know why, but I always get in the mood to look ahead to the new year around that time. Maybe that’s why things go so fast. I rush it without meaning to.

Anyway…

2019 will be big!

My blog posts and the type of content I publish will be slightly different next year. Nothing too drastic, but more “personal” and “real,” if you will. I’ll also be doing something a little different with the guest posts that I host on the blog as well.

I’m thinking of new marketing ideas for the blog along with other things (you know, like my book).

There will also be three new… things? Features? Whatever you want to call them. I’m still working on them and have no idea when they’ll start, but I’m hoping all of them will happen in 2019. One will be on the blog, one is for the blog but on something else, and the other is unrelated to the blog.

So, there are those three things along side regular blogging and writing. I’ve gotten a decent head start on things though, so hopefully soon!

With that said, there’s still a lot of prep work I need to do for the month of December. It’s not easy with the holidays, but I’m excited and hope you guys will enjoy the many things to come!

Are you doing any prepping for the new year for your own work? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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I Need Your Input – 2019

So… 2019 is right around the corner. How in the world did that happen?

2019 Ideas | Blogging | Creative Writing | Lifestyle | RachelPoli.com

New Features

So many new things will be coming in 2019 and I can’t wait to share them with you all, but… today is not that day.

There was no reason for me to include this section into the post.

I Need Your Input

I’m going to be doing things a little differently on the blog in 2019. The daily schedule will remain the same – I’ll still post short stories, writing prompts, and book reviews as well as guest posts, interviews, and the like.

However, I usually have a monthly “theme” that goes along with the blog. For example, last January I talked a lot about character development. Sometimes I talk about editing or the mystery genre (hence Mystery Month in May).

This has been a lot and if I’m going to be honest, I’m kind of running out of ideas.

I still plan on doing monthly themes but not all the posts will be about the specific. I’m going to do my life and personal posts and more updates on my own writing and such.

With that said, I want to know what you want to know.

  • Are there any topics you want to learn about? (Creative writing, blogging, reading, etc.)
  • Is there anything you want to know about me and my work?
  • Are there specific blog posts you have in mind? (Not necessarily a vague category such as “creative writing.”)

I enjoy doing the research and learning alongside you guys. I have my own ideas but I want to know what you guys want to see on the blog.

This doesn’t have to strictly be writing or anything either. I plan to add more life-style-type blog posts. Honestly, I think that will be a blog post in itself and I’ll explain why I’ve decided to do that. (Though that post won’t come until January.)

Let Me Know In The Comments!

I really want to hear your input! I value your opinions and am trying to make this space bigger and better. I’m looking forward to 2019!

Do you have any ideas for what you’d like to see? Are you looking forward to 2019? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!

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December 2018 [Goals]

2018 December Goals | Creative Writing | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I’m just plugging along on my reading list. I’ll still be uploading a book review every Saturday. Honestly, I have no idea where I am in my Goodreads goal because I’ve gotten so behind keeping track of that. So, aside from reading, my goal this month is to catch up on my Goodreads and get that updated.

Writing

December is all about playing catch up. I’ve gotten behind on some writing projects and I’d like to get my head on straight with them. Though there will be a separate blog post about my writing soon.

Blogging

Again, more catch up. Well, I guess not catch up per say… there’s a lot I need to do for 2019 for the blog and something extra. So, I guess more getting my head on straight. I want to finish my December posts and get a head start on January. Plus, there’s something else that will be coming in 2019 though I don’t know when yet. I’m hoping January or February.

What are your plans for December and the end of the year? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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November 2018 [Wrap Up]

2018 November Wrap Up | Blogging | Creative Writing | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I feel like I’ve been in such a reading slump for a while now though I haven’t missed a book review. This month, I started catching up with a series that got me into reading in the first place and now I want to read all the books in the world, which is a great feeling. With that said, I’ve read and reviewed four books for this month. You can check them out on my Reading List.

Writing

NaNoWriMo was successful! I wrote 50,000 words of Short Story Sundays for 2019 plus editing and revising of some other projects. It felt good to get all that writing done. I feel like I haven’t written like that since the last NaNo session. So, that was great.

Blogging

December posts as well as new and updated ideas for 2019 are a-go! I’m excited and it’s been taking up the majority of my time (my poor writing!) but hopefully it’ll all work out and you guys will like it. I’m looking forward to the new year!

Posts to Remember

1. Meet Annette Rochelle Aben, Author
2. November & December 2018 Writing Submissions
3. My Writing Space

How did November treat you? Are you looking forward to November? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Thank You

Thanksgiving comes once a year, but saying a thank you here and there is never frowned upon. Still, Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to say a quick thanks.

Thank You | Thanksgiving | Thankful | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Thank You to all my fellow bloggers and writers. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people through WordPress and various social media. We’ve helped each other on our blogging journey as well as encourage each other through our writing endeavors. The community is awesome and the support is so overwhelming. (In a good way, of course.)

Thank You to all my readers. It amazes me how many people care about what I have to say and enjoy my creative writing. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to continue blogging and writing if I didn’t have any readers. Well, I guess I could continue it, but it’d be way less fun.

Thank You to all my patrons on Patreon. The kind of support and community over there amazes me as well and it’s truly heartwarming to know there are people who believe in me that much and put so much faith in my work.

Thank You to all my friends and family. I don’t think many people I know in real life read my blog (I know some of them do), but whether they read it or not, they’re support is amazing as well. This blog wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t have the encouragement from them to keep going and to even take the risk to quit my job and just go for this whole writing thing.

Thank You to everyone. You all have a special place in my heart and I couldn’t do this without you.

What are you most thankful for? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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NaNoWriMo 2018 Update Three

NaNoWriMo 2018 Week Three Update | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

As most of you know, my daily goal is to write 2,000 words a day. If I write at all I always hit at lest 2,000. Thought I have skipped a few days here and there.

Word Count

Day 15: 2,193
Day 16: 0
Day 17: 2,080
Day 18: 0
Day 19: 4,148
Day 20: 2,048
Day 21:
Haven’t written yet this morning!
Week Three Total: 
10,469

Week three wasn’t too bad. It was busy since the majority of it was me trying to balance writing, blogging, and prepping for Thanksgiving. I’m definitely in the home stretch now though. I’m hoping to hit 50k words today and take a break over Thanksgiving weekend.

Projects

I spent the whole week working on Short Story Sunday 2019, which is 52 shorts/flashes – one for every Sunday of 2019. These will be under my Short Story Sunday category next year. I’m just about done with the whole year, which means 2019 will have about 50,000 words word of flash fiction.

NaNo Week Three

Week three is officially over. It’s hard to believe NaNo has one week left. It’ll be here before we know it.

How did week three go for you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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My Biggest Writing Fear [& Guest Post Opportunities!]

As writers, we all have fears, insecurities, and doubts about what we do. Being a creator isn’t easy and while it can be relaxing we put our heart and soul into our work. We keep creating though – writing, drawing, making music – whatever it is you do, you keep creating. Still, there are some days when you feel unsure about yourself and your work. So, here’s my biggest writing fear.

My Biggest Writing Fear & Guest Post Opportunities | Blogging | Creative Writing | Writing Fears and Tow to Overcome Them | RachelPoli.com

My Writing Fear

If you know me and you’ve been following this blog for a while, then I assume you know I want to make a living writing. I want to publish books, write articles, and do anything that has to do with writing. There are other things I want to do but haven’t tried yet because time and… well, I plan on too many projects at once.

I say I want to make a living writing, which means I want it for my career and make money from my words. When I say that, I don’t mean I want to be “rich” or “famous” I just want to live comfortably doing what I love for a living. I don’t write for the money, I write because I love it. Unfortunately, in order for me to write all the time, I need to make money off it. It’s kind of an annoying cycle.

With that, I’m most afraid of failing.

No, not failing to make a decent income from my money so I can write comfortably and spend the rest of my days with my imaginary friends. I’m afraid of failing in the way that no one will enjoy my stories.

I think this is a common writing fear – or common fear in general for any creator. You’re afraid of failing in a way that you’ll pour your heart and soul into something and no one will enjoy it.

The truth is, not everyone in the world is going to enjoy your work. Everyone has different likes and dislikes, have different opinions, and view things with a unique perspective. If someone doesn’t enjoy your work, it doesn’t mean that it’s “bad.” It just wasn’t right for that particular person.

I know all this and yet, I still panic about publishing my first book. I’ve put it off for so long because I’ve been afraid no one would buy it or they wouldn’t enjoy it if they did buy it. It’s a vicious cycle. It’s one of those things though that you just have to do it. Work hard and do your best, but you just have to get it out there and do it.

I was super nervous when I posted by very first Short Story Sunday on here. I felt as though it was a test for me. If people responded well to my short stories then maybe I could get away with publishing something. Almost seven years later, nearly 250 shorts and poems later, and I have met quite a few people – readers and writers alike – who have been very supportive, encouraging, and give me constructive criticism. I wouldn’t do anything different and I’m proud to be part of such an awesome community.

Accepting Rejection

It sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s good advice. As a writer, you need to be willing to accept rejection. Not everyone is going to enjoy your work, but there are people out there who will love it.

The fear will always be there as will the nerves, but it’s just something you have to push through. It’s a risk you should be willing to take.

Guest Posts for 2019

I’ll be doing something a little different in 2019 for guest posts. I’m limiting the guest post dates to 24 throughout the year – two dates each month. One guest each month (12 of them) will be normal guest posts where people can pitch a topic based on creative writing or reading and express their thoughts in their own article.

The other 12 guest posts, one for each month, will be under a theme. I’m bringing Inspiration Station back and 2019’s theme will be all about Writing Fears and How to Overcome Them. We’re all have similar fears, but we each have different perspectives on these fears and some might differ than others. I think this would be a fun topic of discussion so we can encourage each other a bit and learn we’re not alone with our fears.

All guest posts, especially the themed ones, are first-come, first-serve. I’m not sure how fast these dates will fill up, but if you would like to write a guest post for my blog in 2019, then be sure to send me an email as soon as possible.

For guest post guidelines, more information, and contact information, you can read the Guest Post Guidelines here. Any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I look forward to hearing from you!

What’s your biggest writing fear? Let me know in the comments below. If you want to get in-depth about your answer, be sure to check out the Guest Post Guidelines page. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Writing 10k Words In One Day [NaNoWriMo]

Each year, during NaNoWriMo, I always aim to write 2,000 words in one day. This is for two reasons: I like even numbers and I go away Thanksgiving weekend, so I lose writing time. I aim to finish my 50k total by Thanksgiving and a great way to do that is to have a 10k day. Writing 10k words in one day isn’t easy but it can be a lot of fun.

Writing 10k Words in a day | nanowrimo 2018 | creative writing | writing | RachelPoli.com

Give Yourself The Whole Day

Whenever I decide to have a 10k day I always choose a day where I know I have nothing else going on. Usually, for November, this happens on or around Veteran’s Day. I don’t have to babysit and Kris doesn’t have to work. So, we usually plan the day to write a lot. We typically go in with a plan as well. Sometimes we’ll write for about an hour and then take a break for an hour and so on. Other times we try to get as much done as possible in one sitting before taking a break.

Start Early

I meant it when I said give yourself the entire day to write the 10k words. Starting early is the best way to do it. I’m an early bird and work best in the morning so this isn’t usually a problem for me. However, no matter what time you wake up in the morning, give yourself an hour or two first thing and write. You’ll get a good chunk done and you’ll still have the majority of the day left.

Take Breaks

This can be easier said than done, especially if you’re on a roll with your writing. However, it’s important to take a break and give your eyes a rest from the computer screen. Not to mention give your fingers and mind a break.

Plus, you want to give yourself time to relax, eat and hydrate. Maybe a take a shower too. That helps.

Do It With Others

Writing is always fun when you have other writers to do it with. If you’re going to commit yourself to writing the entire day away and aim for 10,000 words, then its much better (and easier and more fun) to do it with friends. I have my sister Kris to do it with. We keep each other going throughout the day. We check in with each other and even sometimes compete against each other a little. A little friendly competition never seems to be, but we’re encouraging and supportive nonetheless (because that’s how it should be).

This year we even went out in the morning and met up with a couple members from our writing group and we got the day started with writing then. It was a fun time. We wrote, we chatted, and we got out of the house for a bit. A change of environment is good for writing as well.

Overall, it’s not easy to write 10k words in a day. It’s doable though if you focus and put your mind to it. You feel really good after it too.

Have you ever had a 10k day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day before? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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WIP Wednesday [November 2018]

WIP Wednesday November 2018 | Work in progress | creative writing | writing | nanowrimo | RachelPoli.com

I’ve been making great progress this month with the help of NaNoWriMo.

Word Count

Day 8: 2,551
Day 9: 2,008
Day 10: 2,022
Day 11: 2,276
Day 12: 10,231
Day 13: 0
Day 14: 0
Week Two Total: 19,088
Overall Total: 31,898

All of those words are for Short Story Sunday 2019.

I was pleased I was able to give myself a 10k-day. My sister had work off that day so we got together with members of our writing group early in the morning. I ended up writing about 4,199 words with them at the cafe. I took a break when we got home, but then I wrote some more. I took another break and then hit 10k by 9:00 pm.

I was exhausted by the end of it and I really had to push myself, but I was determined and I did it. I also beat my “wordiest day” from November 10, 2017 which was 10,103 words. Next year I’ll plan on writing 10,232 words (at least) to beat it again.

This month, so far, has been great for my writing. I’m looking forward to continuing it throughout the month.

How’s your writing going this month? How was week two of NaNo for you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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