Needing A Break

Monday has come again. This past weekend went by pretty fast. Last Thursday I had made a to-do list for myself for the weekend. I got a decent amount of it done but certainly not all of it.

This was not the blog post I had planned to write for today. I simple had no motivation to write the one I had originally decided to write about. I’ve been in a slump with a lot of things recently.

I’ve been busy – on and off the Internet.

Last night I was overwhelmed by all the work I needed to do. One of the tasks was writing today’s blog post because I somehow have gotten behind with them. Instead of writing the post I logged off the computer and took a bath for an hour.

It was refreshing. (Despite Chip coming in and out of the bathroom looking for attention. She’s not a fan of baths so I also think she was concerned that I was willingly sitting in the tub.)

I wrote in my journal for the hour I was soaking and it was nice. It was quiet – aside from Chip’s low-toned barks here and there.

This isn’t the typical blog post I normally write. Every once in a while I’ll talk about general life and my well-being. I don’t know why I don’t do it more. I don’t even know if you guys like these kinds of blog posts.

Honestly, I’m partially writing this because I don’t like to skip a day of blogging. I like to keep in touch with you guys no matter the content of the post. I love what I do, but I especially love getting to know all of you guys. I’m pleased you guys care about what I have to say each day.

I’m not going to take a break from blogging or anything like that. I think I just needed a post that didn’t require as much work and thought as the rest.

Baths and journaling always seem to help. And if there’s anything I’ve learned tonight, it’s that I need to get a doggy-door for my bathroom.

What do you do to unwind for a bit? Do you ever get in blogging slumps like this? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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A Million Dreams [Life]

I have a problem. And the problem is that I want to do too many things. When I say too many things, I mean I want to do all of the things.

By things, I mean I want to continue blogging on here and on Double Jump. I also have three other ideas for blogs. If they all come to be that’d be a whopping total of five blogs (maybe more).

I want to keep writing and reading. I want to write for magazines and other blogs. I want to write and publish my own novels. I want to continue writing book reviews and beta read for others among other freelance type work. I would like to, one day, create an online literary magazine and share the work of others, especially new writers trying to get their voices heard.

I want to start a YouTube channel for both this blog and my gaming blog. I want to continue talking and reviewing books and video games as well as convey fun and entertaining information about the two topics to everyone.

There are so many other things I want to do. I want to create comics (with Kris because Lord knows I can’t draw), I want to create a video game, and there’s so much more that I can’t even really talk about. (Mostly because it’s ridiculous. Like, I want to create music and I don’t know the first thing about that.)

I don’t know where all of this came from. I don’t know where I got these ideas. I don’t know why my brain aches to be so creative. One would think writing a couple books and running two blogs would be enough, but no. I want to do more.

I want to teach myself to film and edit videos. I want to teach myself how to create a video game and see what makes my favorite games tick. I want to share my learnings with all of you, my blogger, gaming, and writing friends who have been in touch with me for years now.

But… it’s hard. No one said it would be easy, I knew it was going to be hard. Still, I honestly didn’t think I’d be at this point in my life.

It’s one thing to have almost 5,000 followers on this blog (seriously, thank you guys!) but it’s another thing to sit down at my desk one night – last night – and create a massive to-do list on things I have to get done with what I have now as well as what I need to do in order to start new projects.

It’s a lot and I’m excited. I can’t wait to get started on any new projects or to continue old ones. I actually have a publication timeline (as long as I can get certain things in order on time, things should go according to plan).

The downside of it all is money. I quit my job almost a year ago to pursue these many passions. I’m lucky to still be living with my parents who are supportive and encouraging enough to allow me to try this. I had freelance writing and babysitting to fall back on, but babysitting hasn’t been as consistent (their dad got a new job and they don’t need me as often) and the freelance writing… well, that hasn’t been consistent either. Most of the gigs I do are for free to gain experience and while there’s nothing wrong with that and I’m grateful for the opportunities, I still have bills to pay and I feel kind of stuck. The few gigs I have had that are paid haven’t been consistent either.

I by no means am complaining about any of this, even though it seems like it. It’s confusing and a learning curve. I am the definition of a struggling artist and it’s honestly kind of cool to give myself that title as frustrating as it may seem. It’s not easy to teach yourself all these things, let alone doing everything yourself.

I don’t want to say quitting my job was a mistake because I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have this past year if I was still working full time plus babysitting. Nine hours have been added to my day and it’s been wonderful. I can actually have a life too and hang out with my friends once in a while.

I don’t have a lot of bills and the bills I do have aren’t much, which is great. But when I made my list of things to do the other night, I bummed myself out.

I need to find an editor, I need to find a book cover artist. I need to buy certain equipment for a YouTube channel (I can start now and plan to soon, but in the near future I’m going to need some other stuff). I want to have the ability to host giveaways for you guys among other things.

I apologize for this post being too rambly or woe-is-me. I don’t mean to come off like that, if I am, and I don’t mean to complain. I feel like I know most of you well enough and you, hopefully, know me well enough, that I feel comfortable explaining this to you as I try to gather my thoughts.

I think money in general – having enough to get started, because let’s face it, you need to put in money in order to make money, and also getting compensated for all your hard work – is a common problem amongst us writers; amongst artists and creators in general.

When you have the discipline like me to work from home for 12 hours a day creating blog posts, graphics, creative writing, filming, etc., you want to be compensated for your hard work. We put our hearts and souls into these creative projects.

People like it too. I’m grateful for the number of followers I have. I have a good amount of daily views who read, like, and comment on my posts. I have a pretty good relationship with most of my readers and I’ve made a lot of friends.

There are a few people out there who enjoy my Wattpad stories, who have told me they’re looking forward to my YouTube channel whenever I start it (fall 2018, just so you know). There have been plenty of people who have told me they can’t wait for my mystery series to come out. (I’m not revealing my publishing plans yet just in case something happens, but it’s coming.)

This is why I started a Patreon page. I’ll admit I feel a bit odd asking for donations. When I think of donations I think of charity organizations for something more serious than me creating a novel or video series for YouTube. Still, there’s nothing wrong with asking for commissions for your hard, creative work. The rest of the world doesn’t really see it as such and creators need to make a living too, right?

I swear this post wasn’t a ploy to ask for people to donate to my Patreon page. I’ve been holding these thoughts and feelings in a for a while and decided I should share them with all of you. I hope most of you understand where I’m coming from. Still, if you want to at least check out the page, please feel free to do so. It’d make me happy.

Like I said, I’m grateful and I can’t believe I’ve come so far in less than a year. No, I’m not “there” yet and there’s a lot that’s slow due to budgeting, but I can’t complain.

Thank you guys, for everything. Especially for making it this far in this post.

Have you ever felt like this before? Whether it’s money or the fact you want to do so much and don’t have enough time or resources to get it all done? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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My Trip To Canada [Life]

If any of you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure you saw a couple of tweets from me at the beginning of the month about me being away. My blog was still running as scheduled, but I wasn’t reading or commenting on anyone else’s blogs. I wasn’t answering comments on this blog and I was barely on social media.

I was in Canada for EGLX – Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo – for my other blog, Double Jump, and also for myself.

My sister Kris and I have been wanting to go to a gaming convention or expo for a really long time now. Pretty much all of the YouTube gamers we watch was going to be there. They ran a couple of panels and put on a show. This was an opportunity we knew we couldn’t pass up.

I don’t do anything spontaneous. I’m an organized person, I have slight OCD, and I need to have a plan for the day, the week, the future, everything. I know plans change and things come up and I’m a pretty flexible person, but I’ll admit there have been a few situations where I’ve been agitated or upset because something didn’t go as I planned.

Being spontaneous is a good thing, shaking things up is a good thing. But sometimes my brain doesn’t think so.

I haven’t been on an airplane since I was 3. I don’t remember it and just tell people I’ve never flown before. So many things have changed since then anyway. I also have never been out of the country. I’ve never taken a trip without my parents. Yes, I’m 24, but I still need my mom and dad.

So you can imagine my reaction when Kris burst into our office one day and said, “By the way, we’re going to Canada!”

I should also mention I’ve never really planned a vacation either. I mean, I have, but with my parent’s help or my aunt and uncle’s help from the times we’ve gone to Disney with them.

Kris and I had to figure out how to book a flight, get our passports, figure out money and currency exchange, find our way around the airport, decide how to get from the airport to the hotel, the hotel to the convention center, and back again. It’s a lot. I knew it was going to be a lot but it’s one of those things you don’t realize how much work it is until you actually do it yourself.

But I did it. Kris and I did it.

Canada EGLX | Video Games | Gaming | Travel | RachelPoli.com

Why am I explaining all of this even though this trip was mainly for my video game blog? Well, I wanted to explain that we’re capable of doing much more than we think. This trip was a huge eye-opener for me.

I have generalized anxiety disorder. I won’t go into too much detail about it. Maybe someday I will, but for now, I’ll leave you with this: some days I do well, other days it kills me.

Being on an airplane, for example, flares up my anxiety. I know a lot of people get like this with flying, so it’s pretty common.

I’m going to Disney in April where I will have to go on an airplane. The last few times I’ve gone, we’ve driven down there. I’ve been panicking and sometimes dreading going to Disney, the happiest place on earth because I need to go on an airplane.

What if the plane crashes? What if we, for some reason, can’t get home? What if I get claustrophobic? What if I have an anxiety attack in the middle of the flight? What if I have to go to the bathroom or start to feel sick? What if someone else on the plane gets sick?

There’s always that “what if” for everything in life, but now I know what to expect. Now I’m actually excited to go.

I had a great time on the plane. The flight was only an hour and a half and it went by so fast. Yes, I did have an anxiety pill, but I honestly don’t know if I really needed it. I got cookies and apple juice on the flight which was really good. I watched the map and followed where the plane was and where it was going on the way there. On the way back I watched Mrs. Doubtfire and had pretzels and apple juice.

On the way to Canada, I sat in the aisle because I was nervous the window would make me sick. I didn’t want to stare into the abyss to remind me of how high we were. On the way back, I sat by the window and loved watching the plane ascend and descend. I loved seeing the buildings from above. We were also sitting right next to the plane’s wing both ways so that was certainly cool to see as well. I’ve never seen a plane up close before.

I was also nervous about the expo itself. Kris and I were going to be in an unfamiliar place, a large room filled with, what seemed to be, a thousand people. It was crowded. It was loud. There was a lot going on. I don’t do well in those situations.

But I did it. I was fine and I had a good time. Sure, there were some moments I felt claustrophobic, but there were so many things to do and games to play, I was able to keep my mind off it and just focus on the good.

And I did this for three days in a row.

EGLX in Canada | Gaming | Travel | RachelPoli.com

I’ve realized something important about myself while going on that trip. I knew my anxiety was all in my mind, but this proved that it really is just in my mind.

I’ve always wanted to travel but never have because I was afraid to leave my house. I was afraid I’d die on the plane.

It was amazing to see all the art and talent of various people who share a love of video games. It was fantastic to see the YouTubers who have inspired me to do what I do today. (Our hotel room was right next door and across the hall from a couple of them!)

It may seem kind of silly, but even though I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in elementary school, these YouTubers have changed my life.

A few of them have anxiety and/or depression and talk openly about it which has helped me a lot. Their videos are funny and entertaining that I’ve watched them in the middle of the night a few times when I had too much anxiety and couldn’t sleep. They’re very open, kind, and welcoming to anyone and everyone no matter their race, sexuality, mental health, or anything.

They’re just a group of friends who do what they love for a living and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do – what I am doing.

I can relate to them on so many levels: working from home, doing what I love for a living, my mental health issues, my overall goals for why I do what I do, and more.

I want to inspire people the way they have inspired me. I want to make people laugh. I want to make people feel loved and welcome in this community I’ve been building with my blog (and beyond). I want people to feel safe and comfortable when they read my work or watch my videos (when I get the channel up and running).

I want people to look at me say, “If she can do that, I can do that” just like I’ve done with these YouTubers.

I want to explore the world and before going to Canada I didn’t realize that was a thing I could do. I did it because I wanted to see those YouTubers in person. (And also because Kris was able to pay for me… Thank you, Kris!)

I want to teach myself new things and I have been. I’ve been teaching myself filmmaking and video editing so I can start a YouTube channel for this blog (and also for Double Jump down the road). I’ve been drawing more. I’m not very good, but maybe I’ll get there in time. I want to publish books. I want to create a literary magazine or something similar. I want to create a video game.

That’s not even the half of it. There’s so much I want to do. I want to do it all. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. But the possibilities are endless and my creativity can go as far as my imagination, which, I’ve come to realize, is pretty endless itself.

Canada seemed to be the first step for me. It opened a new world for me and I came to realize I can do more than what I think I can do.

Maybe someday Double Jump will have its own panel at a convention. No, I don’t want to be rich or famous, but I’d like to make an impact on people’s lives. (As well as make a living off it because… bills.)

Maybe someday my creative works – no matter what form, video, blog, writing, etc. – will inspire and help others.

Of course, I can’t give all the credit to those YouTubers and to the fact I went to Canada. I went to Canada and I do what I do because of the choices I’ve made and the way I’ve decided to spend my time.

I do what I do because there are so many people who visit my blog on a daily basis and actually care about what I have to say.

Canada's EGLX | Gaming | Travel | RachelPoli.com

This is a long post, probably the longest I’ve ever written on this blog. If you’ve read this far and you’re still reading, I applaud you. Thank you for reading this through.

I didn’t mean for this to be so long and corny, but it’s the truth and I felt it needed to be said. I had this realization through my trip and breaking out of my comfort zone, but there was also something else that happened to make me realize this.

The other thing that made me realize all this isn’t a happy story like Canada. It’s gotten me down for quite a while now. Though that’s a story for another day.

I’ll say this though: I’m happy where I am in life. I’m happy with the things I’m doing and the things I’m trying to do. My anxiety holds me back sometimes, but I figure it out. I have a good head on my shoulders (I think so, anyway). I have a good support system with friends and family who love and encourage me to do what I do. I’m a pretty lucky person.

But I guess I’ve rambled enough. Thank you for reading. Thanks for listening. Thanks for being here and taking this journey with me.

Have you ever taken a risk in life? Done something you didn’t think you could? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Another New Writing Schedule

I think the hardest part of writing for me is finding a schedule and sticking to it. And the thing is, it’s not me who has a hard time sticking to the routine, it’s other life things that get in the way.

Now that I’m home during the day while everyone else is at work, this would normally mean I have the entire morning and afternoon to myself to get my writing and blogging done.

Instead, it means, “Rachel’s home, so if something needs to be done, she can do it.” This varies from babysitting to driving my cousins to and from school, running random errands, etc.

I don’t mind any of this, of course. I’m able to do it so I won’t complain (even though it still sounds like I’m complaining). Still, I feel like I don’t get as much stuff done during the day than I normally would… or that I thought I would.

I actually have more stuff to do during the week now that doesn’t involve writing or blogging. So, I’ve decided to come up with a brand new schedule for myself. This is going to only be for the month of February and I’ll modify it if needed when March comes along.

New Writing Schedule | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Sunday

  • Blog, Double Jump – Write posts, create graphics, set up Buffer, etc.
  • Church, Sunday school lesson plans

Monday

  • Admin – Answer emails, read and comment on other blogs
  • Write – A minimum of two hours. Ideally, it’ll be longer, but if I can fit two hours in I’ll be happy.

Tuesday

  • Admin
  • Write

Wednesday

  • Admin
  • Write

Thursday

  • Admin
  • Write
  • Etsy – I was hoping to have a good amount of products done to open the shop in January, but it stuff happened. So I’d like to spend a couple hours on it every Thursday.
  • Freelance – Like Etsy, this is a work in progress. I’m currently trying to set up my own freelance services. I’m planning on having that good to go by the end of the month so there will be more on that later.

Friday

  • Admin
  • Write
  • Clean – Because the house needs attention, too…

Saturday

  • Blog, Rachel Poli – Write posts, create graphics, set up Buffer, plan and write newsletters, etc. I’ve gotten behind, so for this month, I’m going to try to get two weeks done at a time so I can get a good head start for March and upcoming months.
  • Barnes & Noble – Go to the bookstore every morning and either write/edit or work on the blog.

There’s a lot more to it. I have a calendar set up with everything on it but didn’t include it all here. You guys don’t need to know every detail of my life.

Long story short, I’ll be writing Monday through Friday as well as answering emails and such for the blogs. Weekends will be reserved for blogging mostly. And then some. We’ll see how it goes!

What does your writing schedule look like? Do you have a tough time trying to keep up with it? Let me know in the comments below!

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Hello, 2018!

2017 left as fast as it came in. Now here we are in 2018 and I’m sure tomorrow will already be 2019.

Hello 2018 | Happy New Year | New Year | New Goals | RachelPoli.com

At the end of every year I sit back and reflect of the things I did and the things I didn’t do. Then at the beginning of every year I make lists and more lists and plans and goals and decide, “This is the year of me!”

Well, as long as you work hard, take care of yourself, and be kind and support others, every year is the year of you.

I had so many plans in 2017 and I implemented a lot of them, but time does get away from you as does life. If I had an opportunity to hang out with friends or family, I did. My biggest goal was to quit my job and while that was scary, I did it. Not only did it free up a lot of time for me to write and blog, but it allowed me to have a bit of a social life as well. I finally feel like a semi-normal young adult.

There were some plans I made for 2017 that didn’t come to fruition because I didn’t have the knowledge or the tools to implement them. So, did I complete all my 2017 resolutions? No. However, I’m prepared now more than ever to finally get started.

What are my resolutions for 2018?

Reading

For my Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge, I’m pledging to read 52 books. Again.

For the last two years I’ve pledged 52 books and surpassed that both times. 52 books in a year means one book a week. I know I can do that and then some.

As for actual books, I want to read more mystery, short stories, and poetry. Depending on what I find and what mood I’m in, who knows if that will happen. So we’ll see.

Writing

I have a lot of writing goals this year. So many in fact that I’ll be talking about it all in a post tomorrow.

Just know that I’ll be finally utilizing my Wattpad account this year, I’ll be doing plenty of self-publishing research (yikes!), and I’ll be focusing a lot on submitting to contests, magazines, and other websites.

It’s going to be a busy year.

What’s up for the blog in 2018?

Well, for one thing… have you noticed any changes? Yes, I finally re-branded the whole blog! I have a new theme, all brand-new graphics, I’ve updated old pages and added new ones, and I even re-did my entire newsletter.

I did all of this myself and it took me a couple of months to get it done. It was a lot of planning and eye-straining at the computer, but I can at least say I have a good grip on how Photoshop works now! It’s always fun to teach yourself something new.

With that said, please take a look around the blog and let me know what you think. I worked hard and, if I say so myself, I think it came out pretty good.

Schedule

For the most part, content and the overall schedule will remain the same.

WEEKLY

Monday-Thursday: Article posts based on the current month’s theme with the occasional guest post or author interview. One Wednesday a month will be WIP Wednesday as well.
Friday: Time to Write, a creative writing prompt
Saturday: A book review
Sunday: Short Story Sunday

MONTHLY

Guest Bloggers: Guests will appear on my blog 1-2 times a month
Author Interviews: I will interview published and non-published writers 1-2 times a month
Mystery Month: The fourth annual Mystery Month will be in May. Yes, the past three years it has been in June, but I changed it to May. (I don’t remember why I changed, but I’m going with it.)
July & August: I’ll be reading two books a week during these two months (book reviews for Tuesday and Saturday) and there will be a few bookish events such as readathons, book bingo, and more.

Making Connections

I know I say this every year, but… I swear I will be better at reading and commenting on other blogs!

For a while now I’ve been focused on my own blog and writing and it’s taken up a lot of my time and energy. Now that the bulk of it is done, I’m planning on spending at least one hour a day reading and commenting on blogs I follow. Plus, I want to seek out a few new blogs each day.

Hold me accountable here, people.

Anything Else?

Etsy Shop

I’m opening an Etsy shop! I’m super excited about this. I was hoping to have it ready for today, but I still have some last minute touches to do for some of my items.

It will officially open this month in January, though. I’m almost done.

The shop is called Spilled Ink Press Shop. I wanted it to be just Spilled Ink, but the name was taken. So I tried Spilled Ink Shop and that was taken… it suggested Spilled Ink Press Shop and even though it’s long I realized the abbreviation is SIPS and I find that hilarious so I went with it.

Anyway, I’ll be sure to make a note of it here when the shop officially opens. I’ll also send out something in my newsletter.

Newsletter

Speaking of, I re-did my Newsletter! Please feel free to head over to the Newsletter page and check it out. If you’re not already subscribed, please consider doing so. There are some goodies in it for you if you do.

New Year Quote | Inspirational Quote | Writing Quote | Opportunity | Goals | RachelPoli.com

Happy 2018!

So that’s that. Other than my writing goals which I’ll talk about tomorrow, I think I covered everything. 2018 is going to be an ambitious year for me. I hope I make it, but I know I’ll have you guys by my side. You have no idea how grateful I am for your support.

With that said, please be well and be kind. Allow yourself to be extra creative and stay positive. Shoot for the stars but remember to accept help and support along the way. Pat yourself on the back once in a while and encourage others. You can do it.

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Goodbye, 2017!

It’s crazy to think that another year has already come and gone. I feel like we just said goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017.

2017 was a great year. It had its ups and downs of course, but most of it was good and a lot happened.

2017 was crazy but in a good way. A lot has happened with my writing, my blogs, and my real life.

My writing is usually all over the place, but I finally buckled down and came up with a plan for my novels. Through NaNoWriMo and my own writing sessions, I’ve prioritized my novels. I’ve set goals for 2018 and know what I’ll be working on and when.

When I started this blog 5 and a half years ago I’ve always talked about finding an agent and being traditionally published. However, the more people I meet on here and talk to, the more authors who contact me for book review requests, and the more research I do, I realize that traditional may not be the best route for me.

I’ve never done anything traditionally. I left high school halfway through my junior year to go to college. I already knew what I wanted to do with my life and didn’t want to spend any more time learning the Pythagorean Theorem. I quit my job knowing I’d be better off being my own boss and, eventually, make a better income.

With that said, I most likely won’t be self-publishing anything in 2018, but the plan will be in motion. I’m excited and freaking out at the same time.

Both of my blogs have been doing great. Kris and I have made plans for the new year to better Double Jump and we have new things planned for the blog and beyond (yes, beyond).

This blog is going to go through some major changes as I attempt to make it look more professional and more “me.” I have a lot of cool things planned for this blog for next year as well, but it will all come to fruition in time.

My real life has been interesting as well. A few ups and downs, of course, but overall it was a good year. I took a lot of risks and have been working hard. Through quitting my job I haven’t just been focusing on writing and blogging, but I’ve also been taking that extra time I have to get together with friends and family.

I remember at the beginning of 2017 I kept saying this was going to be the year of me. Apparently, it was just the year of planning. Then again, I wouldn’t have my 2018 plans set in motion if certain things in 2017 didn’t happen.

I often think to myself, “Where am I going to be this time next year?” It’s hard to tell since so much can happen between now and then. All you can do is work hard and persevere.

Stay determined and passionate about what you do, but take the time to be with friends and family. Work hard, but try new things and find new hobbies. Take breaks and take care of yourself.

There are only 3 days left in 2017. Are you freaking out yet? I am.

I hope you all had a great 2017! What was your favorite part or the most memorable thing that happened to you? Let me know in the comments below!

Give Yourself Some TLC

It was the day after Christmas
and all was now calm.
No one was stirring
not even my Mom.

The holidays are over and so is 2017 for the most part.

I’ve spent 90% of my life on the computer and internet the past couple of months writing, blogging, and lately getting ready for the new year.

Work certainly takes a lot out of you as do the holidays.

So this is a gentle reminder to take care of yourself. The busy days are over. The stress should be gone.

Even if you have more writing and blogging to do, let it go for now. Take this day (or the week) to kick back, relax, and reflect on what a great job you’ve done.

Reach out to some family and friends you haven’t talked to or seen in a while and catch up. Sit on a couch with any new books you received as gifts, make a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate and enjoy. Sit in front of the fire if you have a fireplace. (I do not. Sad day.)

Spend the last week of 2017 recharging. Brainstorm resolutions that you’ll only keep for the first couple of weeks of the new year (as you do). Go out with friends and family.

Remember that you work hard each and every day and it’s okay to take breaks. It’s okay to give yourself a little vacation, even if you’re not going away anywhere fancy.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday. Please be well, be kind, and bring in the new year with lots of positivity.

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Prepping The Blog For 2018

December is busy with the holidays and life in general. For a blogger, it’s 100-times more busy.

Not only do bloggers have to bog during the month of December, but they have to prep their blog for the new year as well.

I’ve been planning for 2018 since September/October – early, I know, but I get excited – but it wasn’t until December that I started putting it all into place. Thus, stress and panic sets in as the holidays get closer with the new year right around the corner.

Each year I try to think of bigger and better ways to improve the blog. I’m proud of how far its come and I like how things are run now, but you need a change every now and then; especially when you have big plans for 2018, blog aside.

I use Pinterest a lot for everything. I use it for blog and social media help, research for my writing, among plenty of other things for creativity or life in general. It’s one of those sites are super addictive and I end up over-researching or one thing leads to another that I end up veering off from what I was trying to look up in the first place.

It’s funny because I went on there the other night just to browse before bed and there were so many pins that had “2018” in big, bold letters… or numbers, I guess.

Pins are popping up for me about, “How To Start a Blog in 2018” or “Most Effective Ways to Use Pinterest in 2018.” It amazes me how people know what 2018 is all about a month before it actually gets here. Then again, it shows the posts are recent and it gets people to click on them, so who am I to judge?

My point is, people start planning for the new year long before the new year is in sight. I mean, I had most of my December blog posts done in the middle of November so I could focus on things for January.

I was looking back at my posts for this month though and I realized how all over the place it is. I talk about a theme each month and December is usually about editing or blogging in general, but not this year.

I feel like my posts this month have been on a mini vacation. My posts have been random and certainly not as informative as past months, but I have to admit that it feels good. It feels good to not worry about daily posts as I work on other projects, on and off the blog.

Most of the posts for this month will all be reflections of this year and looking forward to the next year. This post, in a way, is kind of a reflection. Or it was supposed to be and it turned into a ramble instead.

I’m looking forward to 2018 though. I think it’s going to be a successful one.

Are you prepping for the new year? Making new goals and getting ahead? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Awesome Mugs For Writers

The other day I shared some mugs for readers, but we have to add a little fun for the writers as well.

 1. They’re, Their, There Mug

“They’re having their coffee over there.”

I think this is great. I have a mug that says “I’m silently correcting your grammar” and this mug would go right next to that one. I can’t explain how many people still get this wrong sometimes.

 2. Do Not Annoy The Writer

“Please do not annoy the writer, she may put you in a book and kill you.”

This quote actually used to be my profile picture for the NaNoWriMo website for a long time. It’s true. We’re discreet about it, but who hasn’t wanted to kill off someone in their stories?

 3. Writer’s Block

“Writers Block: When your imaginary friends stop talking to you.”

I know some people believe in writer’s block and others don’t, but there are days when you just can’t get the words out. Your characters are being difficult for whatever reason and just don’t feel like showing up to work.

 4. Go Away

“Go away, I’m writing.”

This is one of those “magic” mugs that change when heat is added to it. They are the coolest thing ever. They also have other ones that say, “go away, I’m reading” and “go away, I’m blogging.”

 5. Writer

Basically the many definitions of a writer.

This mug is great and knows the ways of a writer very well. It’s pretty uplifting and encouraging if you’re ever stuck on a certain project.

Do you have any of these mugs? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

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5 Fun, Cozy Mugs For Readers

The holidays are just around the corner! Have you gotten your shopping done yet?

If not, here are some great mugs for readers! I’ll be honest, I want to buy them for myself.

 1. Literary Rebel Mug

“Literary Rebel: I read past my bedtime.”

This mug is so plain and simple, but it works. I like the white mugs with the black lettering that says something true and witty.

Because who hasn’t stayed up too late to finish a book they’re reading?

 2. Kindle Mug

Another simple mug, but no words are needed this time. I’ve always loved the Kindle design and never knew there was a mug for it.

Blue is my favorite color and I think that’s a pretty shade on the mug. It just seems like a nice, calming mug to use when reading.

 3. A Day Without Reading Mug

“A day without reading is like… Just kidding. I have no idea.”

Another simple one, but fancier than the last.

You should read every day. Always.

 4. Can’t Buy Happiness

“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books, and that’s kind of the same thing.”

I mean, the mug says it itself. I don’t think it’s lying either.

 5. Not Addicted To Reading

“I’m not addicted to reading… I can stop as soon as I finish this book.”

Show of hands, who has never said this before? I don’t think anyone should be raising their hands. This is certainly a mug for everyone.

Do you have any of these mugs? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

rachel poli sign off

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newsletter-signatureThis post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy something I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!