Goals for April 2020

Well, here we are. It’s April 2020. It’s hard to believe we’re in a new decade, new year, new month. I’m late to the party, I know, but this is no April Fool’s joke – I’m back.

Goals for April 2020 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | Self-Care | RachelPoli.com

Writing

Aside from freelance jobs and the occasional blog post or article here and there, I’ve barely written anything. When I say that I mean I haven’t written creatively in about a year. In 2019 I wrote during Camp NaNo and the regular session of NaNoWriMo in April, July, and November respectively, but that’s it. Even then, two of those months were spent working on Short Story Sunday for the blog. I didn’t work on novels at all.

I’m anxious to get back to my novels, especially my mystery series. It’s been on hold for far too long and I want to give it the attention and time it needs. I can’t wait to share it with the world. It deserves to be seen after being in my head for nine years.

It’s Camp NaNo this month and I’ll be working on George Florence and the Perfect Alibi. Again, I know. But hey, it’ll be the best it can be whenever it does see the light of day.

As for creative writing, that’s all I’m going to work on this month. I want to get back into things slowly and be sure I give all my attention to George and Lilah. I have big plans for them. I just need to implement them now.

Reading

In addition to being in a writing slump for the past year, I’ve barely read any books. I’ve been struggling with reading – mostly because I can’t focus on it. It’s not that I like or dislike a book, my mind just wasn’t motivated to sit for 10 minutes to read a chapter of something.

I’ve been slowly getting back into this. So, my goal for this month is to publish two book reviews for the month of April. It’d be great if I can start writing a review a week again, but I’m going to take it slow and enjoy the books I have at the moment.

Blogging

Things on this blog are going to change. I’m not going to go into too much detail about it – you’ll see should you stick around to read it.

There’s a lot happening on this blog and I’m working on so many projects. I primarily made this blog to be an author platform. So, I’d like to start discussing my books more. At the same time, I want to branch out and talk more about life and other things. There’s more than just reading and writing, did you know that?

There will still be writing prompts, book reviews, a weekly short story, and such. However, there will only be one or two times a week I’ll share an article that has to do with reading or writing. (This made better sense in my head – this is why I said I wasn’t going to go into too much detail about it.)

Most of my articles, however, will be on Medium. I’ve been using that platform a lot lately. So, if you want to keep up with more writerly articles and such, feel free to give me a follow over there. I love WordPress, of course, but Medium has been a nice change of scenery for me. It’s another great community as well.

I’ll be sharing a lot here but extra creative articles will be on Medium.

Thanks for sticking me through my hiatus and while I make slight changes to the blog here and there. I appreciate it.

Self-Care

One of the reasons I’m making changes on my blog is due to self-care. I’ll be still publishing daily, but most of it will be able to be written well in advance so I don’t need to stress over content too much – especially since I’m also on Medium. That’d be overkill.

Starting this month, I’ll be adding regular self-care into my routine. After a year of being on hiatus and stopping most of my creative work (I say most because I was still working on a few projects behind the scenes – The Merry Writer Podcast being a prime example), this is certainly needed for myself and honestly, I think all of us.

Mental Health Mondays will no longer be the first Monday of the month but every Monday of the month.

I haven’t fully figured this one out yet, but I’ll be adding a self-care routine to my life.

I think now is as good a time as any to do this. With everything happening in the world right now – the virus, the news, anything and everything in between – self-care should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list. I’ll explain more details about it on Monday.

With that said, I hope everyone is safe and healthy. We’re living in a weird time right now. It’s stressful and scary, but this is something we’ll overcome.

So, how have you guys been lately? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll catch up!

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Hello, 2020!

Here we are. Another day. Another month. Another year. It’s been a while. How are you all doing?

I feel like such a broken record saying this but… 2019 was a rough year. I’m not entirely sure what happened to my mental health, but it threw a lot of things out the window. This blog included.

I barely wrote anything. I didn’t read at all. A lot of my other work fell to the wayside.

This isn’t to say I didn’t accomplish anything. 2019 was great in its own way for other reasons.

To be honest, though, most of 2019 is a blur. I didn’t really start to feel better until September/October and I’m still trying to crawl out of this hole.

With that said, toward the end of 2019, I started to get hopeful for 2020. I know the calendar is just resetting, but I have some plans to help me get back into the swing of doing what I enjoy.

I’ve come to a conclusion about all the work I do and plan to do. This is something I’ve known for a while but didn’t necessarily want to do anything about it. But now I think it’s time I cut back.

I have a lot of creative projects I want to pursue and always trying to get them all done in one go. I want to work on them all, but I need to prioritize what’s the most important, what I can do now, and what’s the best for my mental health and time.

So, I’ll only be working on a couple of different projects this year. I haven’t given up on everything (not at the moment, anyway). Instead of trying to squeeze it all into one calendar year, I’ve decided what I want to work on in 2020 and pushed other things back to 2021 and beyond. Assuming nothing changes between now and then.

Hello, 2020! | New Year | Goals | Creative Writing | Mental Health | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

This Blog

First and foremost, this blog is coming off hiatus but things won’t be back to normal. I’m not going to post daily anymore. I’d love to get back into posting daily at some point, but until further notice, I’m only going to post 3-4 times a week.

Short Story Sunday will still be published every Sunday. I’ll still post book reviews though I’m not sure if it’ll be every week. I’d like to get back into the habit of reading one book a week, but I’m not sure when that will start.

Time To Write is on hold until further notice. It’ll be back at some point, but it’s not something I can keep up with at the moment. This also means that guest posts and author interviews will be infrequent.

Aside from Sunday and Saturday with Short stories and book reviews, I’m planning on posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These will be articles or general updates on what I’m working on.

Patreon

For those of you who don’t know, I do have a Patreon for my creative writing. I post exclusive short stories on there once a month plus other content that’s not shared anywhere else.

Some new things will be happening on my Patreon this year that I’m excited about. To start off, an ebook will be sent to all my patrons at the $10+ tiers later this month. This has all the exclusive short stories from 2019 plus a bonus story. If that’s something you’re interested in receiving, you can sign up here (must be at the $10 tier or higher to receive this ebook).

More will be coming to my Patreon in the coming months. I’m in the works of creating a community for creatives and artists. So, please, if you enjoy my work and would like to be part of this community, consider joining my Patreon. It means a lot.

Novels

I’ve decided which stories I’ll be working on in 2020. They all have deadlines attached. Something (that’s long overdue) will be coming April 2020.

I have two more projects that are aimed to come in 2021. Yes, George and Lilah will finally see the light of day in 2021. The hype train for that will begin soon.

Services

As much as I would love to sit down at my computer and write creatively all day long, I still have bills to pay. My characters dancing around in my head are dancing because they’re living rent-free up there. I know, I know. I should be harder on them but I love them too much.

I’ve worked hard over the years in other areas than just writing. I edit, I can do website admin work, I market on social media, I market books and more.

If you like my work and are looking for some help with your own website/blog or your novels, be sure to check out my services.

Also, I’m going to shamelessly plug my Patreon again. If you enjoy my work, then join my Patreon and get exclusive content consistently.

Secret Projects

I wouldn’t be me if I said I wasn’t working on a few things behind the scenes. One of those things is for this website that my email list will be the first to know about as well as help me out with it.

My sister and I are working on a few new things for Double Jump. If you enjoy gaming then be sure to check out my other blog.

Finally, I’m working on a special project with a friend. Information on that will be shared in the coming months.

2020

Hopefully, 2020 will be a great year. I’ve cut back on some work, even though I still have a lot of plans. I’m going to take things slow while still working hard.

I’m looking forward to it.

What are your plans for 2020? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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I’m Starting Over

2019 has existed. It was mean at times and it’s just been an interesting one, to say the least. I haven’t had a “bad” year in a while, so I guess I was due. However, with everything that happened, I’m trying to move on, get past it all, and try to have a sense of normality again. With that, I’m starting over.

“Starting Over”

No, this isn’t meant in a literal sense. I’m not scrapping the blog or anything like that. But I’m going to basically pretend that this year didn’t happen. I wasn’t consistent on the blog, I rarely read other blogs, I missed so many comments, and I just haven’t engaged like I normally do.

I keep trying to think of ways to “get back into the swing of things.” I keep looking back at past posts and the long gaps in between them wondering how to get back into my usual routine.

At this point, it makes me overwhelmed. I have too many other things on my mind. There are so many projects I’m working on, I want to work on, or I’m collaborating with others behind the scenes on secret projects. This isn’t to say I want to stop doing any of these things – I want to continue them all. But I think that’s part of my problem. I’m trying to do too many things at once.

Between all that and real-life happenings on this side of my computer, 2019 has been pretty bad.

Thinking Outside The Box

In other words, I need to stop looking at what I have done and start thinking about what I need to do in order to move forward. I look back at the past couple of years, blogging daily, writing, and everything else. In my mind, getting back to normal is doing that again. But I don’t think that’s what needs to be done. I think that’s what I’m used to so I’m trying to get back into those habits.

I’m starting to realize that I need to form new habits. I need to work in different ways. It’s time things changed and that I shake things up a bit.

I need to stop trying to get back to where I was when 2019 started. A lot of things have happened, a lot has changed. I’m sorry to not go into detail about what these things were, but it’s put some things into perspective for me and I’ve come to realize that the “normal” I’m trying to get back to is not my “normal” anymore.

So, What Am I Trying To Say?

Well. I have to admit, this was not my original intention for this post. But, as I type this out, I realize I made a decision deep down and my mind is now just catching up. I think it’s the right decision too because I think I’ve known this for a while but just didn’t want to admit. So, with that said…

This blog is on hiatus until January 2020.

Yes, I know in my October goals I mentioned that I’d be getting back into the swings of things. But, as I just said, I think the normal I’m trying to get back to isn’t my normal anymore.

I have plans and ideas for this blog going forward and I think I need time to sort them out so I can implement them and enjoy myself while doing so. I haven’t been able to yet because I’ve been so busy trying to come up with content so I can start posting daily again. But I don’t want to post for the sake of getting something up here.

Not for nothing, but I originally started this blog in 2012 to share my creative writing. I’ve barely written a thing all year long. It’s hard to talk about writing when you’re not actually writing anything.

What About The Rest Of 2019?

I’m not stopping everything. Short Story Sunday will still be posting every week for the remainder of 2019. I am stopping Time to Write though. I love the writing prompts and will continue them in 2020, but for now, I can’t be sure I’ll check them each week to add your stories. I apologize for this. I will add the stories from last week on this Friday, but there will be no prompt to follow.

For the rest of October, I don’t know how often I’ll post (if I post). I definitely want to keep in touch so maybe, in addition to Short Story Sunday, I’ll whip up a post once a week or once every other week. The same thing will go for December. Between 2020 prep for everything plus the holidays, I’ll try to keep in touch and post a handful of times, but I make no promises.

November, on the other hand, is NaNoWriMo. I’m still going to participate in the event and will post at least once a week about my progress.

2020 Will Be Great

I have a lot of great ideas for 2020. Features, post ideas, collabs, and more. I’m really looking forward to it and I think taking a couple of months off from the actual blog content will allow me to start fresh with a brand new year.

A lot of things, unfortunately, fell to the wayside in 2019. I’m going to take a look at each and every on and either bring it back, as usual, bring it back in a new way, or just do without it. We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime… I hope 2019 was a lot kinder to you all. It was a good year – I don’t mean to sound pessimistic and say 2019 was absolutely horrible. But there were some questionable things that happened and it was just a weird year overall.

I appreciate you all being patient with me this year when I disappeared without a trace on a couple of different occasions. I’ll be back and ready to go in 2020, but I’ll keep in touch.

Talk to you soon!

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What My Anxiety Attacks Are Like [Mental Health Mondays]

Thankfully, I haven’t had an anxiety attack in a while. I used to get them frequently when I was in school and, on occasion, I’ll get the feeling that I’m going to have one, but tend to talk myself out of it. If I do have an anxiety attack though, this is what it typically feels like for me.

Mental Health Mondays: What My Anxiety Attacks Are Like | Anxiety | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Mental Health | Mental Health Matters | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Hot Flash

Usually, when I begin to have an anxiety attack, I start to get a hot flash everywhere. I get clammy hands, sweaty everywhere, it’s gross. And it’s not a nice feeling either. I think I start to feel this way when I get overwhelmed and my body is trying to tell me to step outside and just get some air. When I begin to feel this way, I try my best to find a bathroom just to splash some cold water on my face or anything to cool myself down.

I love the summer, it’s my favorite season. I also would rather be hot than cold. However, that doesn’t help when I’m out in public and get hot. Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s the weather or I’m about to have an anxiety attack… in which case, I often work myself up to have an attack.

Shaking and Dizziness

These two go hand in hand sometimes. I’ll feel shaky and unsteady on my feet or get the feeling that the floor is moving or uneven. Then I’ll get dizzy and start to feel claustrophobic. I normally get this way in stores or restaurants. I felt this way all the time when I was in school. If I’m in a place that has little to no windows, then forget it. The entire room will be spinning for me.

I normally try to find a way out of where ever I am when I start to feel this way. Depending on the situation, I can sometimes stick it out, but I usually need to leave.

No Vision

If the anxiety attack gets far enough, I’ll lose my vision. I’ll basically blackout, but I’m not passed out. I’m still conscious and can hear things going on and such, but I just can’t see. It’s a weird thing and I don’t know if that happens to anyone else or not. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened in a while, but when it does, I just have to sit and let it pass. Once it does, I’ll be dizzy for a few moments while my body gets back to normal.

Shortness of Breath

This usually happens at any time, but mostly if the anxiety attack gets bad enough that I need to just let it pass and get through it. A million things can go through my head when I have an attack because it feels like I’m dying. Thus, shortness of breath. I also have asthma so mix that in with thinking I’m dying and… yeah.

Exhaustion

Once all of this is over, I’m down for the count for the rest of the day. It puts such a strain on my mind and body that I am super tired. The last thing I want to do is work, socialize, go anywhere, or do anything. It’s not fun.

Of course, tiredness comes with the package as a whole. Anxiety makes me feel tired all the time and having an attack just makes it worse.

Overall, anxiety attacks aren’t fun and I know people experience different things when they have an attack. I also know some are more severe than others. This is what I usually go through when I have an anxiety attack. Luckily, as I said before, I haven’t had one in a while. Usually, I tend to get them in the middle of the night too so at least it doesn’t interfere with work or anything else during the day. It doesn’t make it any less annoying though.

Let me know your thoughts on this post in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Goals [October 2019]

Goals October 2019 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I haven’t read any books for a long time. I’ve been doing research on some things which are technically reading books, but I haven’t read any fiction or the like. It’d be great to get back into the swing of things this month, but I think my plan is to just start reading again. I may or may not have any book reviews for the month. I might start that up again in November. I’ll certainly be trying to read something though. Even if it’s just one or two books.

Writing

Writing too has fallen to the wayside. I’ve been making a list of what needs to be done for each of the novels I’m working on and started to break them up into months. I’m figuring out what I need to work on this month and beyond through 2020. I’m sure things will change, but as of right now, I have a tentative plan. Also, NaNoWriMo is next month so I think that will also help me get back into the swing of things.

Blogging

October may look a bit like Swiss cheese. My original plan was to start blogging daily again this month, but September was busier than anticipated and I got sick for the last week. Needless to say, October is not ready at all and it’s already the first of the month. So, I’m going to take this time to catch up on some things. I actually have some ideas for 2020 so I might start implementing those and really get back into the swing of things come January. But I’ll still be here posting when I can. I’m hoping I can start posting daily again in November, but we’ll see how things go.

Overall

2019 has been a crazy year. So much has happened in the past few months that it’s too much to explain and even though I’ve lived through it, I can’t wrap my head around most of what’s happened. There have been good things and bad things and my writing and blogging have taken a blow due to it all. I’m ready to get back into my routine and bring things back to “normal” and what they were before. I’m just going to take it slow.

What are your goals for this month? Do you have any big plans? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!

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