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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Fall Blog Party [September 2019]

2019 September Blog Party | Blogging | Bloggers Connect | Blogging Community | Blog Party | Blog Link Party | Link Party | Writing Community | Writers Connect | RachelPoli.com

Welcome to another blog party! Happy September!

In the comments below…

  • Introduce yourself and your blog name.
  • Share one thing you love to do in the fall.
  • Link to one (1) blog post of yours – this can be your latest post, your favorite one, most popular, whatever. Just link to one and people can explore the rest of your blog from there.

After you comment…

  • Please be sure to check out blog posts from others. This is a way for all us to gain more exposure and meet new people. Please don’t just drop your link below and leave. Share the kindness and check out some other blogs.
  • Also, please feel free to respond to people in the comments and start conversations. Also, check back on the post periodically to see if anyone has responded to your own comment.
  • Share this post around especially if you know any blogging friends who could use more exposure – the more the merrier!

I’ll do my best to check out each and every one of your blogs for the day. Of course, while I’ll leave the comments open, I most likely won’t be checking blogs after this day is over (due to time and other obligations). So get them in now!

Remember… one blog post and check out other blogs from people you don’t know. This is all about connecting.

Have fun!

Happy connecting! Please share this post around for a chance for others to connect.

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Goals [August 2019]

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

Reading

I’ll be reading and reviewing nine books this month. I have a list of books I want to read – whether I’ll stick with it or not, I don’t know. Though I’ve been utilizing my local library more often lately and my to-be-read pile keeps on growing.

Writing

I’ll be working on a couple of different projects this month, as usual. I’m going to do some final edits for Crossroads so that I can publish it on Wattpad in September. In addition, I’m working on the next Sunday Morning collection as well as the first book in my mystery series.

I made a list the other day of all the books I want to work on. The list is growing and I’m trying to give each and every one the attention and time it deserves without working on so much at once. I’ll probably write a different blog post about that soon enough though.

Blogging

I’m still making some changes to the blog, such as updating the pages and post templates. In addition, I’m trying to get this month’s blog posts done as well as some other posts done for the future months.

Overall

August is going to be a busy month. I have a lot of work to do outside of writing and blogging, so I’m definitely going to need to find a new balance for the month. I’m going to try to come up with some sort of schedule to keep up with this work, around all the other work I need to do. New month, new goals.

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

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July 2019 [Wrap Up]

Wrap Up July 2019 | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I read a good amount this month. They were mostly books that were on the shorter side, but I think that’s just what I needed in order to get me back into a reading groove. I read a lot of good books and all the reviews were posted on schedule – eight of them, which is great!

Writing

My writing was pretty good this month thanks to the 85K90 challenge and Camp NaNoWriMo. I made excellent progress on my next Wattpad story, Crossroads. I’m looking forward to finishing that up and diving straight into the edits within the next couple of days.

Blogging

Thanks to my vacation, I got super ahead with my blog posts. So July was all set for the rest of the month plus a little bit of August!

Overall

It was a pretty productive month. Super busy, but it was great.

Posts To Remember

1. July & August 2019 Writing Submissions
2. Housesitting For A Week
3. Getting Out Of A Funk [Mental Health Mondays]

How did July treat you? What did you get done? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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WIP Wednesday [July 2019]

WIP Wednesday: July 2019 | Work In Progress | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Writing

I’ve been making great progress with my creative writing lately. I’ve been going back and forth between George Florence & The Perfect Alibi as well as Crossroads. I’ll admit, I’ve been working more on Crossroads than I have been with my mystery though. Crossroads will be coming to Wattpad in September while George and Lilah are planned for 2020.

I re-worked the whole outline and started my rewrites for the second draft. I’ll soon be able to begin my edits of the story and then come September, it should be all set to go. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you all. I’m so in love with this story!

Blogging

Since I’m going on vacation at the end of the month, I’ve been doing a lot of extra blogging. I finished off July’s posts and got a decent headstart on August’s posts. By that, I mean I’m working on the blog graphics since I won’t have access to Photoshop for the next two weeks. This way I can work on August’s posts and no worry about having to do the graphics later.

Overall

July has been quite busy but I’m keeping up with things and I’m making great progress. I’m happy where I am right now.

What have you been working on this month? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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July 2019 Goals

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

July 2019 Goals

So, this was certainly a weird couple of months, huh? I didn’t expect to take such a long hiatus – or even a hiatus at all. Mental health is a funny thing and it’s odd to me how I can feel restricted and depressed about some things I love to do such as blogging and writing. I can’t explain why it happened or why it took so long for me to get out of my funk, but I guess that doesn’t matter now. I’m back with my July 2019 goals.

I got myself through this funk and I’m ready to be back. This blog will resume the daily posts among other things and that’s the way I like it. I did think about cutting back, but I enjoy the daily posts and I even came up with more content ideas while I wasn’t blogging. That said, I’ve come up with a plan to cut back temporarily should this ever happen again.

Some things will be a bit different on this blog. I’ve updated a lot of things. (Seriously, go look at the different pages. I added some things, took away others, and updated and improved them all. I’m proud of how they turned out.) The content here won’t be 100% writing/reading. I know I’ve been talking more about my mental health recently but there may be even more than that. Plus, I want to add a lot of bits from life. You know, sort of bring this blog back to its roots. It’ll still be a platform for writers and readers though and the prompts, short stories, book reviews, etc. will all remain the same.

Thanks for your patience with me as I tried to figure myself out. I’ve missed you guys and I’m ready to get back to work. I appreciate all the comments and messages while I was away as well. I want to say though that I won’t be replying to any comments. I’ve gotten so behind on checking them that I’ve just decided to not… I think that would be more work than worth. I do my best to reply to them all, but I’m just going to start fresh with that starting with this post. So, I apologize for not responding to past comments, but I appreciate all them nonetheless.

Reading

It’s summer which means I’m going to be posting two book reviews a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I’ve gotten so behind on my reading goals and there are so many books I want to read that I’m excited to drown myself in stories again. I actually got a couple of books on the shorter side just so that I could get myself back into the habit of reading again that I read during the last two weeks of June. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

That and I’ve discovered that my local library has an app so I’ve been putting books on hold like crazy.

I’m still closed to review requests, but I did update the policy and the reading list if you’d like to check it out.

Writing

At the end of 2018, I sat down and created a schedule and deadlines for myself for my novels for 2019. I’ve sort of hopped off that schedule the past month or two but, surprisingly enough, I’ve stuck with it for the most part. I decided the other day to recreate it for the rest of 2019. I went a bit over my head and created a tentative schedule and deadlines through 2020 and into the beginning of 2021. I’m sure it will change throughout because things will happen but at least I have a good idea of where I want my stories to go. At this point in time, I have two books scheduled for self-publication in 2020, which I’m excited about. But again, that’s if everything goes according to plan because it’s not just me working on these books.

The hunt for an editor and a cover artist will begin soon for my mystery series, so if anyone has any recommendations, feel free to let me know in the comments. I’ll be shopping around for a bit. Thank you!

July is another Camp NaNoWriMo session. I wrote a novella for Wattpad during April’s session but never got the chance to edit it and actually publish it in June like I originally intended. So, I’ll be using July’s Camp session to edit it as well as August so I can publish it in September.

I’m also working on the second installment of Sunday Morning as well as the first in my mystery series. I’ve updated the My Books page and you find more information on all my Wattpad stories, Sunday Morning (paperback is on the way finally!) and everything I’m working on in the Coming Soon section.

Blogging

As I said at the beginning of this post, the majority of the posts are going to remain the same and I’ll be back to publishing daily content. However, some themes may change slightly as I make them a bit more personal and the like.

That said, I’ll be sharing blog space with my Patreon page. Every other Thursday is going to be a patron-only post which means you can only view the post if you’re a patron of mine and logged into Patreon at the time of viewing the post. I’m doing this because I want to integrate my blog with my Patreon page since they go hand in hand anyway.

The patron-only posts will be an exclusive short story and sneak peeks of my books. Pledging just $1 each month will give you access to an extra short story from me each month plus more information on my upcoming books such as excerpts, fun facts, early cover reveals, and more.

Of course, there’s no obligation to become a patron. Two posts a month will be locked but the rest of the blog is wide open and free regardless if you’re a patron or not. However, if you enjoy my work and love reading this blog, then consider becoming a patron because you’ll get more than just those two exclusive posts.

Becoming a patron helps me out in more ways than one, but financially it makes it easier for me to save up for an editor and cover artist. If you want to learn more, check out my Patreon page here or click the button below.

Overall

As you can see, I’m ready to be back and I’m happy to be back. I’m eager to get started on my goals again and continue making this blog the best it can be and keep on writing. Happy July and happy summer, everyone! Let me know what you’ve been up to lately. It’s been quite a while.

What are your July 2019 goals? Also, tell me how you’ve been lately. It’s good to be back! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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WIP Wednesday [May 2019]

WIP Wednesday: May 2019 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Work In Progress | RachelPoli.com

This week, in particular, hasn’t been productive at all. The weekend was a weird one – with things online and in real life. It was a good weekend, but some things aren’t great and there was some weird news.

I won’t go into detail about everything, but I did already mention my grandfather going into the hospital. I’ll say that he went back into the hospital but hopefully, he’ll get to come home today. So, we’ll see what happens with that. He’s okay for the most part though.

It was also Mother’s Day so things were busy anyway. Needless to say, I didn’t get anything done over the weekend.

Which, in turn, poured into this week. I was so exhausted and out of it on Monday and Tuesday. I’m trying my best to get back into the work groove today.

So, that’s my update. I haven’t worked on anything this week. Hopefully, the rest of the week goes better and smoother.

And honestly, it’s been most of the month too. I haven’t edited as much as I planned at all. So, we’ll just see how the rest of the month goes. Fingers crossed I can get something done and everything else goes okay.

What have you been working on this month? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Nothing’s Wrong With Me [Mental Health Mondays]

I’ve had Generalized Anxiety Disorder since I was 16 – at least, that’s when I was diagnosed with it. I’m halfway to 26 and I feel like I’m just coming to terms with the fact that nothing’s wrong with me.

Mental Health Mondays: Nothing's Wrong With Me | Mental Health Matters | Mental Health | Anxiety | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Somedays I’m Rough Around The Edges

There are days where I feel like I’m totally out of my element. I don’t feel like talking to anyone, but I feel lonely. Little things bother me, I take what people say the wrong way, I have mood swings. My mind is always spinning and I can’t stop thinking about things that are not too big of a deal.

But Somedays I’m More Down To Earth

Yet, there are some days where I feel the complete opposite. I might ignore text messages one day and the following day I try to talk to everyone in my contacts. Part of this is because I feel bad for ignoring them earlier, but it’s mostly because I actually want to talk to people. I feel good enough to engage in conversation.

Somedays I’m Sad

There are days when I get out of bed and move straight to the couch. I’ll try to get writing or blogging done, but I stare at my computer screen instead. I want to cry, though there’s nothing to cry about. I get zero things done during the day and at the end of the day, I’m angry at myself for not getting anything accomplished. Yes, I know it’s good to take a day off and take breaks, but my mind doesn’t see it that way sometimes.

But Somedays I’m Happy

Yet, there are some days where I’m all over the place. I’m extremely happy and bouncy for no reason. I get everything on my to-do list done and then some. I’m talkative, I’m awake, and I want to be around people.

Every Day I’m Me

Everyone goes through mood swings. Everyone has good days and bad days. We all feel like we have it worse than everyone else – and for some, that’s true. But we also have it better than someone else as well. We just don’t realize it.

So, yeah. Somedays I’m easy to be around and other days I’m not. But it’s me all the same.

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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