All About Worry Stones [Mental Health Monday]

When I was younger, I was always interested in stones and gems. Though I never knew much about them, I just thought they were pretty. I remember going on vacation with my family over the summer and getting those small, velvet string bags and shoving as many brightly colored rocks in there as I could. I never knew they really had much of a meaning.

Mental Health Monday: All About Worry Stones | Anxiety | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Mental Health | Mental Health Matters | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

What Is A Worry Stone?

Worry stones are smooth gemstones that are often in an oval shape with a thumbprint. It’s made to be rubbed in between your thumb and fingers to help calm you down and is often used for anxiety relief. Of course, not all worry stones come like that. And a worry stone can be anything you want it to be – anything that you find comfort in.

How I Learned About Worry Stones

When I was in therapy and recently diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, my therapist mentioned getting a worry stone or something of the kind for me. She thought it would bring me comfort as they were trying to step foot back into my high school. Of course, I have no idea what she was talking about. She had a small rock, nothing like the worry stone I described above, but she let me borrow it.

My mom had found a red, heart-shaped stone we had in the house and gave that to me to use. I had both and kept my therapist’s in my pocket and the one my mom gave me in my backpack since it was too big and heavier to fit in my pocket. I don’t know why or how, but it helped. For some reason, knowing I had those small objects made me feel better.

My Own Worry Stone

I had given my therapist her worry stone back the next time I saw her. I had the one my mom had given me and I was thinking of looking into getting my own anyway. Shortly after, my neighbor on the other side of the block (we’re not very close, but we talk to her once in a while), stopped by my house and gave my mom and small, oval-shaped worry stone made from rose quartz. Her two kids (both are younger than me) have anxiety and use worry stones. When she heard from the grapevine (meaning my whole neighborhood seemed to know I was having a rough time) that I had anxiety, she had gotten me a worry stone saying it helped her kids a lot.

Rose Quartz is pale pink stone (like the ones in the photo above) and is said to give off energy pertaining to love, happiness, and passion. I was so touched that this neighbor had thought of me and went out of her way to pick me out a worry stone despite us not being very close.

I kept that stone in my pocket every single day. Until I accidentally broke it.

Jasper Worry Stone

Apparently, Rose Quartz has grooves in them looking like cracks. They’re not cracks, but they’re fragile enough to be like cracks, so guess what’ll happen if you drop it on the floor? I had that particular worry stone for a few years and had it in my pocket every day. It was special, not just because it helped with my anxiety, but because it was given to me from someone special.

I was away for the weekend with my family. I had gone into the bathroom to take a shower. I took the worry stone out of my pocket and placed it on the sink counter – except I missed. The stone fell and hit the tiled floor splitting into two even pieces. I was so upset. Luckily, we happened to be near a shopping area and one store was an elemental store.

It was cool, it had Harry Potter stuff, Tarot cards, gemstones, and more. They had a decent selection of worry stones, though they were completely out of rose quartz. I got a brown stone (I believe it’s a Jasper stone, but I honestly can’t remember). It’s thinner than the one I had, but was oval and had thumbprint.

I didn’t feel the same effect having that one as opposed to my rose quartz one. I wasn’t sure if that was because I wasn’t used to it or if it was because I felt so bad I had broken the rose quartz one.

Some Bad News

Or it might have been because, the day we got home from that weekend trip, a day or two after my stone broke, we found out my neighbor – the one who had given me the stone – had cancer. It was a rare cancer and it a late stage. They weren’t expecting her to live much longer. I’m not superstitious, but for some reason, I felt as though my worry stone breaking was sort of an omen.

I never got rid of the broken stone. I still have both pieces and they’re sitting on the shelves above my bed with my other worry stones. I thought, if I had thrown the pieces away, it would have been the end of my neighbor. It sounds weird, I know, but that’s how I felt.

I’m happy to stay she’s still here with us and cancer-free. It took her a few years, but she won the battle. I still won’t be throwing out those pieces. Superstitions aside, it’s special to me and was my first worry stone.

A Collection of Worry Stones

I now have five worry stones. Three rose quartz, not including the broken on, the Jasper stone, and a white stone. (I bought the white one after I bought the Jasper stone. I figured having a back up would be a good idea in case I accidentally dropped another stone.) I bought another rose quartz stone, similar to the one I had before because the rose quartz seemed to make me feel the best.

I got two other rose quartz stones from a friend. Once he found out I dropped my first one, he immediately ordered me a new one, unknown to me. He ended up ordering two because when the first one arrived, it was a bigger circle (as you can see in the picture above) and he thought it was too big. So he ordered another. So, I have two rose quartz stones that were the same size as my original plus the Jasper and white one.

I like the big one though. I often wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety attacks and holding onto my worry stone will help me fall back to sleep. Of course, I tend to lose them under my pillow or in my sheets. I use the bigger one at night and I don’t lose it in my bed. I can easily find it when I wake up the next morning.

I’m Grateful

I’m lucky to have so many people who care about me enough to hunt down small stones for me just to make me feel better. I have a worry stone in my pocket at all times every single day. Though, I’m at the point where I don’t need it on me at all times. If I’m wearing pants with no pockets, I can get away with leaving my stone in my backpack or wallet. But it’s still near me in some way.

I find it interesting that a small stone can help you and make you feel better, but I’m glad it does.

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 [April 2019]

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

Reading

I plan on reading four books this month:

1. Battle Scars by Jordan Corley
2. Warriors: The Raging Storm (A Vision of Shadows 6) by Erin Hunter
3. Crookedstar’s Promise by Erin Hunter
4. Death By Pumpkin Spice (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 3) by Alex Erickson

If I can read an extra book or two in addition to those, that’d be great.

Writing

It’s Camp NaNoWriMo time! I’ll be working on two different projects aiming for 50,000 words total. I’m also hoping to get a few other things written as well just for fun.

Also, Sunday Morning is finally being released this month! I know, I’ve been promising it for a while, but it’s finally here. There will be more details on that soon.

Blogging

Once I finish my April posts, which I’m almost done with, I’ll be working on admin stuff all the while trying to get a headstart on May – Mystery Month!

Overall

April is going to be a busy month, but I’m ready!

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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March 2019 [Wrap Up]

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

Reading

This was kind of a slow reading month for me. I read what I wanted to and what I had planned to, but I didn’t read a little bit each day. Most of the books I read within a day or two right before the end of the week. Still, I enjoyed most of what I read and haven’t gotten behind in my reading goal.

Writing

Slow and steady wins the race, right? I’ve been writing, I’ve been prepping and outlining. I planned out my writing for April and am in good shape for Sunday Morning and the other projects I’ll be working on. Aside from making progress on Sunday Morning, I outlined my next Wattpad novella and worked out some timeline stuff for my mystery series. Overall, it was a decent writing month. Not in terms of words but I still made progress.

Blogging

Blogging is still going strong. I’ve been slowly writing blog posts for 2019. Most of my features (with the exception of the wrap-ups and contests and such) I’m able to write in bulk. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. This will save me so much time as the months go by and I only have to worry about writing the day to day content, which I usually write at the beginning of the month. Once I’m done with all of this, I’ll be able to spend more time gabbing on social media as well as writing!

Overall

March was busy. Aside from work, I picked up some extra babysitting jobs and got a new nephew! It was a good month and I’m looking forward to April.

Posts To Remember

1. March & April 2019 Writing Submissions
2. My Diagnosis Story [Mental Health Monday]
3. How Many Drafts Does It Take?

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

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How Many Drafts Does It Take?

When I first started writing, I often wondered how many drafts it would take me to “complete” my manuscript. Before I could submit it places for publication, how many drafts would I have to write, edit, rewrite, and the like? Of course, the more I wrote, the more I realized there’s no true answer to how many drafts does it take to write a novel?

How Many Drafts Does It Take | Creative Writing | Writing | Novel Writing | Writing Tips | Writing Community | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

My First Manuscript

I completed the first draft of my very first novel back in 2010. It’s been nine years and I don’t even know how long since I last touched it. I still have the manuscript and I’m on the eighth draft. It’s still not done. At this point, it will never be done.

Being the first novel I had ever written, I know it’s not going to see the light of day. I’m not even sure if I like the idea enough to ever go back to it and try to rewrite the story. Maybe someday I’ll share some bits of it, but today is not that day.

I Thought I Needed A Lot Of Drafts

Of course, that particular novel had a lot of drafts because I didn’t know much of what I was doing. I thought it needed to be perfect, which there is no such thing. I also thought that having multiple drafts and a crap ton of ink-filled paper meant that I was a “real writer.” That novel wasn’t a manuscript unless I had a handful of stacks of that same manuscript riddled with black and red ink.

But you don’t need a lot of drafts. You just need as many as you think it will take to tell the story at a polished level. When do you know it’s polished? That’s harder to tell because we all strive for the novel to be as perfect as can be.

It Depends On Style And Genre Too

I write mostly novels. I have written a couple of novellas. I have written short stories and compiled them into a collection. I’ve even written poetry and scripts. I find the longer it is, the more drafts you may have. You can’t catch everything in one sitting.

I was on my second or third draft of George Florence and the Perfect Alibi before I rewrote the whole book with a POV change. Now I’m on the third or fourth draft of that. So, you figure all together I have about six or seven drafts of that manuscript. Meanwhile, my novellas on Wattpad only took one round of edits.

It’s All Up To You

Whatever you think you’re novel needs, do it. Just don’t overdo it.

How many drafts do your novels typically take until they’re complete? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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You’re Invited To A Blog Party [March 2019]

2019 March Blog Party | Blogging | Community | Writing Community | Creative Writing | Bloggers | RachelPoli.com2019 March Blog Party | Blogging | Community | Writing Community | Creative Writing | Bloggers | RachelPoli.com

March is coming to a close. I’ve decided to throw another blog party for a few reasons:

  • We’re so close to Spring!
  • I meant to do this blog party at the beginning of the month and forgot to write it in my planner.
  • …That’s all my reasons. Other than to spread some more blogging love!

In the comments below…

  • Introduce yourself and your blog name.
  • Share one thing you love to do in the spring.
  • 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 [March 2019]

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

Reading

I’m going to do my best to start ahead with my reading this month. Books I’ll be reviewing will be:

  • Warriors: Shattered Sky (A Vision of Shadows 3) by Erin Hunter
  • Death By Tea (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 2) by Alex Erickson
  • Warriors: Darkest Night (A Vision of Shadows 4) by Erin Hunter
  • Mann Cakes by Mysti Parker
  • Warriors: River of Fire (A Vision of Shadows 5) by Erin Hunter

Books I’ll be reading this month are:

  • Battle Scars by Jordan Corley
  • Warriors: The Raging Storm (A Vision of Shadows 6) by Erin Hunter
  • Death by Pumpkin Spice (Bookstore Cafe Mystery 3) by Alex Erickson
  • Crookedstar’s Promise by Erin Hunter

As a reminder, my Book Review Policy is only taking requests until the end of the month. If you’d like me to read and review book, you can read the policy and send me an email by March 31.

Writing

As usual, I’ll be working on a bunch of different projects. I’m going to continue (or I guess finally start) the 85K90 Writing Challenge, which is still in the writing stage. With that said, I’ll be writing the first draft of one project and rewriting a new draft for another project.

I’ll also be prepping for Camp NaNoWriMo in April by outlining a third project, which will be a novella for Wattpad.

Blogging

I want to get some blog maintenance done. I’m just about done with March’s blog posts and I was also able to get ahead with certain features that I was able to write well in advance, which means the rest of the year is pretty much 25% done for every month. So, aside from writing some blog posts here and there and keeping ahead on that, I’d like to organize the categories on this blog as well as go through and update some older posts.

Overall

March is going to be an interesting month. It’s going to be long. There are no school vacations which means I’ll be babysitting a lot and I’m also getting another nephew any day now. (He’s not due to come until March 14, but I have a gut feeling he’ll come early.) So, lots of work but I know there will be plenty of family time as well. I’m looking forward to it.

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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February 2019 [Wrap Up]

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

Reading

February was a good reading month. I read what I had planned to read and have gotten a good amount ahead of my book reviews as well. I think I’m finally out of my reading slump. I think it helps that I’ve been planning on what to read again. I had originally stopped that because I didn’t follow through with it, but I’ve been sticking with it lately.

Writing

February was a decent writing month. I was able to get a good amount done and I even was able to dedicate an entire day to writing so I could catch up with a lot as well. It was great.

Blogging

Blogging was something I worked the most on this month. I was able to get so far ahead – I got March’s blog posts done as well as graphics and blog posts written for certain series that I can write ahead of time. My Short Story Sundays, Time To Write, Quotes, and other series are completely written and scheduled for the rest of the year! It’s a great feeling and I’m glad to be able to focus more on blog maintenance as well as writing and freelancing now.

Overall

February was a great month. I got way more done than I thought I ever would and I feel well prepared for March and beyond!

Posts To Remember

1. February & March 2019 Writing Submissions
2. The Difference Between Flash Fiction & Short Stories
3. What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder? [Mental Health Monday]

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

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January 2019 [Wrap Up]

Wrap Up January 2019 | Creative Writing | Reading | Blogging | Goals | RachelPoli.com

Reading

Reading was, I’ll admit, slow-going this month. I think it was because I was ahead for reviews so I felt like I was ahead with my reading. I did finish reading what I had planned to read this month though. I’m hoping to get more reading done in February though. I’d like to get back into that habit.

Writing

I had planned a lot of writing for the month of January, but plans changed. I ended up doing a lot of planning and outlining instead. I can’t complain about that though. I still made progress. I also officially started my Fiverr account. This is something I’ve flip-flopped on for a really long time and decided to do it in addition to the services from my blog. Mostly though, I’m still plugging away at my books.

Blogging

January was a good month for blogging. I got so many graphics done ahead of time, which was be super time consuming. I have a list of series that I can write for the whole year, which I plan on doing soon. Overall though, I got my January and most of my February blog posts done.

Overall

January was kind of a weird month. I didn’t get done what I had originally planned on getting done, but I still accomplished some things. January was a huge planning month for me and I got myself organized and prioritized a lot of projects. So I feel good.

Posts To Remember

1. Why I’m Opening Up [Mental Health Monday]
2. Writing Goals for 2019
3. Why I Chose To Join Patreon

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

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Organizing My Notebooks

Here I am, still organizing! I went through my books the other day and now I’m organizing my notebooks. I’ve felt so good going through all these things and more. Maybe I’ll talk about the more part later on, but I think I’ve overloaded you guys with so many organizational posts lately!

Organizing My Notebooks | Creative Writing | Organize | Lifestyle | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I have more notebooks than I can count. I’ve got a drawer under my bed filled with notebooks that have been used and filled. I have two other bins under my bed filled with notebooks and journals that have yet to be used. I also have a three-shelf bin in my office. The top holds my accordion folders with my manuscripts and various drafts in them as well as notebooks that are being used for current drafts and projects I’m on right now.

I had gone through those last summer (I think) and that’s why they each have their own little home. I also have a filing cabinet in my office that has two drawers. The bottom one is filled with Kris’s things and the top drawer is… overflowing with my stuff.

I give each of my writing projects a file folder that holds the current draft as we as an research or loose-leaf notes. I didn’t count how many folders I had in there, but the drawer was filled enough that when I opened the drawer, it would sag because it was so heavy with folders and paper.

I have a list of stories I plan on writing and when I was younger, this list used to be pages and pages long. So, instead of waiting until I officially began a project, I made a folder. For every. Single. One.

Half of these weren’t even “ideas,” mind you. If I came up with a title idea that sounded cool, I turned it into a folder because… I’d come up with a plot to go along with that title at some point, right?

So, I put the live action 101 Dalmations movie on Netflix over the weekend and I tackled that drawer. It took me almost two hours to go through it all. (That time could also be because I got distracted by the movie at times.) I saved the folders of stories I knew I was going to write soon or in the future. I put the other folders to the side and went through them separately. I wanted to double check I would never write those stories and I also had to go through any research or notes that might have been in the folders. Most of the folders were, however, empty.

My drawer is now just a little less than halfway full. I can open and close the drawer smoothly because it no longer weighs a ton. Not to mention I can fit the folders in standing up now rather than stacking them on top of each other to make them all fit… and then taking them all out one by one to look for that certain folder.

Looking at it, it doesn’t seem like I did much but it really made a difference. I feel so good that I’m slowly going through all my things and de-cluttering everything.

Have you gone through your notebooks and writing lately? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Inspiration Station: Fear As Fuel [Guest Post]

It’s my pleasure to welcome Annette Rochelle Aben to my blog once again. This Inspiration Station is brought to you by her. Thanks, Annette!

Inspiration Station: Fear As Fuel | Guest Post | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

In the Kane Brown/Lauren Alaina song: What If, the duo goes back and forth siting the pros and cons of starting a relationship. Of course, it might work but what if it doesn’t. In the end, it sounds as though they are willing to throw caution to the wind and give it a go, despite their fears. Why? Because the pay-off is more attractive than giving into the fear.
They are using the fear as the fuel to create the argument FOR making their dreams come true.
As writers, we can talk ourselves in or out of everything from hitting the PUBLISH button to even beginning a project. The ten good reasons why we should not move forward, can become the justification to languish in a comfort zone of safety from disappointment. The more frequently we talk ourselves into playing it safe, the further away we drift from the possibility of making our dreams coming true.
I don’t mind having a life in which I never experience happiness from my creative energy is just fine with me.” Said NO ONE EVER!
Fear is merely a word. A word we define for ourselves. We decide if fear is our guide or our prison guard. It is up to us to use the fear of failure to help us explore the possibility of success. The power is ours to wield! Own your “what if’s” and watch the amazing results.

About Annette

Annette Rochelle Aben, Author | Guest Post | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.comLearning to read, opened up world of acceptance and creativity, Annette found irresistible. Learning to write, made that world come alive inside Annette. Publishing books, allowed Annette to share herself with the world.

To date, Annette has self-published 12 books in the categories of poetry, self-help, spirituality and inspiration. A Haiku Perspective 2018 became a #1 Amazon Kindle Best Seller within 3 days of release. Her television commercial copy writing, garnered her an Emmy nomination and a children’s coloring book she designed, won a national marketing award for her, then, employer, United Artist’s Entertainment.

Currently, Annette is the Copy Editor for the digital magazine, The Magic Happens.

Blog | The Magic Happens | Amazon

Be sure to let Annette know what you thought of her post in the comments! Check out her links and show her some love. If you liked the post, please share it around.

If you’d like to write a guest post for my blog, then read the Guest Post Guidelines.

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Why I’m Opening Up [Mental Health Monday]

Mental health is important. It’s everywhere and effects a lot of people. Some people you know about and others don’t open up about it for whatever reason or they hide it. We’ve been talking about mental health more in recent months and it’s something that should always be talked about. There’s no shame in mental health – just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take care of yourselves in that sense.

Yet, mental health is a tricky subject. There are still people out there who don’t “agree” with mental health or don’t think it “exists.” This is bizarre to me, but maybe that’s because I have mental health issues myself that it’s hard for me to put myself in someone’s else’s shoes and believe it’s “all in my head.”

Mental Health Monday is a new feature I’m adding to the blog in 2019 that will be posted once a month. I’ve started talking about my mental health more in 2018 – though I’ll admit it was just a handful of times on Twitter (I think). I wanted to talk about it more in 2019 and beyond. I also wanted to add more “personal” posts on this blog and mental health is a huge topic and it’s a huge part of who I am.

Mental Health Monday: Why I'm Opening Up | Anxiety | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Why I’m Opening Up

Like I said, I’ve never really talked about my mental health before. Despite wanting to do more personal posts and letting you guys get to know me more, I wanted to talk about my mental health on the blog – for the whole Internet and world to see – for one reason only.

I’m ready.

I have been diagnosed since I was 16 – so it’s been about nine years. If I remember correctly, I was diagnosed in January or February. Needless to say, it’s been a long time. Aside from a few close people who knew, I never talked about it. Even though I had been officially diagnosed by a professional, part of me still wasn’t sure what was “wrong” with me.

When I quit my job almost two years ago now, I’ve done quite a bit of soul searching and – this will sound weird but – I’ve done a lot of research on myself and my mental health. This has led me to become ready to be more open about my mental health and about who I am as a person.

This is who I am.

I don’t know what made me decide to do the research. I don’t know why I had waited so long. I don’t know why I had decided to do it after I quit my job. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what I was doing with my life. I didn’t know how to get from point A to point B. I made a huge decision. I took a big risk. Maybe it was because of that I decided to do some soul searching. Not to mention, a lot of things have happened in my life that was effected by my anxiety. I took the time to finally sit down and figure out what goes on in my mind.

I did the research, which consisted of reading articles from The Mighty as well as going on Pinterest. It was the biggest eye-opener I’ve ever had. Every article I read was me. Everything that was listed in those blog posts were things I think about every day. They were things I do, things I say. Little quirks I have are “normal” for someone like me. It was weird for me to realize that because even though I’ve been diagnosed and I know it’s a common thing, I always thought I was the only one.

It made me realize, this is who I am. This is normal for me. I’m normal, even if others don’t always see that.

I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

I’ll save the diagnosis story for another time, but I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. A lot of people think there’s just “anxiety” and that’s it, but there are various kinds of anxiety. Some get it worse than others, some are diagnosed with different types. I don’t have just anxiety, I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ll explain more about what GAD is in the next post.

Until then, I hope you enjoy this series. I’m looking forward to talking about it. I’m ready to open up.

I hope you enjoy this new series on the blog. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Hello, 2019!

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Here we are – 2019! Looking back at my Hello, 2018 post, I said that 2019 will be here “tomorrow.” I don’t think I’ve ever made a truer statement.

Hello 2019 | New Year | Goals | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Every single new year I always tell myself, “This will be the year.” The year of what, though? I’m not really sure. I have plenty of ideas and goals to keep my occupied and focused for the next 12 months. Whether something comes of those ideas, I have no idea.

If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I’m a hard worker. I always have been and I definitely know I can be a bit of a control freak and while I collab a lot (I mean, I run an entire blog with my sister) I like doing a lot of things myself and on my own time. I enjoy being my own “boss,” if you will.

I quit my job in June 2017 and decided to pursue this whole writing and blogging thing. Since then, I’ve had my ups and downs. Ideas have come to fruition, others haven’t. Some deadlines were met, some are still collecting dust or were deleted all together.

When I don’t meet deadlines or complete a task, it could be for a number of reasons.

  • I took on too much and ran out of time
  • I took on too much and ran out of steam
  • Something came up in life – friends or family, good or bad – and I put them first

Improvements

One thing I’d like to improve about myself this 2019 is to stop being so hard on myself. If I run out of time, I stay up later or wake up earlier in an attempt to get hours back. If I don’t, I lie awake in bed all night thinking about it.

Same thing if I run out of steam. I need to accept that I’m human. I need breaks and rest and definitely need to schedule that into daily routine or stop working at a certain time for the day.

Family and friends will always come first, however there have been a few times where my work at suffered for no reason. I won’t explain in detail, but for two weeks straight I was helping a friend and it turned into the same problem each and every day. Sometimes people seem to think that because I’m home I have a lot of free time because I’m “my own boss” and I could always do my work “later.” But there will be times where it’s okay if I put my work first.

In other words, I need to stop feeling bad if I don’t get back to my friend right away or if I decide to put my work to the side for the time being.

So, What’s Up For The Blog?

With all that said, I’m changing some of the content on this blog. I’ve talked about this before, but I’ll say it again.

Instead of the blog being strictly writing and reading, I’ll be sprinkling in some personal posts here and there. This blog originally started off with writing posts and personal posts and I’d like to bring that back. There are only so many posts I can write about “dialogue.” Those posts won’t go away though! They’ll just be a little less with some other happenings going on. The schedule will, however, be the same daily posts.

  • Sunday – Short Story Story – A new flash story or poem from me.
  • Monday – Free for all – This will typically be home to any Guest Posts or Interviews along with a new feature that will appear once a month.
  • Tuesday – Free for all – Book reviews will appear on this day during July and August.
  • Wednesday – Free for all – Once a month will be a WIP Wednesday post.
  • Thursday – Free for all – I don’t think I ever really have anything special going on this day.
  • Friday – Time to Write – A creative writing prompt that everyone is welcome to participate in and share their stories in the comments.
  • Saturday – Book Reviews – A new book review will be posted.

In addition to new personal posts, I’ll be starting two new features. Both will appear once a month – Healthy Writer and Mental Health Monday. I’m looking forward to sharing those posts with you guys!

What Else?

On my Goodreads, I had pledged to read 52 books again. I think that will be a breeze for me with the way the past couple of years have worked out. I got a lot of gift cards to Barnes & Noble for Christmas, so I’m planning on buying myself one new book a week – because I totally need more books.

I do have quite a lot of writing goals, but I’ll be talking about that in a separate post tomorrow.

I have so many other things planned for 2019 as well – one should be made public in early March while the other will probably be closer to the end of the year. Plus there’s many more!

I’ve always been thinking of better ways to utilize my Patreon and make things more engaging for my Patrons. If you have anything in mind, let me know and please join my writing journey on there. A lot of cool new things will be coming in 2019 and my patrons will be the first to know about it.

Happy 2019!

I believe that’s it for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with an update on my writing goals for the year. Here’s hoping 2019 is filled with a lot of kindness and positive vibes all around. Thank you all for being here!

Do you have any plans for 2019? Are you looking forward to the new year? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Goodbye, 2018!

Well. This is it. 2018 is over.

I feel like this year went by so slow and yet, I can’t believe we’ll be writing 2019 as the date.

2018 certainly had its ups and downs, but it was a good year overall. I think I accomplished a lot and I’ve learned a lot. I still need to learn to relax, but maybe that can be a resolution for 2019 that I won’t keep.

Goodbye 2018 | New Year | Wrap Up | Goals | 2019 | Blogging | Creative Writing | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Usually, when I write these posts, I look back on the year and reflect on all the things I did and accomplished on the blog and writing-wise. I don’t “journal” much on here – though that may change in the new year – so I can’t get too deep into personal stuff or life in general, but I can say that 2018 was a big year for my blog and writing.

January

I talked a lot about characters and character development on the blog. I started up my newsletter again… which eventually fell to the wayside yet again. I am bringing it back in 2019 though – for real this time! I also started my Wattpad. I published The Scribe in January, which went pretty well. There’s definitely room for improvement but I like how it turned out.

February

I talked a lot about world building on the blog this month. I also officially launched my Patreon at the end of the month. I have lots of plans for my Patreon in the new year as well as publishing news. I’ll also be adding some new things outside of the blog and Pareon (but will go along with them). So, if you’ve been following my blog for a while and like what I do and enjoy my creative writing, please check out my Patreon and consider joining the journey.

March

The theme for the blog was blogging. Running a blog and promoting it and so on and so forth. I also went to Canada for the first time ever in my life. It feels like that was so long ago and yet, it feels like it was last month. I went to a gaming expo called EGLX and met some of my favorite YouTubers and streamers. It was so awesome to leave the country and have a weekend getaway with my sister as well.

April

This was a super busy month. I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo where I wrote the rest of my Short Story Sunday stories for 2018 and also worked on some mystery shorts. I also published Take Over on my Wattpad and went to Disney at the end of the month. It was a good one.

May

May was Mystery Month on the blog. So I talked about… well, the mystery genre. Duh.

June

I talked a lot about reading and book reviews as well as book blogging in general, which was a new topic for the blog. I had fun with it though and enjoyed the posts I wrote.

July

I posted two book reviews a week and also talked a lot about writing scenes in creative writing. This was another new topic for the blog. I also went on vacation at the end of the month with my family, which was great.

It was also a second Camp NaNoWriMo session. I honestly don’t remember what I worked on… I think I edited during the month working on Sunday Morning and George Florence & The Perfect Alibi.

Oh, and Ari started #TheMerryWriter on Twitter as well. At least, I think it was this month? I might have officially joined as her co-host either this month or August. I’m pretty sure July was the first month for it though.

(It’s funny – looking back at my planner I never kept up with keeping track of my writing like I said I’d do… so I only remember what I blogged about rather than what novels I worked on!)

August

I continued to post two book reviews a week on the blog and also talked a lot about dialogue in creative writing. Other than that, nothing too exciting happened on the blog.

On a side note, I had started live streaming on Twitch with my sister for Double Jump. So that was a big thing for us.

September

Not too much happened on the blog but we talked about the creative writing process.

October

This month’s blog topic was outlining your novel. This is something I talk about often on the blog. I personally love outlining but most others don’t.

November

This month was another NaNoWriMo session. I wrote all 52 shorts for Short Story Sunday in 2019. It was a good accomplishment.

December

This month has been a total crapshoot. I’ve been doing a lot of prep for the new year and have kind of talked about random stuff on the blog. It’s been good though.

Overall

2018 was a great year. I had fun, I learned a lot, had some great experience, and met a lot of new people. I have no complaints. Sure, there were some rough patches here and there, but I’m learning from them and moving on. It’s hard to not look back or dwell on the past, but I’m focused on a positive future ahead.

Posts to Remember

1. 9 Types of Characters in Fiction
2. 21 Questions To Ask When Writing a Scene
3. The Sticky-Note Method For Outlining A Novel

Here’s to 2019! Bring it on!

How did 2018 treat you? Are you looking forward to 2019? What are you doing this New Year’s Eve? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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December 2018 Wrap Up

2018 December Wrap Up | Reading | Creative writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

December was a pretty good month for reading. Once Christmas was over, I was able to get some reading done that I wanted to do. I got through some extra books for the year and I also got back into an old series which basically had me speed reading and got me out of my reading slump.

Writing

Writing didn’t happen this month. I mean, I tried to get some things done. I planned and I wrote some things for my Patrons but for the most part, I didn’t have time to write and it always took the backseat to something else. I’ll be getting more into my writing once the new year comes, though. I have a plan!

Blogging

A lot of blogging happened this month. I’ve done a lot for my blog and social media in preparation for 2019. New things are coming and some old things are changing. It’s been a lot of reworking and I still have more to do. I’m pacing myself though and just taking it day by day. The blog will slowly come together and things are looking good! At least, I think they are anyway. We’ll see how it all comes together.

Overall

December was a crazy month. On and offline, there was so much to do and not enough time. However, I got done what I needed to do by the time it needed to be done. Christmas was enjoyable and the month was good overall.

Posts To Remember

1. I Need Your Input 2019
2. 2019 Guest Post Dates Are Open For 2019
3. 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

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

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com