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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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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Writing Goals For 2018

How many times do we set resolutions for ourselves and never follow through with them? How many times have I published a blog post at the beginning of January with a list of novels I was going to work on or complete?

And how many times did nothing get done?

I’ve always set goals for myself when it came to my writerly habits. However, one thing that I never did was set an actual deadline.

Sure, I’ve always said I’d have the whole year to work on X, Y, and Z. 12 months should be plenty, right? By December 31 I’d have so much accomplished. Then what?

A deadline is a deadline, but when it’s set by you, and the deadline is so far away, you tend to push it to the side. There are no real consequences and it’s easy to procrastinate.

My past self had an epiphany back in November or December and I realized that I need more than a large deadline with many goals. I need a deadline for each goal. I need a schedule to tell myself what to work on and when.

So, that’s exactly what I did. I’ve created a concrete schedule for myself and have publishing plans and everything.

Writing Goals for 2018 | Writing Goals | Novel Writing | RachelPoli.com

Wattpad

The Scribe – This will be published on January 8. I ended up getting a little behind due to the holidays, but that’s alright. I’m looking forward to it and I hope you are too.

Take Over – This will be published in April. I’ll spend now through March editing, rewriting, and editing again.

Brave – This will be published in July. I’ll outline in April, write in May, and spend June editing and doing rewrites.

Silhouettes – This will be published in October. I’ll outline in July, write in August, and edit and rewrite in September.

Novels

George Florence – This poor guy has been running in circles in my mind for years now. I’ll be spending my January time planning and organizing the whole series. I have the first novel written so for the months after that I’ll be editing and rewriting. I plan on having it completed in August.

The Lost Girl – The first draft of this has been written since April 2017 (I think?) from Camp NaNo. To give myself some time with George, I’m going to start this novel back up again in June. I’ll edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite, etc. and have it done for November.

Perplexed – This is a mystery short story collection. I’ll be writing two short stories a month through June leaving me with 12 stories total. Then from July through December I’ll be editing, rewriting, looking for beta readers and advanced reviewers, and overall just prepping it for self-publication. I’m thinking of a January 2019 release date, but that may change… if it changes, it will be earlier.

Unwritten – This is another novel from a fairly recent Camp NaNo. I’m editing this monthly with my writing group. So this is kind of a project that’s on the back burner to everything else. Though I’m hoping to keep up with the edits each month. I’m hoping this will be done by 2019.

Side Projects

Poetry – I want to work more on my poetic skills… or gain some skills, I mean. I would like to write 1-2 poems a month, though if I skip a month or two I won’t be heartbroken about it. I have so many other writing projects to worry about, but I do hope I can somewhat keep up with it.

Short Stories/Articles – Yes, I have Perplexed in the works, but I want to submit shorts and articles to other blogs/websites as well as contests and magazines. It’d be nice if I could submit something once a week, but I’m aiming for 1-2 a month. I don’t want to burn myself out and I want to be able to submit quality pieces.

Screenplay – I used to write scripts back in the day when NaNo’s sister site, Script Frenzy, was a thing. It was every April but there wasn’t much interest so they turned it into a second Camp NaNo. I miss it though and I found script writing to be interesting. I’ve always wanted to get back into it and there’s an idea that’s been nagging me for a while. I tried writing it into a novel and it didn’t work. I tried a short story and novella and that didn’t match either. I have a trailer in my head and I’m thinking I might try to write a screenplay for it. This is not a priority if anything it’s at the very bottom of my list. But, time permitting, I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at scriptwriting again.

Dream Big | How I'm taking action on my writing goals and how you can too | Writing Goals | Follow Your Dreams | RachelPoli.com

I’ve always been a hard worker, but I’ve also been one to get overwhelmed with my goals and panic too much.

“Will I make it?” “What if this comes out terrible?” “What if I promise something and can’t finish it on time?” You know the drill. Those little people in your head nag you and just want to kick you down.

But I think I’m finally ready. I’m in a good mindset and I’m eager to get started on my life. I already took some pretty big risks and tried some new things in 2017. I think 2018 will be the bigger and better version of it all.

Do you have any writing goals or deadlines for yourself this year? What are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to chat with you!

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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.

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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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