One of the things that has helped me through this time of pandemic and physical distancing is staying connected to my friends. I’ve been using Marco Polo to check in with my friends each day and see how they are doing. But I’ve also made it a priority to keep up with this blog and with my newsletter.
If you are new to this blog or been an avid reader for a while, I invite you to sign up for the newsletter using the link below. In the newsletter, you get a little more personal update along with some book updates as well (although, just for full transparency, the book has been put on hold for right now during this pandemic. But when the book is finished, the newsletter subscribers will have the option to become beta readers).
As a kid, I didn’t really think of myself as a writer. I wasn’t really encouraged by any teachers to become a writer, either. It’s not that I received that much criticism, but the spotlight for creativity always managed to be on someone else. I managed to squeak by with decent grades on papers, but that was as far as it went.
In college, I tried to join a writer’s club. I can’t remember why I went to that meeting, but I felt way out of my league. Of course, at that point, writing seemed to be reserved for the well-read and the English majors. I was neither. I mean, I enjoyed reading, but I never seemed to be reading the right books or understanding the books I did read the right way. Basically, I had no real confidence when it came to my writing.
So instead of traditional writing, I tried blogging. I was introduced to it through my college roommate. She blogged to her friends back home, and I really loved the interactive aspects of blogging. So, I started my own blog, but it never really took off. I didn’t have the kind of interactions or views I thought all other blogs must experience. It was strange to feel isolated in a place where so many other people found connection.
When I got married, I started working from home, and it was the first time I was physically isolated from people for large chunks of my day. That gave me some time to really devote to blogging, which I thought had been the problem. But I kept moving from one site to another trying to reinvent myself almost on a yearly basis. It was hard to maintain a following when I was moving around so much online. Plus, my confidence kept me from really finding my own voice.
Over time, the subject matter on my blog found its direction. In 2014, I started Katy’s Life Story because I wanted to share my story of pregnancy loss and my journey to having a baby. I had no idea at the time how long and heartbreaking that journey would be, but I kept writing. I started getting some feedback from others, and it felt great, but I started obsessing about the numbers, the likes and the comments.
At the end of last year, I realized how much validation and pleasing others had affected how I write. In fact, I struggled with even calling myself a writer. My first inclination was to leave. But I realized the blog wasn’t the problem, it was how I saw myself as a writer, and that was what I needed to change.
I started listing the reasons I write. In truth, the numbers were just a distraction. With all of the reflection I’ve had over the years from my writing, I feel like I know myself on a better level. I have had the courage to learn new things, embrace the things I like and become more of who I was created to be. And I have made a few amazing friends and connections who have inspire, encourage, and challenge me when I need it most.
Going forward, I want to challenge the way I write, and appreciate it for the art that it is. I want to play and connect, to read other writers and see how they put words their own words and thoughts together. This journey is far from over, and I’m excited to see where this will take me, line by line and word by word.
At the beginning of last year, I started a newsletter, which fizzled out with my blog last summer. I felt defeated, to be honest. But in only 8 short weeks, so many things fell into place that I couldn’t ignore that this blog and my writing were part of my calling. I may not get large followings or achieve success by worldly standards, but I know from comments and emails and private messages throughout the last 7 years especially that I am meant to write. It’s seeped into my blood and become a part of me.
When I decided to come back and write, I made a point to restructure the blog in such a way that I could maintain some amount of content on a regular basis. And it was a good bit of restructuring. And I’ve allocated some of the content to my newsletter that will come out at the beginning of each month on the first Friday beginning in February.
The newsletter content will be a behind the scenes of the blog. It will include more of stuff going on in my life that may not make it into a blog post or may go into more detail about something I mentioned in a blog post. It will also be a place that I will talk about the book that I’m writing (yes, I’m still writing that book), including even some beta reading opportunities.
Now, I don’t think I’m great at selling things. It’s probably because I don’t like being sold things. But this newsletter is going to have content that I’m not putting anywhere else. So if you want to be a part of this awesome community, there is a seat saved for you.
Here’s the link. If you sign up before next Friday, you will get the February newsletter which will talk about why I have more space in my life this year and why I made that choice. Hope to talk to you soon!
Summer is over. Well, technically, it’s not over for a couple more weeks, but pretty much every school is back in session. The vacation part associated with summer is over.
I looked back at my Thriving in Summer blog post as I was typing this one. Even then, I could see the burn out, but I don’t think I really saw the totality of how overwhelmed I was getting with life. Taking a step back was one of the best things I could have done for myself.
I recapped my summer activities in another post, so I won’t repeat myself. The other thing I mentioned in my last thriving post was that I wanted to take time to contemplate where I wanted to go with my blog. Honestly, I didn’t really think about the blog too much this summer. I didn’t forget, but there was just so much else going on that I didn’t have time for it in my brain.
As I sat back down to the blog this last week or two to start writing again, I got a chance to organize, or reorganize my blog, and it gave me a sense of some direction I wanted to go.
That brings me to my Thriving in September goal/challenge/direction.
So, for the month of September, my goal is to write twice a week. I’m thinking that Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the days I write. But I’m still getting back into new normal rhythms for the Fall. Someday, I may find that I can write on more days than just two, but for now, I’m going to take it slow.
In the past, I’ve had certain days dedicated to certain topics, but, again, for right now, I’m just going to write one post after another. At least until I figure out what I want to do on a broader scale
So, September is about coming back slow. Living in the moment. Focusing and sharing the things that are important to me. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and a great start to your September!
Do you have any goals that you are trying to reach this month? Or are you just trying to get back into your rhythms as well?
I’m back! Not quite one hundred percent, like I’m not feeling the blogging bug like I have in the past, but the desire to write again is coming back. Slowly.
This summer was absolutely crazy in both good and bad ways. More good than bad, but all crazy. My world was upended and continued to be upended. It’s probably not quite back to complete stability, but it’s getting there.
Do schools still do the whole “what I did on my summer vacation” writing prompt at the beginning of the school year? I don’t even remember doing it that often when I was in school, but it’s such an ingrained cliche that I just had to take the opportunity to use it, especially considering I was gone the whole summer.
Ok, on to the fun recap. We’ll start Memorial day and go on from there. Memorial Day, we got together with Michael’s immediate family – his parents and his brother’s family. The visit was fun, and it was neat to see our son interact with his cousin who is almost a year older than he is. Completely different from last year when our son was around 2 months old. Plus, there is this Art Alley in the downtown area that had this cool graffiti art. The Mad Hatter was probably my favorite.
The very next weekend, we were road-tripping again, but this time to Houston for a wedding. Our friends were getting married and asked Michael to officiate. Michael is an accountant, so he did the whole getting ordained online thing (he got a certificate for it). He was amazing. Plus, it was a part of Houston I had never been before (near Galveston), and we toured NASA and introduced our son to the beach. Lots of firsts this summer.
The day after we got back, my parents moved into our house. Over the last year, we had been talking about them moving here from Georgia. Having our son was a really great incentive, but there were other reasons as well. It is so, so nice to having them live so close to us! They sold their house pretty quickly, and my dad’s work transfer was really smooth, so we invited them to stay at our house so they could figure out exactly where they wanted to live and take their time to buy a house.
Then, in the middle of July, Michael’s job was sending him to a conference in New York City. The boy and I got to tag along! NYC is probably one of my favorite cities in the world. This was my third visit, and it was a bit different with a kid in tow, but still amazing.
And then, a couple weeks back from that trip, the stomach bug visited our family. It started with our son and moved through the family, miraculously skipping my husband who was able to help take care of us. It was not a fun week, to say the least.
And at the end of this summer, my parents were able to move into their house. It is super cute and only 20 minutes away. It’s pretty cool to be able to have lunch with my parents who I had only seen at most twice a year the last 14 years or so.
I’m kind of glad, to be honest, that I wasn’t trying to keep up with a blog as well. I definitely would have fallen behind. And I’m not sure about the schedule going forward, so I’m probably going to be coming back slowly. Hope you all have had a great summer, and I will talk again soon!