Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My First Article

I submitted my first key word article today. It took me a long time to complete it and will hardly be worth the pay verses the time spent on it. I don't mean that in a bad way because I need the practice and I need to learn to focus. It may not even be accepted for payment on the first run.

I learned a valuable lesson about choosing key word articles, I will never again pick one that is awkward to use in a sentence. I also learned that I have trouble staying focused on one project at a time. I end up wasting time researching interesting things that I ran across while researching my topic. I am going to have to learn if it won't fit in the article don't bother with it or make a note to look into it later.

Once I wrote the article I started on another goal. I have not been working out or eating right lately and I really want to get back on track. I was doing really well and a few minor things made me feel like I was fighting a loosing battle and I just gave into the cravings. I went to the park down the street today with my dog and started my new routine. I am going to start jogging and since I have never been more than a walk fast kind of gal this is a real challenge.

Asuka loved it every time I broke into a jogging pace and she was excellent. She didn't pull like she does when we walk and she didn't stop to sniff everything. She is not a puller like the dogs you see running there owners down the street but she could use some work or maybe just some speed.

I learned that I am really out of shape and that it will take time to build up to speed. I had to walk most of the 2.5 miles. My heart rate was through the roof after just a little jogging. I am going to be a better dog owner and in better shape by sticking to this goal. I don't know yet if I can handle two days in a row or just every other day. We will just walk if I can't jog each day.

I have also been going on evening walks with my husband and the dog so if all of this continues I will be in better shape in no time as long as I don't eat whole pies or bags of chips. I honestly could eat a whole pie I have never done it but lately my sweet cravings have been really bad and I am tempted to grab the sugar bowl and chow down some days.

Over all life is looking good I just need to outline a plan for these changes in my life. Once they are in writing they are easier to follow and tweak as needed. That is one of the mistakes I made in my good health plan this last time. I quit writing about it and put it out of my mind. Not this time I am going to work on becoming a better me. I am working to be the person I want to be and I am going to make it happen.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Zombie Head Today

Zombie Head is what I call that daze I wake up in when I didn't get a great nights sleep or I am sick and just can't wake up. This morning I had Zombie Head but it is gone now. Last week my hubby and I watched The Walking Dead: Season One and I have been having zombie dreams. I did get more sleep last night than I did after we watched the episode where they put zombie guts on themselves.

I like all kinds of creepy stuff and I can watch a dozen vampire movies and not have disturbing dreams but every time I watch a zombie show I have vivid dreams. Sometimes they are scary sometimes they are just like watching a show. I had one a few nights ago about finding a cure for the "disease" but it was only saving a small percent of the infected. You shot it in the brain and it either killed the zombie or returned it to a human state. Then if you survived the brain injury you might become yourself again. Rather ridiculous if you think about it but that is where good writing material comes from I suppose. I am going to have to get a pen and paper and put it beside the bed to write this stuff down.

I hope to get up with only mild Zombie Head tomorrow or maybe just the normal morning haze that dissipates quickly with a few cups of coffee because I have a lot of things I need to do. I have a lot of writing I want to do. I have plans to start that today but I want to stay on track by creating a writing schedule. I plan to work on some pieces for the writing sites (HubPages and Associated Content) that I don't really get paid for but I could use on my resume. I also have an article due at London Brokers and I need to get that done today. Then  I have a book review I need to do for Literary Lunes a free magazine for writers. I only have 14 hours for the article I need done today the others either don't have a deadline or it is much later in the month. I hope to get everything I can done this week as I push myself to live my dream.

So here is the deal I am going to kill the Negativity Beast! I am going to slay it with my magic sword of determination. I am going to chop it to little tiny pieces so it never bothers me again. I am going to start writing and getting paid for it. I am going to work hard and become an excellent writer. I am not going to let rejection get me down I am going to use it to make me stronger! I am going to win!

A special thanks to Jen Whitten and her awesome blog The Positive Piper that has given me the tools to change my life!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Working on a More Positive Life

I have been reading a blog called The Positive Piper and working on making some changes to my life. Things are starting to look up even thought there are some large bumps and crater-like potholes in the road.

I have learned a lot about myself working through the exercises on The Positive Piper. I have also had to face some hard truths about myself. It has opened my eyes to what I really want to do with my life. I now realize it is going to take some hard work for little to no pay to get this show on the road.

I have found a few low paying writing gigs to start with. I  have to start somewhere and it doesn't hurt to get paid while I am practicing my craft. Once I get some articles written and have something for my resume I will be well on my way to making my dreams come true.

I also have some unpaid work to help build a portfolio and connections in the writing world. It will be fun and I am sure I can build on it to find paying jobs later. My goal is to make some money writing by the end of next month. I am not sure what a realistic dollar figure is yet that is why I didn't set one. If I make $50 dollars in that time I will raise use that as a starting point. So I will take my first months dollar figure and set a goal to make 50 percent more the next month until that becomes unrealistic.

I am still looking for a part time job in the social work field but it doesn't feel as urgent as it did before. I do love to help people but I tend to like to be a behind the scene kind of gal. I like to do thing such as organizing and planning events or finding volunteers for projects. I don't know how to find that kind of job but I can at least weed out the jobs I know I will hate. I am thinking offering freelance grant writing services for nonprofits once I get my writing career kicked up a notch.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Cleaning

The last few days I have been away from my computer most of the time. Spring cleaning here is both house cleaning and organizing my life. I get a lot more done when I keep the computer shut off so I am limiting my time on digital devices until I get my daily chores done.

I likely have over a month left at my job and I will work one 12.5 hour Saturday each week until the find a replacement for me. That means I should have some income so I can focus on doing all the chores I have put off for years. I can get the house spotless and reorganized and the garage and basement cleaned. I can set writing goals and work to get a paying gig.

I started my official spring cleaning of the house yesterday. I was up on my feet and busy almost all day. I am sad to say I am really sore but it feels like I accomplished something. I have a lot more to do but things are looking much better. I have things broken down into tasks for each room and I finished the living room yesterday and most of the front porch. I think I have bruises on my knees from moping the floor on my hands and knees so I could get under the radiators and all the baseboards.

Enough of the actual cleaning commentary, I did use some of my time to enjoy the outdoors. I went for a morning walk with the dog on the nice days. My hubby also joined us for evening walks. I have been trying to work out some stories in my head as I walk. Sadly I keep forgetting to write them down when I come home. They are usually silly stories but they would provide me with a starting point. I also try to put what I see into words while I walk....well when the dog is being good. I try to describe the birds and the squirrels in as many different ways as I possibly can. I do great while I am out there and then it is all gone when I sit down to type.

My hubby has been great with encouraging me to write so I need to set aside some time to actually write. He has requested a story about a goat and a ninja and I am having trouble figuring out how to fit both in a story.  I have been reading about writing so much that I have neglected the actual writing part. A wise author told me I was confusing the roles of writer and editor. I don't need to know all the rules to write a good story or article. I need to know them when I edit my material. I need to be a writer first and an editor second. 

So after I finish cleaning today and get a little workout in I am going to spend at least an hour writing something other than my daily journal entry. I don't care if it is not good yet I can work that out later.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What have I been doing?

Work First
The first thing on my mind is pursuing my dream of writing for a living. I have been reading a lot of books about freelance writing and marketing. I have only finished one book. I have  started four books and am reading back and forth. Sometimes I need to change it up a bit and let the material from one book sink in so I read a chapter in another book.
I am reading:

Hopefully these books will get me on the right path or at least show me where to start. Much of my time has been devoted to learning as much as I can but I have read a bit of fiction as well. I have to have something to write about on my other blog.

I am not planning to make a living as a blogger but I thought improving my blogs or starting one that brings in some extra cash might be a good thing. If nothing else when I get to the point where I have a writers website I will be able to have a nice blog to go with it. 

I also have a mini phone interview today for something that I would like to do it is just a part time gig and would likely not get in the way of my dreams. My current job is just 12.5 hours on Saturdays and I will be done in about 6-8 weeks.

Healthy Living

I have actually jumped off the wagon on the diet. It is all my fault and I will be back to it soon. Right now I have been spending a ton of time outside on the nice days walking Asuka or in the yard throwing her toys. We have had two gorgeous days in a row but I think I have worn her out. That is no small task but it will help me to get some things done around here without a dog bringing me a toy every few seconds. It has also been good for me to get outside. The outdoors inspires me and makes me want to do more physical things. 

I have really gotten off track on the diet but I have been more physically active so hopefully it will balance out. I do plan to get back on track next week. I can't stand having to measure all of my food and count every point but I am going to get back to doing that for now and then when my three months is over with Weight Watchers I am going to cancel it. Not because it is not working but hopefully because I will be very physically active again and won't need to worry about everything I put in my mouth. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Building a New Career From Scratch

I have always wanted to be a writer. In high school I wrote for my school newspaper and enjoyed it so much I though I wanted to be a reporter. I started my college career as a psychology major but quickly changed it to communications. Then like an idiot teenager I dropped out and got a factory job.

When I was laid off I found a program that helped pay for school. I was going back one class at a time before I found this program. I figured therapists were in demand and I had a few credits to apply to a psychology degree. This program required that I change my major to one of their top job needs in the area. I found that social work was the way to go if I wanted all of my credits to count.

As I went on in the social work program I realized I liked a lot of things about being a social worker. I also realized there were just as many things that I hated. I got a taste of both worlds as I journeyed through my internship. I answered phones and talked one on one with clients in need. Sadly I found many of the people that were calling were just looking for a hand out. They didn't want any of the services that could help them save money because they had no income and no intentions of gaining employment. In my latest job I  have found that to be true as well.

It was a great pleasure to speak with people in temporary crisis mode that just need help this month because their car broke down or they took time off after having a baby. I enjoyed speaking with them and I felt for them but I couldn't help them most of the time. Many of the services that help with bills require a shut off notice or an eviction notice. People who just need help this month don't want to get that far behind. Overall I am not sure I like the direct service part about 95% of the time. I love it when I actually do help people but it seems like I rarely make a positive difference.

My internship also required me to plan and organize several projects. My first was a large distribution of products to churches. That was a lot of paper work and sorting but I enjoyed it.

The second project was planning a youth group event to raise money for World Vision. I still can't get the smile off my face when I talk about it. It was like one bright area in my time served in social work. I wrote a lot of letters and emails as well as a press release and advertisements. I spent a lot of time working on print media for the project. I had a blast doing this and I would do it again but not as a volunteer. Now where are the jobs for a social worker/project manager? There are none and if you find one they expect you to have your master's degree not a measly 4 year degree.

I really enjoy the writing aspects of any job so I am going to work hard to make it as a freelance writer. I have a Kindle coming today and I will load it with writing books. I am going to take my experience and learn to write for non-profits. I am going to learn everything I can about the things I love to do and then I am going to work hard to make it as a freelance writer.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Diet and Exercise Progress

My new exercise program involves walking the dog as much as I can. We both need it so on my days off I have been walking her an hour in the morning and again in the evening.

It snowed last night so my hope is for it to melt by noon and we can go for a walk. I would go anyway if I had a pair of boots that didn't give me giant blisters.

So I am not doing great on my diet. I am not doing bad most days but now that I am more active I just get really freaking hungry. Then I make bad choices because I want something now. I have not gained any weight but I am staying steady at about 6 pounds of weight loss since starting Weight Watchers.

I quit my job, well sort of so I will have plenty of time to work out. I told them I would be looking for different job. I felt bad about leaving but I couldn't keep lying to myself about liking the job. It was really wearing on me. Now they will try to replace me but I let them know I could work until then on my regular shift only. I could have work for a month or just a week. I don't know but I can find something where  I don't have to answer suicide and abuse calls. It was only a fraction of the calls each one are still on my mind. It will probably take me months to stop thinking about them.

I think I didn't want to quit because of all the nice people that worked there. I would have loved another job at this agency but this one was not for me. That is okay the search is on for a new part time job. One where I go to work and do my job and at the end of the day I leave my work there.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Writing For Money and Cutting The Budget

Today I bought The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less. I am going to learn to write well and I am going to make a living doing so.

I have made every excuse in the book not to live my dream. I continually feed myself one lie after another to save myself from my own fears. I am going to be truly honest and say I am afraid of failure and rejection. Knowing that a writer is rejected often scares the hell out of me.

I should get this book by Friday and I have blocked out a lot of time next week for reading and writing. I know this will take some time and I can't just quit my job and hope to make up the income in a few weeks. I know nothing about writing styles other than MLA. In college I could write and A quality research paper in a matter of hours but I am clueless when it comes to article writing. I have a lot to learn before I dive into writing articles for money. I have a lot of fears to face on this journey but I am not going to give up this time.

I am going to find places to cut my budget so I can continue to set aside a lot of time for writing. I am starting with the money I spend blogging. I know it is not much but I have been spending about 25-30 dollars a month on ads and other things to increase my traffic. This will be enough of a savings to buy a few books to get me started. I have no funds for blog advertisements right now so my traffic will likely fall. If you love my blog please support me by adding links to your site or just letting others know about my blog.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Have you ever tried to convince yourself you happy?

Well that is what I am doing these days. I don't want to say it is my life in general because I love many things about my life. It has a lot to do with me. I wanted a job so badly I forgot to worry about the other important things in my life. Like sleep and family and exercise.

If I do the things I should then I don't have time for the things I would love to do to live my dreams. I don't even know what my dreams are except that I would like to be healthy again and have more quality time with my hubby. I would like to take the dog out for daily walks as well. I would like to keep my house clean and meals cooked. What I really wish I could do with my life is be a great wife, dog owner, friend and family member. That doesn't pay in dollars I know but there has to be a way for me to feel like I can balance that.

I love to be alone or just outdoors walking the dog. I have been doing a lot of reflecting the last few days and I have come to the conclusion that I am a big whiny baby. I want to stay home but then I don't do what I should to become a writer or a dog walker or whatever my next crazy idea is. When I have a dream I never follow through with it.

So this week my new life goals are to take the dog for walks every day it is not raining. When I get a good rain coat and some shoes that don't have holes in them (my tennis shoes are made that way) I will walk her everyday. Then I am also going to get the house clean and keep it clean. I am also going to let my family know when I am not working in the evenings I am shutting off my phone and the computer to spend that time with my hubby.

Not huge goals but they will help get me more active and they focus on some of the important things. My hubby works a 50+ hour week and I really should keep the house cleaner and cherish our time together. I only work 20-30 hours a week on a very full week. I am only required to work 12.5 a week. I am going to change things around here. I am starting with myself.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How much trouble would I get in if I shot my neighbors with a ........

Oh I don't know something non-lethal but annoyingly painful. I don't even own a gun but the thought of buying something with rubber bullets occurs to me because it is super loud in this area as soon as the snow melts. People party all night everyday of the week. Many nights I wake up to people fighting outside. Most of the time just a bunch of screaming but it is still disrupting my sleep.

Last night I woke up to police lights and the night before there was a guy for well over a half an hour pounding on a door across the street. Why? If anyone was home they didn't want to answer the door. I had a million things  I wanted to shout out the window. I didn't want to open it though and make my bedroom cold. Then I would never get back to sleep. So what did I do I just tried to sleep until it stopped.

Just as I go on a day shift I where I can get proper sleep I am getting to the season where the neighbors keep me awake. You see this is why I want to move out in the country and far away from people.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Down 6 Pounds Now With Weight Watchers

I got on the scale this morning because I was disappointed on Monday when I had gained a half pound. I know that I lost 4.5 pounds the first week and only gained a half pound back but it still didn't feel great. I started two weeks ago Monday at 155 and now I am 149. I still have a long way to go but that was encouraging.

I feel much more human today but everything still tastes like crap. My coffee tastes good but not much else. The snot draining down my throat makes me not want to eat anyway. I just ate a lot of little stuff yesterday and will probably do the same for today.

I work from 3-5 today so I do plan to spend most of my day writing and reading about writing. If I feel up to it later I might to some of the light exercises in the Your Shape game. The Zen classes will be a good light activity.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I swear I am not sick.

Well that is what I have been trying to tell myself anyway. I think I am getting a sinus infection. My sinuses hurt and I have a bit of a headache now that the Sudafed is wearing off. Not to mention a sore throat and a strong desire to keep drinking warm liquids.

If there is anything at all good about being sick it is that I am not hungry. Nothing tastes good so I have not been eating much. I have loads of points left today and I will probably have oatmeal for dinner since it sounds good.

I didn't work out today and don't plan to. I really don't feel like moving and wish I was able to teach the dog to fetch me some warm tea and some more Sudafed. It would have been really nice if she could have answered the phones for me to but I made it though work without her help. All the talking didn't help the throat though. I am back on phones for a bit tonight too and then again for 2 hours tomorrow. Hope I don't loose my voice.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Healthy Eating When You Don't Feel Good

I woke up the last three mornings with a sore throat but Monday and Tuesday it went away after a few cups of coffee. Today however I've had a sore throat all day and excess sinus drainage to top it off.

I did spend a half an hour playing the work out game we got courtesy of Gamefly. Your Shape Fitness Evolved is a great game. I really wish we would have bought this one first. I don't like the tutorials but you only have to do them once. I didn't go through an entire set of classes or training program. I did some Zen classes that are like Tia Chi. Then I did a little cardio boxing and some fitness games and a few things with the personal trainer.

The game is much better at tracking your movements than EA Active. I am impressed thus far and I hope to feel better tomorrow so I can play some more.

I have managed to stay on my diet this is usually hard for me when I don't feel good. I usually don't feel like eating when I am sick but then I get really hungry and try a little of everything in the house until I find something that tastes good. Today however I ate what I had planned for the most part. I had an extra mini weight watchers snack cake and I am putting a little sugar in my tea. I have points for the day left and if my tea tastes better sweet I will use some points for that.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Back on Track this week

Well I did very well yesterday on my diet and I walked myself to near death. I am being overly dramatic but I always seem to forget that no matter how good I feel I can't over due it on the leg that was broken. I can work up to taking two one hour walks but I really should't do that just because it was nice out. I am sore today but just in that leg. 

I have not done any working out today because I am sore and I have some other things on my mind. I have been working through these and starting to compartmentalize them so they are not a bunch of random thoughts. I am really feeling like I am wasting my time doing things that I am not passionate about and I am to scared to do the things I am   but that is a long story for a different day.

So I will hopefully stay on track all this week and have good news to report on the scale next Monday. I know it is only Tuesday but I am motivated to stay on task this week. I need to look good in a swimsuit by summer. Not that I ever wear one but you never know I could meet someone who has a pool or something.