Moving Forward

I’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning and organizing my home office because, well, I needed to.  I needed to get myself completely on track which is why I wrote an itinerary.  Instead of working on a 4-burner stove, I’ve got 6-8 burners going, or it seems like that at times.  Keeping lists has improved my organization skills and switching to a 4-color Bic pen made a difference.  When I organize, I really organize!  Call me OCD.  I promise, it won’t hurt my feelings.  Plus, you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes to merely ‘dress the part’ for your business because it’s made a big difference for me.  When I’m writing, or creating the month’s magazine, or even sitting through online Class Connect with my daughter as her Learning Coach, I may be doing all of these things at home, but I like ‘looking the part’; dressing for the office.  It’s a self-motivator; to take myself serious.

We went back to school this week.  It’s a blessing because I’m able to watch my daughter educationally grow in online school, but it also means summer is officially over.  This year is her last year in middle school, so it’ll be a little bittersweet, but like every year before, I’ll have fond memories to reminisce on and write about in my memoir series.

Speaking of going back to school, I’ve started using social media to converse with other parents and Learning Coaches affiliated with Georgia Cyber Academy through a closed Facebook group.  Maybe, as the year progresses on, I can introduce my magazine.  Maybe they’ll sponsor our magazine!  I don’t know how exactly it works, but I won’t know unless I inquire; and research.

I noticed, I’m growing as a writer.  I’m busting through that final brick wall of self-doubt, allowing myself to write with a creativity that scares me.  I was writing a nonfiction piece for the August issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine, about school cafeteria food.  I wound up titling it Smells Like School-Made Spaghetti.  The way I described some of the foods I wrote about, not only did I laugh at my own descriptive writing uncontrollably, but I also hesitated because I worried my descriptive writing would offend a reader, or readers.  My hubby is a big help in that area because he does all my proofreading.  We make the perfect team because of this.  He proofs my writing and I proof his.

As for my magazine; we’re still creating it, and it’s building per monthly issue.  I’m no longer printing them out because cost became entirely too much for our extremely limited budget, but I think I prefer going digital where this is concerned.  The cost comparison is definitely persuadable.  The August issue of McKraft’s Literary Magazine I created as I said before with ‘Back to School” in mind.  From my nonfiction piece about school food in the 90’s, my daughter’s essay about her love for GCA, to the cover art done entirely by me. I also included a very simple recipe for manipulatable no-bake cheesecake that makes for a nice slice of tasty, sweet after-school snack.  Yum!

Since creating a working itinerary, my manuscript is beginning to come along again.  Slowly build.  I just finished writing a story piece about my experience on September 11, 2001 for our upcoming issue of McKraft’s.  When I originally wrote the story, I was writing to submit it to Chicken Soup for the Soul- Spirit of America.  No success.  I thought about it again while brainstorming a theme for September, so I grabbed it up and rewrote it.  It’s going in our September issue of McKraft’s, but I’m also including it in my manuscript.  I’m pretty proud of my rewrite.

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“A Make-over in Media”

I think it’s time for a make-over.  Not a make-over of myself because I’ve done that.  Two years ago, I was not the person I am now.  I didn’t wear a hat and tinted glasses then.  I do now.  I didn’t keep a blog then.  I do now.  I didn’t write nearly as much stuff then, but I do now.  A lot has changed.  Maybe it’s time for me to make over the other part of me.  The ‘social media’ part of me.

I’m not hiding behind a fake face, or a fake name, or anything like that. I’m not actually hiding at all.  I’m an introvert.  So, in writing, I’m in my simplest form.

I’ve never thought much about my writing, I just know I’ve always loved it as an activity.  I used to write all the time–lists, letters, poems, my name, subject notes, etc.  When I wasn’t writing, I was reading or drawing.  I used to free-hand draw all the time, but dropped it in high school.  I loved to write, but I didn’t share any of it.  Not even the letters.  When I did write a letter and actually give it to the person I wrote it to, things were never good.  So, I’ve always been afraid to write to share, but then I began keeping a journal and even that took time for me to confide in.  I was afraid someone would pick it up and read it, or my little sister would snoop around because she was good at doing that.  It wasn’t until recent years that I’ve began to come out of my shell.  I’ve always been afraid of what others would think of my work.  I’ve had a lot of overly-critical, ‘so-called’ friends, and just as many overly-judgmental relatives to go with them.

I don’t think of things that way anymore.  Constant writing practice and learning to trust my conscious and subconscious thoughts have helped me navigate this path I’ve found in the literary world, and while I’m comfortable where I’m at, I can’t stop.

If I’ve learned anything from writing, it’s ‘don’t stop’, and ‘don’t be afraid to stand out’.