Last Post of 2018!

The last year has been amazing. I had some ups and downs and made some mistakes, but it’s overall been really great. I’ve grown a lot, especially in the last half of the year.

In January I was buzzing from the excitement of a new relationship and working hard with Justine to prepare for Over the Invisible Wall’s launch. I was writing less than I wanted to, but I knew I had a deadline and obligations. I was spending a lot of time with my boyfriend, getting to know him. I found out in January that I didn’t get the big homeschool scholarship for free Praxis, but I did still get money off tuition! It was then that I moved my start date from July to October.

In February, Over the Invisible Wall launched. We decided to post twice a month because we lost half our team before December. We talked about starting the blog for a long time before jumping in. We tried to each have a couple of posts ready in advance. I had my first Valentine’s Day in a relationship. He gave me flowers and we spent the day together. I had started working on a sketchbook/scrapbook and showed him what I’d made so far.

In March, I started piecing together my poetry collection Inside a Writer’s Head. I initially called it Writing About Writing: Inside a Writer’s Head, but I decided later that just the second part would be a better title.

In April, I honestly don’t remember what I did at all. I checked in my journal, but I only wrote once and it was unhelpful.

In May, I joined my first Praxis Wednesday call. It was a chat with Rob Goodman about the Claude Shannon biography he co-authored. I was inspired and felt like I was on fire after that call.

In June, I committed to starting my personal blog in July. I wanted to take a month to prepare and have content ready. I didn’t want to stress myself out. I planned to ease myself into it.

In July, I turned eighteen! I spent my birthday with my boyfriend, and we watched Harry Potter and tried making butterbeer. I started my blog at the beginning of the month. I initially planned to post once a week and increase that until I was writing everyday. I changed my mind the next day and decided to jump in and write every day for as long as possible. I wrote from July 2-30. I was looking forward to starting Praxis, and was eager for it to start. More than before, because I knew I had barely any more waiting to go. I contributed a short historical piece to the Millstadt News magazine.

In August, I started the Praxis pre-program. I had some specific tasks and projects to do before I’d start in October. I continued my blog and Over the Invisible Wall, struggling to find a balance. I took a trip out to Millstadt to interview Terry Davinroy and his sister Sherry for another short historical piece for the Millstadt News. I learned a lot about journalism and making research writing trips. I really enjoyed looking into history and getting first hand information about it, too. My family took a belated birthday trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. We’d planned to go in July, but there was a conflict with Walmart that prevented it. I actually quit Panera to work full-time at Walmart.

In September, I posted more infrequently on the blog. I didn’t keep up with daily blogging for more than a couple days at a time. I struggled with some of the Praxis work, mostly feeling unclear directionally. I gave myself a break on vacation, and it made it harder to finish on time. I felt more stress than necessary.

In October, I realized I was very sick of Walmart, so I went back to Panera late in the month. I officially started Praxis! Module one was both easier and harder than I’d expected. Revising my pre-program deliverables was fairly easy, since I had some idea what needed improvement and what was lacking. The third week, we made pitch videos, and that was the hardest part. I struggled with it, but made something I’m at least mostly proud of. I need to watch it again, see if I should re-make it. I learned that I enjoyed filming and editing video, though, and started my Youtube channel this month as a result. Early on, I talked to the module advisor Hannah Frankman about the next module, the portfolio project. I wanted to make and market my poetry collection, she said I should make it before November and focus on marketing it. Brian Nuckols and Austin Batchelor confirmed, so I worked really hard to finish my module one deliverables and publish my poetry collection. I didn’t think I could do it, but I blew myself out of the water by finishing early!

In November, my poetry collection released! I spent the month posting on social media about the collection, doing my best to draw attention to it. I blogged every day as well, tying that into my project. Each week I wrote one to two posts about self-publishing generally or poetry collections specifically. The videos I made for my Youtube channel were on the same topic. I did a lot and pushed myself. I wasn’t able to run Facebook or Twitter ads because I couldn’t afford it, but I posted every day, started a giveaway, and shared the link to the Bookbaby sale page as soon as I had it up. I also voted for the first time ever! I felt involved in the 2016 elections, but this was the first year I was able to vote.

This month, December, has been really crazy. I expected the writing module to be a breeze, but it was really difficult at some points. I struggled with motivation a lot this month. I was frequently tired from working mornings and pushing myself to stay up long enough to accomplish everything else I wanted and needed to do. I accomplished a lot, but there were definitely times I could have done more if I’d been better rested and generally felt better. I made videos a few times this month, but I had fewer ideas for content and felt disinterested in video making. At least once I actually dreaded making it. I still did, but it felt like a chore. I had my one year anniversary with my boyfriend this month and we spent our first Christmas together! We started dating before Christmas last year, but it was so soon that a gift seemed a bit too couple-y. This year we’d been together, had Valentine’s Day and our birthdays together, so it was nice to have Christmas and come full circle.

I’ve had a crazy year, but it’s been really great. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds!

My Plans and Goals for 2019

I’ve done a lot in 2018, and there’s still a few days to do more.

I created and published a poetry collection. I started two blogs, Insanity’s Hiding Place (this blog) and Over the Invisible Wall. I took my novel-in-progress over 30k words. I finished my novella The Diary of Kaashif Sarwan.

Next year I want to do as much as I can.

I’ve made a habit of daily blogging and that will be continuing. Writing every day is important to me, so I will not quit.

In April I’ll be moving to apprentice with one of the business partners with Praxis. That’ll be at least six months, maybe longer. I’m going to do great work, push myself, and grow a lot personally and professionally through this experience.

January is the philosophy module at Praxis, which has a lot of reading, but it will be an adventure. That’ll kick off the new year with some hardcore thinking.

inish my novel-in-progress, Mystical Warriors. I don’t know how long it will be, I don’t know how much work it will take. But it’s taken long enough so far. I need to finish it. I’m not sure when I want my target to be for the first draft’s completion, but I want to push myself to finish it.

Make the manuscript for my next poetry collection. I don’t want to release another poetry collection for a while, but I have the start of another poetry collection. I’m going to scrap what I have and start over, though. Now that I know the basics of making a collection, this one should be a breeze. It will be much longer, though, so that might present its own troubles.

Develop Gràďlutut to a point where it’s possible to have conversations. I’d like to make short video lessons about/for the language, but there’s not enough to it yet for that to even be possible.

Develope N’Zembe, write more stories, develop more species, write more history. I have so little knowledge of the system, I’d like to change that. The worldbuilding is still so lacking, and that’s the whole point of the project. I’m creating a whole star system to host stories, and the process is fascinating to me. I already know I will never stop working on this, and I made it vast purposefully. There’s 10 inhabited planets out of 18, and a ton of moons, which may or may not be habitable or inhabited. The base language is the same, but the derivations and evolution of that on different planets will be drastically different.

These are my main writing and career goals for 2019.

“Santa Claus” (Poem)

It was nearly Christmas time

as could be seen

by the decorations,

smells, and the ringing of bells

Everywhere

All the time,

It seems.

But few consider

what this time means,

The consequences awaiting

from a year of spying.

The elves and secret eyes and ears

Reporting all

To none other

Than Santa Claus.


This poem was inspired by the song Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

December Giveaway! CLOSED

Only a few people entered the giveaway last month, but I enjoyed running it, so I decided to do another giveaway.

The details:

Ends December 31.

Entries can be gained on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Prizes are:

  • coupon codes for Inside a Writer’s Head (all)
  • a pdf/epub of the preview and bonus content for Inside a Writer’s Head (1/10)
  • a pdf/epub download of The Diary of Kaashif Sarwan (1/20)
  • a free commission or critique (1/40)
  • a pdf/epub of Inside a Writer’s Head (1/60)

I will use a random number generator to draw the winners. Every entrant will win something. There are no losers.

How to enter:

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

On Facebook and Twitter you have to like and share the giveaway post. I will then message you your entry number as confirmation.

On Instagram, you have to like the post and tag two people in the comments. (I may change this to “share to your story,” but anyone who entered before it changed will not be removed.) I will message you your entry number as confirmation.

On my blog, like and reshare this post, either on WordPress or social media. Comment below with the link to your post and why you want to win.


The winners have been announced!

“If Projects Were Children” (Poem)

This is not part of Inside a Writer’s Head, but it is the same flavor as the collection. If you like this, be sure to join the collection giveaway. It’s totally free to enter, you just have to interact with posts on social media.

It’s been a while

since I sat and wrote,

I got distracted

By all I’d spoke

and all else I was

involved in.

I neglected this writing

in favor of

my other offered flavors,

And projects more complete.

Not that it was wrong,

but if my art were

my child, I’d be in deep trouble.

I’m lucky my projects

are not literally my children,

for I have too many

to properly care

For them all.