January 17 2018

Interview with Tamara Woods (PenPaperPad)

I’m not sure of when Tamara and I became friends via YouTube but it’s been quite some time… a few years now. She’s more than one of my writerly friends, and try as I might each time she’s come home (from Hawaii to West Virginia) I’ve wished I could make the trip to West Virginia to meet her in person. One day I will. For now though, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Tamara Woods, otherwise known as T.A. Woods or PenPaperPad on social media.

Tamara is a published poet and author. She’s a YouTube creator. She hosts writerly chats via Tweet Chat on Tuesday nights at 9PM EST by using the hashtag “writestuff.” (#writestuff) She also annually hosts #writetube every year in October to help people learn about and prepare for NaNoWriMo in November.  Every year Mr. Rockstar and I look forward to Tamara’s weekly videos during #writetube–she makes them worth a second watch, and she’s one of the few people on YT that I watch that he’ll sit down and watch the video with me.

So without further ado:

 

December 28 2017

Holiday Coffee Chat: 2017 Review and Finding my Why

A few years ago (2014 to be exact), I watched a video by Carie Harling called What’s Your Why Not? That video got me thinking and I changed a few things after thinking… why not… Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my WHY. I’ve been reading Vlog Like a Boss by Amy Schmittauer, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, and The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs–each of these books has at least one part that talks about your WHY. Why. Why. Why is my WHY so important?

As 2017 comes to a close I’ve been reviewing how my year went, whether I achieved my goals, what goals I want/need to migrate into 2018, and what my new goals are. I’ve also been thinking a great deal about what worked and didn’t work, and why. There’s that word again. I really liked Carie’s view–Why not? Why not follow your dreams? Why not change things? Why not work towards improving yourself, your brand, your creative endeavors, your creative work space, your outlook? Why Not do the hard things? The hard things are sometimes more difficult because of the why. What? What do you mean Burgess? Of course the hard things are hard. They wouldn’t be hard things if they weren’t hard. Weeellll… sometimes the hard things are hard because we either don’t really understand something or maybe we don’t know how to do something, or maybe, just maybe, we’re letting our fears, our self doubts, our anxiety overcome us and we’re making it harder than it has to be. At least that’s my biggest problem.  Continue reading

November 13 2017

How to Get Back into your Creative Life After a Break

Life Happens

We all have things that happen to us that slow our creativity down, or that put a halt to our creativity. I fell behind in my journaling, planning, and overall creative “things,” back in July when my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 aggressive cancer (chemo wouldn’t help and surgery wasn’t an option–so it was just a matter of quality of life during the time he had left), and Mr. Rockstar was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I tried to stay creative. I tried to journal. To Plan. To finish out #onebookjuly2017 and #campnanowrimo. But my emotions, thoughts…my mental state was all over the place. Insert Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD, along with the roller coaster of emotions that come with finding out your Dad has inoperable and non-treatable stage 4 cancer, and your husband has a disease that isn’t curable either–I was a wreck!

Still, I tried to maintain some sort of routine, some sort of balance. I tried to be creative. And someday’s I managed to journal, plan, write, art… Other days–I barely seemed to function. The worse my Dad got the worse my emotional state became. My emotions were all over the place. I started grieving well before my Dad died on October 5th. But his death, and my Mom’s subsequent hospitalization (she was admitted into the very same ICU ward as my Dad–within an hour or so of his death she was up there a few rooms down from where he was (he was still in the room, they were kind enough to allow my Mom to say goodbye, for all of us to say goodbye). The doctor’s and nurses all knew who I was–first time they’d had that happen, and they were absolutely wonderful to us.

Fast forward a week, my Mom was in the hospital 8 nights and 9 days. So I was at the hospital for approximately 10 days, because I’d been there the night before when my Dad was helicoptered from their local hospital to the one in Charleston to ICU. By the time my Mom was released I’d already taken care of my Dad’s cremation, and a lot of paperwork for things like insurance, etc. I was on the ball in regards to taking care of my Mom. I was not, however, doing very well in the taking time to grieve for my Dad, taking care of myself (not really), much less housework, planning, journaling, filming videos for Patreon or YouTube, etc. I did manage to do a few loads of laundry somewhere in there so I had some clean clothes to wear when I went back to the hospital (my husband convinced me to go home with him to take a shower and get some sleep–I hadn’t slept but about 3 hours in about 3 days). (I’m sure I was in definite need of a shower by then.) Continue reading