The Obligatory Update Post

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I’m not being conceited. I found this meme earlier on Pinterest and I love it and it’s my favorite. This will be my reply to absolutely everything on Facebook.

Holy Crapbasket, I’m alive!

This isn’t a real “I’m Back!” post because I haven’t decided if I will blog regularly.

You know how you go through phases on Pinterest where you make all new, well-organized categories and pin every single thing you like for every category, in a single weekend? You spend hours pinning everything and putting them into beautifully-crafted boards, you post them all over social media, and you swear this time you’re totally going to make those “best chocolate chip cookies, says New York Times” and buy that juicer you have had your eye on. Then on Monday morning, you’re like.. yeah. I’m not going to do any of that. Is Dunkin’ Donuts open yet?!

That’s me and blogging. Having 17 posts in my drafts folder is my Dunkin’ Donuts. I like how all my examples of everything involved food. 

I’m mostly here because a few people have asked where I am, and also I’m supposed to be working, so this seemed like a good alternative.

Speaking of work, it’s going good! I’m super busy which is my favorite thing to be apparently. But not like too busy. I am down from 15/16 hour days to a good 12 hours a day. I also took the last two weekends off. Like the whole weekend. Two weeks in a row. What?! It was weird and I got bored a lot and watched movies that were good and sad and made me wish I lived in Strawberry Shortcake’s universe because all their problems involved food.

I’m currently having chocolate-peanut butter ice cream and Diet Coke for lunch, so the new healthy lifestyle is going great.

My very favorite time of the year (Fall + Winter) is about to start. I can’t really drink hot coffee or wear scarves and knee-high boots over my jeans, but I can stand in a cold shower and pretend it’s raining. Though I have a good reason to buy pumpkin pie and buy all the apple cinnamon candles. Life hack: buy a pumpkin spice candle and place it on the counter next to your store-bought pumpkin pie. It tricks your brain into thinking you baked it.

Also, kids are all back in school, which means I can go back to the beach and harbor again without having to deal with youths. The horror. Plus, I am seriously craving Fish & Chips. If Harbor Fish & Chips in Oceanside (California) doesn’t make the best fish & chips you have ever had, you’re wrong.

All my updates are still about food.

If you want to see random updates with mediocre pictures of my dogs, you can follow me on Instagram (socalwriterjenn). A good 98% of my pictures are of the dogs, and like 2% food things. That’s literally it. I also have a SnapChat, but I just use it to stalk other people. I don’t actually post anything.

So. That’s it. This update was overwhelming. I’ll give you a minute to let it soak all over you. Gross.

How are you? You good? Cool. Bye!

Shit I Loved This Week (Friday Favorites Vol. 2)

Hi. Hello. How was your week? That’s cool. No, stop.

My week was crazy busy and hectic, just how I like it! I remember when weekends meant something. Now it’s like.. cool it’s the weekend. Still working. #FreelancerLife

Ew gross. I just hashtagged in a blog post. DELETE. DELETE.

This was supposed to be a Friday Favorites post, but I forgot got lazy and didn’t post it. Here are a few things I found/read this week and loved!

This list: 52 places to see in 2015

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This Etsy shop

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This Twitter account.

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These geometric bottle toppers

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What kind of cool shit did you like/love/despise/wish you created yourself this week?

 

Weekend Depression is a Thing

Let’s get real, shall we? I share about my anxiety and panic attack disorder often on the blog, but not my depression. Mostly because mental illness sucks and I hate that I have so much of it.

What I have realized lately about my depression, is that it is worse when I’m taking time off work.

Umm. What?!

You would think when I have days (hours more like.. I am a freelancer after all), I get super blue and depressed. Nothing interests me. During the week when I am going on hour 13 in a single day, I want nothing more than to throw my laptop against a wall and vegetate in front of the TV. Yet when I do finally finish with work and am ready to relax, I’m unable to.

Brains are fucked up.

I actually first started noticing weirdness when I went from “Holy shit, how am I going to pay my rent AND my cable bill?” to “Cool. I’m totally caught up on bills and not stressed about money right now.”

(As a freelancer, I realize this is short-lived.)

When the stress over finances and work went away, suddenly I became more anxious and more depressed. I re-stressed myself out over the fact that I couldn’t handle the lack of stress anymore. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. The first thought was: Do I LIKE the stress?!

I don’t think that is what I’m missing, I just think I suffer from depression, but when other things are on my mind, I don’t notice it as much. This is essentially what weekend depression is. You are finally able to relax and unwind, which is great. The bad part is that your brain has enough time to think about things, and it’s not always what you’re expecting.

I miss the days when I could sleep until noon and watch Netflix marathons for so long, I didn’t remember if I ate that day. That used to be me. Now, I am a bit of a workaholic. Anyone who knows me, understands how insane that is. I hate working. At least I used to. It’s awesome that I found something to consume me so much, because it means I am almost always motivated to keep working. The problem is that, even when I technically can take a day off, I don’t.

So, maybe it is a combination of depression and plain ole’ workaholic-ness. That’s not a word. But I’m a writer and I can make up whatever words I want.

How about you? Do you find that during the weekend you’re not quite as excited as you should be? I have a feeling I will get the typical “What is wrong with you, FREAK” responses. I totally don’t blame you. I hate me a little bit too.

HAPPY SATURDAY!

 

8 Lies People Tell You About Losing Weight

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1. Brushing your teeth helps reduce cravings. No it doesn’t. I have had many a mint-flavored chocolate chip cookie.

2. Water makes you feel full. LIES. Everyone should drink more water (currently drinking Dr. Pepper), but it does not make you feel full.

3. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. A lot of things taste as good as skinny feels. Donuts. Pie. French fries. Pizza. Cheeseburgers.

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4. Exercise is fun as long as you find the right one. Unless by exercise, you mean seeing how many leg lifts you can do while holding a bottle glass of wine, that’s a lie.

5. Telling others keeps you accountable. All telling others does is make them judge you for everything you put in your mouth, no pun intended. Do you really want to enjoy your one tiny piece of chocolate for the week while hiding in the work bathroom because you don’t want to hear 10 people ask “Are you sure you want to eat that?!”

6. Get a workout partner. I want to be able to pant heavily and walk with my mouth wide open because I’m so tired breathing through my nose is no longer an option. So, pass.

7. Cauliflower tastes like mashed potatoes. STOP. I will admit, mashed cauliflower with a shitload of butter is delicious. But let me tell you a secret: IT DOES NOT TASTE LIKE MASHED POTATOES. It tastes like mashed cauliflower with butter.

8. Moment on the lips, forever on the hips. If this is true, my hips are nothing but french fries and energy drinks.

Tips From a Real Human Who Has Lost Weight

I have all the secrets to losing weight. The normal, healthy way. Are you ready for it?

Eat less. Eat better. Drink water. Exercise more. Take your vitamins. Keep drinking water. Stop posting about your “diet” on Facebook. Don’t Instagram everything you eat. Drink more water.

That’s it. Lesson over.

 

WCW: Hilah from Hilah Cooking

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This week’s #WCW is.. Hilah from Hilah Cooking!

She is adorable. She is funny. She is quirky. There are few things I love more in a human.

I have never actually done a Woman Crush Wednesday post before, but while watching Hilah Cooking last night with my husband, I decided it was time!

There are a lot of cooking channels on YouTube. A. Lot. But, I don’t like most of them because they take themselves too seriously. I would much prefer to learn from someone who is casual and talking to you as if you were standing right in front of her getting a fun cooking lesson. And I love that it is obvious she just loves food and loves cooking.

Hilah’s Website | YouTube Channel | Find Her on Twitter

Freelance Writing: 8 Ways to Stay Motivated Throughout the Day

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As a freelance writing veteran, I can safely say I have experienced it all. Days where I couldn’t focus, days where I did nothing but stare at a blank document all day, and days where I just had zero motivation. The latter is one of the hardest things about freelancing in general and especially working from home.

While there are no “tricks” to staying motivated since everyone is different, I do find the following things to help tremendously. I hope you are able to find what works for you so you can stay motivated and make your writing dreams a reality!

Write what you love

Let me preface this by saying I know when you have client projects, you don’t usually have control over what you write. But for the rest of you – you do! If you are a freelance writer that writes content for revenue share sites, your own blogs, or submissions for print publications, you have a choice in what you write. What what you love. Don’t feel like you need to only write about what is currently trending. You will face burnout really fast when you’re spending 10 hours a day writing about investing in gold coins (been there many a time).

Make a to-do list

This is by far the best way to stay motivated throughout the day. Start each day by making a to-do list of what you need to accomplish that day. Write down big things, write down small things, write down what seems like menial tasks that you need to get done. Include writing, editing and proofreading, marketing your writing business, sending invoices, working on your website or personal blog, updating social media, and formatting completed eBooks. It doesn’t matter what it is you have to do; write it down! You will feel accomplished during the day when you start crossing things off your list, and that is the best motivation of all.

Write the easiest parts first

If you’re like me, introductions take you forever. I can write a 500-word article in about 20-30 minutes once the research is done. The intro easily takes more than half of that time. When you notice you have been staring at a blank document on the screen for a good 15 minutes, skip the intro and write the parts of the article or blog post that are easier for you. Do you find the conclusion or CTA the easiest to write? Okay! Go ahead and start there!

Personally, I find the body of an article to be the easiest. Once I get that written, I write the conclusion, then I go back up and write the intro. Knowing what is in the body of the article actually helps me get that intro done. Win-win!

Take a mental break

While you need to stick to a regular work schedule, you also need breaks. Stop trying to get all your work done in six straight hours without looking away from your computer screen. You are only making it harder on yourself. You should give yourself at least 5-10 minutes of non-computer time every hour or so. If you have been working for 4 hours straight, close your laptop and go for a walk or grab a snack. Your brain (and eyes) will thank you.

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Create a vision board

It may seem like a stupid suggestion or one that is recycled on every “motivational” blog post in the history of blog posts, but it’s for good reason. Some of us find our motivation visually. If your long-term goal with freelance writing, or freelancing in general, is to buy a house in the country, then that is going to become your best motivation. Every time you feel like giving up or spending half your workday watching Friends on Netflix, you will be reminded why you are doing this.

Whether you have a Pinterest board with inspirational quotes to keep you going or an actual vision board on the wall in front of your desk, it can be your new best friend.

Figure out your peak writing time

This is not the first time I have given this advice, and I doubt it will be the last. You have to find your peak writing time. Just because your favorite writing friend writes during normal business hours, doesn’t mean you have to. You’re a freelance writer who probably works from home. Guess what? You can write whenever you want! With the exception of strict deadlines, you should have some freedom to choose your own schedule.

Try to figure out what time of the day you get the most work done and when you are most motivated. For me, I can do the bulk of my day’s work between 5 and 10am. Once lunch time hits, I’m useless. I take advantage by waking up super early and working during that time. Find the time of day when you seem to get a little more done, and write!

Have a dedicated workspace

This is something that has taken me a little longer to learn, and I am still working on getting my office set up. You need a workspace that is only for writing. It doesn’t have to be a fancy office either. Set up a laptop desk in the corner of your living room, take over half the dining room table, or create an outdoor office on your patio. Wherever you feel comfortable and are free of distractions is perfect. Make this space your own, make it comfortable, and try to make it ergonomic to save your back, neck and shoulders a bit.

Challenge yourself

I like to play little games with myself during the day to keep me focused on my work. It gets a little tedious when you’re writing 30 articles about the same topic. If you keep losing your focus and motivation, try challenging yourself. Do you know you write articles in about 45 minutes? Set the timer for 40 minutes and see if you can finish it in that amount of time. When you beat the clock, try for 35 minutes. The trick here isn’t just to write as fast as you can, but to keep your quality up while still writing faster.

You may not be able to do it in the beginning, but it’s fun to time yourself and see exactly how long it takes to do each task. Plus, practicing actually makes you a better and faster writer, which either gives you time to increase your productivity, or lets you finish your work sooner.

What do you do to stay motivated? Share in the comments!

Find me on Twitter | Follow me on Bloglovin

Golden Globes 2015 + My Weekend in Pictures

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I didn’t watch the Golden Globes (aside from Tina and Amy’s highlights because they give me a lady boner), so I’m basically the best person to review it. I bet I can guess what happened:

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were brilliant and hilarious.

Someone made an inappropriate joke on stage and half the audience laughed, while the other half tried not to scowl because they knew they were on camera and had to pretend to be decent humans.

An award winner stood on stage and talked too long because they had to thank everyone who had anything to do with their movie, including thanking the entire cast and crew by first and last name.

TV shows I have never seen won awards (Bates Hotel and Boyhood anyone?)

Lupita Nyongo looked naturally dazzling.

Instead of watching the Golden Globes, I just looked up the winners and watched celebs live-tweet it. My favorite winners were:

Julianne MooreYay redhead girl power!

Amy AdamsYay redhead girl power! Again!

Matt BomerThe only one whose show I have actually seen

Jeffrey TamborThe sweetest man in Hollywood

Kevin SpaceyWho doesn’t love Kevin Spacey? 

If you’re like me and just want the highlights without actually watching award shows, follow https://twitter.com/unfoRETTAble. She is the best live tweeter of all things awesome.

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My Weekend in Pictures

We gave this little monster a bath.

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I cleaned out the closet. I do have clothes, I promise.

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I watched Friends while I cleaned out the closet.

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I drank a screwdriver out of this cup. Classy.

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Sometimes I’m like “I have no life,” and then I take pictures of everything productive I did over the weekend and I’m like “The party never stops.” Seriously. Dog baths, chores, alcohol, and re-watching a show I have seen about a billion times. It’s amazing I’m still standing after this crazy weekend.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and is only mildly irritated it’s Monday!