endless days of cold rain
and blurry eyes stuck on
the dangerous blue glow
of a sad world gone wrong:
each message from the screen shows it’s out of control.
but then i see a smile
and it heats me up with hope,
that the sick will become
again healthy and whole…
A NOTE TO YOU.
Hello, my dear readers! As you all know, we are battling a dangerous virus that has spread to almost every nation in our beautiful world. I know that my words cannot act as a vaccine against the coronavirus pandemic, but I will say that I pray each and every one of you is safe and healthy. We will get through this–and come back stronger than before.
It is that time of the week… A blog post from Katie Kay! I wish you all a fantastic Monday (or whatever day it is when you are reading this). Today we’re going to dive into a topic that seems both wildly discussed and kept rather private, and this is the issue of stress.
Yup, told ya: It is everyone’s favorite topic. But in all reality, stress is something that pertains to every single human being on this planet, and we can all connect together from this peculiar emotion (is it even an emotion?) we experience now and then. There is not a living soul on this planet who doesn’t experience some level of stress on a normal basis, so it is my goal that each of you has a takeaway from this post on five tips for dealing with stress.
This is especially prevalent to me this week, so let me know down below how you all are doing and how you are feeling. ❤ But without further ado, let’s hop into the list!
1. RID YOURSELF OF DISTRACTIONS
Some of these tips may seem simple, but even the most complex issues can be solved from simple deductions. And one thing I have found is that my stress is reduced when I rid myself of certain distractions, so this could be a tool for you to use as well.
What I mean by this is that certain things distract us from what we should be doing. When we are overwhelmed, we must be willing to take a step back and consider what is really stressing us out in the first place. And there’s a good chance there will be little things here and there that only add to your stress… So cut them out!
2. BUT ALSO DISTRACT YOURSELF
Okay, how in the world can I contradict myself faster than a flash of heat lightning? Hear me out!
When you’re worrying about one particular thing, person, or situation, what do you tend to do? There’s a good chance you’re probably thinking so hard that A) you wish you could teleport to a Fijian island, and B) you wish everything would go away and/or calm down.
You need to give your sprinter’s mind a little break, and to do this I encourage you to find a hobby or pastime (for a lot of you, that could be reading or blogging) that tugs you away from your worries and into relaxation.
3. PLAN AHEAD
The key to success is a well-executed plan. I really do believe this. I know that when I’m stressed, I compose lists of all I need to get done, and it gives me a little jolt of energy when I complete one of my items and then the whole thing!
Stress can be managed with a plan. So, when you’ve got a big work stresser, sit down and come up with your game plan. Have a time table and rehearse in your head what you need to do. Or, if you’re thinking about a particular person, maybe it’s time to consult #4 on the list… (You’ll see shortly what I mean.)
But planning ahead can be a tool to use. Don’t be afraid to conquer your stress instead of wallowing it. And remember that you’re capable and will get through it, as you’ve done countless times in the past. 🙂
4. TAKE A BREATH (AND PRAY)
And even when we know we have a killer plan, it’s important to take a step back and breathe. And throw in a prayer! (This is my best piece of advice, if I’m being honest.) Why? Because you’re exiting from your worries for a little while, and giving it to God.
As a restless spirit who isn’t content with staying still, I find it impossible at times to relax and pray. But then I’m overcome with the realization that my laziness is coming at me again, and I remember to close my eyes and disappear for a little while.
Manage your stress through relaxation–and tell God how you feel!
5. BE CONFIDENT. YOU ARE CAPABLE.
And if our plan is the key to success, then the door that blocks us from that success is our lack of confidence. So what can we do to open that door? Yup, here I go with my “redonk” metaphor: Be confident! You are more than capable of plowing ahead through your stressful time. Yes, the going gets rough, but it happens to all of us. And it gives us a chance to see what we can accomplish and what it takes to do so.
So when you strut around town with your confident pose and head held high, people will never even notice you’re stressed. And when we ooze confidence, we realize that we can take on anything that comes our way!
THANK YOU, GUYS!
I hope this post spoke to you in some way or the other. Let me know if you’re stressed and need some help, but I’m sure a lot of you guys write your feelings down all ready. In the meantime, use some of these tips if you need them, and let me know how they work out for you!
On another note, I’m sorry to have been MIA for the past two weeks. I’ve missed the blog but needed to devote myself to other endeavors for a little bit. But now I’m back, and I’m excited to catch up on all your stories!
Let’s live our lives as stress-free as possible this week (and every week)!
they say salt
in the wound’s
if it don’t
but the sting’s
sure better than
cover up your
and when the
you will wish
the sting was
Hello, my dear readers!
Another day, another poem for you guys, and today’s is… Well, it’s a little guy come to life from a random cold January night in which I thought to myself: “Salt in the wound seems like a cool phrase. I wonder if I can make a poem out of it.” And here we are.
Does anyone actually say, “Salt in the wound’s / supposed to cure you?” I’m going to guess not, but this question is actually something I really considered as I was writing it. At first the question didn’t make sense to me, because if there is anything in anybody’s physical wound, it’s going to hurt and make you even worse. But as I wrote the poem, I thought to myself: But what if that’s exactly what it’s for? What if rubbing salt into our wounds hurts us more, and therein lies the cure to our issue in the first place? Yup, there I go off on a tangent again that probably will go over even my head by the time I publish this.
Anywho, salt in our wounds hurts. It’s painful, but it sure does leave a stinging memory in its past. While we want it out ASAP, that salt’s power is engrained in us and who we become. And what happens if that metaphorical salt never really goes away, and our pain goes from external to internal? Well, that’s not a good diagnosis is my guess.
Tell me what you guys think! I love hearing your analyses and opinions. ❤ And in the meantime prepare yourself for Monday’s blog post that will stray from writing and head into the topic of…
Am I stressing you out when I keep it to myself? Or is that just annoying?
Here’s to a surprise Sunday morning post for you all. Recently a dear blogger friend, Patricia Furstenberg, kindly nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am honored by this sweet and lovely author and poet, so please go check out her website and maybe even purchase one of her books here.
The amazing thing about these blogger awards is that it gives us a chance to connect as a community. That is why I am always super thankful to see writers nominating others so that we can get to know each other a little bit more. So thank you again to Patricia, and thank you to my nominees and to those who are taking a moment to read this post as well. ❤
Rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award
Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.
Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Do leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.
11 Questions Patricia Asked Me
1. Share one thing about yourself that would surprise your followers.
This may be the most ridiculous thing to share with you guys, but it’s the first thing that came to mind, so please forgive me: I have a fear of fingernails ripping off. Who knows what caused this psychological fear in me, but I’ve always had a terrific fear of somehow losing my fingernails or toenails. Weird, I know! But also hopefully everyone else prefers to keep their nails intact…
2. Which do you prefer, mountain or sea?
Mountains! I have always loved the serenity of the mountains, especially depending on which range we’re talking about. For example, the Appalachian Mountains in the Eastern United States are smoky and small in comparison to the Rockies out West. But I have always had a true affinity for height… Considering that I come from the Delta region, which is about as flat as can be.
3. What is the highest / furthest point you traveled to?
Highest? Well… I got altitude sickness in Perú while visiting Lake Titicaca. It was quite embarrassing, but my friend and I were both sick and the locals provided us with some killer cocoa tea. But I was sick for a few hours, even after only being at whatever point we visited (see, I don’t even remember what it was because I was so sick lol) for about fifteen minutes.
4. You stand on a 1m high brick wall. Would you jump off or climb slowly?
Jump off. 🙂 And hope not to destroy my ankle haha.
5. If you would only start your writing career now, where would you begin?
Hmm… That’s such a weird thought for me, because I have been writing since I was seven-years-old. I guess I’d start with writing a book, maybe a novel that I spent considerable time planning before jumping right into the meat of the story.
6. Which animals you feel it represents you best?
Probably a giraffe. I’m tall and awkward at times. Or maybe a llama, just because they are so ridiculous.
7. Are you an early riser or night owl?
Early riser! Which means I also go to bed pretty early…
8. Was writing your first choice as a career? If not, what was it?
It always has been and always will be my dream to be a professional writer, but ever since I was a kid I have also wanted to be a pilot. That being said, writing is my first love and if I could do it full-time, I would. I’m not quite there yet, though! (LOL)
9. What is your comfort food?
Popcorn. Always popcorn. And if you’re really “redonk” like me, with a sprinkle of cheese and butter on top.
10. Best way to relax and recharge? (other than writing)
Read a book, take a warm shower, watch political YouTube videos… Yes. I admit it. I watch political YouTube videos to calm down, which probably only riles me up even more.
11. What is your favorite word?
I love the word “redonk.” Yes, I made it up. It’s a redonk word to describe something that is ridiculous. Use it whenever you want. 🙂
11 Questions for My Nominees
If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be and why?
Who is your favorite writer or poet?
What is your favorite thing to do?
If you could go back and change one thing, what would it be?
Who is your best friend?
If you could eat one thing over and over again for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Thank you guys for reading. You’re the best, and I’m so thankful to be able to write to you. As for these nominees, please go check them out and give them a follow. They write from the heart, and that is what all writers should do. ❤
I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful Friday, though it’s a little cloudy here. A few days ago we survived a tornado (yes, a tornado in January!) and now it’s back to chilly temperatures here in the Southern United States. Sometimes I really do imagine living on a tropical island with perfect weather, but that probably doesn’t exist. We can all wish, can’t we? 🙂
It has been a while since we’ve done a post on our favorite subject of writing… So let’s get back into it! One of my last posts related to writing advice was titled “5 Tips To Improve Your Writing,” which you can check out here. So in a similar but not-so-similar situation, we’re going to discuss the topic of writing for your audience.
While writers tend to write for themselves (guilty as charged!), we must remember we are writing for others at the same time. Unless you’re Emily Dickinson, the famous poet whose works were published after her death, you’re probably sharing your materials with people, and this may only be a few trusted individuals, or maybe via a blog (special shoutout to bloggers!). Chances are some of you want to make it big, whether that’s becoming an up-and-coming novelist, poet, screenwriter, or storyteller. And chances are some of you don’t really care; you just want to write to inspire others and spread your words for those to hear.
What is the common denominator here? For a story to be told, there must be someone who receives it. (Even when you’re writing for yourself, you are your audience, so this still applies to the shyer writers out there!) So why don’t we highlight some points of interest when it comes to how to attract your audience and deliver quality material?
1. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE
For whom are you writing? Are your posts directed to a particular audience? Are your novels, short stories, poems, and screenplays tailored to a specific group of people? Now this may seem a bit exclusive, but I’m going to advise that you write with a particular audience in mind. Wait, why?
When you write something, you’re producing content that will resonate with someone out there. For example John Grisham is the king of the legal thriller. A John Grisham fan is probably going to have some interest in law… And, well, thrills. Someone who is more into chick lit may not have the most interest in a John Grisham book (but I still recommend John Grisham to everyone haha). So while John Grisham books are targeted to the mass market, it is true that not everyone out there is going to enjoy them.
Who is your audience then? When you write, are your stories catered to a particular genre of fiction, or are you floating between genres? And the honest truth is that genre-benders are writing for a particular audience too. What I’m trying to say is this: If you identify who your audience is, you become more aware of what they want. And when you identify what they want, you’re going to see an increase in views, sales, and interest. Of course you should not do this and lose all value in your own writing, but it is important to remember that if you want to see movement on your materials, you must know your audience and what they desire.
2. PRODUCE RELATABLE CONTENT
Relatable content? Come on, Katie. I’m just writing for fun, having a good time, and living my best life.
Well, dear audience: I applaud this idea, and this is something a writer should always remember. But if you take a step back and see what people enjoy, then you’re setting yourself up for success–and you may find a new love along the way.
When I first started Katie Kay three years ago (or was it two? I don’t even remember anymore!), I wrote nonsensical articles, posts that never saw the light of day. In my first year of blogging I saw less than fifty views. The next year, when I finally put effort into my audience and engaging with you all (more on this to follow), I saw a sharp increase in both viewership and legitimate interest in what I had to say. And one big thing that greeted me during this process was a newfound joy in poetry.
Before I started this blog, I hated poetry. But when I started to see the poet community on WordPress, things changed. Poems seemed to do really well on others’ sites, so I decided to challenge myself to a new method of writing. And guess what? I realized I love a good poem!
Now this blog is filled with poetry, and as a result I have come across tens (maybe even hundreds at this point!) of talented, humble poets who are challenging the status quo. No longer does one feel uncomfortable displaying their writing online. Nope! These poets have been fearless in sharing their thoughts.
So the moral of the story: When you produce relatable content, you may just receive relatable content in return. It’s a sort of karmic writing magic.
3. ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
So, after you’ve identified your audience and figured out what content you’re going to write for them, it’s time to engage. Consider that you are proposing to that special person who will browse through your work. Do you want to give them a shiny, sparkling diamond of a story, or a dirty, washed out husk? This is a dramatic metaphor, but I’m serious, and it’s true. You’re asking your audience to take a risk on your skills, and they’ve got to be won over. They have to have a reason to give you a resounding, “Yes!”
And one way to do this is engaging with them. Every day, everywhere. This applies to bloggers, who have easy access to their community, and it just as well applies to a novelist in Montana or a screenwriter in Hollywood or a poet in India. When you engage with your audience, you’re learning what works best. You’re honing your skill, and you’re gaining new friends along the way.
In this age of social media and internet and easy access to the world, there are various mediums to accomplish this task of engaging with your audience. Consider starting a website like WordPress (although most of you probably are on here all ready hehe). Expand your website, and make it easy to read. Create social media accounts. If you’re like me and not big into social media, develop camaraderie with other writers (and your readers. Take pride in the fact that you are a writer!) through your website or local library or anywhere that has people interested in literature. You’ll find that it not only makes you a better writer, but you find friends all over the world. ❤
4. BE TRUE TO YOU
Another thing about writing for your audience is that they’ll tell when you’re writing with heart, or when you’re writing something because you think they’ll like it. Take a moment and think of your favorite book, movie, poem, author, etc. What is it about this author and his or her writing that resonates with you? What did this person write that left you in tears, or overjoyed, or ready to conquer the world?
They wrote for their audience. They wrote for you. But they also wrote from their hearts, from their innermost selves, where emotion and reasoning were unleashed. These writers were true to themselves, because they wrote something that not only came from their hearts–but ended up puncturing yours in the process.
Okay, yes, this may sound corny. I know I sound cheesy most of the time, but I want you to remember to always write from your soul. Write as you would write, because there is no other you out there. And while some may tell you otherwise, it’s the truth that we all need your voice to be heard, because you’re contributing to this world of writers whose passion and purpose in life is to create something from the imagination… And share it with those who are willing to go with you to a made up world. So write for your audience–and also write for yourself.
The overall point of this post is not to tell you what to write. In fact it’s kind of the opposite. I want you to be who you are, and to do so you must be willing to engage with your audience so that you can learn more about who you really are. For example, as a writer, my romance novels have far outsold my books of other genres. While romance books are not my favorite to write, I’ve found that there is more interest in this type of writing than others when it comes to what I’ve produced. So what does that mean? It means I’m going to write more romance books! Not only am I loving what I’m doing (writing), but I’m sharing with those who love that genre as well.
Maybe this isn’t the best argument for writing for your audience, but I hope you gathered something from it today. And if you didn’t, then take away this main point: Write what you want to write, but just remember to leave a little room for your audience too. 🙂