Finding My Footing

If you have a mental illness that requires medication, you understand those intense first two weeks when you start a new medication. It is like you are trying to balance on a tightrope where one side is the fear of becoming an emotionless zombie while the other is the fear of the medication not working at all. Side effects are the worst during those first two weeks before they begin to fade as the medicine begins to work. My new anxiety medication caused me to have some emotional moments that lasted longer than the other effects so, I decided to add CBD oil to my routine. I know what you are thinking, oh man this must be a weird post that is meant to boost the popularity of CBD oil, this is not that kind of post at all. Sure, the oil works well with my medication and helped me regain my stride but it is not meant to replace my medication. My anxiety would literally cause me to feel like I can’t breathe, my hands would shake, and my mind was a cruel place. The thought of possibly going back to that dark place if I couldn’t get past this scared the hell out of me. Thankfully, with the addition of CBD, meditation, and having a kickass support system, I was able to push through and regain my footing!

So, my lovely readers, I wanted you to know that the tight rope of balancing your brain can be excruciating but, once you get past it you will feel so much better. I read somewhere that medication is a pair a glasses for your brain, it fixes the chemical imbalance and can help you regain clarity. Now, I need to tell you that if those major side effects last longer than two weeks you need to visit your doctor and have your medication adjusted. Finding the right medication can take time but it is worth it once you find the perfect fit.

Regaining something you never realized you lost is a strange feeling. I did not realize I lost my creative stride and motivation again until a few days ago. A few months ago, you couldn’t even force me to sit and write. Now, I can write almost four thousand words a day again! Finding my perfect combination for my routine really helped me find myself again. Hopefully, if you are fighting your own mental battles, this post inspires you to take that next step. See the Doctor, cut the negativity out of your life, reach out to loved ones, or just get out of bed. I know you can regain your footing, if you need help or someone to talk to, reach out to me.

I will always be here for y’all!

🌻 Caitlin 🌻

Here is a photo of Bruce to help inspire you!

A Curious Update

How can so many changes occur of the course of a month? Journeys, breakdowns, and discoveries helped shape my creative course during the month of June! After seeing how many of y’all loved my personal musings about my battle with anxiety , I have decided to shake things up. Gone is the cookie cutter blog and I am going back to my roots by sharing my personal thoughts and struggles.

I also want to announce that I have a Facebook Page and a Patreon!

If you want to support me on Patreon you will gain access to some incredible writing content, photos of my animals, and you can even receive monthly postcards or packages from me!

Click here to go to my Patreon

Click here to go to my FaceBook Page

Can’t wait to share my writing with y’all!

🌻Caitlin🌻

5 Tips For Traveling With Anxiety

Back in 2018, I made a huge step towards conquering my anxiety when I traveled to Ireland and New York City! Traveling has always been something that causes an extreme amount of stress, so this was like a test to see just how much progress I have made since my major anxiety attack I had a few years ago. The trips were amazing and I am happy to say that I will be traveling again soon!


During my adventures I was able to figure out a few tips and tricks to help make the journeys less stressful on me and keep my anxiety from flaring up, which is why I decided to create this amazing post! If you suffer from anxiety and are looking for ways to travel safely and enjoy yourself, this post is for you!

Here are my 5 tips for traveling with anxiety:

1. Make sure to pack enough medication to last at least 20 days after the end date of your trip and keep it in your carry on!
Anything can happened on a trip and it bringing along extra medication ensures that you can handle any situation thrown your way. Keeping it in your carry on eliminates the extra stress of worrying about it being lost in your checked bag.

 2. Remember to keep your loved ones updated!
I found it helpful to call my parents or at least send them photos almost everyday. If your anxiety was acting up during the day, you can talk about it with your support system back home and hopefully help you relax more and keep your anxiety at bay.

3. Keep a few of your favorite podcasts, audiobooks, or songs on your phone/iPod!
Sometimes, the world can be a little too much to handle. If you are feeling overwhelmed while walking around a strange city, pop in your headphones and listen to a few of your favorite things! My personal go to is the My Favorite Murder Podcast, I love being able to tune out the anxiety by listening to my favorite podcasts, especially while I am stressed out on the plane.

4. Travel in a group!
You don’t have to travel alone, traveling with others can help you lose track of your anxiety and embrace the experience with friends. Traveling with friends or even making friends within a travel group can help you create a support group that you can turn to if your anxiety is having a severe flare up during your trip.

5. Remember to breathe!
Breathe, you are going on a trip that could change your life. Enjoy the experience and don’t let your anxiety flare up. When it starts to emerge , focus on the beautiful surroundings and the different people. Be proud of yourself, you managed to conquer your anxiety and leave your home to go on a grand adventure!

I hope these tips help calm your travel anxiety a bit. Traveling is a stressful process but just know that you can handle it! Seeing the world will help broaden your horizons and introduce you to new experiences, people, and allow you to create memories. Time to use these tips and leave your comfort zone!

Have a wonderfully literary day!
~Caitlin~

Guess Who is Back

Why, hello world!

It has been quite some time since I last posted on my lovely blog and I do apologize. Life has a way of pulling you in so many different directions! Thankfully, everything has settled back down and I can finally start posting on here again.

Before I announce some of the amazing content that is going to coming your way, I just wanted to share 10 amazing things I did during my brief break!

  1. I finally went to Ireland and embraced the emerald isle!
  2. I traveled to New York!
  3. I finally managed to visit the amazing Bookcon!
  4. I lost 20 pounds! *Happy Dance*
  5. I finally started to take better care of myself mentally and physically.
  6. I mended a friendship with one of my writing friends
  7. I rediscovered my love for writing
  8. I got bit by the travel bug and now want to go on more adventures (probably because of my successful adventures earlier this year)
  9. My creativity has finally come back to me and I am no longer wanting to be a couch potato!
  10. I finally ditched my self doubt and embraced my fearlessness!

Whoa, that list is full of some amazing things! I know there aren’t too many details but, that is because I will be creating travel blog posts and more amazing content so you can learn about how I traveled with my anxiety and embraced my fearless self! I apologize again for my absence but I am so excited to share all of my amazing adventures, book reviews, tips, and writing adventures with y’all!

 

To close this short and sweet post, I am going t share this quote by Alan Alda. I hope that all of my new content helps you along your own creative journey and I can’t wait to share my life with y’all!

 

Have a wonderfully literary day!

Caitlin


” Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”
Alan Alda

3 Ways to Make Sure Your Character is Not a Mary Sue

We all know of these characters, the ones that barely encounter any obstacles during their journey while winning the hearts of all their potential love interests. I could name several extremely popular books that are focused on a Mary Sue or John Doe. Unfortunately it is also extremely easy to accidentally write your main characters as a Mary Sue, especially if you are in the writing groove and really cranking out that novel. Have no fear, I am here to help guide you along your literary journey and help keep you from straying off the path of a well-developed character and being sucked into the land of absolutely perfect characters that can do no wrong.
Before I can help you I must give you a in-depth guide to the mysterious Mary Sue. The Mary Sue/ John Doe character is one that can probably climb Mt. Everest on their first try with little to no issues. These characters learn fighting quickly and can do things that a normal character would not be able to do as accurately . They are also known for having no enemies, there have even been some instances where even the villain falls for them. This leads to the story becoming dull rather quickly because the main character is completely unrealistic. I know you love your characters and you want what is best for them but they need to be realistic. A reader needs a character to relate to not a character that shoot rainbows of friendship from their fingertips while gliding to the finish line.
What are some ways that I can avoid this from happening? I am glad you asked!

Here are 3 Ways to Make Sure Your Character is Not A Mary Sue:

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1. When you are developing your characters for your novel you need to create a list. For the protagonists list 3 positive traits and 1 negative trait to help balance them out.

Ex. My Protagonist:

  • Optimistic
  • Intelligent
  • Adventurous
  • Anxious

Now when you are creating your balanced antagonist you need to also create a list but this time it needs to be 3 negative traits and 1 positive trait.

Ex. My Antagonist:

  • Manipulative
  • Cold
  • Sadistic
  • Intelligent

By creating these lists you are getting to know your characters and allowing them to become more dynamic and realistic.

2. Create a realistic back story. As much as you want your character to come from a perfect home and perfect life with amazing friends and no issues pre-novel you need to understand that a back story like that is boring. No one has a perfect life and in order for you character to evolve over the course of your novel you need to give them some form of obstacle or issue in their back story that needs to be addressed during the events of the novel.

Ex. My main character has to overcome her anxiety she gained after a frightening near death experience before the events of the novel. She learns to accept her faults and how to be a stronger person so her anxiety  can no longer define her.

Having something like this allows the character to be more relatable to the reader and it is a lot more enjoyable to write these characters and really watch them grow.
3. Make sure they fail. Yes, you read that right. Failure is a part of life and so it is important that failure is present at some point during your character’s story. You can make it something as minor as losing her car keys or something as major as running from the monster instead of facing them.

Ex. My character has problems mastering her bow and ends up missing a major target during the first altercation, this causes her to have a full-blown anxiety attack.

When you are writing about failure you are allowing the hero to travel along a journey where they can evolve and face their failures head on.

Creating characters for your novel may seem like an easy process but it is important to remember to make them human while you are actually writing your novel. It is easy to get swept away and dive into your story but you need to remember that a realistic and relatable character is one that a reader will love more and it will also allow you to grow along with your character as you write their journey to adventure, success, and freedom.

Have A Wonderfully Literary Day,
Caitlin

Resolutions, Goals, and Dreaming of 2018

The end of 2017 is approaching and now is the time to set resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. Surprisingly, 2017 has been incredible to me. I have written more than ever and I have completely turned my mental and physical health around. I am determined to continue making progress in 2018 and I hope that all of you do the same! I discuss my 2017 more in my post here~

2017

Now that my year in review is out of the way it is now time to plan for 2018. I am an optimist so I can’t help but have a ton of resolutions, goals, and dreams for the upcoming year. Setting resolutions is one thing but keeping up with them is a battle and I determined to actually stick to them while crushing my goals for 2018! I am not to going to lie, picking  resolutions for the next year was actually kind of difficult. I had to sit down and really think about what I planned to accomplish next year and how these resolutions will help me meet my goals and hopefully achieve my dreams.

2018 REsolutions

My 2018 Resolutions help make me continue my journey to becoming healthier and also try to keep me from becoming a hermit. I also decided to actually try to go on more adventures and make some amazing memories in 2018. I am positive that I can stick to my resolutions and crush my goals!

2018 Goals

Goals, goals, goals! I can’t wait to crush my goals and achieve my dreams. I decided to buckle down and work hard to achieve my dreams of publishing, traveling, and living a more creative life.

2018 Goals-3

Dreams are a lot harder to reach but I am determined to achieve at least one of my dreams in 2018!

Publishing a novel has been my dream for as long as I can remember. After crushing my 2017 word count goals, I am more determined than ever to publish one if not both of my novels by the end of 2018. It is quite the mouthful but I can handle it and I can’t wait to finally share my literary worlds with everyone.
Ireland is one of the places that I have always wanted to visit. My family’s ancestors are from there and I am in love with the mythology and fairy tales that are woven into the rich history of the country. I want to visit Ireland so I can appreciate where I came from and also visit one of the towns that I am writing about in my novel.
I have been wanting to see the Grand Canyon and since I live in Texas, the drive would be excruciatingly long. Going on an epic road trip has always been on my bucket list so I want to finally cross it off by going on a journey to the Grand Canyon.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed learning more about me and that you also decide to make 2018 your year. Chase those dreams, make those important lifestyle changes, and crush all of the obstacles that stand in your way. 2018 is the year for the dreamers and I can’t wait to see what the year has in store.

Have a wonderfully literary day and I will see all of you in the new year!

~Caitlin~

Holiday Reflection

The holiday season is full of love, celebration, and reflection.  I can’t help but realize just how blessed I am. I am surrounded by friends and family that support my writing career and mental health journey. If someone had told me six months ago that I would be in this amazing place in my life, I would have called them a liar.  I am honestly happy that I have let go of my toxic and negative past and have embraced the bright future in front of me. My best friend from childhood reconnected with me recently as well and for this first time in a long time I am actually happy with how my year has turned out.

So many wonderful things have happened over this past year including:

  1. I graduated college!
  2. I started medication that helped me manage my anxiety!
  3. I have written a good chunk of my pirate novel!
  4. I  started to take better care of myself!

It may not seem like a lot, but I feel like I have conquered so much this past year. If 2018 is anything like 2017 then I can honestly say I am ready for the new year. Sure, there were a lot of times where I honestly doubted myself. It can be hard to fight the feeling of doubt but I did and now I am ending this year on a positive note. When it comes to the holiday season, you can use this time to ignore your doubt and look around. You are surrounded by the people that love and care about you  and that can be the boost you need to break through that wall of doubt. If you are alone this holiday season just know that I am here for you. I am supportive of whatever your dreams and goals are and you are more than welcome to connect through comments below so we can have our own little literary tribe.

My Bookmas Tree
My Bookmas Tree

I am going to wrap this up now so I can get back to my little Christmas celebration! hope ya’ll have the happiest of holidays and keep an eye out for more posts in the future!

Enjoy this picture of my Bookmas Tree~

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Ways to Stay Motivated After NaNoWriMo

Hello World!

The month of November flew by! Now that NaNoWriMo is over I finally have the time to sit down and update my lovely blog. This year was the first year I was actually able to conquer my writing goals for NaNoWriMo and I have to admit, it feels amazing! It took three whole years but I am happy to announce that I am actually a winner this year and I am getting closer to finishing the first draft of my novel.

I have been working hard to find different ways to stay motivated now that the pressure of writing so much during NaNoWriMo has been lifted off me. Life has a way of interfering with progress sometimes and staying motivated can be a bit tricky but it is crucial that this first draft is completed before the end of the year! If you are in the same boat then have no fear! I have managed to discover 3 tips that can help you stay motivated and crush your writing goals!

Let’s dive in!

  1. Set Weekly Goals!

Setting up mini goals for the week can be extremely helpful! Sometimes having one giant goal can be daunting and stop your creative flow in its tracks. By breaking your giant goal into smaller goals that you can accomplish every week, you are keeping yourself from becoming overwhelmed while writing your novel!

Some examples of these mini goals are:

  • Write for 30 minutes every day.
  • Plot and write a whole chapter in a week. (You can do more than one if you want to!)
  • Flesh out your main characters.

2. Reward Yourself!

Rewards are a nice way to treat yourself as you meet your writing goals. Setting up a way to reward yourself for every writing milestone is a good way to help you stay excited and hopefully avoid the severe writer’s block that can hit after meeting a major word count goal!

  • A Good example of this is what I did for NaNoWriMo! I saved up throughout the month so that once I met my goals I was able to buy a beautiful owl purse that I had been wanting for awhile!

3.Take a Break!

This tip may sound a little odd! Trust me, taking a moment to breathe is absolutely crucial to staying motivated. Pushing yourself too hard can lead you to being burnt out and you can unfortunately lose the motivation to write. Taking a short break allows you to clear your mind and have a mini vacation from your novel. You can revisit your work after your break and be able to crush that word count goal!

I hope y’all enjoyed my post and I also hope that these tips help you along your writing journey!

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Nifty NaNoWriMo Prep Ideas

Hello World!

NaNoWriMo is almost here and I am excited because I am actually going to be ready for it this year! I have been prepping and working on my novel for the past few months and I am excited to smash my word count goals this year. For those of you that don’t know, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) occurs every November and serves as a way for writers to crank out 50,000 words in one month. You can participate in local write ins and other nifty events while trying to accomplish your goals and it is honestly a blast. If you want to learn more about this amazing event click here!

One of my favorite things to do for this epic event is prepping so that I can be ready to tackle the word count in November. There are several creative ways that you can approach this task and I am here to share 3 of my favorite prepping ideas!

  1. Create a Pinterest Board for your Novel ProjectCreating a Pinterest board allows all of your inspiration and reference photos to be in one place. You can even pin some interesting writing worksheets that can help you along your NaNoWriMo prep journey! If you want to see the Pinterest board I created for my NaNo project click here!
  2. Fill in a Workbook!I discovered a really nifty writing workbook last year that really helped me shape my literary world. The workbook was actually created by the team at NaNoWriMo and it is Ready, Set, Novel!: A Workbook ! This workbook helps you with shaping your ideas, fleshing out characters, and even developing your plot. This nifty workbook can be found on the NaNoWriMo website along with some of their other prepping books! You can also find this lovely book on Amazon!
  3. Create a Bullet Journal dedicated to NaNoWriMo!Bullet Journaling is a nifty way to keep all of your ideas and goals organized in one notebook. Starting a bullet journal can be intimidating but there are several bloggers that have created useful posts on starting  a NaNoWriMo journal. My personal favorite is the very informative guide written by Boho Berry! Click here if you want to go read through her post!

Those were 3 of my favorite prepping ideas for NaNoWriMo! Feel free to try any of these wonderfdul ideas and leave a comment below if you want to share some of your Preptober ideas!

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Tips That Will Help You Recover From A Failed Writing Partnership

Hello World!

When you have a falling out with your writing partner that is also your friend it can honestly feel like the world is ending. At least that is how I felt. It didn’t help that the friendship I was in crashed and burned as well, so there will never be any form of reconciliation. Knowing that the project that you and the other person were working on will be on a permanent hiatus can be heartbreaking.

That is why I decided to share a few of the things that helped me recover from the pain and move on. Hopefully you can use these 3 tips and be able to successfully get over that creative break up and move on to other creative projects!

Now, lets dive in!

1.  The first tip is to take a breath and grieve. The one thing I wished I knew earlier was that it is okay to be upset. Taking some time to really grasp the situation can  help you accept what happened and allow you to let go of the negative emotions that you may be feeling. After you have taken this time to grieve you can move on to the next step of your creative recovery.

2. The next step is to decide if the project the two of you were working on was something you were passionate about. Depending on how  you feel about the project you can decide if you want to put the extra effort into making the project your own.

3. This step can be extremely time-consuming but it is crucial that you change every aspect of the story. You have to get rid of everything that you and your old writing partner worked on so that they can’t come after you legally. By doing this you also make the story your own and rework everything into something that you can be proud of. This step also helps you cleanse your creative brain of the old story and allow you to devote yourself to a new project.

     Here are a few things that you should remember to change when you are at  this step:

~ Any plot developments you developed together

~ Character personalities, appearances, and back stories

 ~ Anything created while you were world building

Those were 3 tips that helped me along my creativity recovery. I still can’t believe that it has taken me so long to finally move on from what happened but I guess that is how life works. Friendships end and you can be left picking up the pieces but everything happens for a reason. Sure, that project could have been awesome but now you have the opportunity to create a story that you are passionate about and allow your creativity to blossom.

I wrote this post because, in all honesty, I wished I had something like this when my creative break-up was fresh. The pain that accompanies any break is hard but you will survive.

Here is a quote to close out this post:

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.”

Ernie Harwell

I hope y’all found this post helpful and I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day

~Caitlin