• The Recovering Pessimist: "Schedule Changes Are Coming" -- Last year, I decided that I was going to spend more time on my creative projects. When I decided to start Snapshot Storyteller, I realized that I wouldn't have a lot of time for The Recovering Pessimist. I decided to make changes to the posting schedule. Check out the blog post for details. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    Blogging

    Schedule Changes are Coming

    A year ago, I decided to focus more on my creative writing projects. After much procrastinating, I created Snapshot Storyteller: an unglamorous and unconventional look into my writing journey (subscribe if you want to stay in the know).

    Right now, I want to spend time growing Snapshot Storyteller and working on creative projects. That won’t leave me with a lot of time for The Recovering Pessimist. As of today, the posting schedule will change. Instead of posting every Monday, I will post 1-2 times a month. Wisdom Wednesdays will still post weekly for the rest of this year.

    Take of yourself,

    MsWalton

     

  • Blogging,  The Complexities of Life

    Finish What You Start in 2018

    The Recovering Pessimist: Finish What You Start in 2018 -- This year's theme was inspired by a stack of books that I failed to finish. After being annoyed with myself, I decided that I was no longer going to start things and not finishing them. This year will be the year that I follow through to the end. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistThe inspiration for this year’s theme derived from the stack of (at least 6) books that I’ve purchased throughout 2017 and either never started them or started them and never finished them. Oh, and the countless projects that I’ve started (or planned) and never finished them (or execute them). I’m legit disappointed in myself.

    Yoda/Giphy.com
    Yoda/Giphy.com

    With inspiration on deck, creating the theme was as simple as moving some words around. What I came up with was this:

    FINISH WHAT YOU START

    It’s long overdue. It would be delusional for me to continue to think that I can accomplish goals when I have a tendency to leave things unfinished. This year, I’m hellbent on starting, finishing, and repeat. No more half-assing.

    Do you have a theme/mantra for 2018? I would love to hear about it.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Blogging,  The Complexities of Life

    How I’m Prepping for 2018

    The Recovering Pessimist: How I'm Prepping for 2018 -- When I sat down to prepare for 2018, I knew that I couldn't repeat everything I had done before. I can't do the same things and expect different results. This year, I switched some things up and I feel that I got it right this time. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist It’s the home stretch of 2017. One of my favorite times of the year is to sit down and start prepping for the following year (see here and here). For whatever reason, the last 60 days of the year tend to go by in a blur for me. Sitting down and preparing for the following year allows me to slow down for a bit.

    In addition to doing the things I’ve done in previous years (see here and here), the lessons I learned this year also changed the way I prep for the upcoming year.

    Creating Theme for 2018

    The theme for 2018 is the result of a moment of fed-up-ness (not an actual word, but rock with me anyway). It’s the perfect follow-up to this year’s theme of Stay Ready. It’s one of those things that I’ve struggled with for a while now. The theme alone has me super excited for the upcoming year.

    Batching Tasks

    Multitasking has been a nightmare this year. When I’m not at work, I work on a blog post while doing another blog-related task at the same time. What ends up happening is that I don’t finish either of those tasks that day and carry them over to the next day. This is a horrible use of time.

    Batching my tasks would be a good use of time management plus it would help me focus on one thing at a time which would make sure that I finish my tasks in a timely fashion. I can choose specific days for blog post writing, blog maintenance, etc. Hopefully, this will eliminate the bouts of burnout I experienced this year.

    Planning Differently

    For the past few years, I write all of my goals for the year and that’s it. I’ve ended the year not accomplishing a quarter of the goals I made. This year, I’m being more flexible with my planning by breaking my goals down into quarters. This makes things a lot less overwhelming and I’ll be more likely to actually accomplish my goals. Plus I can focus on each goal versus all of my goals as a whole.

    Taking the time the prepare for 2018 by doing these things will alleviate a lot of anxiety, burnout, and overwhelm. I look forward to whatever 2018 brings my way.

    I got this.

     

     

     

     

  • Blogging,  The Complexities of Life

    Staying Ready in 2017

    The Recovering Pessimist: Staying Ready in 2017 -- While doing my prepping for 2017, finding a theme was pretty easy. I decided to use a simple, but profound phrase that I have been reciting all of 2016. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #optimisticpessimist #recoveringpessimist
    Image via Chaitra of ItsPinkPot.com

    Happy 2017!!!

    To continue my tradition of creating yearly themes, I come to you with my theme for 2017 (click here and here for past years’ posts).

    This year’s theme began as a joke between my friends and I because I hate surprises. Over time, this phrase evolved into a personal mantra.

    Fast forward to Q3 of 2016. I sat down to write some ideas, and the only one that made the list was the joke that became my mantra:

     

    STAY READY

    I spent a good part of 2016 worrying about the “what ifs”; the inspirations and opportunities that I missed out on. I was thisclose to potential greatness, but of course, I messed up and missed out on them.

    How did I miss out on them?

    My mindset wasn’t in the right place. I was so worried about what everyone else was doing that I got in my own way. What I should’ve focused on was myself, my goals, and how I was going to accomplish them.

    Lesson learned.

    In 2017, my hopes, dreams, wants, and desires are big. I refuse to get in my own way this year. I have too much to do and accomplish. What are you promising not to do this year? I’d love to hear about it.

    Happy New Year!

  • Blogging,  The Complexities of Life

    How I’m Prepping for 2017

    The Recovering Pessimist: How I'm Prepping for 2017 -- I love going through the process of planning for the upcoming year. It allows me to reflect on the current year and make the necessary adjustments. Some of the things mentioned in this year's blog post are similar to last year's with some new things added. Do you plan for the upcoming year? What is your process? | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimistI love writing about my preparation process for the upcoming year. Many of the things in this year’s post were mentioned in last year’s post. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?

    Without further adieu, let’s begin, shall we?

    Create theme for 2017

    Having a theme really sets the tone for how I approach the upcoming year. Throughout the year I’ve repeated the same phrase over and over as a reminder to myself and friends when life threw us a curve ball.

    Then I had a lightbulb moment. I could make this phrase my theme for 2017 (I”ll disclose the theme in a later post). One less thing for me to work on. Yay!

    Vision Board

    I created my first vision board last year after hearing folks talk about how vision boards helped them with the manifestation of their goals, aspirations, etc. They were spot on. Many of the things I posted on my vision board actually happened.

    Questlove/Giphy.com
    Questlove/Giphy.com

    This year, I want to take things up a notch with my vision board. I want to take a photo of my vision board, print the photo, and put the photo on the inside cover of my Inkwell Press liveWELL planner. That way, I can keep my vision board with me and stay on task. Genius!

    Planning Blog Content Ahead of Time

    This year, I finally decided to create an editorial calendar using Google Sheets. I have a place to keep track of all the blog posts (and their permalinks) I’ve written for the year broken down by month. Planning blog posts that are part of a series (e.g., Back to Center, Wisdom Wednesday, etc.) is way easier for me. If you don’t already have some sort of content calendar in place, get one and save yourself the stress.

    Write Goals Down

    Each year, I have major goals that I want to accomplish. Last year, I used MindMeister to create a visual for all of my goals. It was really pretty to look at, but it wasn’t effective. I also made goal cards for my major goals, which worked initially. However, I stopped looking at them regularly, so that ended up not being too effective.

    The whole point of making goals is to accomplish them right?

    Exactly!

    This year, I decided to keep track of my goals using my 2017 Inkwell Press liveWELL planner. This weekly planner has a lot of areas throughout the planner to keep track of my goals on a yearly and monthly basis. And since I look at my planner several times a day, housing my goals in the planner would be a win-win situation for me.

    That’s my planning process for 2017. Tell me, do you plan for the upcoming year? If so, what’s your process? I’d love to hear about it.

    Until next time,

    MsWalton

     

     

     

     

     

  • Blogging

    My Favorite Pinterest Accounts for Bloggers

    The Recovering Pessimist: My Favorite Pinterest Accounts for Bloggers -- I often turn to Pinterest to answer many of my blogging-related questions. I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Pinterest accounts for bloggers because people need to know how dope these accounts (and the people behind them) are. Also, I want to save you from a lot of frustration and headaches. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist #blogging #bloggers #pinterestI’m a HUGE fan of Pinterest as a blogger. Many of my blogging-related questions were answered via Pinterest. That website is a hub of awesomeness. listed below on my

    Anyway, I wanted to share my favorite Pinterest accounts for bloggers. All of these accounts are included on my Blogging Tips Pinterest board.

    Ali Ebright (Gimme Some Oven)

    I was researching how to name the images I created and used in my blog posts on Pinterest. In the search results, was Ali’s pin entitled “The One Thing You Must Do To Every Image Uploaded To Your Blog“. Talk about being a lifesaver. Not only does her Pinterest page make me hungry, but the Pinterest board for her blog Gimme Some Oven has plenty of blogging-related gems on it. Definitely worth checking out.

    byRegina

    My admiration for Regina is no secret (I’ve mentioned her here, here, and here). I’ve been a fan of hers for years and she’s never steered me wrong. Her Pinterest page is a treasure chest of awesomeness. My favorite boards of hers are Blog Tips Galore, Blog Tips, and For the Infopreneurs.

    Olyvia

    I learned about Olyvia when I ran across her “91+ Blog Posts To Make You A Better Blogger + Business Owner” blog post on Pinterest. My favorite boards on Olyvia’s Pinterest page are Olyvia.co, Blog + Website Tips, and E-book Creation.

    Melyssa Griffin

    Melyssa’s pins appeared on my Pinterest timeline after doing research on blogging tips. Her Pinterest page is a big resource for me, along with other bloggers and entrepreneurs. My favorite boards on Melyssa’s page include MelyssaGriffin.comBlogging + Bloggers, and Entrepreneur + Business.

    I hope you find these Pinterest accounts just as useful as I do. Do you have any favorite Pinterest accounts for bloggers? Feel free to share them in the comments or contact me on social media. I’d love to hear about them.

    Until next time,

    MsWalton

  • The Recovering Pessimist: My Must-Have WordPress Plugins -- Plugins are like spices. There's a lot of work that goes into curating the perfect combination of plugins that work together to make your blog run smoothly. Add a plugin that doesn't fit and chaos ensues. I may be able to help you avoid the chaos. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    Blogging

    My Must-Have WordPress Plugins

    The Recovering Pessimist: My Must-Have WordPress Plugins -- Plugins are like spices. There's a lot of work that goes into curating the perfect combination of plugins that work together to make your blog run smoothly. Add a plugin that doesn't fit and chaos ensues. I may be able to help you avoid the chaos. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    Image by CreativeConvex.com

    When I began blogging on WordPress.com, I had no idea what I’m doing. I knew I just had to get started and I’d figure out the rest later. Over time, I realized that I needed to have more control over how this blog functions both on the front and back ends.

    About two years ago, I moved to self-hosting for this website and that’s where I learned how complex plugins are. Plugins are like spices. The right plugins can make your blog run smoothly. But if you add a plugin to the mix that doesn’t play well with the others, all hell will break loose.

     

     

    Half Baked/giphy.com
    Half Baked/giphy.com

    Running a self-hosted blog has its moments of utter frustration. Because I don’t want you to go through the same headaches I’ve gone through, I wanted to share a few of my must-have WordPress plugins. I hope this helps.


    Broken Link Checker

    I never realized how important this plugin was until the first time I used it. I can’t remember how long Broken Link Checker took to find the broken links BUT I do know that I had about 300 or so broken links to fix.

    If you thought that was bad, it gets worse. It took me about 18 hours over a span of two days to fix the broken links. Some of the links were truly bad and needed new links attached. Others weren’t truly broken & needed to be rechecked to confirm & remove them from the broken link list.

    When I tell you I don’t EVER IN LIFE want to go through that again, I mean it! Take it from me and download this plugin and save yourself now before it gets too deep.

    Disqus Comment System

    I like leaving comments. What I don’t like are complex commenting systems. I’ve tested several comment systems before settling on Disqus Comment System. It is very user-friendly, both for me and the commenters, which is very important. The occasional spam comment does slip into my comment queue, though. Just wanted to make you aware of that.

    Better Click to Tweet

    I love Twitter. So much so that I incorporate Twitter into my blog posts. Better Click to Tweet allows me to create a tweet within a blog post that readers can click on the tweet to post it to their Twitter timeline. Brilliant! The key is to make sure that the tweet you choose to  incorporate in your blog post is catchy. That way, people will retweet, like, etc.

    Editorial Calendar

    Using an editorial calendar has been a struggle for me. I would write blog posts one at a time, which never really provided me with a break. Downloading Editorial Calendar makes planning blog posts way easier. I can see all posted and scheduled blog posts along with scheduled blog posts that are in draft status. In addition, the plugin provides a  list of unscheduled drafts that you can either leave on the screen or hide them.

    You can hover over the blog posts in the calendar and see options to edit, quick edit, delete, and/or view. This saves you time from having to find the individual post itself. Also, you can drag and drop posts throughout the calendar to your liking. How awesome is that?

    Revive Old Post

    Last year, I was trying to figure out a way to automatically share my blog posts on Twitter. It took a wee bit of research but I ran across Revive Old Post. I use the free option and it’s packed with features. You choose how many posts to share at a time & the minimum time between shares. You can choose the minimum and maximum ages of posts to be eligible for sharing. There’s also an option to exclude  and/or include specific categories to share from.


    That’s all I’ve got for now. If you have any questions and/or comments about these plugins, let me know in the comments. I love sharing what I know and getting feedback from you.

    [bctt tweet=”You can’t help anyone by hoarding information. Share it!” username=”MsWalton”]

    Until next time,

    MsWalton

  • Blogging

    How to Avoid Blogger Overwhelm

    Blogging is pretty awesome. I get to talk about the things I want to talk about in hopes that somebody will learn from my mistakes and/or experiences. But that’s only one end of the blogging spectrum. On the other end, blogging can be overwhelming. With so much information accessible from multiple sources, you may not know how to apply it. Or, you may be unsure if you should even apply it.

    The Recovering Pessimist: How to Avoid Blogger Overwhelm -- Being a blogger is great and whatnot, but don't let that fool you. On the other side of the spectrum is blogger overwhelm and that beast can suck you in if you aren't proactive. I shared a few tips that help me avoid blogger overwhelm. Enjoy!  | #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist
    Help Me/Giphy.com

    I’m all too familiar with that feeling of overwhelm & I don’t want you to go through it. Below are a few tips I’ve acquired on avoiding blogger overwhelm:


    You Can Only Plan So Much Before You Launch

    There was no launch plan for this blog. I came up with the domain, grabbed a (free) theme, and started writing. In hindsight, I should’ve at least planned somewhat & saved myself some time and/or energy. Besides, if you find yourself waist-deep in planning mode, you may never launch because you want everything to be perfect. And you know how perfection goes. insert eye roll here

    [bctt tweet=”Perfection doesn’t exist in general, and it definitely doesn’t exist in the blogging world.” username=”MsWalton”]

    Don’t Get Wrapped Up in the Money Game

    Being able to make money from your blog is awesome. The internet is full of sources for you to learn how to make  x amount of dollars from your blog. It’s also misleading. Rarely did I read/watch a blogger be truly honest with how they made x amount of money in such as short amount of time. Regina blew the lid off of that mystery by writing an awesome blog post about avoiding getting caught up in the six figure blogger gang.

    Which brings me to the next point:

    Question Everything!

    Just because it sounds good, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Don’t just take the information you read and/or hear at face value. Question it. How does this apply to you? Can you afford the good/service? If not, can you find an inexpensive way to get the good/service?

    [bctt tweet=”Question everything. Your time and money are valuable. Be critical of who/what you spend it on.” username=”MsWalton”]

    You Gotta Work to Gain AND Keep Subscribers

    Gaining subscribers is one of the top goals for many bloggers. Makes perfect sense. But let me let you in on a little secret:

    [bctt tweet=”You can’t treat subscribers like trophies on a shelf. You have to work to keep them. ” username=”MsWalton”]

    Simple and to the point. And speaking of subscribing…

    Don’t Subscribe to Every Single Newsletter if It Doesn’t Help You

    A few months ago, I looked at my email inbox and I kid you not, I had at least 14 emails from different newsletters I was subscribed to. Mind you those emails were from one day. Of those 14 maybe three or four were of actual use to me. Most of them I subscribed to in order to get a freebie and then had no use for the newsletter afterwards.

    My inbox and I deserve so much better.

    So I finally went through them and deleted all but maybe four or five. I don’t sigh and roll my eyes anymore when I look at my inbox now.

    [bctt tweet=”Don’t feel like you need to subscribe to every newsletter you come across. Be critical of your inbox space” username=”MsWalton”]


    I hope you find these tips useful. If you’ve suffered from blogger overwhelm, how did you get through it, I would love to hear about it.

    Until next time,

    MsWalton

  • Blogging

    My Blogging Routine

    The Recovering Pessimist: My Blogging Routine -- Before I sit down to write a blog post, I like to set the scene. I need to have the correct music, lighting, snacks, etc. to get me in the mental space to write some awesomeness. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

    Blogging while working a 9-5 is difficult enough. There are things I must have to blog successfully, such as a decompression period, to keep me sane (click here and here).

    When I’m getting ready to blog, I like to set the scene. I want to get myself mentally prepared to write some goodness. There are a few things that help me set the scene to blog:

    Limit Distractions

    I’m usually pretty good at multitasking. However, I can’t multitask when it comes to blogging. I waste too much time doing blog-related tasks if I’m watching TV and/or doing other things on the laptop. To avoid wasting time, I turn on the TV or at least mute it. If I’m working away from home, I wear headphones to block out the sounds around me.

    Mood Music

    I like to listen to music while I write. I’m a sucker for piano instrumentals. My favorite Spotify playlists are Piano ChillPiano MoodsThe Piano Bar, and Peaceful Piano. These playlists help me focus on the task at hand and makes the creative process smooth.

    Gather Snacks & Beverage of Choice

    In addition to having all my blogging tools at hand (click here and here), having snacks and beverages on hand is just as important. Fruits like cherries, apples, and bananas are my favorite snacks to have on hand. When it comes to alcohol, sweet red wine is my favorite.

    These are a few of the things that help me set the scene to blog. If you’re a blogger and/or writer, how do you get yourself mentally prepared to write? How to you set the scene? I’d love to hear about it.

    Until next time,

    MsWalton

  • Blogging,  The Complexities of Life

    Stay In YOUR Lane

    This year, I’ve been working on a lot of goals. Many of these goals need a lot of research to make the goals a reality. Not bad right? I filled up notebooks, created many Pinterest boards, and created Evernote stacks to keep it all (somewhat) organized.

    You might not think that’s a bad thing. And I understand why you might feel that way. But trust me, it is. And here’s why:

    The Recovering Pessimist: Stay In YOUR Lane -- There's SO much information out there & a lot of it won't apply to you. That's okay. Be critical of the information you absorb. | www.therecoveringpessimist.me #amwriting #recoveringpessimist #optimisticpessimist

    I ended up worse off than I was when I began. Something had to be done and it had to be done soon. I needed to rid myself of the source(s) of my overwhelm/stress. It began with the newsletters. At one point, I had 15 newsletters subscriptions.  Why? I subscribed to many of them after seeing a post that caught my eye on social media. I figured if one post was this good, why not subscribe for more posts like this?

    Sounds okay, right?

    WRONG!

    Why?!

    Some of the newsletters were too niche-based, which isn’t something that I can relate to. Others were aimed towards those who were at a different stage than I was. I ended up deleting more newsletters emails than I kept for future reference. No need to have my inbox clogged up by emails that aren’t useful.

    Little Rascals/Giphy.com
    Little Rascals/Giphy.com

    Fixing this hot mess express took two steps:

    1. I went through my inbox and unsubscribed from about 55% of the newsletters. Not only is my inbox lighter but my nerves are much calmer. Everyone doesn’t belong in my inbox and that’s what let to the next step.
    2. I became more critical about the information I come across. Instead of subscribing to the newsletter and/or saving the information, I ask myself (sometimes several times) if this information is really useful to me?

    Once I applied these two steps to my inbox, I realized how these steps also relate to life. Sometimes you have to weed through all the noise that’s around you to get to what really matters to you.

    [bctt tweet=”What works for many isn’t always going to work for me, no matter how good it sounds. And that’s okay.” username=”MsWalton”]

    It’s as simple as that.

    Until next time,

    MsWalton

     

     

     

     

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