Oh, No: It’s That Irritating Need to Please Everyone Again

I suffer from Approval Addiction.

In every exchange, I try to be what pleases the other person. With my children, I am an experienced adult who unconditionally loves them. With my neighbors, I aim to be the easy-going one who’s willing to provide a cup of flour or plate of cookies. With my friends, I lend a listening ear and supportive hand. With my blog, I’m the writer-of-all-trades in order to please the greatest number of followers.

I wear many, many masks. I feel I even wear masks within masks.

Unfortunately, I fail. With my children, I become the resentful, repressed, and stressed adult who makes them think they must earn my affection. With my neighbors, I bother, offend, and fail to keep up. With my friends, I …don’t really have any. With my blog, I back-post midnight thoughts and give up (yet again) on reading what others wrote.

I feel dizzy with the ride of expectations vs. reality. I start employing my old numbing tactics: little sleep, lots of junk food, and mindless apps to distract.

Round

and round

and round again.

Sometime near 2 or 3 a.m., I lift my tear-streaked face from the closet floor. “I can’t keep doing this,” I say, with a smidgen of resolve. “Something’s gotta give.” I consider what I can get rid of:

  • Kids? Probably can’t give any back now.
  • Dishes? I wishes.
  • Laundry? Housework? Bill-paying? Errand-running? Etc? No, no, no, no, and no.
  • Staring at my shoe rack from my position on the floor whilst eating chocolate? Maybe.
  • Writing?

Ah, the writing. Some part of ‘the writing’ needs to give. I started blogging because I was going to succeed at something. Maybe I’d publish a book. Perhaps I’d attract tens of thousands of people to my site. Surely, I would change the world.

Whatever happened, my quick quips and cute phrases would most definitely be circulated around Facebook instead of the banal ones I saw daily.

Yet, here I sit, the same as when I started. I have nothing to show for all the time investment into ‘the writing.’

*sigh*

Well, I don’t literally have nothing to show for it. I have all of you.

I love my blogging friends, even those who don’t come around anymore. You’ve read, complimented, lifted, encouraged, responded, sympathized, reached out, poemed, and loved me. In a world where I rarely converse with like-minded people, I need this. I don’t expect everyone to read everything I write; you all feel the same, right?

So… I wonder how you all deal with ‘the writing.’ Have you a schedule? Do you write ahead? If you write and read less frequently, how do you still have followers?

Most importantly, do you write blog posts in the closet?

jamesthethomas5-HXVMKvaPNqg-unsplash

—————-

Here’s the breakdown for the week:

Wednesday, January 29: Talked about DIETING in, “The Diet: It Sucks But It Works.”

Thursday, January 30: Throwback to my Reddit story: “Customer Service.”

Friday, January 31: Posted the winner of this week’s “Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest.” Congratulations to Matt Snyder.

Saturday, February 1: Announced the 57th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is LOVE. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, February 2: Shared Jules’ page of the poem we commented to create.

Monday, February 3: An inspirational quote from Nitin.

Tuesday, February 4: Poemed “An Overworked Poem About the Post,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Wednesday, February 5: Today

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: Jamesthethomas5

As I Lay, Here

Gentle windpaths brush my skin,
or touch the trees;
As I lay, here.

Raindrops cry down shadowed walls,
or outside panes;
As I lay, here.

Greying stormclouds dance within,
or mar the sky;
As I lay, here.

Sunlight beams ‘gainst bedroom halls,
or ‘gainst the world;
As I lay, here.

Storms without and storms within,
all in my mind;
As I lay, here.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

 

“To be a successful writer and enjoy the perks of paid writing, one must first understand what business they are in – and that is the entertainment business. One does not have to resort to silly antics to entertain, because you can do the same thing with horror or heartbreak, maybe even clever word play or just plain good writing – but in the end, it is primarily entertainment and we as writers are primarily entertainers.”

Almost Iowa, in the comments of “Why Do You Write?

A Starving Writing Muse

I’ve been on forced sabbatical lately, in case you didn’t know. I thought a break a wise decision, considering the recent birth/extraction of my newest male offspring.

It’s been harder than I thought.

To be honest, I’ve felt giddy every time I click all my e-mailed reader’s feed and DELETE them to oblivion. No, you don’t have to read those, I tell my over-stressed self. It’s comparable to ripping tags off pillows or eating chocolate in the closet.

To also be honest, I’ve really really missed reading what everyone writes. I miss writing what everyone reads. And, unforeseen by me, my inspirations/motivations/muse-ical thoughts have swirled counterclockwise in a porcelain bowl to the sewer.

I’ve also been finishing up my Pathways course on writing. I’ve had little difficulty with it, since I write all the time (and suspect that, alone, places my essays above the others when grading time comes around). However, last week saw me sitting at the proverbial empty screen, staring at the proverbial blinking cursor with the proverbial blank mind to match.

What has this taught me?

That’s right! -That I needed more chocolate, and music blasting in my headphones to block out distractions.

Besides those, I also need to keep writing. I need to keep reading.

Whenever I get hungry, I can tell how desperately I need food by the items I crave:

A healthy sandwich = Comin’ up on lunchtime
Frozen pizza = It is lunchtime
Granola bars and fruit snacks = Probably missed lunchtime
McDonald’s = Whoa, baby! Get that blood sugar up NOW!

The same could be true for my writing. In the absence of the wonderful community here, I’ve noticed I’m posting a lot more on Twofacebook -and we all know the caloric count of that shady place…

So, as I may, I’m going to pop in a bit more. Turns out my mental health needs it. Thanks for all the support in the meantime, especially those who’ve reached out via messages and e-mails. You’re the best; really.

 

—–

©2019 Chelsea Owens

I’m Having a Baby (I Think)

This last year has been the longest decade of my life. From injury to surgery to SURPRISE pregnancy to associated complications, I’ve wrestled with keeping some part of me afloat. The problem is, that part has not always been a useful one -like my face.

Yet as I draw ever nearer my scheduled surgery date, I must finally face the facts: I’m probably having a baby.

I know, I know; that sounds funny. Of course I’m having a baby. I’ve had appointments. I’m eating peppermint ice cream. There’s something moving down there that had better not be the oft-parodied Alien‘s clip. Professional people with professional equipment have seen a humanoid in my uterus.

20191029_093218

And, though you’ll NEVER see a picture of this, I’m about the size and weight of a hippopotamus. Still, I’ve been in a bit of denial. I’ve been ignoring the elephant in the womb in an effort to not accept the inevitable. But, facts are facts and this alien’s gonna be coming on December 2nd at 5:00 p.m.

Which leads to some other things I need to announce about life, the blog-o-verse, and my writing:

  1. Time
    Frankly, I won’t have any.
  2. Time
    Because of this, the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest will be on hold for the entire month of December. The last one of the year will run from November 16-22, 2019. The next will resume on January 4, 2020.
  3. Time
    I will not be writing on the blog, beginning on December 2nd. Oh -maybe I’ll drop a Wednesday Gripe or a Sunday Prompt, but I think taking a sabbatical would be healthiest for me and my spawn.
  4. Time
    I will also not be consistent in reading people’s blogs, though that’s been the case since about May. I love you all and will do my best.

My hope is you’ll stick around and deal with the adorable baby picture or two I’m liable to post. Thank you for your friendship, patience, and support.

—————-

And, here’s what I wrote this week:
Wednesday, November 6: Addressed my unhealthy lack of anticipation in “What do you hope for?

Thursday, November 7: Shared Heather Dawn‘s post, “I Met Depression… and I Won.”

Friday, November 8: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to The Abject Muse!

Saturday, November 9: Announced the 51st Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Christmas commercialism. PLEASE ENTER!

And, encouraged everyone to go vote for a finalist in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest.

Sunday, November 10: “Capture a Critter #1: Monkey Buffet Festival,” in response to Deb Whittam‘s prompt.

Monday, November 11: An ‘inspirational’ quote by Steve Martin.

Tuesday, November 12: “Since the Bombs Fell: Four,” the fourth in a series I intend to end at #6.

Wednesday, November 13: Today.

 

I also posted a poem at my motherhood site: “Towels, a poem.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Where, Oh Where Should My Blogging Go?

I feel lost.

Where once I had goals, dreams, aspirations, directions, and a body weight I could control; I now have exhaustion and confusion. The problem is with writing, with blogging.

Why did you start a blog? I began mine because a very good (talented, beautiful, intelligent) friend recommended I start one. I’d been trying to make TwofaceBook into a salon of sorts. I failed. People on social media want it to be a trash heap -but I digress.

I started writing a blog because I wanted to share my writing with others. I also wanted to complete a book, become world famous, and retire from housework forever.

After 2.5 years and little progress in the book-writing direction, I wonder if my followers have lost interest. I know I have. I imagine everyone’s thoughts:

What is she doing with this blog, anyway?

Why does she keep posting terrible poetry?

Is this a short story or a -oh. It’s yet another piece of that serial story thing. Just END it already!

Since no one’s been blunt enough to tell me these things, I’m taking the liberty of assuming their reactions.

In all seriousness, though, what should I do? I’ve finally finished Wilhelmina Winters. I prematurely ended the life of one my favorite serials because it was going the same, lengthy direction. I’m not certain anyone ever reads my mom blog. I think the bad poetry is hilarious.

I need a re-vamp, or I’m bound to drop the thing entirely. We’re talking a new writing schedule and different posts than what I’ve been doing.

If you have a minute, could you leave a comment about what you actually enjoy reading or would like me to write? I’m open to suggestions.

Thank you.

question-mark-1495858_1920

—————-

Here’s a brief run-down of what I wrote:
Wednesday, October 9: Asked about faves in “What’s Your Favorite Holiday? Why?

Thursday, October 10: Whipped up a (highly condensed) version of Stephen’s writing in “A Tribute to Stephen Black of Fractured Faith Blog.”

Friday, October 11: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Peregrine Arc!

Saturday, October 12: Announced the 47th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is to parody a nursery rhyme. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, October 13: Shared Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Contest, Susanna Leonard Hill’s Children’s Halloweensie Story Contest, and Aurora Jean Alexander’s Halloween Poetry Contest.

Monday, October 14: An inspirational quote by Someone who may have been Winston Churchill.

Tuesday, October 15: “Wilhelmina Winters, Number One Hundred Eight.” The End!!!

Wednesday, October 16: Today.

I also posted a little bit at my motherhood site. I wrote “The Merits of Yelling in the House,” “Top Ten Things to Never Tell a Pregnant Woman,” and “A Parents’ Bedtime Poem.”

 

Photo Credit: Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

“One of the first things we have to say to a beginner who has brought us his [manuscript] is, ‘Avoid all epithets which are merely emotional. It is no use telling us that something was “mysterious” or “loathsome” or “awe-inspiring” or “voluptuous”. Do you think your readers will believe you just because you say so? You must go quite a different way to work.

“‘By direct description, by metaphor and simile, by secretly evoking powerful associations, by offering the right stimuli to our nerves (in the right degree and the right order), and by the very beat and vowel-melody and length and brevity of your sentences, you must bring it about that we, we readers, not you, exclaim “how mysterious!” or “loathsome” or whatever it is.

“‘Let me taste for myself, and you’ll have no need to tell me how I should react to the flavour.'”

-C.S. Lewis, Studies in Words

A Thoughtful Poem

What have wishing words giv’n me
Besides a wand’ring mind
What have whirling words giv’n me
Besides the need to rhyme;

Would I sit; soliloquy
If I had never known
Would I stare; tranquility
Whilst others study phones;

Am I the higher, better one
To wander, rhyme, and muse
Am I the thoughtful, ‘lightened one
Or am I just amused?

Happy Second Blogiversary!

I’d like to interrupt everyone’s regularly-scheduled program to acknowledge my blog’s second birthday. It’s growing up so fast!

2 Years Blogging

Two years ago; I timidly typed, edited, edited, edited, edited, and edited my first blog post. The idea behind it came from a dream. I stressed so much about what people would think and how many awards I would garner from its publication…

I also set a goal to publish a blog post every day. To get myself going, I re-posted thoughts and stories I’d originally written for Facebook.

After a few months, I broke out and started swimming on my own. Everything I type is original and formed solely for the blog these days. If not, I note otherwise.

I’d like to thank Charli of Carrot Ranch, Geoff of TanGental, James of The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Mental Health Blog, Stephen and Fionnuala of Fractured Faith Blog, Nitin of Fighting the Dying Light, P’Arc of Peregrine Arc, and Frank of Frank Prem Poetry for giving me opportunities to share my writings to their sites. You helped me feel my creations might be valuable.

I would also be remiss in not acknowledging all of the friends and fellow writers I have made since beginning. You know who you are, especially since I know I’d miss specifically naming a few due to Pregnancy Brain. Thank you for e-mails, complimentary messages, sarcastic comments, and camaraderie.

And (unless I forgot anyone else), thank you to my real-life friends who actually read what I write and don’t shun me publicly. You’re the best.

Raw Poetry

Here I sit in front of a keyboard
and I type on that keyboard
with my fingers but maybe also my toes
that’s so I can eat my sandwich and french fry sauce without getting it in between the keys like last time
which was messy
and bad
sorry, mum

And yet I think I need to write with fingers or toes
or now my tongue
it’s clean
enough
I
think
And yet I think I need to write with whatever because of the need to write which is like an open mouth that needs to vomit
Oh

Maybe that was from the fry sauce.

alex-iby-731631-unsplash.jpg

Atrociously penned for the brilliant Anisha and her(?) Raw Poetry Contest.

 

Photo Credit:
Alex Iby

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens