Brandyn Blaze

Life Between The Scenes

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 8)

Confessions Of A Sh***y Wife

Every now and then, I get the feeling that I’m not so great at this whole being a wife thing.

The other day, I decided to write something to articulate these thoughts and I realized that they usually arise from stress.  We ladies have a tendency to get down on ourselves and feel as though we don’t do enough.

Originally, this is a piece I wrote just for my husband and I. As I reread it, I realized that it was something a lot of women I know could relate to. With that in mind, here’s my confession.

confessions of a shitty wife, marriage

Photo via VisualHunt.com

Today, you came home from work at 4 o’clock, like you always do. You told our daughter to get dressed and come outside with you, and asked me to join you. I rolled my eyes and told you I had things to do.

“Sorry, I just wanted to spend time with my family,” you said.

I sighed as guilt overtook me, then threw on my hoodie and followed you out.

As we sat around the fire pit,  I watched you interact with our child and our dog, and I smiled. We wouldn’t have a wonderful backyard oasis if it wasn’t for your hard work and sacrifice. We wouldn’t have a family full of love. Our child wouldn’t have an amazing dad. I wouldn’t have the freedom to go after my dreams.

Cue more guilt.

The thing is, I don’t do affection well. I’ve always been a solitary individual, and letting others into my space is hard. While I try to make it a point to tell you I love you and show you I care, I often prefer to do my own thing.

I’m not good at flowery language, unless I’m putting the pen to paper. Hell, I can barely manage to give more than a requisite “that’s great!” or “that’s too bad!” most of the time.

Instead, I show my love for you through the things I do.  The meals I cook, the hours of cleaning, the managing of the funds, are all ways I show I care. Every time I nag you to take your vitamin or schedule an appointment for you, I’m thinking of how much I you mean to me.

Still, I know I could do more. Say more. Show more.

At the end of the day, I’m exhausted. I know you are, too.

It’s not an excuse, but by the time you get home I’ve given so much of myself to so many people that I have nothing left for you.

I give myself to the friend who’s marriage is going through a rough patch. To the sister in law who’s in the throws of her first pregnancy and needs advice. To the other sister in law who needs an ear to bend. To the best friend who is at the end of her rope. To my mother, your mother, and whoever else sees fit to give me a call.

I give myself to our daughter, who is still so very small. I provide three meals, god-knows-how-many snacks, and more drinks than I can count. I help her with her clothes, her bath, and the occasional trip to the bathroom. I give out snuggles and kisses like they were going out of style. I assess boo-boos and read stories and do my best to keep her happy.

I give myself to my work, churning out pages upon pages of text in a day. I spend hours, answering emails, responding to messages, and promoting my work online. Even more time is spent brainstorming new ways to make this dream of mine a reality.

I spread myself thin. Too thin. In the midst of it all, I don’t even take the time to properly care for myself, let alone give you all you need.

I know I’m a wreck. I know I bombard you with to-do lists, fears, and a flood of complaints and less than crucial information the second you walk in the door.

I know it’s not fair. To either of us.

I just want you to know I see you. I see all you do. And I appreciate it all. I want you to know that I’m trying. That one day I’ll find that balance. As I work towards simplifying our life and our budget and our time, I’m also working to make you more of a priority. To make us a priority.

Until then, remember those piles of folded laundry, the food on the table, and hot coffee I bring you each morning are the best way I know to tell you how much you mean to me.

I love you.

 

It All Starts With A Dream

Every now and then I spend an entire day lost in a daydream. Quite often, I’m dreaming of the future. What kind of life do I want? What kind of person do I want to be?

I’ve long studied the Law of Attraction, which states that in order to achieve your dreams you must visualize them in the present tense. You must feel in your mind that they are already a reality so that your mind opens up to new pathways to your goal.

imagination is everything albert einstein law of attraction make dreams a reality charity

My dreams are fairly simple. I just want my family to never worry about how to pay our bills or put food on the table, and maybe go on a vacation every now and then.

I dream of buying a secluded piece of land and building an earth bag home. Our power will be solar. A good portion of our water will come from the sky. Our pool will be self-sustaining. We’ll grow our own food.

I dream of owning a record shop with a snack bar, where all the local kids come and hang out. I can be an awesome mentor for kids who otherwise lack parental direction. I’d encourage the youth to create their own clubs and support groups and use the space to better themselves.

I dream of owning a bar and grill that serves great food and provides a venue for local bands, comedians, and other performers to showcase their art.

I dream of running a charity that works to foster a sense of community and give others the resources and information to turn their lives around. We would offer various classes and seminars, which would be “paid” for via donations or volunteer hours. You could even volunteer to teach a class! We would provide clothing, food, and other items to those in need, and offer  cash assistance for things like rent, bills, or other necessities. We would help connect people to other services if their needs are beyond our scope.There would be counselors and life coaches available to help people establish a strategy to break the cycle of poverty. Maybe we’d even have a shelter for those in direct need of a safe haven.

Of course, I’ve dreamed about what it would be like to become famous for my writing or my music or what have you. I’ve fantasized about what it would be like to suddenly have large sums of cash. What would I do if I had so much money that I never had to think twice about it for the rest of my life?

I’ve thought about it extensively, and quite honestly, I can’t imagine why anyone would ever need so much money. You need a roof over your head and food in your belly. Damn near everything else is just frivolous.

take what you need, use all you take, give what you can. It all starts with a dream

I would still build my sustainable family farm. Most of my purchases would still be second hand. I would set aside a small amount for my child(ren) to go to school, but I would still expect them to contribute to the funds as well. I’d set aside a modest emergency fund and a retirement fund. Some of my money would be given to friends and family to help them get ahead. I’d start my businesses and make sure my employees were paid enough to support themselves and their families. I would start the charity mentioned above.

The rest?

It would go into helping people who are homeless or in direct threat of homelessness. I would work on an individual basis and find out what they need to create a stable life. Perhaps that would mean paying for rehab or education (or both). It could mean helping them find a job, or paying for medical bills. Maybe it would mean paying a year of rent in advance and setting them up a stipend to take care of bills and food until they are back on their feet.

I would do what I could with my funds to help others. If I had the fame to go with it, I would use my position to prove to others that you can still live well on a lesser amount of money while directly contributing to the betterment of society.

Of course, helping others doesn’t have to wait until you have obscene amounts of cash. Anything you can give of yourself is a step in the right direction.

This year one of my goals is to step up my game and give more. I’ve always donated clothes and other items to local charities, and helped those around me when I can. Still,  I would like to do more.

That is my dream. To live simply, and do what I can to ensure others can simply live.

What’s your dream? Tell us about it in the comments below!

 

 

How To Write A Terrible Blog Post In 20 Easy Steps!

So, you’ve decided that you want to run an experiment and create the world’s worst blog, but you keep coming up with quality content. “How can I write the worst possible blog post ever?” you ask, peering over your stylish spectacles whilst scratching your head.

Perhaps you write for a living and have decided you want to get yourself fired.

Or, maybe you’re just kind of a flake and missed your self-imposed deadline and feel pressured to write something–anything–ASAP. It’s okay, I won’t judge you.

Whatever the reason, your quest for suckitude has brought you here. Rest assured that by the time you finish this article you will be armed with the knowledge you need to go forth and write…terribly.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, terrible blogging is the result of hard work. It’s much more than covering the basics (poor grammar, spelling errors, or WRITING IN ALL CAPS), it’s a sophisticated sequence of events, a carefully choreographed dance, if you will.

Follow these steps in order. Do not attempt to switch them around, as doing so may result in accidentally writing something of value.

 

write a terrible blog post in 20 easy steps

 

  1. Spend nearly a full day writing a post you think is actually good. Put it away and have a glass of wine to celebrate, all you have to do is post it the next day!
  2. Re-read the post you wrote yesterday. Decide it needs more work.
  3. Check out some of your favorite blogs. Realize that someone else has recently written something very similar to what you planned to post next. Decide to put it away, fearing a case of accidental plagiarism.
  4. Decide that maybe the posts aren’t really that similar. You’ll just rewrite it to include a link to their post, just in case.
  5. Open the draft and stare at it for 5 full minutes. Feel that knot in your stomach? Congratulations! That’s doubt you feel and it’s a sign that you are well on your way to writing a terrible blog post. Keep up the good work!
  6. Grab a sheet of paper and start brainstorming ideas for a new article. Just write down whatever comes to mind, don’t worry about whether the idea is good or not.
  7. Hear your toddler crying in the next room. Vow to come back to the desk as soon as you find out what her problem is.
  8. Return to your desk approximately 4 hours later, once your child has finally decided to take a nap.
  9. Waste an hour or so researching ways to increase traffic to your blog.

    computer, blog tips, funny

    Or take notes on Youtube videos, I guess?

  10. Waste another 2 hours or so adding your blog to various directories and social sharing networks that may or may not bring you any clicks.
  11. Remember that you haven’t checked Facebook for a while. Waste another half-hour “Liking” everyone’s posts.
  12. Realize that you still haven’t made dinner and that your family likes food.
  13. Come back to your computer and spot the sheet of paper where you began brain-storming ideas.
  14. Realize you hate all of them.
  15. Open a new document and begin free-writing.
  16. Re-read what you’ve wrote, shrug, and say “Good enough.”
  17. Post it to your blog.
  18. Don’t forget to share it on all your social media sites!
  19. Have a glass of wine.
  20. Promise yourself that your next post will be better.
And there you have it. With the proper mix of determination and procrastination, you too can write a worthless blog post!

 

Things Every Writer Wishes You Knew

A while back, I gave you a list of ways to support the creative people in your life. Today, I’d like to expand on the most important aspect of support: understanding. Specifically, understanding the writer in your life.

Writers are a unique bunch. We’re the people who can stare off in silence for hours, lost in thought as we dream about knew plot lines or ponder human nature. We get excited over fresh notebooks and the possibilities they represent. We have a thing about how certain pens flow while writing. We buy books faster than we can read them, and can never have too many.

But these are all things I’m sure you knew.

Let’s dive a little deeper and look at some things writers wish you knew about not only our personalities, but the work we do.

what writers wish you knew

 

We need space. Writers are thinkers. We need time alone to reflect and ponder, and dream. We need to be free to explore our thoughts well before putting them on paper.  Likewise, writing in and of itself is a solitary activity. Whether it’s an office, a bedroom, or a certain place at the table, if the writer is in their writing space, leave them be!

While we’re on the subject…

Interruptions can be the kiss of death. Nothing is more frustrating than being on a roll and suddenly having those perfect words in your head replaced by the rambling of someone else before you can get them on paper.

Creativity is not a faucet that can be turned on and off at will. There’s a specific mood, a vibe that must be present in order to create. Not to say this feeling can’t be cultivated, but, much like making love, if you don’t do it when the mood strikes, you’re liable to lose it all together.

You will probably end up in a book.  Writers are observant people. We study the human condition. Everything we see, hear, do, and feel gets filed away to become fuel for future characters and story lines. That said, it’s fiction. A character may have something in common with you. It doesn’t always mean it is how we view you.

It’s harder than it looks. On one hand, writing is as simple as dreaming something up and putting it on paper. The simplicity of the act leads many to believe that it’s something anyone can do. However, there is a lot more that comes with it.

It’s still work, even when our office looks like this.

It’s hours of plotting out your story, deciding what events occur to move the tale along, developing your characters’ personalities and growth, creating a certain feel and vib for your readers, and then finding just the right wording to bring it all to life. It’s realizing a scene you’ve spent time and energy on doesn’t work and deleting it all. It’s having the strength to stand behind a silly fantasy and present it to the world with the hopes that it resonates with someone else.

This is especially true if you’re self-publishing. Everything from editing and proofreading to cover design to promotion all falls on you.

Not doing it feels like torture. I firmly believe that no one chooses to be a writer. Writing chooses you. I don’t know that there is a way to accurately describe the gnawing urge to sit down and allow a story to pour out of you, but can tell you that it is quite an uncomfortable thing to sit with when there’s no relief in sight. While getting paid to write is a dream, most of us see that as an added benefit to doing something we would continue to do for free anyway. We couldn’t stop if we tried!

Sometimes doing it feels like torture!  I’ve already mentioned how much work goes into creating a story, so I won’t get into how tedious and draining that can be, or how frustrating it can be when you can’t get a scene to come out right. The thing I want to point out is that writing is an emotional experience.

For many of us, there is a familiar cycle that starts with loving what you have written, followed by hating every word and idea you’ve managed to put down. You kind of alternate between the two until it’s finally finished, then continue to feel a bit of pride tempered with thoughts of “I should have done ______ instead”.

As you can imagine, that aspect of it can get a bit maddening. Add on bouts of writer’s block, and it can pile up!

It takes time and money to succeed. While an established writer with a traditional publishing deal may have the advantage of marketing deals and press coverage, those things still have to be paid for. Additionally, a traditional deal doesn’t always equate to bigger sales.

A lot of times our income looks like this.

For those of us who are independently published, we have two options. We can hire people to do the leg work for us, or we can put in the time ourselves. Either way, this results in spending money. Computers, photographers, cameras and photo editing software if you’re doing the images yourself, ad campaigns, copies of your book to sell or give away as promotions, hosting for your website, all of these things add up.

A fun fact, even getting people to see the things you post to Facebook can cost money! With the way the Facebook algorithm is set, your posts will not be shown to everyone who follows you. If you want to reach a wider audience, you’re going to have to pay to promote it.

With so many writers and other artists vying for attention across social media, you have to work to stand out. You have to be consistent and engaging to grow and maintain your following, which is time consuming.

Speaking of promotion…

We rely on word of mouth. People don’t buy a product they don’t know exists. Our success is contingent on our fans spreading the word to other people who may be interested in our work. In today’s world, this can be expanded to include mentions on social media and reviews on product listings or sites like Goodreads. It’s just the nature of the beast.

We don’t want blind praise. As much as we want to hear that you love our work and want you to share it with others, we don’t want our family and friends to be a sea of yes-men. Honest feedback is important if we are going to grow and improve at our craft.

We also don’t want you to feel obligated to read what we’ve written. It’s totally fine to decline, as long as you’re not rude about it. If it’s not for you, just say that up front. You can still be supportive in other ways, so don’t feel bad!

We know we’re weird, and we’re fine with that. Really. There’s no reason to remind us. In fact, we embrace all the things that make us oddballs and hope you can learn to do the same. It’s all those differences that make the world such a wonderfully vibrant place, after all!

And there you have it. Now that you understand your the writer in your life a bit more, put your new knowledge to use. Give your creative friend a hug, spread the word about their work, and respect the boundaries and idiosyncrasies that shape their world.

If you yourself are a writer and have something to add to this list, be sure to add it in the comments below!

 

 

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