What I’ve Been Writing Lately – August 2018

Blog activity on this website has been pretty non-existent for, oh, a year, but my fingers haven’t stopped running across the keyboard. My pen hasn’t stopped moving. I’ve been writing – and thinking about writing – more than ever.

It seems that all my waking moments are filled with either writing or reading. By 8:00 pm, I can hardly form real sentences anymore. It’s a problem I’m happy to have (though I wish Kyle could understand my 8:00 pm mumbo-jumbo language – I think he’s becoming more fluent).

This year has brought interesting writing opportunities I couldn’t have even planned for. As a result, I’ve become somewhat of an expert in the most unexpected of things, like flooring and children. Those two things were right there with football and Star Wars in my (lack of) expertise level only a year ago.

But as I learn more fun facts about these topics and real estate and the others I’m finding myself in, I get an opportunity to grow in my writing and content marketing skills. And that’s what it’s all about right now – learning the many roads of this field I love so much and discovering my path in it.

Here’s where my wheels have been turning along the way.

2018 in Writing

What I’ve been up to in the writing world lately…

I wrote a children’s book!

Honestly, I keep forgetting about this accomplishment. Likely because it wasn’t my idea or my project. My client Sam Corbett with SLHFsocial asked me to ghostwrite a children’s book for him (and I’m actually allowed to say that I wrote it! Not something that often happens with ghostwriting – thanks Sam!).

Sam is working on publishing Ivy and the Impossible Dream later this year, but he’s a little tied up with traveling the world and doing cool stuff. Stay tuned – I’ll share it once it’s out.

I wrote even more about children.

Last fall, I took a job in Phoenix at First Things First, a statewide agency that funds early childhood programs throughout Arizona. It truly was one of the best places to work, and the people I worked with inspired me with their commitment to the mission.

And they let me write some things.

My favorite piece was on using FaceTime with babies, since that is basically the only way Kyle and I communicate with our nephew. I loved being part of their editorial team, but I eventually left to…

Start writing about flooring!

Yes, I said flooring. And you know what? Writing about flooring is quite a hoot!

My new job at IncStores.com started as a freelancing gig last fall, but this summer they asked me to come on as a full-time content marketer. And it feels like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

The job is everything I loved about doing my freelance writing business, but now I have a lot more time, direction and focus for learning and implementing the marketing strategies. My focus is on writing blog posts, but this job allows me to explore more social media marketing, email marketing and influencer marketing, (not to mention, the many differences between horse stall mats and gym mats for home gym floors.)

It’s challenging and fun, and the best part is being part of a team of inspiring and empowering women.

Editing is keeping me busy…and feeding my craft coffee addiction.

Earlier this year I started doing editing work for a San Diego-based non-profit organization called Kids Included Together (KIT). What I thought was going to be a two-month freelancing gig has turned into a pretty steady part-time job, all done from the comfort of my apartment. It’s really the most ideal side job for this word nerd.

Along with feeding my need for variety, the editing work is feeding my craft coffee addiction… in multiple ways – 1) supplying the funds for wildly expensive coffee that is worth every penny, 2) giving me a reason to drink coffee after work, and 3) frequently landing me at new coffee shops to do my editing work. Win, win, and win!

Essay writing is my therapy.

My personal writing is making a comeback in the mix of all the client work. Even though I sometimes refer to creative writing as my fun writing, it is no walk in the park. It’s as emotionally challenging as it is mentally.

Last year I got the idea to write an essay collection about lessons learned in my 20s, and with the big “3-0” looming in on me, I feel a big clock smacking its ticker louder and louder with each day.

But essay writing is kicking my butt. Working through some of the issues from this zoo of a decade is hard to do on the page. When you open those wounds and pour your heart out, locked-up memories seep into your everyday life and try to take you back to that time. Sometimes it’s a nice escape, but most of the time it’s a dark hole of past shame and guilt. Such is therapy, I suppose. It gets tougher before it gets better.

Writer tip: I benefitted from taking an Essay Boot Camp course over the summer with Windy Lynn Harris (a fellow Phoenician writer) and Lisa Fugard. Highly recommend for writers of short prose!

Stay tuned…

Coming up next on the blog, I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been reading lately. Trust me, it’s good stuff!

what i'm writing lately - michelle chalkey website

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  1. Michelle, I’m so glad you’re still writing! I am going to start blogging, so can’t wait to get your expert advice! My first book is out now! I promise to catch up with you later in the week.

    1. Hi Erin, I’m so excited for you to start blogging! It’s so fun, and it will be great for your author platform! Your website looks so nice by the way. Let me know if you have any questions, I love talking blogging. Congrats again on the book! I’m going to go grab it, woohoo!

  2. Michelle, this is so awesome. I’m so happy for you. What an amazing experience. Keep pursuing your dream.

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