Heather Arundel

The Diva of Darkness

Salton Sea Sunset Photo by Ron Niebrugge

Salton Sea Sunset Photo by Ron Niebrugge
The Beauty of Hell...

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - also known as my personal life motto!

All Human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Who I am...

I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a survivor.
My family has made me who I am...my past family with past hurts...my current family with current joy.
Family is something you are born into and cannot choose,
family is also what you choose it to be once you are old enough to start anew...


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Worrywart, Type-A, Perfectionist Freak Reporting for Duty

I'm posting this on Tuesday, but it goes with my membership into the "Insecure Writer's Support Group" for the first Wednesday of each month...said schedule discussed below will begin NEXT week on Sunday, January 8, 2012. 

I'm a bit overwhelmed with my life, but that really isn't something new.  I am a drama queen, I know it.  I worry and fret over everything and often do not feel normal unless I have something to worry and fret over.  Having kids was a great remedy to this ailment, it fulfills my needs oh-so-nicely!

Well, in addition to being a worrywart, I am a "type-A perfectionist freak"; often, perfection is not perfect enough for me.  I know this about myself, and I struggle to apply it only to ridiculous expectations of myself; and NOT put my crazy shit on my children.  Sometimes I fail, and then I have something else to worry and fret over.  Ugh, it really is a never ending cycle.

Last but not least, I come from a dark and brooding place.  In that I mean that my life has been full of shit you only read about in books; but it has all happened to me and it affects me in deep and profound ways.  Typically, it comes out and rears its ugly head in the manner in which I view people and situations.  I see EVERYTHING as twisted, the shit I say and how I read people and situations; well, let's just say my husband is always there to help me out in this department.

Now, having prefaced this post with all of that honesty and other crap ;), I have to tell you - I MAKE BLOGGING SO HARD!

(INSERT VIOLINS PLAYING HERE) I never have time to do anything!  I never have time to read anything!  I got up at 4:15am PST this morning (1) because the baby isn't sleeping AGAIN and he basically kicked me out of bed with his fitful tossing and turning, and (2) because as I was lying there, NOT sleeping, I thought "Dear God! I have SO many of my favorite blogs to read and I never have time and I have to post something and I think all of my readers hate me cause I'm so behind and blah...blah...blah".

Yes, this is the shit that consumes my brain.

Here is the kicker...

I received a phone call from a person, completely out of the blue, a person from my past; but someone who I totally respect and have always looked up to - and that person was calling to tell me to keep blogging and that I'm a great writer!  And it made me feel guilty.

Guilty?  Yes, because I let EVERYTHING (kids, husband, in-laws, friends, food, water, air...you get the picture, right?) be an excuse NOT to write, NOT to blog, NOT to read my favorite blogs.  Why do I do this? Ugh, I disgust myself.

I tried to develop a schedule a while ago, but that shit didn't work out.  So let's see if I can manage this one:
WIP Wednesdays - just like it reads, whatever I'm working on - an excerpt goes here.
Freak Out Fridays - this will be where I tell you all the crazy shit I'm freaking out about! ;)  It could be writing related, kid related, husband related, politically related...well, really, ANY DAMN THING related.
Confession Sundays - I'm not Catholic, but I like posting something personal now and then - so this is where I'll do it!

On the days that I'm not posting on my blog, I'll be reading yours!  And if you have a great post that you are especially proud of, you can always send me a Tweet! @HeatherArundel  If I'm not following you yet, I'll get there; but feel free to send me a reminder - I'm new to Twitter and just trying to get my footing.

Ok, we'll see if I can stick to this schedule, I'm putting it on my calendar; so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed!

Last but certainly not least, my goal is to reach 500 readers by the end of 2012, that is my 2012 resolution.  Any comments or suggestions on how to do this would be greatly appreciated; and feel free to take a moment to tell me how crazy I am - I never hear that enough! :p


  1. I know from experience that all artists are crazy, and writers are no exception. Bringing ideas to life through words is nuts, and if we could give this up many of us would consider doing so. I'm confident you will find balance in your life because you're too good of a writer to give it up. I suspect it's an intrinsic part of you. I can tell you from experience that children grow up and move on, but your creative muse, while she might hide from you occasionally, will never abandon you.

  2. To get lots of people that know about you, I suggest doing blog hops like the A to Z challenge coming up in April. These people will visit your blog once and then never come back again. To reconnect, you have to visit them and comment over and over until you have a relationship going. That's basically how blogging works.

    The only other way to blog is to simply be famous and expect people to come to you.

    That doesn't work out if you are not already famous.

    Or alternately, to have something that other people are jealous of. For example, if you have a big literary agent...not just a regular one, then you can essentially ignore everyone in the blogosphere and you will have some readers.

    However, if you declare that you are a literary agent and open to submissions...then you well never ever have to visit anyone...can spew whatever crap you want about writing online, and you will have 1000 followers in less than a month.

    Again...that's how blogging seems to work.

    What you need to do since you don't fit into any of these molds, is to find out why you want to reach 500 readers? Why Heather? Is it to meet more people? Is it because you enjoy networking with others? Because a platform does not equate to getting an agent nor does it equate to getting a book deal. Not at least from what I've seen.

    So ask yourself why and if the reason is, "I want 500 followers because I just legitimately enjoy blogging..." then that's what you need to do...go out and blog.

    I hope that helps.

  3. Well, Heather...You've got a pretty good schedule idea there. I'm sure you can make it work despite things that are going on, not going on but should be going on so you have a source for worrying.

    That aside, I wish you the best of luck on getting to 500 followers. I have no secret formula for it. Still below 200 followers myself, and just happy with having whatever number I have. I've found that participating in blogfests, blog hops and giveaways can be helpful, but it's also helpful to comment on various blogs. Some, not all, bloggers like to follow back on comments. Just enjoy the blogging experience and let things flow.

  4. I take it the Friday freak out came early?
    What Michael said - why are you blogging? You don't need a platform to land a publisher or agent. I wasn't even online when I signed the contract with my publisher, although I was told to get my butt online right away.
    Connecting with others does take effort, but it doesn't take five hundred followers. I made some of the best connections when I was between fifty and two hundred. You're in a good spot now because you have no pressure.
    And while you will have people visit only once during the A to Z Challenge, you will gain a lot of new friends. Trust me! It's not about the numbers or the hits - it's about those we connect with. Even just a handful of really good friends means more than anything in the world.

  5. Here's what I think:

    If writing is a chore, why do you do it? Alex and Michael bring up why you want 500 followers and why you blog, but you should step back even further and try to prioritize. Especially with a new baby, you might find your schedule up in the air and lots of reorganizing of things you love. When our twins were born, one of the things that went to the wayside (sadly for me) was exercising, which I'm only getting back to. Another was "sports." I used to watch more football than I do now, and liked it, but now I do other things and am more selective about that.

    Writing is something I like a lot, and I carve out time to do it -- but I rank it below my job and my family, so I push back other things, like "reading" and "watching TV" to make time to write.

    I guess what I'm getting at is: don't beat yourself up if you have higher priorities than writing, IF you're writing for fun and enjoyment; if that's the case, then write when you feel like it and do other stuff when you feel like it.

    If you're trying to make a career out of it, on the other hand, then your schedule maybe makes more sense. I've found when I schedule posts that I don't like it -- that's why Grumpy Bulldog always makes fun of me not finishing up series of posts -- so I rarely schedule them anymore.

    As for what Michael says about blogging, he's right. Only a few blogs get tons of readers and comments and generate much in the way of publicity or money, but yours could be one of those. What you need is not followers per se but interesting content. Blogs like "Hyperbole and a Half" generate lots of traffic and comments, and I can see why: that blog is excellent.

    What you probably want more is dedicated readers, people who will check out your blog on a regular basis and talk it up. You get those through good content, and through Michael Offutt mentioning your blog.

    Also: this is my thing: If you read a blog, leave a comment, even if it's only "I read this." I get 1000-3000 hits per month, and like THREE comments. So I don't know if people READ it, or just happened across it.

    Anyway, I'm blathering. Don't EVER take advice from me because if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't be giving away advice for free on the Internet. I like your blog and look forward to reading more of it.

    And you were named a Smart Cookie:


  6. I'm adding my voice in saying "Keep blogging!" It takes a lot of my time too. I only have a few hours a day to myself to do all my writing stuff and anything else I need to do while my son is napping. It's never enough. Yet I keep coming back reading blogs of people like you. You encourage me to keep going. So this is my return cheer!

  7. Heather, Heather, Heather...


    You post enough. Really. (It's more than you used to, so pat yourself on the back for getting this far.)

    And if I'm stressing you out, tell me! I promise to back off.

    As for scheduling, you've seen mine, right? I have a schedule. Something meant for every day. But I don't post every day. I don't intend to. Sometimes I get busy. And that's okay.

    As for The Creature, Mom found something new to try. Maybe this one will work (fingers crossed).

  8. I will open by saying that I really enjoyed this post. I can relate to alot of what you spoke of because I have been down that road. I have tried the scheduling of posts. I have pulled my hair out many times because of the fact that I felt I wasn't good enough as a writer/blogger or felt as if I had let everyone down by not posting enough. You have to relax. Right what you enjoy writing about and don't stress so much. I do not know how to tell you to get 500 followers but you are now one more closer since I have now become a foller. Good luck.

  9. Hi Heather nice to meet you. Your post was interesting. The comments are incredible. Do you see the friends you have. It'snot about quantity, it's about quality girl. Like Liz said CHILL. You're doing' fine. Baby steps is what it takes. Hey, I'll be back.

  10. I totally just went through this a few months ago. Here's what I figured out - when I let myself be happy first, everything starts to fall into place. Look forward to keeping in touch - new follower :)

  11. I have perfectionist tendencies, too, which can get in my way. Maybe just make a goal to move forward? Just finding momentum can be enough. Nice meeting you. :)

  12. Heather, don't be so hard on yourself. When my kids were babies it was all I could do to get dressed, never mind anything else. Never forget, this is supposed to be fun :-)

  13. As a mommy, you have to put the kids first. But you also have to find the line where you feel like they are taken care of enough and it's time for you. It works for me to write while my babes is at preschool. It's hard to write when the dishes and laundry are beckoning, but you have to turn your back to it and write - the other stuff will never go away.

    I have no idea what to do about getting more followers except to reach out to other bloggers and leave comments and follow them. The A-Z challenge is good as is this group. I love Michael's idea to pretend to be an agent. :)