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The Menopause Effect – It’s Real by Kitty Bucholtz

October 9, 2023 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , ,

This year has been <insert adjective here> for me! Which adjective to insert seems to depend upon both the hormones, or lack thereof, coursing through my body and how I’m managing my mindset during this phase of life. Some of the things I’ve said about the year include horrible, difficult, super tough, disastrous, a waste — all variations of “hard” but with a lot more emphasis and/or emotion coming through with some of them.

However, some of the other adjectives I’ve occasionally inserted have included a learning experience, eye-opening, difficult but with lessons I want to share with others. (Okay, not simple adjectives, but you get the picture.)

I’ve gone from being seriously pissed off at everyone, hating life, wishing it all away, and being seriously depressed to getting some hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patches and finding my real self again! (I feel between 90% and 99.9% better most days.) I think my husband wants to give my doctor a Christmas present this year! Haha! Life was tough on him, too.

Now, I was raised in a time and place when women’s health, particularly reproductive health, was never discussed “in polite company,” meaning only to a doctor in the most dire cases. My mother didn’t say much more than she had to, and although as a teenager I knew all the angst was caused by hormones and it would eventually even out and go away, no one told me I’d have to go through it all over again!!

Even though I spent the first 50 years of my life allowing myself to be too embarrassed to ask any more questions than necessary, the next few years got increasingly difficult and confusing and I needed help. I finally talked about some of it to a friend, and then starting Googling anything I could find on this transition. The results were dismal, mostly articles by white, middle-aged, male, American doctors saying, yup, these are the symptoms but there’s nothing you can do about except wait it out, and don’t worry, it’ll go away in five to ten years. This is where I remember my always-near-the-surface rage hitting new heights.

When I spoke to a writers group a few months ago on a writing topic, but happened to mention the effects of peri menopause on my writing, I found that most of the comments in the chat were variations of “Thank you so much for talking about menopause!”

Shocker! Shocking enough for me to choose to get over being embarrassed!!

So here I am, along with a few friends, talking about menopause and hormones and all the crap that goes along with it…but also all the things we’re trying and what we’re each finding makes a positive difference. We’re recording our conversations and putting them on my YouTube channel. Here’s the first one. Please let me know in the comments here or, preferably, on YouTube if this is helpful and what else you want to talk about. Right now the calls are being recorded at 6:30am ET, 12:30pm CET, and 9:30 or 10:30pm in Sydney depending on when you read this and whether everyone has gone through the Daylight Savings Time changes. If you want to be on one of the live calls, let me know. We might be able to change the time at least sometimes. Meanwhile, I hope it helps and encourages you and the people around you. We’re not alone! 🙂

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TMI? I Don’t Think So by Kitty Bucholtz

June 9, 2021 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

I’m always teasing my husband that I’d be Dr. Kitty at least once by now if I could go to school as much as I want…which is almost always. Hahaha! I love learning! I know the Internet is full of information — too much information to not get sucked into procrastination mode if you’re not careful — but focused learning is important. It’s good for your brain, and it’s good for your career.

There have been so many great topics on my podcast in the last month that I wanted to let you know so you don’t miss something that could be really helpful for you! As much as I’d love for you to subscribe and listen to every episode (!), be careful not to use “learning” as a way not to act, whether it’s writing or editing or submitting or marketing or any of the many other things we writers must do with our time. But in case you missed something that could help you where you’re at right now, here are links on YouTube to the latest episodes. You can also find them on your favorite podcast app or on the Episodes page of my website.

Episode 247 is an interview with agent Cynthia Ruchti, Are You Ready for a Literary Agent?

Episode 248 is from me asking the question, What Will It Take to Finish Your Book?

Episode 249 is a great discussion between me and writing coach, Ann Kroeker, about How to Find the Right Coach.

Episode 250 (woohoo!! 250 episodes!!) is an interview with author Jody Hedlund on Building Book Buzz.

Episode 251 is one of my Encouraging Words episodes, 5 minutes of encouragement to relax and say, This Isn’t Working For Me, when you feel things are going in a direction you’re not comfortable with.

And tomorrow’s episode, #252, will be super interesting in terms of the mind-body connection when I talk with autistic biohacker Jackie McMillan, Are Creativity and Lymphatic Movement Linked?

If you’re interested in learning more about what I do as a writing coach, you can visit the coaching page on my website, https://www.writenowworkshop.com/writingcoach/. Feel free to reach out with any questions. I love to help! And if you’re thinking of self-publishing, download my free Self-Publish Your Book Checklist, a fillable PDF that will help you organize all the information you need in order to self-publish your book.

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emaginings: Social Media, the Brain and Creativity

September 16, 2013 by in category The Romance Journey by Linda Mclaughlin tagged as , , , , ,

Yesterday’s meeting was informative and lots of fun. I missed Melissa Cutler’s morning workshop on “Making Grammar \work for your Voice” to attend PAW, but heard good things about it afterwards. 

Afternoon speaker Catherine Bybee joined us in PAW for a spirited discussion of publishing and social media. One thing she said struck me as problematic, for me. She said we should share about our lives at Facebook as a way to engage readers. But my life is so boring. Debra Holland told me later that was my choice, and she’s right. I prefer drama in my books, not my house, so living a quiet life is just fine with me. But it doesn’t make for fun anecdotes on Facebook & Twitter, like the ones I see about people’s kids and pets. So it’s my challenge to find a way to be interesting on social media. 
I’ll get the chance soon.I’ve joined a group of ten indie authors to publish a boxed set of our works and we’re going to do a launch party at Facebook. So I can report on that next month. 
In the meantime, I have signed up for Susan and Harry Squires online workshop on “Talking Back to Your Brain”. Now, I have zero time for a class, but this sounds like a good opportunity to get my head straight about some things.Plus I know the class will be great because I’ve taken classes from Susan and Harry before. But keeping up will be another challenge. I do hope it will help me to focus better. As you can see from this post, I’m feeling just a little scattered.
Speaking of the brain, I read a fascinating article recently at the Buffer blog on Why We’re More Creative When We’re Tired and 9 Other Surprising Facts About How Our Brains Work by Belle Beth Cooper. Several of these facts are useful to writers, including the fact that no one can really multitask. Our brains aren’t doing two things at once. Rather, the brain is jumping from one task to another at the fastest possible speed. Not the most efficient way to work. 
I had begun to figure that out for myself, but the internet makes multitasking so appealing. I can open multiple tabs in my browser and jump from one to the other. I start with my email, then, oh, here’s an interesting blog post, and there’s something good to tweet, so I open Twitter, or more likely Buffer, and pretty soon I’ve got seven tabs open to different websites. Yikes. I do close the internet before I start writing. I may be dumb but I’m not that dumb. I do make plenty of mistakes, though.
Which brings up another surprising fact. People who make mistakes are better liked. Maybe that’s why everyone is so fascinated when an icon falls. Hah, she wasn’t so perfect, after all.
Naps help us remember better and meditation can rewire the brain for less anxiety and more creativity. I plan to take more naps, as best I can since I’m a night owl who has enough trouble sleeping at night, much less during the day. And meditation needs to be squeezed in more frequently. If only there were a way to add more time to the day. Oh, wait, there’s something in there about a way to trick our brains into thinking time is going more slowly. That’s a little too much for me to process, but this is a very interesting article.
For those of you not familiar with Buffer, it’s an online and smart phone/table app that helps you to schedule social media postings throughout the day. I can access it from my computer or the iPad. It’s like TweetDeck and HootSuite in that regard, but Buffer doesn’t try to manage you account. Just helps you buffer, i.e., schedule postings throughout the day. It’s very simple to use and the Twitter analytics are helpful. The basic level is free, but someday I may “Go Awesome” and upgrade to the $10 a month plan. They also have an awesome blog with lots of informative and helpful articles.
(Note: No one at Buffer is paying me for this endorsement. I’m just seriously impressed by this app. FWIW, I have not tried TweetDeck or HootSuite, so cannot make a fair comparison.)
Do you use a program to manage your social media platforms? What do you recommend?
My social media contacts:
Twitter: @LyndiLamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont
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