Updates and Oversharing

on September 20, 2013 in News & Updates
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As you might remember, All Freelance Writing was supposed to be nonexistent at this point. It was scheduled to be merged with two other sites and relaunched as AllIndieWriters.com back in July. Clearly July has passed, and this site is still here. I've been MIA for several months. And I'm ready to share a few updates on what's happening and what the new plan is for the relaunch.

Things have been crazy in my life to say the least. I recently took about two and a half months off of work. This was an unplanned leave right in the middle of developing the new site. Why would I do this?

  • My stress levels were through the roof.
  • I was going through another health-related issue.
  • My husband and I have decided to move, and most of my time went into the house.

We've had a stressful time of it ever since moving into our current place (just under two years ago). There were neighborhood issues that often made it difficult. I was dealing with a huge hacking attempt on this site (no worries; they never got access, they just caused the server to get a bit sluggish for a while). My husband started a new job this year with a long commute (around 2.5 hours each day) which has led to some scheduling-related tension on both of our parts. And I was going through more health complications leading to our second early pregnancy loss this year.

The stress was getting to be too much, so we decided it would be best to leave and hopefully start fresh somewhere else. After all the work to get our house ready to go on the market, we were incredibly unhappy with our agent. That pushed the stress levels to the point of overload. And to top it off there were a few days when I was worried sick about my youngest brother who was in a bad motorcycle wreck when someone cut him off . It was just one thing after another for weeks.

That's the bad news. The good news is that things are finally looking up.

  • The neighborhood situation has settled down significantly.
  • We were supposed to testify in court (along with some other neighbors) against someone (more stress). The officer prosecuting agreed to let me step aside due to the miscarriage happening at the time so I could avoid further related stress. That was a relief. My husband decided not to testify either, taking it easy on the other individual involved, and he said he was assured there wouldn't be further problems. So far, so good. Things have been much better at home for the last couple of months.
  • My brother's going to be fine. His helmet probably saved his life, and his shoulder ended up taking the brunt of the damage. He'll be out of work for months, but at least the other driver admitted fault so hopefully that will help get things settled through the insurance providers. And hey. He's alive. That's the best news.
  • We got a new agent assigned to sell our house, and we're much happier with her and her plans for marketing the place.
  • We had an offer accepted on the house we want to buy (but it's contingent on the sale of ours, so of course we might lose it -- we're still keeping options open just in case).
  • I've met with my doctor who has me on medication that should help prevent another early miscarriage (something to do with the constantly-elevated stress hormones blocking other hormone receptors -- I won't pretend to fully understand it).
  • We should find out whether or not we're pregnant again next week or so. If not, we'll keep trying. We understand the meds might not work miracles the first time (although conceiving hasn't exactly been our problem). While I won't share any personal pregnancy news until several months after it happens, please cross your fingers for us!
  • Fall is here (well, unofficially at least). I'm always much happier in the fall for some reason. Just don't remind me about all the leaves I'll have to clean up constantly for showings.

Overall things are much better. I feel better too. I suspect it's related to the meds because I don't feel like I'm going to explode every time my stress levels rise anymore. So maybe that's a good sign that the stress hormones aren't hijacking my system. Time will tell I suppose.


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In the meantime, these improvements mean I've been able to get back to work. I'm not on a full schedule yet because I still have to keep this house as showing-ready as possible all the time (difficult with five furkids and a wooded lot). We're also still making some improvements where the previous owner had neglected things. This week's project has been refinishing the deck which doesn't look like it had been protected or refreshed in a decade. So things are still crazy busy around here.

That said, I feel great to be working again at all. I can't even begin to tell you how much I've missed writing. I'm finishing up two client projects this week. Then next week I should be back to working on All Indie Writers. I need to finish a bit of copy, get a few blog posts ready, and fix a couple of technical issues still. But the launch is coming. Until that time, I hope to put up a few fresh posts for you here.

I hope things have been far more settled for the rest of you recently. I can't wait to get back to a full-time work schedule, and I'm really excited about the new site and hope to have it launched for you soon!

Thanks for sharing!
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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.

34 Comments

  1. Prudence September 20, 2013 Reply

    Welcome back, Jen! Sounds like you’ve had a roller coaster of a summer. I’m glad to hear that things are on the upswing. Sending love and hugs to you and your family. Also, I know this might sound weird, but I have heard a million stories about people burying statues of St. Joseph in their yard when trying to sell a house. I mean…it couldn’t HURT, right?

    Glad to have you back. Keep taking care of yourself!

    • Jennifer Mattern September 20, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Prudence. :)

      I got word from our new agent today that she scheduled our open house. So I’m excited about that. Of course it means we’ll be busier than ever making sure things are ready. All worth it in the end though I hope. :)

  2. Cathy Miller September 20, 2013 Reply

    We kept the light on for you, Jenn. I’ll admit, the electricity bill was getting a bit high, but hey, some things are just worth the added expense. :-)

    Fingers & toes crossed that the last quarter (when did that happen?!) ends on all high notes for you. ?Ta-Da?

    • Jennifer Mattern September 20, 2013 Reply

      lol Glad to hear it Cathy. :)

      And I know! This year has gone by so fast!

  3. Peter Bowerman September 21, 2013 Reply

    Hey Jenn,

    Sorry you’ve had such a trying year! And yeah, I think my stress levels would have been through the roof with all that as well… Mine was full of ups and downs as well, but it’s good now.

    Glad to hear things have settled down, but take the time you need. I’ve learned that once you starts on a path of building a following, and are doing blogs, ezines, new programs, coaching, etc., it’s easy to get caught up in in feeling we HAVE to keep the pressure on and that others expect so much of us. And that can cause a whole other level of stress.

    But, people are more understanding than we might think. Put another way, we’re not as important as WE think we are…;) And while that may seem a double-edged sword, I think it’s pretty liberating, actually…

    Anyway, good to hear from you…

    PB

    • Jennifer Mattern September 23, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Peter.

      This isn’t my first long break away, and like Jon said, it’s always here when I get back. I think this time I just feel awful about it because it happened shortly after announcing (and starting to promote) the new brand. I hate feeling like I’m confusing people and not living up to promises. But it’ll get there. One day at a time. :) You’re absolutely right about extra stress when I feel like I’m disappointing people’s expectations though. I think you have a refreshing take on it, and I’ll be sure to remember that if there’s a next time. :)

  4. Kimberly September 21, 2013 Reply

    So good hearing from you, Jenn. Wow. You’ve got a lot going on right now, but you did the right thing taking some time off. Sending LOTS of positive energy your way. :)

  5. Jon Stow September 22, 2013 Reply

    I am sorry to hear about all this stuff going on. It must have been very stressful being one thing after another.

    I am pleased to know you are back. I have had a health issue which started in the Spring and have also been somewhat MIA, but you know what? It’s all still here when you get back. My best wishes to you.

    • Jennifer Mattern September 23, 2013 Reply

      Very true Jon! I hope your health improves soon so you can get back to some normalcy too. Our bodies have a funny way of telling us when it’s time to take a break, don’t they?

  6. Jennifer Dunn September 22, 2013 Reply

    I am SO glad to see this update from you! I’m thankful I keep AFW in my Feedly even though it was supposed to disappear. I’m glad some of the stress is over and you’re able to get back into the swing of things. *hugs* Sending good, healthy vibes your way!

  7. Laura Spencer September 23, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jennifer,

    I stopped over here and was surprised and pleased to see a post again. Then I started reading.

    Wow. You’ve been through the ringer this summer. Of course it’s okay to take time off. You absolutely did the right thing.

    I’m glad to hear things are better now. :) Here’s a looking to a better fall.

    • Jennifer Mattern September 24, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Laura. :) I’m with you on that. Fall is my favorite time of the year, and usually my most productive. So it couldn’t be a better time for things to settle down and let me get back to work. :)

  8. Jessie Haynes September 24, 2013 Reply

    So sorry to hear how hard things have been on you, Jenn. I hope you feel much better and that everything improves. My heart goes out to you – I have been worried about you for a while. Best wishes!

  9. Randy September 26, 2013 Reply

    Praying for you and your family.
    I have missed reading your stuff.

    Randy

  10. Wendy Komancheck September 26, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jenn: So sorry to hear about everything that is going on, but I’m so glad to hear you’re back. I appreciate all of the mentoring that you do. I’ve learned a lot and appreciate the community support.

    • Jennifer Mattern September 27, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Wendy. :) I’m hoping to build the community even further with the updated forum at the relaunch, so I hope you’ll check it out. :)

  11. Francesca Nicasio September 26, 2013 Reply

    Wow. That’s a lot to deal with, Jennifer. And it takes a lot of strength to go through all that. I’m glad you’re starting to get back on your feet and I wish you and your family all the best. :)

  12. Celia Kozlowski September 30, 2013 Reply

    Hi, Jennifer,
    I’m a first time visitor to your web page, having arrived here via a google search for information about the hyper-self-promotional writerbay. I look forward to visiting again once your new website is up and running.
    In the mean time, instead of (in addition to?) prayers and burying statues of saints in your back yard, can I be so bold as to make another suggestion? It’s “Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)”.
    There’s a growing body of scientific literature in support of its effectiveness for a variety of conditions. Typically it’s offered as an 8-week course for a couple hundred quid. Some hospitals with large outpatient/education departments may offer it, otherwise it tends to be through yoga / alternative medicine or new agey psychology practices.
    But if you’re too busy at this point to do something like this, or live out in the boonies (as I do), or just skint as they say here in the UK, you can try some of the MBSR practices via YouTube or this website that has collected lots of Mindfulness freebies: http://www.freemindfulness.org/home
    Cheers and best wishes that things continue on the upward swing!
    Celia

    • Jennifer Mattern October 2, 2013 Reply

      Hi Celia. I appreciate the suggestion. I’ve actually done mindfulness breathing exercises for years. :) And I agree. They can help a lot. Just not in this particular situation. If the extent of my stress was work and the house move, that would probably be a huge help. But it has largely come from something much more direct and intentional that I’m not going to go into further detail about here on the site (I did previously and things got much worse). Unfortunately no amount of mindfulness can help in those kinds of situations. Fortunately though, things have been better for a couple of months now. So while there is still plenty of stress to go around, it’s been more manageable. Now the biggest issue is finding time for everything. I suspect if we don’t get a decent offer on the house soon that we’ll probably just relax a bit on that front with the plan to wait things out until spring, or longer if necessary. In the meantime we’re just hoping things get moving soon (and we lost the house we had under contract, so now we’re back to square one house hunting again too). The uncertainty is probably the worst part of it. We both just want to get someplace where we can feel comfortable and get back to focusing on our work and family.

  13. Jake Poinier October 4, 2013 Reply

    Just saw the new post in my RSS feed — quite a whirlwind, but glad to hear that things are taking a turn for the positive. As mentioned by several folks above, we’ll be ready when you are. Take your time and eat that elephant one bite at a time. In the interim, thoughts and prayers headed your way from my outpost in the desert Southwest!

    • Jennifer Mattern October 9, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Jake. I appreciate it. :)

      Things took a bit of a downturn on the health front this week, just when I thought they’d be getting better. So I’m waiting things out and seeing what happens. But I’m hopeful I’ll have my mind and body back on the same page before too long. :)

  14. Dava Stewart October 15, 2013 Reply

    I’m always, always late! I hope that things are still improving for you, Jenn. When things are rough around here, I find comfort in the idea that everything moves in cycles. Sometimes things are fantastic, then it cycles back around to suck – but THEN it cycles around to fantastic again. Sounds like you are just about due for an upward cycle.

    Also, if there is any way I can be of assistance at all, please get in touch. I’m too far away to come over and rake leaves, but I’m available for proofreading or chatting or an email rant should you have the need for such ;)

    • Jennifer Mattern October 15, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Dava. :)

      You’re so right. These things always seem to come in waves. And I’m due for a positive stretch. Aren’t we all? :)

  15. Carol B. October 16, 2013 Reply

    Good thing there are so many goods news than bad news! I hope everything will be fine with trying to conceive. I will be looking forward to a pregnancy post soon. I just gave birth to a beautiful girl on earth. Don’t keep stressing yourself too much and have time to relax too…BABY DUST!

  16. Brad Gene January 25, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jen, this is my very first time reading your blog, and seriously I do like it. A blog with a sense, it’s something that should be followed :)
    I’m glad that you overcome such busy summer (just kidding), overcoming such is not a joke really. You’re a strong woman indeed. :)
    Brad Gene recently posted…Roulette Images –Learn More about RouletteMy Profile

  17. Institute for Internet Safety February 7, 2014 Reply

    How is it going Jen? I’ve read your previous posts and I enjoy them. I am a work at home mom, have been checking what’s new online and came across to your blog. You did a good job here! Keep it up!

  18. Storm Damage Leads April 3, 2014 Reply

    I can relate with you…. Make every moment special and momerable it will come in its own time. Baby dust!

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