Champagne For Everyone! Jen’s Writing Is A Year Old

Cheers! Sláinte! Prost! Prosit! ¡Salud! Santé! Saúde

It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since I began writing on a blog. My life, my thoughts, my fears out there…in the open for all to see.

Those of you who had followed me from Blogspot to WordPress might know that For Jens Sake has only been up for 3 months. Raps and Poems and Books, Oh My was my first and the poems I wrote on that blog (which can be found here) is what has me celebrating my 1st year blogoversary. Woohoo!

I decided to celebrate this festive occasion by taking all of you through my year; through every up and down, win and lose, tears and smiles. What an exciting year it has been, not a single moment of it has been dull. Some of you may already know that I started out writing with poetry. It was all poetry all the time, like the Cartoon Network, only… poetic.

A couple of months went by and I decided I wanted to try writing as a career. Unfortunately, poets aren’t in high demand right now in any field. That’s a shame really because I think that music (of any genre) could be several times greater if the song writers took it back to good ol honest poetic lyrics and flow. Someone get Diddy on the phone I have an idea for a new reality show…Making the Poet!

Me, Myself and I, was born because I needed a résumé of written articles. It kind of felt like high school all over again, being forced into something, that is. But, what does one write about when they want to become a writer? News…ick, no thanks. It’s depressing and causes people to run out, buy guns and ammo and board themselves up inside their homes while they drink beer and wait for the zombie apocalypse to happen. News was most definitely not me.

Then I thought…celebrity gossip. Ah, the old let’s talk about other people’s business (which clearly has nothing to do with us) and never once find out if what we are writing is true or not. Nope… gossip definitely was not me either. What’s left? Opinionated ramblings? Ding ding ding…we have a winner. Hey…I ramble and I am opinionated. Oh my God, it’s as if that was made just for me.

I worked hard daily, on both blogs. I would take turns… poetry one day, opinions the next. Back and forth, establishing a following of loyal readers and 0 comments. Oh yea, I was getting famous. LOL But, you know, it didn’t matter because I was saying what I wanted to say and that was good enough for me.

I finally decided to look for poetry contests and joined a few sites. Out of all of them, Allpoetry was the best. I started making a few friends there by joining groups. I entered a few contests, won a few trophies, and then got seriously fed up with the site. Why? Because newcomers were outsiders. The site was one huge clique after another and they were adamant about their poetry being better than anything “a noob” could write. But, that is a post for another time.

So back I went and focused completely on my two blogs. I learned how to autoshare my posts on other networks; thank you Networked Blogs. Doing that left more time for me to write, instead of running to a bunch of sites and posting links. The creator of that app is my idol.

I signed up with Odesk and began building my official résumé. I have not had a résumé in my entire life, so making one was most definitely exciting. It was also very frustrating, trying to remember dates and addresses and names of companies from over 18 years ago. Some of them are long gone, so even if I said I worked there and I did, where’s the proof…

Before I knew it 5 months had passed and it was already February. My heart jumped out of my chest as I listened to a voicemail I had received. I called my mom and the world went silent… “Your sister is in the hospital with Stage 4 Breast Cancer.” Tears streamed down my eyes… as they are doing now because it still hurts. My baby sister lying in a hospital bed… liquid in her lungs and around her heart…lesions on her liver… cancer. CUCK FANCER!!!I called her every day. A lot of people get cancer and they have plenty of time for their families to come to grips with it. I was worried out of my mind even though I knew from experience; it wasn’t over until it’s over.

R.I.P. Baby Sister

3 days later I get a call late in the evening. My baby sister had died while the doctor was draining liquid from around her heart for the third time in 6 days. She laid in that bed 6 days, sick. And I had 2 days to tell her everything she should know before she is gone out of my life forever and I said… nothing. Absolutely, the worst part of this entire year were those 3 days.

I didn’t write for weeks, I tried and tried and tried to put up something, anything. All I wanted to do was curse God, curse the world and lay in a ball in my bed and cry until my eyes dried up forever. And that is exactly what I did! When I finally sat down again and wrote, it was all about Jess and pain. At that moment, I gave up any hopes or dreams I had of being a writer. I just had to let the feelings out and I didn’t care if anyone read it or understood. I didn’t care if anyone agreed with me. I no longer needed anyone in my life except my two children, who watched me struggle to hide my tears and depressed bloodshot eyes. I died with Jess that day!!! (R.I.P. May 13, 1977- February 8, 2011)

Then something unexpected happened… I met someone (Sweepy Jean) who added me to a group that led me to fellow bloggers/writers/poets, which in turn led me to more and more blogging groups. Finally, I could connect with people who were somewhat like me. I had also applied to be a writer for a website. Imagine my surprise when I got an email welcoming me to the site as a writer. Wow, little ol me, still choking on the pain and tears from my sister’s death was now a writer for Technorati. So, I wrote for them. I wrote 4 articles in March and two of them were about Breast Cancer and my sister. If I were to agonize over losing Jess than the world could too.

A few months later, I was applying to become a contributor for Yahoo Associated Content and what do you know…I was accepted there as well. As my tears had flown heavy over my loss they had also motivated me to find the perfect place to become published. I am waiting on the final approval of my third article on Yahoo as I write this.

As all of this was happening; I evolved. I made new friends, lost old ones, and gained a new respect and love for who I am. I made the big switch from Blogspot to WordPress in June, deleting the old blogs and continuing to write poetry and my opinions on the new one, and most of all… I continued to be seen throughout the world-wide web for my writing. Then came offers to guest post; truly a great honor for me.

Out of nowhere, I wrote the poem that put me on the fast track to the stars…I Have Lived Life. It has been published on Yahoo, won the month of August poetry contest, is semi-finalist in an international poetry contest, is scheduled to be published in a poetry book in November of this year. All of a sudden, I realized that I had done exactly what I set out to do…touch someone’s life with meaningful and honest words. I had already arrived at the place I aimed to be.

Much to my surprise, a day came when I received an email that Google was interested in interviewing me. Unfortunately, I had to turn it down. Not because I wouldn’t love that opportunity but, my laptop had died and along with it my Skype and webcam. Besides, I had no cover letter even written yet, which is now on my to-do list. I don’t fret over it because I don’t see it as a missed opportunity but, as the beginning of many more to come.

The next goal was to continue to climb and become a better person and a better writer, so I applied to the St. Louis Writers Guild (SLWG). Hello, my name is Jen and I am a member of the SLWG. Woohoo…

In closing: I have been setting aside the negativity, allowing myself to grow and thrive, and have started to learn that; the people who should be at your side during your finest moments…well, they won’t be. But, it’s ok because as the seasons change, so do people. I have changed and that probably has scared many of the people I use to know or rather, who use to know me.

Losing someone close to you changes you; for better or for worse but, it does change you. I will mourn my sister’s death until I am ready to let her go but, I will also keep moving forward in my writing. I feel her hands guiding mine to the keyboard as she whispers into my head… “You were meant to tell the world. This is your calling,it’s what you were born to do. Take ahold of it with both hands and lead it where it should go. If you write it, they will read. If you speak it, they will listen. If you live it, they will follow!”

And when my final day on this planet arrives; I won’t be wishing for the ones that had left, to be at my side. I will be content, knowing that the ones who were always meant to be there will be with me from the beginning until that last gasp of air has escaped my lungs.

I have lived life and this past year was only the beginning…

Handwriting is not my forte anymore and on a cake it's even worse. LOL

I Have Lived Life

I have shed blood, sweat,immeasurable tears
Stared bluntly in the face of my greatest fears

I have had good thoughts and some insane
Some brought me great pleasure, some brought me great pain

I have been free and trapped in a cage
Been bursting with love and insufferable rage

I have known death and I have known birth
Seen Heaven and Hell in my life on this Earth

I have been lost and also been found
Been lifted up high and kicked down to the ground

I have turned hate to love and love into hate
Done magnificent things, a few not-so great

I have several friends, enemies too
Some of them old and some of them new

I have spoken with ink, lips and heart
Written and read inspirational art

I have lived life as well as I could
Some parts might have been bad but, most parts were good

I will rise up each time that I fall
For life is worth living so I give it my all

30 thoughts on “Champagne For Everyone! Jen’s Writing Is A Year Old

  1. jan says:

    Oh Jen, such a wonderful post, you were born to write. I am so grateful that I have had the chance to know you and read you, The journey you have taken in this last year is an inspiration to me. I know there have been horrible times, but look at you shiny as a new penny with an eagerness for life that is palatable. Congratulations!<3<3<3 Jan

    • InJensMind says:

      Thank you Jan. I am so happy to have met many new people since I began writing. It has been a dream come true and I look forward to journeying further this year. I am honored to inspire. 😀 Thank you so much for joining me on this new adventure, it means so much to me.

    • InJensMind says:

      Thank you Claire. Each time I edited or read it I teared up. I read it to my daughter and had to pause several times just to compose myself. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  2. janaki nagaraj says:

    Hi Jen…
    Wonderfully written. You have been all over the place…that is your personal ups and downs and have emerged a winner. You have not only put in a lot of effort but also have tried to better yourself. Keep going….keep rocking girl.

    • InJensMind says:

      Thank you Janaki. I like to think I have come out a winner despite the horrible loss I had. So much accomplished in one year, how will I ever top it… everyone will just have to tune in and see. 😀

    • InJensMind says:

      Thank you Stuart. Sometimes those losses come along and stop you dead in your tracks and sometimes they push you forward with such a force you barely recognize yourself anymore. Mine did both. But, I prefer the latter the most.

  3. Tameka Mullins says:

    I feel like I know you a little better after reading this Jenni and I want to say you’re one of the most amazing people I haven’t met yet! Congrats on your blog’oversary and KEEP WRITING! Let us know about the book your work will be published in so we can get it and support you. You are so strong to have gotten through the past year as you faced some very difficult times. Thanks for sharing your world with us! HUGS!

    • InJensMind says:

      Thank you Deborah. I am surprised I made it this far but, I did and I am so glad I did. Maybe one day we will have bards in the streets again and newscasters telling stories poetically. 😀 Thanks again for visiting and commenting.

  4. Orea de Sa'Hana says:

    Oh, Jen, I’m so sorry about your sister. it’s like losing a piece of you, isn’t it. My mom died 20 years ago, and my sister was saying that, even now, she still finds herself turning to tell her something. Our loved ones will always be a part of us, because we wouldn’t be all of who we are, if it weren’t for them. I know one day, we’ll be together again, only better and more complete than we ever were.

    And, congratulations on your blogoversary! Only another blogger know what that means in terms of time, and love, and sharing. I find you well worth reading, so I hope you keep writing for a long time to come.

    Love and Blessings,

    • InJensMind says:

      Yes Orea it lingers for a lifetime. I find myself constantly talking to ones who have passed. I believe in putting things out in the universe when I need an answer and asking loved ones is always a good way to get a quick answer.

      Thank you so much I truly appreciate it and hope I never disappoint.

  5. Bongo says:

    What a journey you have been on my friend….I feel so lucky to have met you and connected…..There’s bond here that is matter where you are which way you go ..I am here…Love you and Happy Blogversary…..As always…XOXOXOXOXO

  6. Mary Hudak-Colllins says:

    Jen, wow! What a testimony that deserves to be shared across the internet! I became glued to my screen as I read each line, learning more and more about your year in blogging and your personal trials. You have had such grief in your life, but have overcome the pain and made great accomplishment. Congratulations on your first year! Be proud of yourself. I believe we will be hearing great things about you in the future 🙂

  7. Dangerous Linda says:

    Congratulations, Jen, on your One Year Blogo-versary!! I’m so sorry about the loss of your sister! I appreciate your authentic sharing and feel like I know you better after having read this. thank you for being who you are! xoxox

  8. Debra Elramey says:

    Congratulations of your success Jenn! Woohoo! Keep up the momentum. You have the energy, talent, and drive. All you need.

    And if you ever find yourself discouraged, just remember…

    “You were meant to tell the world. This is your calling; it’s what you were born to do. Take hold of it with both hands and lead it where it should go. If you write it, they will read. If you speak it, they will listen. If you live it, they will follow!”

    CHEERS! And a great big HUG!

    ~ Debra

  9. melissa says:

    Congratulations Jenni! Your journey in writing has come a long way and I could see how you’ve grown so much from your experiences. I have come to consider your writing and Stu’s as really artistic literary works and you deserve the credit.

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister but I saw how much she has influenced your life…. and thanks to your friend who introduced you to the blogworld…

    Yes, you have lived your life! Complimenti 🙂

Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare. -Voltaire

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