Finally….A Summer Update

The longer I’ve waited to post, the harder I’ve felt this has been. I went through having zero ideas, to so many ideas-good and bad. And here I am, just wanting to say SOMETHING. I’m a writer, who hasn’t really written in months. Is that normal? I suppose not.

Hi all. I hope someone is still listening. This has been a long time coming, and quite frankly I was hoping to come back with some fun, fancy, well-crafted story or work of art. But it’s just not coming, so instead, I’m going to just speak my truth. Hopefully you can relate.

It’s been quite a long few months since I last posted, and yes when I look back at old posts, I have definitely written many posts similar to this. Being a creative soul is thrilling and fun, until it isn’t. Creativity isn’t always guaranteed. I haven’t posted at all this summer. There are a lot of reasons why, but the number one reason is because well…I just haven’t felt inspired or motivated to do so. 

You know when your favorite YouTuber goes MIA for a while, because they just haven’t been happy with any of their content. That’s how I feel.

I hit these walls where I feel like my life is at a standstill and instead of doing something to change it, I internalize and my mind becomes a ball of anxious thoughts unable to move myself forward. A vessel just going through the motions. I have a really hard time being present in the moment. I’m constantly over thinking everything. It is the most daunting feeling. My mind gets clouded and unfortunately creativity gets pushed to the side. Which is bizarre because I know this is the time when I need it most, to pull me out of my slump. 

Creativity can be an incredible outlet for stress, but sometimes I just choose to ignore the issue and let days pass me by. Filling my time within mindless tasks.  

I wish I had some big revelation for myself. I wish I had some inspirational advice to share about how I’ve just been too busy living life to post, but unfortunately that is just not the case.

I have a case of the summer funk. And I honestly can’t wait for it to be fall. 

The air is crisp.

The fashion is cooler.

The colors are gorgeous. 

And let’s face it, there is a plethora of pumpkin.

Here’s to breaking the silence and powering through. 

I’m going to end this with a quote from one of my Writer’s Corners from back in 2015. It’s amazing how the words still hold truth for me:

“Giving up on that dream [of being a writer] is not in my line of vision. It can’t be. I don’t think my brain or sanity could take it. Too many stories to tell. So when the walls start caving in and you feel like you’re going to emotionally explode, get out of your head. And get out of your own way. And just do what you do best. Write. Because writers feel things deeper than most, and when we tell those stories, someone out there in the universe is going to get it, and feel gotten. Keep fighting, keep striving, and know that there is always a safe place for the written word here on Michelle Leigh Writes. Soldier on my friends.”- Michelle Leigh Writes * Writer’s Corner * “Get out of your own way”

 

**While you wait for new stories…feel free to browse my Short Story Collection HERE

 

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-<3-

 

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Hi, I’m still here…

People, people, people…how the heck are ya?

I can once again apologize for being MIA/inconsistent and follow it up with a whole “I’m back” spiel. But I just wouldn’t be telling the truth. I’ve been all over the place, I can’t even remember what I was doing  a few weeks ago. This year is flying by and I can’t even believe we are already in April.

There are many reasons for my inconsistencies here on this blog. I always attempt to stick to a Monday/Thursday post schedule, but now I’m lucky if I get one post up a week, I get really super duper lucky if I get two up even on any random two days. That’s kind of why you’ll see a random Sunday post pop up, or a Tuesday post sneak in. Because I just so happened to have some time to do it that day. To be honest, I haven’t been writing much at all. And I just realized how much I’ve missed it.

Needless to say, I still haven’t gotten back into it. I stand in front of a classroom asking students to write and trying to inspire their creativity and yet I feel like a hypocrite because I myself feel so uninspired.

In February I hit a slump. And it pretty much lasted all through March too. The goals and ideas I had in the beginning of the year went out the window, and the promises I made to myself soon became forgotten.

I guess you can say that’s normal right? We often leave our resolutions in the dust of the January’s left over glitter.

But this felt different.

It felt like I was just constantly going through the motions of what I had to do. Then I got hit with a period of time where I was sick on an off for weeks. First I was treated for a sinus infection. Then after a bunch of back and forth between my doctor and urgent care, I was finally treated for the flu (as a precaution) and strep throat. To say I was done was an understatement. I was taking so many different medications and constantly feeling like I wasn’t present, feeling like my chest was so heavy and like I couldn’t breathe right. I stayed in bed for most of my days. I was even sick for my 27th Birthday. Super fun. Side Note: My mom did make me a kick ass chicken and waffles dinner though, which I was happy I at least got to taste a little. On top of it all, mother nature decided to rain on my pity parade and grace me with her presence.

So I was a mess. I was emotional, I was sick, I didn’t feel well physically or mentally. And because of all of that my anxiety was in full force, I felt like I was going insane. I just didn’t feel like myself for weeks. I really felt like I was spiraling into this weird depression, where I felt like there was something really wrong with me. Soon enough I started to come out of it and even though I’m not 100% out of my funk, I can safely say I feel 100% better than I did a few weeks ago. It’s so crazy the things that your mind can put you through. I was so frustrated at how I was feeling, because I knew the rationality was that I was sick and on medication and dealing with lady problems (lol) and I knew it was just the combination that was making me feel funky. My brain kept telling me not to make such a big deal of it all. People get sick, you’ll be better in a week. But my anxiety turned it into so much more. 

I recently had off of work so I tried to cram a bunch of things into my week. Including meeting up with a few friends. And out of all the ladies that I spoke with, we all were feeling the same way. Stressed, anxious, unlike ourselves. And it got me thinking…you are never alone in what you feel. There is always someone who has felt or is feeling what you have/are feeling. 

When you deal with anxiety, you become this prisoner in your own mind. As my friend put it, you start to live in your head. And although the mind is a beautiful, powerful thing, it can also be something that can literally break you down and tear you apart because it’s so powerful.

So that brings me to my next point. Seasonal depression is a thing.

Seasonal Depression is also known as –Seasonal affective disorder– A mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year.

*Usually self-diagnosable
*Symptoms include: fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal.
*People may experience:
Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, loneliness, loss of interest, mood swings, or sadness
Sleep: excess sleepiness, insomnia, or sleep deprivation
Whole body: appetite changes or fatigue
Behavioral: irritability or social isolation
Also common: depression, lack of concentration, or weight gain

And when it comes to the Winter season (especially in New York) you can gather how many people may be experiencing this. It stays cold and dark out longer, there’s less opportunities to go out and experience sunlight. Often people stay in doors to avoid the cold temperatures or the snow. You know the snow that falls in March and April when it should be Spring. And your social life becomes sullen. Your left with isolation at times and if you deal with anxiety- your worry sets in and you begin to drown in your racing thoughts. Not to mention that NY whether is so unpredictable that you could be thinking Spring is right around the corner, wearing light jackets and then it snows and you need a winter coat again in a day.  That’s enough to put anyone’s body in shock and confusion. Not to mention that the flu season this year has been atrocious. EVERYONE has been getting sick. Gosh, I really thought I was going to escape it, I usually have a strong immune system. But in general my anxiety has peeked these past few months and I imagine that left me a little more susceptible. Never the less, I am slowly, but surely coming out of my funk, and I am finally starting to feel like myself again, and it is time I try to manage my time wisely.

So I won’t make any promises here. I am actually going to just say now that the Monday/Thursday schedule is on hold for now. I will try my best to at least post once a week. I just have a lot going on with weddings, and showers, and family and work and I realize I can’t always be perfect at doing it all at once. And that’s okay. We all could benefit from giving ourselves a little grace at times. At the end of the day, you can only try your best.

But as I said before, I do miss writing, so I’m hoping to make it more of a priority for me. 

Talk soon.

xo Michelle 

-<3-

 

 

For My Future Daughter

One day, I hope to be a mom, and I thought about what I would want to say to my own daughter. The advice I would give her. Here it is…                                                                                                              

 

                                                                                                                              March 19, 2018

Dear Sweet Girl,

I know life isn’t always going to be easy for you. I know jobs will be hard to find and boys will break your heart. And people you are close to will disappoint you at times. Myself included, sadly. No one is perfect.

If you are anything like me, I know insecurity will find you and you will have to fight to see the silver lining in every bad day. I know you will question your faith in times of pain and grief. And wonder what your true purpose is.

I know you may fight your anxiety everyday like I do and I also know that you can and you will win.

My hope is that you never have to deal with any of these hardships. That you are forever cast with a smile on your face. But living in this world, I know that is unfortunately an unrealistic notion. There will be bad days. There will be sad days.

I know that you will be so loved by so many, that you will feel like you have to always be good and “perfect.” To always say/do the right thing. Your self awareness and self consciousness will be both a weakness and a strength for you. But your heart is so big.

Just breathe my girl and you will get through it all-one foot at a time. One day at a time. Because you are a force to be reckoned with. You are your own heroine. The star of your own sold out show. You can be anything you want to be.

Never let anyone tell you different or try to dull the sparkle that surrounds your very soul. And please… never stop dreaming.

 

                                                                                                                               Love You Always,

                                                                                                                               Mom ❤  

Life Update

Hello friends!

I know it’s been quite a minute since I posted last. I just have had so much going on, and to think about sticking to my regular posting routine was exhausting, and yet impossible at times. But today, is a nice quiet Sunday that I am finally able to get to all the things I’ve been having to put off. So productive! And I am super happy! 

Between the holiday season, planning for the weddings I am in, work, and my beautiful baby niece being born- my usual day to day has been thrown off course and this blog has been- neglected, sad to say.

I had big plans for October/November! I had posts I wanted to write and I was even thinking about editing a potential Fall themed vlog of all the clips I took checking off things from my Fall Bucket List. But it just hasn’t been feasible.

And on top of all of that, I just realized I’m having some technical issues with my computer battery and my WordPress account in general, which have really hindered my posting options as well. I have some updates to do regarding the site, since I have run out of my image memory on here. So I need to do a bit of research and decide what my next step will be regarding the michelle leigh writes update plan. 

So in the mean time,  I am going to still try to post on here when I can. Just been dealing with a lot of changes and need to get my life back on track, lol. I know many of you can definitely relate! 😉 Just know that I am not going anywhere. I still have a lot to say!  

Stay Tuned!

xo Michelle

Pilot Update-Writer’s Corner

So when the Summer first started I posted this blog post about wanting to really work on my own pilot episode for a tv show concept I’ve had floating around my head for years and years and YEARS. And I mentioned wanting to get that pilot done this Summer. I wanted to track my progress by posting updates here on MLW as I go, and yet here we are heading into Fall season and no pilot yet. Ugh! So frustrating! I do this to myself all the time. pilot-season[1]

I did start to write it, and then I just hit a wall.  I just don’t know how to start it all. I have lived in this made up world of characters for so long but to put an official beginning to it all, is so challenging to me. I have all these ideas for my characters, and story arcs for further down the road, even further seasons down the road, but nothing for right now. I have tons of dialogue ideas and storylines for how love stories will play out, and who will be paired with who. But to actually sit down and come up with a way for it to all begin…I’m kinda lost. I have some vague ideas, but I don’t know how to put them into words. How does a writer write, without words?

You research I guess? Right?

I’ve rewatched some of my favorite tv show pilot episodes, and I’ve researched the writing process.

Here are a few things that I learned…

*Scripts can start with a teaser- which is up to 5 pages and shows location/short opening to the story.

*TV scripts usually have 45-63 pages.

*However, each page filmed is about a minute long give or take and so they advise you to keep script length between 50-55 pages.

*Scripts are broken into usually anywhere between 4-6 Acts.

*Scripts can contain character description.

*Act breaks signal commercials- the goal is to leave a solid “cliffhanger” at the end of each act.

*Each Act serves it’s own particular purpose:

Act 1-Current story at hand.

Act 2-Heavy Conflict, trying to get out of it.

Act 3- Lowest point, conflict winning.

Act 4- Characters begin to prevail.

*Each 5 Act teleplay should be between 9-12 page Acts, while 4 Act plays should be 15 pages per Act.

*Less is more- do not over describe in script, just enough to convey style and atmosphere, and substance-dialogue included-to not overwrite dialogue. Ask yourself does the character NEED to say this?

 

So let’s hope these tips can help me on my pilot writing journey.

More updates to come soon!

I’ve still got a long way to go!

 

* I do not take credit for the image used. *

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Summer Time Changes- Let’s Talk

summer-tag-copy[1]I think it’s safe to say, Summer is here and kicking. The 4th is tomorrow and that right there is the epitome of Summer to me. The weather is hot, school is out and life becomes this different existence. Everything is slightly more laid back- or at least it’s supposed to be.

For me, Summer is a bit of an anxiety stressor. My job changes a little bit and I get placed in a new environment, working with new people for the duration of the summer. So that feels like an uproot, and something new I have to get used to all over again. Last year it was actually a really pleasant change and so this year I’m hoping for the same. I’m pretty optimistic that it will be and that’s a good feeling. 🙂

I also don’t do well in the heat so that’s another reason why Summer brings upon anxiety for me. Along with having this extra time during this season, there’s a lot of pressure to make use of everyday and do fun exciting things, everyday. Raise your hand if you’ve compared yourself to anyone on social media lately? #Guilty. I’m sorry I don’t have that kind of money to just be jumping flights, here and there. I have a lot going on in my life that I need to be saving up for, so unfortunately vacationing isn’t in the stars for me. And that sucks, but it’s my reality and that’s ok. Everyone’s life is different.

I think I’m learning to balance my boundaries. Sometimes I know I can push through my anxiety and sometimes I know I have to pull back and give myself a beat. And knowing that has made an incredible difference in my life. This notion is certainly a work in progress, but it’s coming along slowly.

It’s ok, to take breaks. It’s ok, to push yourself a bit, you will learn what you can handle. It’s ok, to say no. It’s ok, to strive for change. And it’s ok, to be afraid of that change, and still go for it anyway. My whole life I thought that I couldn’t use the words risk taker to describe myself. I’m taking that back. Recently I died my hair blue. BLUE! (No not my whole head…they’ll be a post coming soon!) But I have freakin’ blue hair right now and I’m just doing things I’ve been wanting to do for myself.  Different things. I’m just going for it! Sometimes I feel guilty, like wait that’s too much money or I should be here or there or doing this or that. But then I think wait- why can’t if do this for me? It’s allowed! There’s nothing wrong with caring about yourself or the things your passionate about. 

I’ve also been thinking about huge life changes lately. Some will take a while to accomplish, but the building blocks can start now. The other day I was told; “you seem optimistic and seem to be accepting change.” This was an incredible thing for me to hear from another person who knows me and knows how my life is and the things I struggle with. Change is literally the reason why I realized I have anxiety. Anytime change is upon me, my anxiety can peek. It doesn’t always, but if I’m anxious it’s usually because of some change happening in my life.

I’m at a point in my life, where I can see things a tiny bit clearer and the things I want out of life. The things I want for myself. And sometimes that means being a little selfish and doing my own thing. I hate how some may take offense to that,  because it is not intention. But I think that now is the only time I have to be selfish. Other people do it, why can’t I? And that’s not a dig at anyone, it’s just an observation. Once I’m older, and have a family of my own things will be very different. And my husband and my children will be my priority. So now this is my time to sort myself out so that dream of having that life when I’m older can eventually come true. I don’t want to sit back 10 or 15 years from now and regret not going after the things I wanted. I don’t want to resent my family. So this is the time to get my  mind right and just do my thing.

I’m trying to tackle the things that scare me. Granted, I have my days when I falter and I let that fear hold me back, or I allow the laziness of summer overcome me. But I’m keeping high expectations for myself this summer. There are so many things I want to accomplish on a personal and professional level that I am making strides toward those goals already.

I’ve always wanted to write a pilot script for this tv show I’ve had running in my head for YEARS-since high school. The show is written in shifts and on random papers all over my house-some are on my computer- it’s all over the place. I’ve never written a concise first episode. There’s no organization and I am all about organizing this summer. My planner and inspiration notebook are my best friends! So that ish, is getting written THIS SUMMER. I’ve started to do my research, surprisingly I know a lot of the things I’ve found out which makes me feel kind of good. But there was also a ton I didn’t know- things I’m still learning, still researching. Oh you mean I have an excuse to watch television. Awesome! 😉 Your never going to stop learning, ever. Life is full of lessons.

So there’s that big change happening. Which is huge for me, because researching my craft has always been scary for me. I can’t exactly explain it. It was, I guess something I loved so much, that I was scared that if I researched it I would find out how little I know, or how far from my dream I actually am. But my mind set is different now and I realize that I can’t get there if I don’t try. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to where I want to be. I don’t know if I will ever get my dream of creating my own tv show. But the show is not ever going to leave my heart or my brain. It could be months, and then a story will pop into my head for one of my characters and I will have to revisit that world. Or a line will pop into my head and I will go-“Oh my god that would be the perfect thing for Travis to say to Sara.” (Shhh Spoilers!) 😉

I’ve been thinking more seriously about my next move. About my career long term. I love where I work right now. I know I haven’t given exact details of my work, but that’s because I truly believe in respecting privacy and I want to remain professional. But basically I do work in a school setting teaching creative subjects like writing, and film. And I think it’s been an eye opening experience for me. You really can learn by teaching.

I have a lot of creative projects I am tinkering with this Summer too. I’m not going to reveal them, because I don’t want to jinx them, or put extra pressure on myself to finish them all. I will overwhelm myself with an over extensive to do list, I know this. So let’s just say that my main creative goal is to get my pilot script written and keep learning more and more about writing and working in television.

I would love to track that process on here for you guys to see, but to also be able to reflect back on it and see how I progressed. I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me.

Happy Summer!

XO

Michelle Leigh

Michelle Leigh Writes- Short Story Series Collection

Hey guys, I know it’s been a while since I last posted consistently and on schedule. But I’ve been trying to think of something really cool to post and everything I think of just falls flat. But I recently had a cool idea. I’ve featured quite a few Short Story Series on this blog and I thought I’d do one big post including little summaries of each and the links to read them! In case you feel like diving into some dramatic love stories. So please, read at your leisure. 🙂

Mysterious Attraction (12 Chapters-3 parts each)

mysterious attraction postermovie poster new

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Lexie is a power house, a femme fatale with a rather dangerous job description. She is soon forced to balance her need for control with her ever cryptic view on love and happiness. As an overly intense affair comes to light with a handsome yet kind man named Carter. Their attraction and pull strong. Lexie is forced to face some harsh realities about who she is and what she really wants her life to be. Her feelings are growing and it isn’t something she expected. Falling from lust to love with a married man was not part of her plan. What scares her even more…he’s falling back.

A Broken Heart For Christmas (6 Chapters)

broken heart for christmas

Lucy and dean 3

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Dean Sanders broke Lucy Michaelson’s heart years ago back in their home town of Oakland Valley, Minnesota. And since then she’s moved on- moved to New York, started her dream career. And so has he, or so they both thought. Everyone knew their story, knew their love was lost. But little does everyone know…there was always more to their story, more than Lucy ever let on. Follow their journey through awkward run ins and past memories- both good and bad. 

Love Conflicted (12 Chapters)

Official full cast photo movie posterLove conflicted new poster

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Maggie is the crisp, clean, girl next door. Always playing it safe, always doing the right thing, risk is not a word she would use in her everyday vocabulary. But when she falls in love with Ricky- a man in the mob, she realizes that life is not always black and white. As danger creeps in, emotions heighten in this thrilling, yet sweet love story.

On The Run (10 Chapters)

ontherunposterNew poster

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: When Sage Renly finds herself running for her life, a mysterious stranger shows up in just the nick of time- Charlie Steinfeld. He becomes her ally and confident against her better judgement. It seems like their connection is unexplainable-almost as if it’s out of their hands.  This is more than your typical two strangers finding each other by chance and falling in love, story. There are dark secrets hidden in the eyes of these characters, and as every mystery goes- there’s always more than what meets the eye.

*Welcome Home (9 Chapters)

Poster 1Cast poster

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Melanie Evans was so close to having it all, and then tragedy struck. Something that years later she still can’t overcome. There is only one person in the world who can help, who can understand her-Oliver King, her college sweetheart. And yet he is miles away- both literally and figuratively. When Melanie returns to her hometown, old memories stir up old feelings. So many different feelings. Will she be able to get out of her own way to achieve the happiness she’s dreamed of all along? Or will she stay in isolation and despair unable to let go of her painful past.

********

Also I am attempting to dive into a new short story series….I’m still working on the title (I have a bunch of variations that I can’t decide on) but here’s a quick little sneak peek at the summary-

Liam Whitmore is a wealthy business executive who goes through the motions of working in his corporate world day after lousy day, making deals and kicking ass at it. However he often feels uninspired, and unable to do what he really loves. Until one day he meets a younger woman named Aria Lenz, struggling to become a dancer. Her simplistic yet driven nature strikes up a spark of inspiration in him, and he makes it his mission to get to know her. Little does he know, it’ll be the hardest “transaction” he’s ever had to make. They’re worlds apart- will he finally get through to her, or will his fire fizzle?

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits.*

*All short stories are of my own written content.*

-<3-