Going Forward

good morning, cyberspace!

As you may have noticed, I unwittingly disappeared from the blogosphere yet again. Am I proud of this? lol, nope. But sometimes life likes to give you a nice little drop-kick to the spleen, and that, my dear beans, is what happened this summer.

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that 2020 has been the year of unpredictability, but as much as I want to blame my inconsistencies on this year and all the horrors it has flung at us, I can’t. The truth is, the only person I can blame for my horrible habit of falling off the face of the earth time and again is myself. I’m the one not putting my whole self into blogging and writing and staying consistent. I’m the one who doesn’t even try to get organized, and therefore doesn’t have anything to post when Tuesday rolls around. I’m the one who needs to make some changes to the way I do things, and therefore, that is what I’m trying to do.

I know I said I have some news for you all this week, and that post will be coming out in a day or so. But today is for clarifying something that’s been heavy on my mind for quite some time:

I don’t know where this blog is going.

Have I mentioned this before? Maybe. I honestly don’t even remember. But the fact remains that I no longer know the direction in which to take this. When I first started out, it felt easy. Almost natural. Like blogging was a part of me that I hadn’t realized I’d been missing until I had it. But lately, blogging has felt less like a part of me that I’ve been missing, and more like a past part of myself I’m trying to hold on to.

Smudged Thoughts means so much to me, guys. I’m not sure if I can fully describe the extent of it. This blog is where I found my voice, where I stepped out of my shell and created a thing I’m proud of. It’s where I met my friends and released the side of myself that I’d been holding back for so long. The Kenzie you see standing before you today is here because of Smudged Thoughts. Had she not taken a leap of faith nearly four years ago and created this smol little chaos corner, I might be an entirely different creature.

Possibly a goblin. Or a unicorn.

But despite how much I love and cherish and adore this blog, even a dreamer like me has to admit that we sometimes outgrow things. Sometimes we have to give things up in order to have greater, grander opportunities present themselves. And this has been my conundrum–not for the past three weeks of my absence–but for the past few months.

Lately it feels like I keep rehashing the same old things. It feels like nothing is new anymore, and every post I write feels like an old outline recycled. And as someone who thrives on the new and the exciting and the adventurous . . . I don’t like this feeling. So I’ve been pondering, stewing, thinking over ways to fix this, and all the while, I keep disappearing from the internet without so much as a word of warning. And I hate that. I hate disappearing. I hate not being present in this beautiful community. I hate not feeling like I have the time to be a part of it, because in all actuality, I do have the time. I’m just not making it a priority.

And admitting that is like stabbing myself in the shin.

So I’ve been considering my options. I’ve been tossing them back and forth for the past few days especially, trying to determine how I want to move forward. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, actually. A lot of decisions have been made in the course of so little time that I’m quite literally shocked by the pile of them I now have sitting in the corner. But even as I type this, the truth of what I know I want becomes clearer. It’s just a matter of doing it that frightens me. Because I know–I know–what I must do. And I know that I’m going to fall again.

And again.

And probably again until I eventually land on the perfect, golden formula of time-management which constantly eludes me. But the truth is, no matter how much I may think it’ll be easier just to give up blogging in its entirety, just to have the fear of failure no longer sweating over my back, I can’t. I love it too much. I love my corner of the internet too much. And I love this community too much, even if I haven’t been as big a part of it lately as I’ve wanted to be.

But what I said about outgrowing things is still true, which is why I’m taking the plunge and–with any luck–changing some things up around here. I want to talk about books more. Good books, especially. Which is why–in the coming months–you might be seeing more reviews from me. But I also want to talk about writing and life, as well. Because being a writer isn’t all there is to living. There are so many adventures to be had out in this great and crazy world, and I want to go out and seize them. And I want to share my journey into the writing and publishing world with you all.

So even though I’ve been disappearing, Smudged Thoughts is sticking around, even if I have the occasional slip-up. Who knows if I’ll fall off the face of the earth again, but if I do, know that I will keep coming back.

Again and again and again.

>>> <<<

talk to me, peasants!

Well, I’m back. This wasn’t exactly the post I’d planned to publish today, but then again, plans have never been my strong suit. XD I’m not really sure what to ask for questions, though, so we’ll just go with something random.

If there is one post you’d like to see from me in the future, what is it, and why?

I currently have a few posts already planned or in the works, so let’s see if I can actually keep my head this time around…

As always, let’s talk about ALL of the things in the comments below! And until next time–because there will be a next time…

Kenzie’s Chaotic Return To The Blogosphere!: Ft. Where I’ve Been & What’s To Come

good morning, cyberspace!

*crashes through brick wall*

*skids to a halt*

*whips pitchfork onto the sofa*

I’M BACK, PEASANTS! Didja miss me? Didja not even notice I was gone? Do you wish that I would stay away for the next three thousand years and ne’er return because I am an amorphic blob of a mess who needs continual emotional support?

actually, don’t answer that.

Anyway, anyway. I am officially back, and it feels so so so SO good to finally be posting again! I mean, I realize I was only gone for a total of two weeks, but this past two weeks has been interesting, my friends. I broke a ukulele string (the horror), had a pre-midlife-crisis, and also started drafting a super secret project which I’m super secretly excited about! (shhhhh. it’s a secret. [but also more on this in a moment.])

I’m also still in quarantine. Which–I’ll be honest–is kind of making me lose my mind at this point. I COULD go over to the calendar and count how many days I’ve been in quarantine–I vividly remember my last normal day outside–but I’m pretty sure in doing so I will literally lose my mind. SO. We shall refrain from counting the days and instead focus on the fact that–with any luck–quarantine for my state will soon be over.

Hopefully.

Probably.

Please get me out of here. . . .

. . .moving on.

Seeing as though we are now halfway through May (excuse me, yes, I would like a refund on the year 2020, please. . .), I thought it would be fun to not only look back and reflect on the past two weeks of my absence, but also on the past four months.

If y’all remember, I made a list at the beginning of the year of all my super mega awesome goals for 2020. This post–alongside a giant, totally-doable timetable, also outlined a step-by-step plan that I fondly called The Four Month Fandangle Fantastic.

i am also beginning to deeply regret this name, so let’s just ignore that for now. XD

This plan was to ensure that I kept my aforementioned “totally doable” goals within check all throughout the year, and since we’ve just stepped across that first four-month threshold, I think now is the perfect time to take a peek back at that list and see how we’re doing!

And also make some much-needed revisions, because goodness knows we’re gonna need it.Read More »

Good Morning, 2020! (feat. my super awesome mega goals for the new year!)

good morning, cyberspace!

Last week we talked about all of the things that happened in 2019. This week, seeing as though it’s the bright, shiny new start to a brand new year (and also a brand new DECADE, but let’s just ignore that horrible thought for a moment), we’re going to be talking all about my super awesome mega plans for 2020! And, though I don’t want to give away too many spoilers for what’s to unfold in this post, I will say that some of these plans may or may not include taking the next step in my publishing journey. So. There’s that.

*eternal screaming*

shocked andrew scott GIF

Let’s dive right in, shall we?Read More »

GOOD MORNING, OCTOBER!: ft. All About That Pitch Wars & My Plans For October!

good morning, October!

I mentioned very briefly in my last post (which you should DEFINITELY check into if you haven’t already, because there are PRIZES and a WRITING CONTEST and ME SCREAMING FEROCIOUSLY INTO THE VOID) that I was going to be entering Pitch Wars. So today I’m here to go into a little bit more detail regarding that. But just a forewarning, this is mostly me just ranting and squealing and ripping my hair out over the anxiety that is Pitch Wars. So if you’d like to hear about which story I entered, what I’m working on now, and my mediocre plans for October, read-on, my peasant!Read More »

20 In 2 Days

good morning, cyberspace!

I’m turning 20 in 2 days, folks.

That is . . . very bizarre for me to type. Up until this point, my entire life has been split in two: childhood and teenagerdom. “20” was the proverbial age I would someday be–the age when I would finally be doing all of the adventurous, outlandish, sometimes preposterous things that I always dreamed of doing in my younger years.

“When I’m 20 I’ll know everything.”

“When I’m 20 I’ll travel the world.”

“When I’m 20 I’ll be a published author.”

(that last one, I’ll admit, kind of stings.)

Well, now I’m turning 20, and I still feel like I know nothing. I feel like I’ve done nothing. I feel like I’ve seen nothing. There’s this great, big, impossibly wondrous world right at my fingertips, and I feel like I’ve only poked my head into one tiny crevice of it.

But the truth is, after living for almost twenty years, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned how to write books. I’ve learned how to play the ukulele. I’ve learned math and science and discovered that no matter how hard I try, I will never be good at geography. I’ve learned that fondness is fickle, but love lasts forever. I’ve learned and forgotten how to speak French. I’ve made friends. I’ve lost friends. I’ve found friends again. When I stop to think about it, I really have seen and done and experienced so much, and all of that has been within the span of 19 years and 363 days.

I used to think my life was small, that for whatever reason, it wasn’t as big and beautiful and magical as everyone else’s. I used to think there was something missing, and I spent days upon days wondering what was wrong with me–why I wasn’t on the same track as everyone else my age. Why I felt so different.

It’s taken me almost twenty years, but I’ve finally realized that while we all may be running the exact same race in the end, each and every one of our tracks is different. Some are made of concrete and skyscrapers, and others of moss and dirt. Some are paved with obstacles and fiery hoops, while others appear to be smooth sailing (even though we all know they’re most definitely not). Some have trees and some have fireflies and some are swamped in moonlight. Some of us get head starts, and others are late bloomers. Some of us travel the world and see the stars from every angle, and some of us walk barefoot on our own land, planting our favorite flowers and drinking in the sunlight before the it falls in the exact same patterns all around us as we fall asleep each night.

19–nearly 20–years have passed, and I still don’t really know who I am yet. Part of me wants to travel the world (and part of me believes that I will one day, at least to an extent), and part of me wants to stay home with my books and my bird and let the world slip away outside my window unnoticed. Part of me wants to go out in search of adventure and magic, and part of me knows that I can create those things right here where I am already.

I have two days until I turn 20–practically one, really, seeing as though I’m writing this in the evening–and I most definitely do not have everything figured out. I haven’t traveled the world (though I have been to North Carolina), and I obviously have not published a book. In two days the death of my dream to be a published teenage author will arrive, and I will wake up and smile and eat a slice of cake in its remembrance. Because right now, it doesn’t matter that I’m not published. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t traveled the world yet. It doesn’t matter that there are a million things on my bucket list that I haven’t yet managed to check off. What matters is that every day I get up and take one little step closer towards the me I want to be tomorrow.

19 years and 363 days have brought me to this exact moment. And as I sit here in this chair, staring out the sun-stained window and finally acknowledging the beautiful, slightly messy, absolutely perfect life I’ve been blessed with, I can’t help but realize how so very lucky I am, after all.



TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!

What kinds of things have you learned in all the many years you’ve been alive? Do you want to travel the world someday (are you ALREADY traveling the world?) or would you rather stay home and read books and eat cake and listen to the sound of rain pattering down your windows? IS YOUR BIRTHDAY COMING SOON??? (or has it already passed like mine? we can commiserate together and eat stale cake. it’ll be great.)  And most importantly. . .

HAVE YOU NOTICED I’VE BEEN COMPLETELY AWOL THE PAST FEW WEEKS?????

AHA. This is because I just recently got my first ever job and am now trying to find my groove. But it’s fine. Things are finally beginning to fall into place again, so I guess this post is me reentering the blogosphere. I hope y’all didn’t miss me too awful much. (and also–if everything goes according to plan–I’ve got a fun announcement coming soon, so keep your peepers peeled for that!)

As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS!!! down in the comments below! And until next time. . .

_flings cookies in the air and disappears_

All The Many Things I Have Learned From Preschoolers

good morning, cyberspace!

Today’s post is a little bit shorter than usual, folks. In fact, I have a feeling that a lot of my near-future posts are going to be slightly shorter than usual, which, if I’m being honest, is kind of depressing. I thought that once July ended, my proverbial plate would get a little lighter, but due to some very idiotic decisions* and a thirst for storytelling**, this has not come to pass.

you shall not pass lord of the rings GIF

However, because I am nothing if not a DO ALL OF THE THINGS! kind of peasant, I have decided that even though it would be remarkably nice to go on a Hiatus during the month of August, I am not going to.

In fact, I completely and irrevocably refuse to. Because I just got off an? Hiatus. Obviously.

So while all my posts in the near-future might be looking a little less than (and possibly a little late ahahahahahahaha….hahaha…ha [blame my siblings, folks. they coerced me into playing Hello Neighbor yesterday. they’re evil. {jk. i love you, butts}]), I am still going to continue blogging through this slightly stressful time. I’m not going to promise that I’ll have a post out every week, because quite frankly, I’m not sure if that is going to happen. But I can promise that there will be a post at least every two weeks. I’ll shoot for every, but if all else fails. . .at least you’ll know I’ll be coming ’round the mountain eventually, amiright?

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HA.

. . .

Now let’s move on to the actual meat of this post.

*more details on this are coming soon

**please see above.Read More »