Good writing is hard. It’s okay to have help.

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If it makes sense in your head, why doesn’t it sound the same when you write?

Translating thoughts and ideas to paper (or in the modern world, the Google Doc) is easier said than done. I write often and I appreciate the help of these 5 tools. Even if writing is not your profession, I’m certain you will enjoy using many of these apps.

We all write emails, texts, and facebook messages, after all.

Oh, did I mention they’re all free?

1. Boomerang Respondable for Gmail

Emails that get read and responded to? Must be magic.

This might be my favorite on the list because…

a poem

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Photo by Valentina Locatelli on Unsplash

at home, there are journals and scrapbooks from years gone past
pages filled full of coloured hand scratch
changing each line with the smudge of the pen
names of boys, sometimes girls; some of them friends

at home, there are stories, hand-holds, and adventures forgotten
there’s a long winding driveway and a gravel grass path
there’s a sprinkler running to save the dry grass
there’s a bedroom unchanged, walls slanted and dark
still a tiny door that squeaks when you start

at home, there are bits and pieces of living once lived paintings and sculptures hand-made at one time artifacts…

If you do, it’s causing the opposite to happen.

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Photo by Kawin Harasai on Unsplash

I like feeling good. Powerful. Spiritual. Free.

I don’t like feeling small. Nor suffering. Nor feeling hurt, empty or bored.

I’d really just rather not.

If I feel some less than pleasant feelings showing their faces ‘round these partsdespite doing a lot of work to acknowledge them, accept them, and let them beI STILL to this DAY resist the heck out of them.

Then I do an extra-meta thing and I feel sad about feeling sad, or I feel shame about feeling sad. Welcome to being a Millennial, lol. If you’re not a Millennial and you’re reading…

And a look into my stats over the past 3 years

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Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

“On average, 5x as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you’ve written your headline, you’ve spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” —

When I start writing, I write the headline first, in my head.

Experimenting with headlines in my head helps me determine the angle of what I’m writing well before I sit down to write it.

I ask myself:

  • What is my main takeaway?
  • If I distilled this into one core message, can I explain it?
  • Do I prefer the way this angle sounds, or this angle?
  • Does this represent what I’m getting at? Can I be clearer?

Thing #1: Headlines are a handshake agreement between you and reader

As Writers, we are in a…

’tis the damn season

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Did you catch the Tswift reference above? If you got it, we’re both knee deep in the new album.

Now, for a *hot* minute, let’s talk about 2020. Christ, I know. Everyone is on social media discussing their year in review, and I hate to add to that, but, well…I’m about to.

Long story short, I survived.

(Yes, another TSwift reference).

I started the year in a breakup with someone I still saw at work daily, a trip to Los Angeles, a reconnection with that partner, a month together, another 1:30AM breakup, and then….a lockdown. It almost feels like the space before March 19th 2020…

A poem for last year’s lover

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Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Dear last year lover,

I know you, you’re like this.
You’re excited by nice things
Pretty things
Young things.

Is it their energy you need?
Their heart to fill your holes?
Their innocence to replace what was ripped away?

Last year’s vibration — was it mine or yours?
When we collided, who spoke first?

Who broke first?

That night in December we went to a comedy show, we laughed. You wore that purple v neck shirt and we drove home. We played some piano, then you cried. You cried hard. Not saying much about why. But the words you spoke…

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Photo by Jose Murillo on Unsplash

Thankfully, sex is his second language.

He listens and looks, before he touches and licks.

That’s unlike the others — many of them.

The last spoke skin to skin. Hand in hand, chest on chest.

Without contact, he froze. Paralyzed by communication, he stared. And all there was was silence.

During sex, he’d speak to me. He’d ask me to tell him things, he’d say things and I’d say them back, grateful for an opportunity to hear him. To have him hear me.

Was he listening?

But when it was important, our clothes were on, and I had a question…

You can look “well” and still be sick

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Original artwork by Juliahummel

It started with an itch.

So simple. So ordinary.

Itch: An uncomfortable sensation on the skin that causes a desire to scratch.

An itch is one thing.

What does it mean to be itchy?

Nervous and unable to relax. Antsy, uncomfortable, tingling, tense, fidgety, painful, crawling, prickly.

Not many people know what it feels like to be itchy over their entire body, every second of every day — I do.

The itch began on a day like any other.

I was enjoying a sunny spring walk on Queen Street West with my partner.

Without warning, an intense heat washed over me. From top to bottom I was covered in…

Turns out her boundary was “no more of you”

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Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

I think that I’m a good friend.

I’m also hyperaware that I talk a lot, and I think a lot, and for some people — that can be, well, a lot.

But with my friend — let’s call her Vanessa — I thought we were the right amount of a lot, together.

Our friendship built in what, in hindsight, feels like a fast and furious connection. We have a shared hobby which brought us together on a weekly basis, in a location we both didn’t know, and a late-night lockup routine that had us relying on each other.

As time…

7 things, including what makes you worthy of the ‘Writer’ title

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Photo by Mr TT on Unsplash

In February 2018 — over 2 years ago — I published my first story on this platform.

It wasn’t the first time I’d written personal essays online.

In fact, I’ve had several blogs over the years. One about traveling and living abroad (it was called seeinglemonde because I’m bilingual :-)), the other was called mythingamajob (it’s still active, in case you wanna dive down a rabbit hole?) where I gave career advice to young job seekers like moi.

But the thing about those blogs was that they felt safe. They felt hidden.

Publishing on Medium felt raw and exposed (spoiler alert: it still does).

There’s a lot of readers here…

Julia Rose

I write about relationships, self-development, growth (& sometimes writing, how meta). Canadian. @juliarosecontent

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