Writer’s Write Blog Hop – The Pull

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I felt the pull, like cords in charge of keeping you from bungeeing too far, the first time I referred to myself as a blogger. The cords were there to keep me safe. Protect me from the unknown. I understand that now.

What exactly qualified me as a blogger anyway? I mean, I had no real training. Only a few hours scoping out a site geared towards helping “wannabes” create their first blog.

The participants were encouraging. Very encouraging. But they knew what a blogger should look like. And, a real blogger didn’t have a free site. No, a real blogger bought a domain name, found a hosting company and learned how to tweak a theme beyond recognition.

A real blogger understood that content was king and that pictures were mandatory. A real blogger knew which plugins to install and, when their site slowed to a crawl, a real blogger knew which plugins to uninstall. A real blogger knew social media…well.

All I wanted to do was write. But it seemed you weren’t writing correctly if you weren’t writing with T’s crossed and I’s dotted. So, I learned how to write correctly. I mean, if everyone else is doing it this way…it must be the right way. Right? Doing it all, however, lead to my not wanting to do any of it.

My pictures were inconsistent and I couldn’t seem to get my life to revolve around keywords. Writing wasn’t suppose to be this hard. Obviously, I wasn’t qualified to be a blogger.

Deja Vue

That wasn’t my first experience with bungee cords, however. I felt them tighten around my mid-section as a teen when I wanted to be an artist and again, in my twenties, when I wanted to be a singer.

Always there to protect me. They pull me back long enough to see the bigger picture. I can’t leap without researching, without hearing all the rules and requirements from the experts. Right?

Art can’t be created by letting what’s on the inside manifest into something haphazard on the outside. Singing, I mean real singing, isn’t an exploration of your voice where notes start bad and just get better.

No, if you’re going to do it, you have to want to be the best at it. Right?

Go hard or go home. Right?

All or nothing. Right?

On Second Thought

The only thing between me and my writing, singing and art has been my fear of being told that my contribution isn’t enough. The fear that someone will say because I didn’t train with ______, attend _____ or know about _____, I’m not fit to play.

But that’s simply not true. God gave us our gifts, all of them, and no matter what, we’re fit to play. On any stage we desire. We’re also fit to get better along the way.

Wrapped in the cords of fear, however, our desire to contribute, willingness to learn as we go, ability to find others with which to share the journey and excitement for playing die.

We find doubt, naysayers and requirements when we allow the cord to pull us back, forcing us to look outward, instead of daring us to quiet the noise long enough to go inward. Right? Right.

Blog Hop Questions:

What am I working on/writing?
Over the last few years, my desire to assist women in corporate has greatly increased. As a result, I’ve been focused on creating resources that will help women identify their goals and assist them with charting the course to successfully attain those goals. Currently, I’m working on a novel about a young woman torn between the gifts in her dreams and the job in her reality, a self-awareness manual that brings attention to how our unconscious choices affect our long-term career goals and a teleclass aimed to help young women prepare for corporate careers.

How does my work/writing differ from others in its genre?
I find that I write best when I not only have a personal story to tell but a moral to the story as well. My consistency in blogging has suffered in the past because I find it difficult to write about situations where I lack full circle understanding. While I’m sure I’m not the only writer wired like this, I definitely think it sets my writing apart.

Why do I write what I do?
Through my writing I hope to help others. It’s important to me that women feel less alone when dealing with challenges so I share as much as I can. Whether I’m writing about life as a single mom, my day-to-day experiences or a challenge I faced while growing up in corporate America, I hope that it helps someone else.

How does my writing process work?
Actually, I could use a process.:) Currently, my muse visits while I’m doing some of the most mindless tasks possible. An idea might start in the shower, develop while I’m brushing my teeth and reach completion while I’m driving. Of course, this process makes it difficult to record my thoughts. And, while I try to scribble a bit here and there, many times, I’m writing full posts on my cellphone in the parking deck just before going heading into the office.

This blog hop was a major stretching of my cords and I’m thankful that Kim Jorgensen Gane invited me along and that the ladies below have taken this journey with me. You can find their posts next week:

Ruth Curran, MSRuth Curran, MS
Ruth’s passion and area of intense study is the connection between the brain and daily functioning. After years working in operations and corporate psychology, she built a business around using brain health as a way to increase engagement. She created a series of white-labeled, customizable, photo-based thinking puzzles, games, and Apps and writes about brain healthy living. Ruth’s primary focus is on using games and “play” to inspire people to imagine, use strategies, and focus as a path to better thinking, better functioning, and better quality of life.

Ruth writes about everyday brain health – turning everyday activities into brain boosters — on one of the two blogs on Cranium Crunches site and building a better brain through purposeful activities on the other. Ruth believes that everyone – no matter the stage of life – has the power to harness and use neuroplasticity to live a richer, deeper, and fuller life.

Ruth Curran, MS
@CaptCruncher
www.craniumcrunches.com
www.brainbasedsolutionsinc.com
 

 

Chelle RamseyAn avid reader since her primary years, Chelle Ramsey saw books as an escape mechanism. Excited by the worlds, and characters that could be created with a touch of the imagination, she began writing her own stories at the age of 12. The more enamored with storytelling she became, the more she wanted to create stories about the suffering, and hardships she saw others enduring, with one twist…her characters would rise above their adversities and limitations, but not always with traditional endings.
This busy wife, and mother of three, exchanged her Girl Scout Leader pins for her creative writing pen, as she began to focus on publishing her novels. In her spare time, when she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading mystery novels, watching the NBA, remodeling their home with her husband, and spending time with him and their children. Having an MBA in Human Resource Management, she says she cannot wait for the day when writing becomes her full-time career. “If I can show my readers they are not alone, in dealing with their challenges, and that they can rise above their limitations, I have achieved my goal,” Ramsey says.

Contact Info:
Website: www.cmichelleramsey.com
FB: Author Chelle Ramsey
Twitter: @ChellesBooks
Pinterest: ChellesBooks
Blog: www.writingmydreams.com

 

Corinne RodriguesA Mumbai-based blogger, writer, motivator – journeying happily through midlife. Corinne Rodrigues blogs at Everyday Gyaan, Write Tribe and From 7Eight. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

 

 

 

 

As Good A Day As Any

Today was a decision-making kinda day.
A pick up the phone and ask questions kinda day.
An Is it really that serious? kinda day.
A don’t look, just leap kinda day.

Today was a realization kinda day.
A when things aren’t clear, I shut down kinda day.
Where all the whatifs gathered in the center of my stomach kinda day.
A throw the baby out with the bath water and caution to the wind kinda day.

I promised to finish some things today.
On today, I confirmed that the trees wouldn’t stop breathing as a result of my unwillingness to look for my own answers.
This day, I realized that the companies have anticipated my need for assistance.
Then, I gave myself persmission to ask for it.
I put some things to rest today.
Internally and externally, today.

My blog, it’s colors, format and feel will change.
Right now, however, it was enough to follow through on the decision to just show up.
Without all the answers.
Without knowing exactly what to say.
Without a path.
Because it’s just not that serious.
It was just that kinda day but as good a day as any.

Tell the Truth, We’re Stronger Than You Think

There’s a story about a woman who found a snake frozen in the snow and, feeling sorry for the snake, she placed it in her bra for warmth.Well, when the snake thawed, it bit her. Shocked she said, “I gave you warmth when you were cold!?” to which the snake replied, “You knew I was snake in the beginning.”

While I start this post about being more truthful with a story about a snake, I’m in no way implying that everyone is a snake. I would, however, like you to see the snake in the story as a symbol of strength. When he was frozen, he was vulnerable, weak. He had taken more than a few blows from life and it looked like he was down for the count. However, given some time to recuperate, he returned to his original form…one of strength.

Many times we aren’t honest because we consider all that the other person has been through already and, we determine, they can’t handle the truth. But they can. They’ve handled all that life has handed them thus far and they will handle it long after you and I are gone. We bounce back.

Though not intentional, it’s easy to try to build a permanent foundation on a temporary situation. Yes, your friend maybe going through a tough time but, if it’s been placed on your heart to tell them that they are in that situation as a result of their own actions, say it and hope they’d do the same for you. It’s the dose of cold water in the face we all need at times. The setback is temporary, our strength is permanent.

Be.More.Honest.

Be.More.Honest.

 

Many years ago, one of my best friends said, “Well, either you’re going to deal with it or you’re not” in reference to a relationship she’d heard me complain about for years. She was as emotionless as you can imagine and I just about fell out of my chair.

For a few seconds, I thought. “Doesn’t she know how hard it is to go through a divorce?” “Doesn’t she understand how heartbroken I am?” “EVERYONE says that dealing with a divorce is like dealing with a death.”

Oh, I wanted to justify and excuse and complain some more. But I didn’t. Me and my bruised ego politely wrapped up that conversation and got off the phone. What I hadn’t taken into consideration is that she wasn’t dealing with something “like” death, she’d just buried her mom. So what kind of friend was I? And, while the wound felt fresh to me, because I kept picking at the scab, she’d probably heard five years of my griping and complaining.

In all honesty, it was pass time to show me a little tough love.

Had she said the same thing to me in the past, only nicer? Maybe. Sometimes honesty comes so watered down that you miss the point. Other times, however, it’s not gentle at all. Honesty can sound mean, like being a hater or no longer caring. There are times when relationships end as a result of honesty. Yet, I’d be willing to bet that many times, everyone’s better for it.

Think about it, if you’re on the phone or spending time with someone who you can’t be honest with, the relationship is primarily based on what has not been said. It’s not a real relationship. I’d think your time would be better spent creating new relationships or figuring out how best to start over on the current one. How long are you willing to trade in hours for a relationship that doesn’t truly represent you? How long do you keep pulling strings to keep someone in your life? Chances are, it hasn’t been a friendship in a long time.

For many years, I’ve frowned upon the thought of doctors that tell their patients that they have a terminal illness. I’m not sure who I’d rather the doctor dump the news on but the thought of hearing those words seemed like more than I could handle. So, for a long time, I’ve said that I wouldn’t want a doctor to tell me. In essence, I was saying I’m not strong enough. But, I am.

There’s power, choices and opportunity in knowing and telling the truth. If I choose to cry, scream, sulk, lick my wounds or not talk to you for a spell, I have that choice. So do you and those that you are honest with.

Today, I found myself thinking a lot about strength. Just because someone doesn’t seem strong, right now, doesn’t mean that they lack strength.

I’ve been in my own personal life class of how to tell the truth and how to hear the truth for a while now. I want to be a better giver and receiver in this area.

I know I will not get the tone, words and timing right every time but know that I will always try to be mindful of my deliverance. Even a thoughtful attempt is better than a boat load of unsaid.

Besides, when we get mad, it’s all coming out anyway and whether we blame it on alcohol, having a bad day or simply not being a real friend, one thing’s for sure, when it comes out, it’ll be the truth.

A Little Closer to Done

There’s nothing like the overwhelm that comes with unfinished tasks. A good idea somehow turns into a need to and, before you know it, the Shoulds are pointing their skinny little fingers at you. Like all great procrastinators, you run through your list - once or twice several times a day - trying not to forget anything. In no time, you’re drained to the point of going to bed early and sleeping late.

And, who came up with this Fall Back/Spring Forward stuff anyway? I need all of my hours. Especially, the ones that give me more sunlight at the end of the day. I don’t need another hour of sunlight in the morning when I’m trying to sleep. For me, Darkness + Anywhere near my bed = Sleep. Sorry, I’m just wired that way.

If you haven’t felt any of the overwhelm I’m speaking of, consider yourself blessed because it’s been my primary emotion this year.

Today, however, in the midst of yet another round of color coordinating and sorting by size all the balls I’m juggling between my ears, I had the urge to create a list. Well, it obviously wasn’t enough of an urge because I didn’t move on it. I did, however, sling it in with all the other balls. Did I mention I’m horrible at juggling?

Obviously, unhappy with my lack of commitment, the universe pulled out the big guns…Karen Sandoval and her post Thursday Things. Turns out, Karen has a few things to do as well. And, just in case I thought there were no bullets in the gun, Karen innocently responded to my comment (more procrastination) with a direct call to action “…Do it! Then link me!”

(Insert blank stare here)

She’s even started crossing things off her list…isn’t that grand?!

Welp, guess I’d better get to it.

  1. Freelance Project: Call web designer, again, to discuss blog format.
  2. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  3. Freelance Project: Write three blog posts.
  4. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  5. Freelance Project: Install screenwriting software for Monday’s meeting.
  6. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  7. Register for programming class.
  8. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  9. Write blog post. Thanks, Karen! :)
  10. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  11. Follow up on AdWords account status.
  12. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  13. Write newsletter for Monday 2/10…”Too Early For Procrastination” sounds like a good title.
  14. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  15. Read a few more chapters from APE: Author Publisher Entrepreneur.
  16. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching
  17. Gather tax documents.
  18. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching
  19. Journal about the two crazy dreams I had after devouring a Sonic’s All-American hotdog and washing it down with a green apple Sprite. Wondering if there’s more meaning to those dreams than don’t have a hotdog and Sprite before bed?
  20. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  21. Purchase ticket to BlogHer ’14 conference.
  22. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  23. Put desk-sized calendar on the wall or…the desk.
  24. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  25. Call him back.
  26. Complete another chapter in my book, March 31st is fast approaching.
  27. Wash the car and get an oil change.

I guess you can tell where most of my angst is coming from. For some reason, it seems committing to others is far easier than committing to myself. Like Karen, I also have some around the house chores but they aren’t bothering me like the ones above. Or, rather, the one above.

Writing the book is only one piece, there’s rewriting, editing, beta readers, ISBN numbers to order and a cover to design. The writing has to come first even thought the world keeps turning.

Today, I’ll write first and then I’ll knock out one of the other tasks. I don’t like feeling bad or watching time slip through my fingers. Time moves whether we choose to or not.

Thanks, Karen, for the huge part you, unknowingly, played in this process. Because of you, I know, I’m a little closer to done. If nothing else…I can better prioritize.

So. where are you on your list? Is what’s really important at the top of your list or did you give that spot to someone else?

My Prayer For You

New Years

As we countdown the last few hours of 2013, I am praying that you have…

A Prosperous Year – A year of more. A year of more knowledge, more peace, more patience, more love, more good health, more clarity, more commitment, more organization and more opportunities.

What about more money? Read more

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