Write Way Wednesdays

About a year ago, I started writing weekly posts on Facebook that I dubbed Write Way Wednesdays. These were simple, bulleted lists meant to keep my family and friends up-to-date on my novel-writing progress, but eventually, they morphed into more.

Write Way Wednesdays were named as such because it was through writing that I finally found my way. I found my way through the fear and doubt and resistance that not only kept me from making progress on my novel, but also kept me feeling just generally stuck in my life, too.

I often felt alone in this. I’d see other people doing the things I wanted to do—fearlessly chasing down dreams, knocking out goal after goal after goal, successfully writing and selling books—and I’d feel so behind and inferior and incapable.

But then by a series of fortunate events, I managed to forge some connections with others through personal growth workshops and online communities and social media groups, and I began to realize that there were others a lot like me. Those who repeatedly find themselves trapped by self-induced sabotage and confidence-shaking doubt and growth-stunting fear. And I wondered if by opening up about my experience and sharing what I’ve learned, I might be able to help even one person who has struggled to move forward as I had.

So that’s when Write Way Wednesdays became both an avenue for those writing updates and also a platform for offering encouragement, not only to writers, but to anyone with a goal, a dream, or an aspiration that has thus far felt unattainable. That’s also when those simple written posts turned into more involved videos—an uncomfortable but necessary step in my own growth process—and then, most recently, into Facebook Live videos.

I share all this here now for two reasons:

  1. To show that growth—real growth with permanent staying power—requires taking a lot of small steps. It was always my intent to do Write Way Wednesdays as Live videos. I talked about this idea with a good friend of mine last winter, but it took several months of continuing to write the posts before I graduated to recorded videos. And it took several more months (eight, to be exact) before I found the nerve to sit in front of a camera in real time. The point is progress from written posts to Live videos was a giant leap for me, but within that giant leap there were a number of smaller steps, many of which I didn’t even realize were moving me forward until I looked back. Which brings me to my second reason for sharing this now, and that is hope.
  2. It is my hope that these Write Way Wednesday videos will act as one of those smaller steps for you. That by opening a genuine dialogue centered on growth and goals and the struggles and successes involved in both, we can encourage and inspire each other. In that vein, I’m changing things up just a bit. Whereas previously, I approached these videos with fully scripted ideas, I now would like to focus more on you. What have you learned on your journey? What goals are you reaching for? What successful steps are you celebrating? What obstacles have you encountered? My vision is to make these live discussions as open and welcoming as possible, so that we might all find the support and confidence we need to take that next step on our own path.

So join me on Facebook* every Wednesday at noon (CT) with your questions, your stories, your experiences and wisdom. And be sure to invite your friends, because life is simply made more beautiful through community.

*If you’re not on Facebook or you prefer to read versus watch videos, I will post a Write Way Wednesday recap here every Thursday morning, where you are welcome to share any thoughts, questions, or suggested discussion topics in the comments section.

Blogger’s Remorse

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

There have been a few times over the last year+ of blogging and writing social media posts when I suffered from near immediate regret after clicking that “publish” button. A little blogger’s remorse, if you will. As soon as my words were released into the public sphere, I wished for the power to reach my hand into my computer and retrieve them.

Sometimes it was because I had shared something a little personal—a fear, a dream, a story of rejection. Other times it was simply a feeling of uncertainty—will my perspective be offensive, judged, ignored? Did my tone and style appropriately convey the point I was trying to make?

Regardless of the reasons surrounding my self-doubt, in almost every case, the more discomfort I felt after sharing these posts, the more they seemed to resonate with others.

Why? The only common denominator I could come up with is vulnerability. These posts showed flaws and insecurities and challenges—things we all struggle with but don’t always admit to for fear of appearing foolish or weak or somehow inferior. And no one wants to wear those labels. Especially not when everybody else seems to have it all together.

But I’m learning that although vulnerability and weakness are listed as synonyms in the dictionary, that isn’t always true in real life. In fact, the ability to be vulnerable is more of a strength. An act of courage that can lead to connection. And genuine connection is the very thing for which we humans were designed.

Unfortunately, knowing and even truly believing this doesn’t make it any easier. It is likely I will still finish writing this and future posts and send them off into cyberspace with bated breath.

The difference is that in the place of that automatic reflex of regret, there is hope. Hope that these words will reach and empower and encourage. The remorse part is now reserved for other, more questionable choices. Like the perm I got a few years ago.

The Rainbow of Goal Realization – A Recap

A couple months ago, while brainstorming my next blog series, my husband offered a suggestion. “Maybe you could do something using the colors of the rainbow,” he said. I loved the idea and immediately set to work turning the Roy G. Biv acronym into something related to self-growth. Thus, The Rainbow of Goal Realization was born.

After that, the real work began, because although I had a title, I wasn’t entirely certain of the pathway from desire to triumph. I might have had a few successes of late, but for the most part, I’ve spent a lot more time uncovering avenues that lead away from achievement rather than toward it.

But as I sat with the idea a little longer, as I thought about what it took to go the distance and see a goal through to fruition, the words and steps seemed to fall into place: Reason. Organization. Yes! Go! Become. Inspire. Victory.

What I didn’t realize until hindsight gifted me with a clearer perspective, though, was that as I developed this blog series and encouraged you to take these steps, I was actually taking them right along with you.

Although my ultimate goal is to traditionally publish my novel and my reason for doing so is because “words are important to me and by sharing mine I hope to add joy and inspiration to the lives of those who read them,” there are numerous, smaller objectives that have propelled me forward in my journey.

A few of those stepping stone goals have included building an online presence through social media platforms and a website/blog, finishing my novel manuscript, getting beta reader feedback, and researching and querying literary agents.

But there are two other goals that I’ve had in my procrastinating back pocket for over half a year—doing consistent LIVE Facebook videos and creating a newsletter. And as I made my way through each color of the rainbow, I also began organizing and saying Yes! and getting going on these goals, until one day I arrived at the last one: V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.

I did my first Facebook LIVE video last week and my second yesterday, and the forms to sign up for my new author newsletter went live on my website in late February. (By the way, if you haven’t yet subscribed, pop over to the home page, fill out the form, and the first edition will arrive in your inbox mid-March.)

My point is this: I’m not just the author of this blog series, I’m a tried and true representative of its effectiveness. The Rainbow of Goal Realization actual works. Accomplishing a goal by following these steps is not just possible, it’s probable. The caveat: we must be purposeful in order to make it happen.

We have to take the steps. We have to know our Reason and get Organized and commit to saying Yes! and motivate ourselves to Go! and Become and Inspire and then, THEN, comes Victory. Then comes the celebration. Then comes the pride of accomplishment, the recognition of growth, and the increase in confidence.

You can do it, dear friend. You can take that first step. I believe in you. And I am right here with you.

A One-Year Blogiversary

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Hey, friends! Guess what tomorrow is?

It’s my one-year blogiversary! (That looks made up, doesn’t it? It’s not, though. It’s actually in the Urban Dictionary. A fact I discovered after I googled it and realized that the word I thought I had so cleverly coined had already been invented by someone else. Ah well, such is life.)

Anyway, this blogiversary is noteworthy because it means that I have had an active blog for 12 months now. That’s 52 weeks, 366 days (yay, leap year!), and 105 blog posts.

But more significant than all the statistics is the existence of the two biggest things I was often missing in my writing practice: commitment and consistency.

I once read a quote somewhere that said if we keep doing what we’re doing today, we’ll have more of what we’ve got tomorrow. Unfortunately, a Google search turned up empty on this one, so I may not be remembering it exactly, but that’s the gist of it. And that is basically the embodiment of commitment and consistency.

The more consistently I wrote those blog posts, the more committed I became to writing them. And after a while that commitment developed into a habit, which then created a domino effect of growth and progress in other areas of my life. I developed more confidence (not a lot, but enough to be noticeable), more courage, and the narrative surrounding who I am and what I’m capable of changed.

So, whatever growth you want to see in your life, whatever change you want to make, I encourage you to stick with it. Make the commitment to build those consistent habits today and you will have more of what you want tomorrow. And next week. And next month. And before you know it, you’ll be celebrating your own blogiversary, or bookiversary, or healthierbodiversary. (Ok, so it doesn’t work with everything.)