Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Posts tagged ‘blogging’

August 28, 2015 Without Even Realizing It

That ol’ Subconscious Gets Me Every Time

This week, the lovely and talented Gina Horkey challenged us to make use of our social media contacts to expand our business. I had not planned to take the challenge since I’m not even meeting my goals for editing my book right now. (more on that later). It seems the Universe and a part of me which hides in the background had other ideas. While dancing last night, I got into not one but three conversations in which blogging for hire came up and business cards or emails were exchanged. OK, to be fair, the third one is more likely to yield accounting work, if anything, but hey, networking is networking and work is work, right?

I’m also finding that the niches I imagined for myself are not materializing. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot of writing about healthy eating, natural remedies and the like, which is fine as the subject is definitely of interest to me. It just wasn’t where I expected to go. But it’s working and better yet, I’m learning something with every post I write. To me, that’s a win-win.

Where Has All the Writing Gone?

Meanwhile, back at the computer, I’ve done a lot of extra running around this week, finished some accounting work for one client and written a couple of blog posts for another, but my own projects have fallen by the wayside. Today, I was trying to read the crit pieces for my group tomorrow and just couldn’t think of a single thing to say about any of them. I walked away for awhile and finally came to the conclusion that it’s because I have failed myself. Until I can rectify that particular problem, I won’t be of any use to anyone else, and my brain will just not focus on the work of others. I hate to neglect my fellow Inklings, but I will truly be a better critiquer for honoring my commitments to myself first. My dear friend, the Universe is making it clear that I will not be allowed to proceed until I make the effort to move myself along my chosen path. I think I also found myself intimidated by a very well thought out story complete with a fully-built world which I read tonight. Despite the fact that I’m in revision number 3, I have yet to actually sit down and figure out the rules for my world or create a chapter by chapter map of where the story is going.

The question is, is it necessary for me to do so, and frankly, I don’t have the answer to that question. But one thing I know for sure, sitting around stewing about it instead of actually getting something done is worse than proceeding without a real plan. In all honesty, the story has already changed a lot and most of that isn’t even my doing. Every time I sit down to work on it, I just somehow know what needs to be cut and where I need to go next. I flip through the already written pages to find that next section, despite the fact that I haven’t re-read the manuscript all the way through in months. Do I question this guidance and try to force myself to meticulously create the world and the outline of chapters? Not at this juncture. I think it would thwart me more than help me.

Can a Pantser Learn Some of the Techniques the Plotters Use?

In some ways, I envy the plotter’s ability to map their story out so effectively. Some of their techniques would surely allow me to tighten up my story…I think. I’m still working my way through Holly Lisle’s writing course, ever-so-slowly. Perhaps that’s where I’ll learn how to better organize my thoughts and do a more effective re-write. Or maybe I won’t. I think my worst enemy right now is sitting around thinking about what I need to do to improve the manuscript and not getting any further. Thus, I’m going to skip tomorrow’s meeting, stop stressing over trying to critique the three pieces and focus on getting a good night’s sleep and an even better day’s work tomorrow. Sasha’s Journey must get through the second rewrite before November 1st. I’ve promised myself it will and I really hate to disappoint myself!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the little self-talks I have which get me back on track.
2. I am grateful for a day of quiet reflection under the latest Super Moon. (which may be why I’m so unsettled)
3. I am grateful for my furry companions who don’t allow me to sink too far into myself.
4. I am grateful for my dance friends and the dance community in general. I share a healthier lifestyle simply because I dance socially.
5. I am grateful for abundance: epiphanies, challenges, lessons, love, music, friendship, joy, peace, harmony, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be


I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Advertisements

August 7, 2015 Internal Conflicts: Facts or Leaps of Faith?

Taking a Step Back to Find the Real Message

Against my better judgement, I read an article yesterday which impacted me profoundly, and not in a good way. I was tempted to blog about it, but after thinking it through, realized I didn’t want to share that kind of negativity here. As a result I didn’t post at all yesterday.

Now that I’ve thought it through, I realize that as bloggers, we have a right to post whatever we want to post. Sometimes, it’s controversial, sometimes it’s a rant, but always, it is coming from our own hearts. I, myself have offended someone more than once, but am grateful that I have the opportunity to write what I feel rather than what is politically correct. In the words of a friend I had years ago, either you love me or you hate me, but you’ll always know where I stand.

Knowing When to Gather the Facts and When to Just Leap

I make no apologies for my opinions nor do I claim that everything I say is based on fact. So much of what I write, in fact, what I live is driven by my gut that to claim my reasoning is fact-based is not only presumptuous but pretentious as well. If we waited until we had all of the facts, Leaps of Faith would never be taken at all, and some of the greatest inventions, the most beautiful art and music would never be created.

I won’t claim that I live my life on the edge; I don’t take what I would consider foolish, life-threatening chances (you’ll never find me bungee jumping or leaping from a perfectly good plane!), but I do take chances others might consider foolish, like quitting a perfectly good job to write. Granted, I was feeling like I was dying inside by continuing to put so much effort into being an accountant, but I admit that to some folks, it was, indeed a foolish risk. All of the classic wisdom says to get your writing career established before leaving your job. Forgive me if I never was a fan of classic wisdom.

I think that what makes it possible to make those leaps of faith is that somewhere deep inside we know that if it doesn’t work out, we have options. We have learned (especially after being around for as many years as I have) that we are allowed to make mistakes. We are allowed to make decisions and change them. We are allowed to figure it out as we go, and, in fact, it makes life a lot more interesting than planning every detail right down to the gnat’s ass, assuming, of course, you don’t suffer from OCD. The best times of my life have been when I’ve allowed myself to fly by the seat of my pants.

Society has taught us that the most important thing an adult can do is make a living. We are conditioned to work in a job which kills our soul simply because it provides a good life for ourselves and our children. In that, I guess I’ve failed. Sure, I worked in a job which left my passion dying inside, but there were several times when I went off on my own while the girls were growing up. I didn’t really put a lot of thought into it, so I did a lousy job of promoting my accounting business but I was around more to help in their classrooms and drive to various events. They did without a lot of things including a band trip I don’t even remember hearing about.

I didn’t take the time to study for and take the CPA exam, nor do the requisite 60 hour weeks to get certified. It would have landed me a job with more money but less quality time for my daughters and more stress for me. Did I really make the wrong choice? The only way to know for sure would be to go back and re-live my life, and even then, would all of the variables be the same?

Making the Trade-off from Secure Accountant to Insecure Writer

As an accountant, I usually felt that I knew my field. Sure, I wasn’t letter-perfect on GAAP and GAAS and the like, but neither was I in a position which required it. It was more important for me to know my systems and how to maintain audit trails. It was less important that I had all of the answers, yet critical that I knew where to go to find them. In everything, I had to be able to substantiate my position because management and sales will always try to circumvent proper accounting procedure. Even so, there were times when it was important for me to justify modifications due to limitations in a small company. Either way, I had the skills I required after many years in the industry.

As a writer, the whole thing changes. I remember one person in a critique group who was supposedly helping me improve my work asking in a rather patronizing way: “Have you even taken a writing course?” I was so dumbfounded, I couldn’t even bring to mind the many creative writing courses I’d taken in both high school and college, and, sadly, allowed her to cow me. Thankfully, I soon realized that she was as insecure as I was, but demonstrated it by trying to act superior to people who were newer to moving into a writer’s career path. Suffice it to say, I took the lesson and ended the association.

As a writer, I will always feel that my work needs improvement. I won’t, as this woman claimed, revise my novel 100 times before deeming it ready to publish. If my revisions and rewrites are so poor as to require that many revisits, I’m clearly missing the entire point and learning nothing from the books I read and the crits I attend. Being insecure as a writer or really, as an artist is just part of the game. If we didn’t believe we needed improvement, we’d never put in the effort to do so. We’d never ask the opinion of others or read books or attend classes. It is because we’re insecure that our writing improves. Granted, some of us take way too long to come out of that insecure shell that says You can’t do this. You’ll never make it so don’t even try. It takes some of us awhile to silence the voice and give it our best shot.

And yet, it is probably because of this that I find myself encouraging the high school and college-age members of my crit group. I wish I’d had the guts to silence that voice sooner. Knowing they, too, have that voice, I give them a ton of credit for trying, and for making sure the world doesn’t have to wait forever for the wonderful stories they have to tell.

ADD Strikes Again

Once again, I see I’ve wandered all over the map, topic-wise. Only someone else with ADD will probably see how everything connects, but as I said in the beginning, I can write whatever I want in my blog, just as you can read whatever you fancy. In a way, this is the brain dump I used to use so extensively when I needed to work something out in my mind. Here, I share the process with anyone who’s interested, yet, when all is said and done, I’ve accomplished the same thing. I’ve resolved something in my mind or unclogged a blockage or made a decision. It’s a system that has worked for me pretty much all my life, so I see no reason to change it now.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful that the blogging medium allows so much latitude.
2. I am grateful for the people who put up with my mind wanders and come back to read what my crazy, twisted brain is doing, day after day, week after week.
3. I am grateful for a week with three nights of dancing, though I need to figure out how to space it out instead of cramming it into three consecutive nights.
4. I am grateful for a body which, despite aches and pains, continues to support me and get me out of bed every day to do both the tasks I want to and those I need to as well.
5. I am grateful for abundance: life, love, friendship, ideas, motivation, improvement, health, harmony, peace, prosperity and philanthropy.

Blessed Be

I’d appreciate your taking a moment to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

January 8, 2015 Literary wake-up call

Yesterday marked a milestone in my literary career

Yes, folks. I experienced my first, of what I am certain will be many, rejection. It wasn’t a rejection in the traditional sense, with a polite but impersonal “thanks but no thanks” form letter. No, it was simply a complete lack of readership for a post I felt was some of my best work to date. When I finished writing my last post, I had a tremendous feeling of euphoria, as if what I’d written was really meaningful.

Sadly, those who do manage to find my little island in a vast sea of blogs did not agree. Though I had what has become since I moved my blog to WordPress a passably good day, not a single reader looked at the post for the day. All 16 hits were for previous days’ posts.

There is a lesson to be had, here.

I’ve been spinning my wheels trying to complete my copywriting course, struggling valiantly to work on something which just didn’t feel very good. This little lesson made me realize that I must first focus on the blogs I’ve subscribed to which address the creation of a successful blog. Thus, I will begin on the morrow to go back into my archive of emails which, thanks to the copywriting course have been carefully saved by category and sometimes by sender and begin educating myself in what really amounts to self-promotion.

This comes at a rather opportune moment since I finally settled on a topic for my website. I thought the copywriting class would hone the skills I needed to launch a successful website, but I now believe that it’s the blogging tutorials which will hold me in better stead.

Still more changes are coming to my approach.

I also realized that waiting for feedback on my first novel was beginning to bear a strong resemblance to waiting for Godot. My current options have been:
1. Work on the novel I began this past November, and complete the first draft.
2. Work on the short story I started yesterday.
3. Go back and start the second rewrite of my first novel without feedback.

As it stands right now, I’m thinking that number three will probably win out, but then, something could happen tomorrow which would change my mind yet again. Either way, I plan to put at least a couple of hours a day into studying those blog posts about blogging.

I leave you now, a little humbler and a little wiser, but as yet, undaunted.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the painful lessons.
2. I am grateful that tomorrow is another day.
3. I am grateful that I have arrived at a plan which is less of a chore for me to actually accomplish.
4. I am grateful for setbacks as they allow me to rethink and replan.
5. I am grateful for abundance: opportunities, ideas, inspiration, information, love, peace, harmony, health, beauty and prosperity.

Blessed Be

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: