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Currently Browsing: Blogging Along

I Don’t Ask

The fact that I don’t ask keeps coming up. I usually don’t ask for help, advice, support, or to get my needs met. And there are varying flavors of reasons for this lack of asking, especially on the blog keeping front, which still don’t substantiate the lack of asking.

I’m afraid that by asking for people to read and creating a larger audience, they’ll see me for the ignorant amateur fraud I am and point it all out to me. This is known as the Imposter Syndrome.

I’m afraid that if I do build my audience and engage them in activities or groups, I’ll then be unable to keep up the work and the effort that it took me to get there. I’m afraid of not being able to maintain any success. This is my fear of Success called Hilda. I’m afraid I’ll abandon people too. 

I don’t ask for anyone to share my posts maybe because they’ll say no. I tell myself this doesn’t really help grow my readership or it’s begging. But that’s silly because people a) want to be of help and just don’t realize how they can help and b) everyone who would share it would have friends with similar interests. And c), people are drawn more to those people sure what they have to offer the world is worth sharing.

I know my insight is honest and refreshing. And that my unique perspective is interesting and authentic. You really don’t need anything else.Vine creeping on Shalavee.com

I don’t ask for technical help because I think no one would have time to help or have better things to do or Hey, I’m undeserving of support. Or I am less worthy than others. And throw in I am weak and needy when I ask for help and I think I pretty much covered all the reasons I don’t ask for help, as false as all of them are.

I come to find out that in always offering my help but never asking for it, I’ve become untrustworthy in a way. I must take as much as I give for my character to be trustworthy. Otherwise it could appear I’m acting like I think I’m better than others by not asking.

And lastly, I’m undeserving of support. I have to pay for past wrongs of my existence by staying isolated and unworthy of support? What piffle that is ! But these are the unconscious scripts that are running that I play along with because I haven’t had time to rewrite them. But I’m working on it. Footie on Shalavee.com

I do not believe that all of my readers would dump me if they heard me ask for their support. In fact, once a couple years ago, when I asked people to vote for me for something, I was astounded at how many people did in fact vote. So much so that I didn’t even care to win anymore because I was so heart-warmed that so many people thought so well of me. I had a bigger group surrounding me than I thought. Perhaps the asking is a method by which we can remind ourselves just how loved and important we actually are to our communities. That asking for support is a means by which other people can have an opportunity to show you how much they love and support you. And you are both giving and taking in this exchange. A reframe in process.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Change Is Good

There’s a shift that’s been slowly nudging me for change. Well, it started as slow nudging but has become more urgent. The whisper has become a yell. Because I’m a changer, an innovator! I switched my living room and dining room around last Fall ! I am impressed when other people don’t have a compulsion to redecorate or rearrange their houses. I haven’t done anything big here on the blog or at home decorating in a while.

See, there was a question posed to me that went something like, “Have I reached the point that in doing the same thing again and again, it’s actually holding me back?” And I’d have to say yes. I committed to writing three blog posts weekly. I’ve done a marvelous job at proving I’m reliable to myself, I write well, and can schedule stuff even in mid-chaos. Deer in the backyard on Shalavee.com

But now, there needs to be a more. A further step after you’ve gotten the basic step down. A variation needs to happen because you can feel the tension starting to build between what you are doing and what you could be doing more of. Like talking more and thus inspiring people or having them inspire you with their comments and participation.

I’ve created blog reading goodness here three times a week and delivered into your mailboxes. And now a delivery format change is necessary. My thoughts are to publish two blog posts weekly and then send out a weekly newsletter/blog post with links to those posts from the earlier week that you may have missed. Eventually I’ll be using everyone’s addresses that are on the Newsletter list to send both the posts and newsletters out as they’re being managed separately right now. Making it simpler so that I can put my efforts into creating bigger and better stuff. Like e-books and guest posts.

I urge you to put your email address into the Newsletter sign-up box in the right hand column and as a thank you, you’ll receive a link to a previously unpublished Creative Mothers’ Manifesto. It’s a passionate rant about being a mother and a creative simultaneously. There’s some insidious messages we receive yet I have solution thoughts.

And coming up this Wednesday, an interview with Megan Gray of Megan Gray Arts. She’s a prolific artists and mother and she answered my questions with her own twist and bubbliness. I’d had the pleasure of answering all of her questions on an interview on her blog not too long ago. We play on the same thought playgrounds.At the playground on Shalavee.com

Until the day after tomorrow lovely readers. Have a glorious next couple of days. We’ll be on vacation at the beach this week but I’ll be checking into my social media. Find me. Links below.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Hard Work is Hard Work

Seems a given that if you work harder, you’ll get better results. It’s the American way, the Puritanical philosophy. And while I’m not a lazy person, I can also say that I’d probably find it easy to avoid more work. It Smacks of Effort.

There are times when we want things and we know that we’ll have to put a little extra effort into achieving them. Taking final exams for school for example. Or studying to pass your drivers test and receive your driver’s license.

Happy Mail Number One on Shalavee.com

I was asked recently to take part in an Instagram challenge to promote snail mail and national letter writing month along with the Happy Mail Club. I felt flattered to have been asked because that meant I could be trusted to follow the rules and create quality content related to the cause.

But what it also meant was that I had to work harder than I usually do it seems, to take and make pictures that were nice enough to post in this elevated “tag everybody and you represent us” fashion. I was a little more particular and was surprised again at how difficult styling a photo is when you truly care about the outcome.Earth Day Happy Mail Challenge two on Shalavee.com

I’m thinking I’m a regular underacheiver because now I was reshooting my displays after looking at them on a bigger screen to judge the composition or the light. I deemed them to have more potential than I had captured in my first round of shots.

Sometimes you get lucky with a photo. But partly because I’m taking the majority of my pictures with a fancy phone camera, I feel the need to retouch them 9 out of 10 times. If you take them in the ideal place with the ideal light, you are likely not to have to touch them usually. But otherwise, I’ll be fiddling with those shots. And that is a minimal amount of effort compared to composing the shot in the first place.Styling with four legged beasties on Shalavee.com

And there’s always the shooing away of the furry four-legged beasties who want to know what the heck you are doing with all this cool stuff next to the very best view of outside in the house. It’s a given here.

The next step requires more work. Where you want to be, that next step up? That will require an extra effort, that added concentration, that time to edit, and think, and edit again. You do this to prove that it’s worth it to yourself. You’ll be proud of yourself when you complete it. And impressed that what once seemed a hassle to you, now seems like what you always needed to do.DIY happy mail post final on Shalavee.com

Yes, I think we are prone to fight that mindset of faith in the work to deliver you to the next level. To take the easy road is a preset. To keep the load light, moving from thing to next thing, making “progress”. That even the changing of the gears is work in and of itself. But it’s the best work to be done. And when your heart knows what it wants, you need to back it up by exclaiming, “Well lets get to doing whatever it takes to make this happen.” I wanted to prove that I was capable of beautiful work and I proved it. I expand as I take on projects where I push my comfort zone and come out ahead. And I am happy to know what my capabilities are always.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Pump Up My Platform

You may or may not know, I offered up a proposal to teach a class on Creating an Author’s Platform. And the moment I did this I thought, “Girl you better start pumping up your own platform so you look like you are all-knowing all-seeing platform girl.” A few elements an author’s platform encompasses are social media, your personality, other projects and places you are engaging with and being published, and who you know. I’ve blogged and been online steadily for four years. I have learned a tremendous amount about social media, gathering a tribe, and all things online etiquette-y. But one of the areas I pale in is self-promotion. This is a particularly dreadful area for many of us artistic types, especially women.


Self-promotion is a tricky concept as we don’t want to appear demanding or egotistical. And so we err on the side of not saying anything as opposed to coming off as this. Except, as Jeff Goins, online writer and marketing guru points out, you are even more egotistical if you expect people to come and read or appreciate your artistic efforts if you’ve said nothing. Unrealistic, to say the least, and sort of mean to yourself.

platform on shalavee.com

If you are feeling wobbly about what you have to offer, the trick is to figure out how you can make it look like you think you’re good enough (while you honestly try to feel it) so that others think you are too. Everyone wants to support a winner, my friend’s Mom says. If I’m a publishing house, I will want to represent a writer who has already started their promotional work. So you have to say things like,

Please Read and Share my Writing

That is tougher than it seems. But if it were a friend’s piece who I adored, I’d say excitedly, “You reaally need to put your eyes on this. My girl has wisdom in spades and has helped me countless times to figure my way out of tough spots and find hope and a plan where I didn’t think there was one.” Or something equally lovely. So you see, I’m attempting to move myself out of the 120 subscriber rut (oops look at that, it’s now 119) I’ve apparently stalled in. If you love what I have to say, subscribe to my posts please. Makes all this effort a little more worthwhile. platform on shalavee.com

Meanwhile, I am planning an Instagram picture challenge beginning May 16th, 2016. I am cooking up a bonus offering for people who sign up to receive my blog posts in their inboxes. And am considering offering a single email delivery a week option that encompasses all three weekly posts. Is that something Y’all might be interested in? Might just start it up and see what happens.


Meanwhile, I’m exchanging interviews with lovely artist Mama Megan Gray, I am finishing up my Book Manifesto course now so that I understand in-depth what I really want to offer my readership, and I will be sending out writing submissions again sooner than later because that’s what I need to do to gain Klout! More art, more fun, more time, all would be nice yes. And here comes Summer! Sigh.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Seeing Me and Thanking You

I’ve always been invisible. Not like the cool invisible where you can get away with diabolical crime schemes or walk around naked and nobody would see you. But invisible to myself. I could not see me as other people saw me. I’ve written about it again and again but only because I was lucky enough to even notice something was missing. I just knew it was important for me to find out.

I remember the first time I felt like I was seen as a blogger and writer was almost three years ago. It was a community event. It was raining. And abruptly, a lovely fellow artist came up to me and told me that she enjoyed reading my blog. That she felt acknowledged by the honesty of my words or something to this effect. That I should keep writing. She was thanking me for what I just can’t help but do. Wow!Family after Eamon's Birthday dinner at Cafe Sado's on Shalavee.com

This would be the first of many random gifts of kind words from my readership. Understand that I can never really know who’s reading except when people tell me. And where they may not have the courage to write a comment to my posts below, I have been so lucky to have people screw up their courage and tell me to my face.

First, Keep doing it. Keep gifting your lovely words of acknowledgement and appreciation to whomever inspires you because you never know what that might give back then to them. Secondly, the cumulative effect of these gifts of kindness and heartfelt appreciation have done wonders for my ego and consequently my esteem. I’d say I’m about 75 percent visible to me now. That I’ve heard what you’ve said and am taking myself and you very seriously in the best possible way.me and my friends Melissa and Karen on Shalavee.com

I won’t stop being me nor will I stop sharing me and my life’s perspectives with anyone who cares to read it. I’ll be a life-long sharer. And I can truly say that the cumulative effect of having strangers tell me that my life’s struggles has meaning and beauty to them, well that feels like both the whip cream on top and the sugar rush which is propelling me to move on.

I’m finally writing something that I’ve been “meaning to write” for a very long while now. A short expose, an acknowledgement of my purpose, and a call to my own life’s action. I can see clearly now the rain is gone and I’ve shooed the perpetual clouds over my head. And I have you all to thank for bringing out the sunshine and helping along my process. Thank you dear readers !

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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