I was invited to be a part of this blog tour by Kayce Hughlett, a dear friend, colleague, client and author. Her 2012 non-fiction book, As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life, is a lyrical and lucid treasure that invites readers to new awakenings throughout the year.
Currently, knee-deep in the publication process for her debut novel, Blue, Kayce is a self-proclaimed artist of being alive.
In her roles as writer, speaker, lifestyle coach, and ponderer extraordinaire, she invites individuals and groups to playfully and fearlessly cross thresholds toward authentic living.
Kayce offers an amazing Urban Pilgrimage to Paris.
You can find her “behind the scenes” post to this blog hop tour here.
If you want to go further down the rabbit hole, she was invited to participate by her colleague, author Tamika Christy. You can find her behind the scenes post here.
A Peek Into My World
While I share big pieces of my lessons learned and life in progress here on the blog, in my newsletter, and elsewhere on the web regularly, rarely do I step back and do a behind the scenes look in how I get it done.
Because, let’s be honest. I find this stuff fascinating: how do people manage their creative lives and go from what’s swirling around in their head to getting something coherent down on paper.
One – What am I working on?
There’s always a blog post brewing, as each week I share some wisdom and tools here for creating a daily life that you can sink into – as well as a more personal note to be shared in my newsletter about what I’m actively learning. Most weeks, I write an article focused on love (of others and of self) for YourTango and occasionally, I work on guest posts for other websites and magazines.
There’s a new e-Book in the works for subscribers, which should be available by September 15th.
I’m also knee-deep in two longer projects. One is a book I’ll be self-publishing before the end of the year to help someone create – or grow – a writing practice as a way of healing. The other is a more personal memoir type book that is seeking a publisher (or agent) for a traditional type publishing.
Both projects completely outlined and I work on them a little at a time each week. With my self-imposed completed deadline, I will be shifting more of my time to working on them this fall. Working on both of these books is pretty damned scary and makes my inner critic and inner perfectionist sing duets. That’s what clues me into the fact that these books are meant to be written – by me – now. Both of them are also allowing me to heal a little more and step into who I was meant to be.
Two – How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Each and every one of us has a story to tell. Most stories – whether they are fiction or non-fiction – serve us into seeing that we are not alone in this world. They allow us to learn about the world – and ourselves. That other people have some of the same experiences, thoughts, feelings, and dreams. While my stories are unique to me, there is always a universal thread within them that allows others to be seen for who they are.
Yet, my work is unique to me. Just as your story is unique to you.
Three – Why do I write what I do?
I believe that there needs to be more love in the world, and that in order to truly offer others love, we must first find some love for who we are (warts and all). I believe that each of us is born into this world with love as our birthright.
Yet, most of us grow up trying to morph ourselves into someone we aren’t in order to be loved and accepted. So, we need help finding our way back to who we really are.
I write to share the tools I’ve used to fall in love with my daily life, to be more productive, to reach goals, to heal. I also write knowing that if only one line or idea helps just one person find more love and acceptance for who they are, then I am helping heal that person and everyone they come in contact with.
When we’re going through a rough spell it can be pretty isolating. We feel alone in the world and can begin to believe that we are flawed, imperfect, and not deserving of happiness. On the flip side, when we are filled with joy, we can be so afraid of losing what’s good in our world – or believing that it’s not big enough – that we deny ourselves the opportunity to sink into that joy and happiness.
I share personal stories because I know, somewhere within my story, someone else is going to identify with something I’ve gone through or something I’ve learned and know that they are not alone. That I can write about my personal experiences with fear and clutter and happiness and it allows others to connect, receive permission, and understand they though they are going through a unique situation, that the universality of it is still there. That they are part of the whole of humanity.
Four – How does my writing process work?
When: I’m a morning person, so I do my best work from the time I get up until around noon. I also get a second wind about three in the afternoon and am able to get another couple of hours of focused writing done. On very rare occasions, I do a little writing right after dinner. But only if I’m up against a deadline. Writing engages my brain and it’s hard to go to bed right away and I do love my sleep.
Where: I prefer to write in my office, at my desk. I prefer a real keyboard over my laptop keyboard. I’ve tried writing in cafes and hotels and I can get the work done, but it’s not my best spaces.
What do I need in order to be focused and productive: I prefer quiet – no music, no TV. I need to have the phone on silent so that I’m not jumping at dings. I do my best writing BEFORE I coach, so I’ve begun carving out no-client days dedicated to just writing. Once my coaching brain becomes engaged, it’s harder to get back into my writing brain. I also need water. I drink coffee in the morning when I write in my journal, but then I shift to water for the rest of the day.
What do I use as jumping off points: For the blog, I usually brainstorm a list of blog topics and have them laid out – just by general topic – in my blog spreadsheet. This allows me to plan content based on what’s happening in my world (a particular class or upcoming eBook) as well as what’s happening in the world at large (like holidays).
For the books, I have very general outlines of topics or stories to share, a general order they should be in for the “finished product”, and give myself permission to write out of order.
How do I do I do my drafts and edits: Once I have a topic, I sit down and just write. I let the story or lesson unfold before me. Sometimes, the piece morphs from my original intention, which is as it should be. Once something is “complete”, I walk away from it. Sometimes, it’s just to grab more water or have lunch. Other times, I let something marinate overnight.
Most of the time, my friend and colleague Melissa does an edit of a blog post. I go back through the piece that afternoon (or next morning). There’s always additional tweaking done when I put something into WordPress.
What else do I do to make my writing time a priority: I schedule it on my calendar. Yep, just like any other appointment or meeting, I block off time for writing. I don’t hold myself to writing something specifically, but I do make the act and art of writing a priority in my life by treating the time with respect in that way. “Writing Time” even has its own color code.
You’re welcome to follow this little blog hop along over to my dear friends and colleagues:
Melissa A. Bartell is a writer and voice actor. She writes blogs, scripts, has a podcast and so much more. Find her here.
Elizabeth Stone explores the worlds of break-ups and finding love again over at Why Men Leave.