Tag Archives: blogging

Life and Blogging are Like a Camera

life is like a cameraI came across this quote picture on Facebook, posted by a friend, but created by Jack Canfield. I do love social media, even though it can be a time quicksand.

So now I have all the acknowledgements taken care of, I find it has inspired me to revisit the purpose of this blog.

It started with an idea to attract people to our new software product, as well as the wellness products with my longtime Shaklee business (still gotta have a plug for the best natural products around). Then, as the software concept imploded and the desire to find our way back to our deepest dreams emerged, it became a way to recreate our financial and creative lives.

  • First, by inspiring us to recommit to our passion for writing and creativity.
  • Second by building this blog to support others like us who were ready to delve into their true talents and become financially independent entrepreneurs. Creative entrepreneurs, that is.

As often happens with life, both our lives and this blog developed into something I never imagined as we struggled to find a path beyond our start-up partnership. Now that that dream has disappeared, this new vision seems much more coherent and valid. It addresses our core dreams and talents. As well as the ongoing desire to help others live better, healthier and more congruent lives.

All this may sound too philosophical for some of you…like, where is the meat? Yet I know there are many who have already embraced the desire to put their talents to work, their dreams into action and their finances in their own hands. And many who are entering their ‘third trimester of life’ who are ready to recapture their true essence, while creating a new stream of income… a necessity for so many of us. Continue reading

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How to Start a Blog with Purpose – 8 Questions

Blogging is the thing to do these days.  Everyone either has one or more, wants one, reads some or wonders if they should have one.

What about you? Have you thought about it and maybe wondered if you could really make money with a blog?  I have !

This is my 4th attempt at blogging.  I’ve created some good content on two of them, then let myself get distracted and ended up abandoning them in infancy…bad ‘blog mama’!

I’ve enjoyed creating them, but never found the magic formula for getting traffic and creating a call to action that generates income. Until now!

This is a topic I will be covering in depth in future posts, but for now I’d like to offer some suggestions to help you decide if blogging could be a way for you to create an income stream with time and lifestyle flexibility… that’s always been one of my top priorities!

I’ve found that 2 of the groups  who aspire to creating income with flexibility and leverage are new parents and  ‘old’ baby boomers.

Why?

New parents want time to be with their kids, attend their events and participate in every precious moment of their childhood, yet provide the income needed to support their family’s dreams.

Old baby boomers?  Well… most of us did not anticipate the turn of events that have shrunk our portfolios and 401K’s.  And we never conceived that we would be working into our 70’s and beyond, or that our productive  years could be cut short by accidents or disease before we achieved financial security.

Let’s face it… we tend to be optimistic to a fault, expecting that good stuff will keep happening and bad stuff happens to someone else.  Not true, it turns out.

Although the economy has not been kind to many of us the last few years, there IS some good news!

This is becoming the golden age for writers!  Just a few years ago, all my writer friends were bemoaning the demise of bookstores, publishing opportunities, lack of editing and marketing even if you did find an agent and myriad other discouraging indicators that writers couldn’t expect to make a decent income doing what they loved.

Now, the landscape has been transformed, beginning with free blog platforms and social media we all have the opportunity to expose ourselves and gather a flock of ‘friends’.   Amazon, kindle apps and myriad books and coaches ready to teach you the basics and a whole new world of opportunity has opened up for good writers willing to commit to learn and take action.

So here’s  a list of questions to help you decide if this is the right direction for you:

1.   Do you love to write?

2.  Why do you want to have a blog?

3.  What do you want to talk about?  What is your field of expertise or topics you are passionate about?

4.  Are you willing to learn new skills?

5.  How much time can you commit consistently?

6.  How much income would you like to create?

7.  Are you self-disciplined and perserverant enough to tough it out through the slow growth and detours?

8.  Do you enjoy solving problems, collaborating with people and thinking outside the box?

I’d suggest that you consider these questions before you invest your valuable time and money into your blog, then begin creating a realistic plan based on your time, resources and current skills.  A successful blog will take time to mature, then develop traffic and revenue.  Patience and consistency will be essential!

According to recent statistics from jeffbullas.com there are over 31 million bloggers in the U.S. alone.  To be realistic, only 15% make more than $100/year.  However, 2% earn over $150K working from exotic parts of the world.  Now that’s what I’m talking about.

I want to be one of the 2%!

In addition, there are the 17% who make a decent income with 4-6 hours a day working on their blog.  My goal is to continue to discover and share the details, strategies and tools to help you who are committed, create the income you want on your own terms.

There’s a lot to learn!  But, if you love it, you will know pretty quickly.

I’m attending a conference next week that I hope will add to my growing knowledge base, so I can pass that on to my readers.  In the meantime, check out my infographic on ‘Blogging on Purpose’ below.

I hope you’ll join me.  Start dreaming, set some goals and then take the action steps to turn dreams into reality…this is a great time to be a writer, so let’s do it!

Blogging on Purpose

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Increase your Creative Power with Journaling – Part 2


DragonRed2Last week we covered some good reasons to journal. Now maybe you’re wondering… How to start journaling?

 It might seem like a simple thing…just start writing!  But every new habit requires time to develop, a commitment to consistency and motivation to continue even when life (kids, husbands, work, chores, etc. etc) gets in the way. 

28 days…the cycle of the moon, strangely... is what is generally considered the minimum habit forming time-span.  Anything you really want to change, start with that commitment…just 28 days, then allow yourself the chance to re-evaluate.

That being said, here are a few tips I’ve learned from my journaling gurus that will make developing that habit easier, more fun and productive:

        Keep a notebook with you at all times – I like Moles (those little Hemingway-esque notebooks that slide easily in a pocket or bag.  I also have a beautiful red, leather-bound, Civil War style notebook I got at the Smithsonian. I love to touch it, look at it and write special things in it, but don’t want to mess it up…you need something you won’t mind messing up and even throwing away. Ordinary spiral notebooks work just fine!

Get a great pen – it doesn’t have to be expensive. Just find one that flows and you love to write or doodle with.  Fountain pen, gel pen, fat or thin…find the one that says ‘you’.  Choose your favorite color or have several colors depending on your mood or topic.

Find ‘your place’ – this should be a place you can go everyday.  You can always write in special places as you’re out and about, but one place needs to be your ‘everyday’ place.  I like my downstairs desk or the patio in Summer.  No TV…turn off your cell phone…close the door.

Find ‘your time’ – I’m a night owl, but I am getting used to early mornings now that my partner is working at 7 a.m.  At first I hated it, but it is so peaceful before 9 that I’m beginning to love it. Find your time when you are inspired and have some peace and quiet…sometimes this is the biggest challenge to consistency!

‘Genius moment’ system – Every once in a while, a great idea for a poem, story or blog post might arise out of the venting.  Or you might find the solutions to a business or family problem as you ramble on. When that happens, you need a system.  It could be highlighter pens, index cards or a section in the back of your journal where you write down ‘action items’. Or maybe just a dog eared page with an asterisk next to your inspiration.  Whatever it is, be prepared for it, because once you start journaling it’s only a matter of time before something wonderful appears on the page!

Read some books, blogs or join a group of writers – One of the best things I ever did for my writing inspiration was to begin the search for my ‘writer tribe’.  After 15 years, I can say these are some of my best friends, the ones I can trust to be honest and kind, supportive and tolerant.  The best kind of friends whether online or in person. Make it a priority to find some kindred spirits and start believing in yourself as a writer, problem solver and difference maker.

I welcome your comment, suggestions or books to help us enhance our writing and creativity.

If you missed it, see Part 1 – Why Journal?

Coming every Sunday – Tips for your creative self.  Subscribe to Getting Traction to be sure you don’t miss them!

 

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Increase your Creative Power with Journaling – Part 1

Creativity DragonPart 1 – Why journal the old-fashioned way?

Do you have a journal?  Perhaps a gratitude journal as recommended by Oprah, or a travel journal to help you avoid photo forgetfulness?

Or maybe it’s your secret journal, hidden under your bed, locked away from prying eyes where all your venting and raging resides?

If you’ve made the attempt, you are one of millions.  Since Blogging is the newest, public form of journaling, we can look at these stats as an indicator of total journaling. By the end of 2011, NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, tracked over 181 million blogs around the world, up from 36 million only five years earlier in 2006.

Add the millions who basically use their social media sites as public journals, there is an obvious growth in our desire to express ourselves and hope that someone is listening.

But for most of the world, journaling is still considered a more private affair.  Letter writing was once our public form of journaling to those we loved.

 I came across Julia Cameron’s book, ‘The Artist’s Way’ and ‘The Artist’s Way at Work’.  The idea of taking something personal like journaling, or what she calls ‘morning pages’, and using that creative fire to leverage my productivity with my business was intriguing and inspiring.

In some way, that beginning has led to the inspiration for our blog, Getting Traction, where I hope to integrate creativity, health and adventure into money strategies that we can enjoy throughout our lives.

Even if you haven’t attempted a blog, you have probably read blogs, websites or social media posts that promote blog articles.  Perhaps you even post your thoughts, interests and activities on your own social media profiles.

How is that different, and more or less beneficial than the classic concept of journaling?

I first purchased ‘The Artist’s Way at Work’ about 13 years ago, long before blogging was a common part of our lives.  Journaling is the seed of great blogging…because by writing down everything that comes into your mind, then sifting through it to find something of value, you can discover solutions within you that will make a difference for others.

We can think of  journaling as pre-blogging!  So here’s some benefits you can gain from journaling with pen and paper before you post to Facebook or publish on your blog:

  •  Venting – You know you do it occasionally…why not every day, in private, when you feel like it in your journal?  It’s the best remedy for a broken heart or disastrous day (or month…or year!) and can be credited with saving many marriages and friendships.  You know the dangers…if you say exactly what you feel in the heat of the moment you will probably experience the consequences for a long, long time.  So…vent on the page, close your journal, tuck it away in a safe place and exhale all the negativity into space instead of dumping it on your favorite people.
  • Prioritizing – how often does something that seems monumental today turn out to be inconsequential tomorrow?  Have you ever had a meltdown that turned into torrential runoff but then proceeded to evaporate before your eyes?  My mother said we have to choose our battles.  But it usually takes a few minutes or hours before we recognize the difference between what is getting us fired up and what is really important.  Give yourself the time you need by journaling your thoughts, making a pros/cons list or analyzing our feelings on the page before you go on a rant…write it down!
  • Discover your creative self – We all have one, often hidden since childhood.  More important, I believe, is that we need to find our own.  In this world where we are bombarded by opinions, information and ‘how-to’s’ we often lose sight of our own identity, then don’t take the time to look for it without the constant noise around us.  My suggestion…think of your journaling time as your sacred, private space to rediscover your unique creative essence.  While Julia Cameron and other journaling gurus recommend getting up an hour earlier to write ‘morning pages’, find what’s right for you…a time and place that you carve out of the hectic day for your own inner child to express itself. p.s. You can also doodle, scribble or otherwise ‘defile’ your journal…it’s YOURS to play with as you like!
  • Seeds of greatness – Trapped in the modern world, our solutions, ideas and genius are right in front of us, yet we can’t see them for all the clutter.  Taking the time to write down your most private thoughts, even if it’s making lists of your duties for the day, can help you focus and find your best path forward.  Hiding inside you is an awareness of what’s right and how to proceed to solve your problems. Journaling can be a tool to access that wisdom and the strategies to enhance it.
  • Thinking outside the box – There is a connection between your pen and your right brain…the part that helps you increase creativity, improve learning and get a new perspective.  You can feel safe when you journal.  No one else will see it, criticize or limit you.  New concepts might appear that you’ve missed in the pressure cooker of life.  ‘Brainstorming with myself’ is what I feel when I just write without purpose or agenda.  Let it flow and see what turns up!

Part 2 – How to get started journaling?   Coming October 6, 2013

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