Sunday, March 09, 2014

Doing What I Love

Almost two years ago I set out (again) to be a writer.  With three of four children in school either full or part time, I was more determined and enthusiastic than ever to immerse myself in the career and life I felt most comfortable in.  

So...first I needed goals.  They were (in their most rudimentary form) as follows:

Writing goals:  

(1) Get freelance writing website up and running again
(2) Re-establish my writing business - line up some work
(3) Blog regularly
(4) Edit my book
(5) Publish my book (four and five were long term, but still important goals).
(6) Write, write, write

What really happened?

Well, I did start that website, but instead of writing, somehow my life and career took an unexpected turn.  If someone would have told me two years ago that I would immerse myself in a career in sales, I'd never have believed it.  Really.  Never.  But that's exactly what happened.  About two weeks into setting up my website, I received an email from a family friend asking me if I'd be interested in working as a sales manager for their rapidly growing company, AcousticSheep, LLC.

I was a little torn at first because I knew I wouldn't be able to pursue those writing goals as I had planned, but the product was so awesome and the owners so inspirational, that I couldn't turn it down.  Our CEO, Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, invented SleepPhones in 2007 to solve her own need for comfortable headphones to help her get back to sleep after late-night emergency calls.  See the SleepPhones Story here.

The position was only part time, but I knew I couldn't juggle the demands of a part-time job, being a full time mom, and still be able to funnel the time and energy I would need to reestablish myself in the writing world.  Yet I took the job, and I have never for one moment regretted it.

Over the last 18 months, I've had the pleasure of learning and growing in so many more ways than I ever would have imagined I could - especially in such a short period of time.  It's taken me out of my comfort zone because, let's just be honest here, I didn't know the first thing about sales.  I knew nothing about margins, distribution, price points, Incoterms and so on.  

And I love it!!!  I'm so blessed to be able to work with great people, both within my company as well as those from all over the country and world!  I get to sell a product that's absolutely amazing (and changing lives every day, I might add).  One of the coolest things?  I'm writing every single day - just not quite in the way I was expecting. 

My goals?  Well, they still exist.  I pick up writing when I can - as time and desire allows for it.  Crazy enough, I still get article requests from some of my favorite clients, and I write for them.  And I'm reminded that no matter what path my life takes me on, I am doing what I love and loving what I do.  I'm still a writer - every single day.  I am thankful!       

Thursday, May 02, 2013

All the Little Things

This morning the sun gently warmed me awake, while a wise chorus of birds enthusiastically sang their praises to the changing of the seasons.  Every year this happens.  Days gets longer and morning comes earlier and earlier.  The birds somehow know when spring has sprung and they announce their grateful spirit after a long hard winter - and this year I think it's satisfied a deep yearning within us all.  I'm so thankful for the change, as I am every year.  For me, this is an anticipated event!  

Not to sound like a broken record, as I've blogged about this before, but Spring inspires me.  It's Mother Nature's declaration of all things new.  It's beautiful, precious, and for me, a season to write - perhaps the season to write.  Everything I consume - sights, sounds, smells, the silky feel of a tulip petal - arouses my senses.  It evokes memories and teases me with thoughts of what's to come in the following months. 

I look forward to cruising my yard hand in hand with my daughters to see what flowers are up.  I name the blooms for them and we talk about what should be popping up next.  I pass on wives tales my grandmother shared with me when I was their age, and notice their expressions as they thoughtfully digest.  Memories in the making... 

This is the stuff of life that enhances your writing.  Being able to observe objects, people, responses, sounds, and everything imaginable is a great quality for any writer to possess, and one I often lack.  I need all the practice I can get, to solidify the story and create imagery that people can relate to.

And even if the words themselves never make it into the body of what I write, I'm certain their essence will remain.  Acknowledging our feelings and appreciation for life, fills us and frees us at the same time.  It's therapeutic and this great and positive focus on the little things, is surely reflected in everything we do and write.   

I'll soon turn in for the night, but when I lay my head on my pillow, I'll already be looking forward to the morning, when the birds will remind me of all the inspirations that will be waiting for me and will somehow  find their way into my own writings. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Blog Baby

I have four lovely daughters, spanning the ages of nearly three to almost 18 years old.  Each and every one of them fills me up, gives my life meaning and teaches me every bit as much as I like to think I teach them.  In my eyes, they're quite amazing.  I also have another baby.  You may think it's odd, but in a way it's true.  You can track its growth and development within these electronic pages you're reading now.  Perhaps the title has given it away...

In 2005, my blog baby was born.  It began as an online journal of rambling thoughts and memories in the making.  It was Lisa's Blog, nothing more; nothing less.  Toward the end of 2006, I revamped, refocused and renamed what is now "Getting it Write for You, a blog of encouragement, learning and inspiration for writers of all genres." 
In 2007, I had a wonderfully productive year.  I posted regularly, made lots of writing friends (many of whom I still hold near and dear to my heart), and I had a great little freelance business going.  I learned so much about marketing, how useful having writing skills is in the world of business, and what I was actually capable of as a writer.  Great stuff!

The problem is, I don't write much here anymore.  There are plenty of reasons why, or excuses as some would say.  One of the main being that because much like my blog, my life has changed over the years too.  When I began in 2005, I only had two children.  It was a very focused and inspired time of my life.  I was freelancing regularly and had enough work to bring in a modest little income at part-time hours.  Many of the jobs I acquired were a direct result of networking and the content I wrote here.

When I found out I was pregnant with our third child, Amara I chose to slow things down.  Since she was going to be our last baby (ha ha), I really wanted to enjoy her to the fullest extent.  Babies don't keep, you know, so I thought this quite important.  About 18 months after her birth we learned Giana was on the way!  Blogging and most all other writing became something I longed to do, but was too busy or tired to attempt.     

Over the last few months, I've been considering retiring Getting it Write for You.  My writing here has become stale, stagnant, and uninspired - that's when I write.  I'm no longer freelancing - and freelance writing and all things related were what most of my posts were about.  How can I continue to blog about such things when I'm no longer in that realm? 

Getting it Write for You restricts me.  It seems bogus and the blog doesn't really fit my life anymore.  Now I'm in the world of parenting, working a part-time job from home and squeezing the writing in when and where I can.  

But I've thought about it for a good long time and despite it all, I’ve decided not to quit Getting it Write for You.  I wouldn’t quit one of my daughters because they didn’t quite "conform" to the way my life has changed.  We’d readjust and work it out and that’s exactly what I’m going to do here.  I've released myself from this crazy notion that I must devote every single post to freelance writing.  Maybe sometimes I will, but other things do apply.  Everything in life - every moment we experience; every song we hear; every breath we take serves to only enrich our writing if we choose to let it. 

So as I did several years ago, I'm changing the scope of my blog and I'm going to write about whatever moves me in the moment.  I'll not change the title because I long to make this a meaningful place for you, too!  May Getting it Write for You continue to teach, encourage and inspire all who visit! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

A New Day Will Dawn: Boston Marathon Explosions

What do you say after hearing about a tragedy like what happened today in Boston?  The unthinkable has happened again?  Such a senseless act!  So unnecessary.  Why?   In times like these I think first of the victims, in this case the three (possibly more) whose lives were so unexpectedly snatched from them.  Naturally, thoughts of their families ensue - indeed victims, as well.

Relational set-ups come to mind.  Children suddenly motherless or fatherless, mothers and fathers who've lost a child, folks who've lost their brother, sister, friend or neighbor.  We can all relate to that somehow.  We all feel the heartbreak.    

For those who lost limbs and sustained horrific injuries, their bodies will heal.  They'll go on living, but the scars will surely run deep.  Will they ever feel safe?  A false comfort inside their hearts (our hearts) broke eternally today.  The reality is, senseless violence happens everywhere every day.  Today it was America's reality, and among our beloved people.  We are not exempt.     

Yet somehow in the midst of the wickedness, we are reminded still of community, caring and kindness.  Watching the footage, people were scurrying about in a panic. Fear and concern were embedded in furrowed brows and hurried paces - not for the sake of their own lives, but to help the injured who were fighting for theirs.  Police officers and firefighters were doing everything in their power to ensure calm and safety in the midst of chaos.  Of course, who could forget the officials who are on the task of finding out who’s responsible?  They'll not be sleeping tonight. 

Yes, it's senseless.  It's beyond unfortunate and just plain wrong.  When I go to bed tonight (as I've done since I heard) I will pray for everyone involved in this hateful act, but I also know that we can take solace in that tomorrow a new day will dawn.  Evil will be brought to justice and the goodness of people will prevail.

photo credit: LenDog64 via photopin cc  

Friday, March 08, 2013

What Cleaning out My Inbox Did for Me

Over the course of the last few days, I've been cleaning out my personal email box. It was full - ridiculously full - to the point that I was embarrassed.  Yeah, I know I'm the only one who sees it, but I know it's there and it makes me feel cluttered and disorganized.  So I told myself that every time I sign in, I would purge my inbox of at least 100 emails.  I knew it wouldn't be long before my virtual mailbox would be back in order again.   

You see, the problem is that I love to read and I love to learn.  So sometimes I get emails and think, "Oh!  That looks interesting.  I want to read that sometime."  The problem with that mentality is that with having four kids, a house full of pets (dog, cat, two birds and various fish), work, household chores etc, that "sometime" rarely comes and ultimately I never really do get around to reading, "How to Get 6-Pack Abs," or "We (insert heart graphic here) Slow Cooker Dinners" sent to me personally from my favorite websites.  Ultimately, these get filed into the dreaded electronic circular file.      

Fortunately, this wasn't the fate of an email I had received from a fellow writer and very special friend of mine back in early December (yes it was 2012 - I'm bad but not that bad).  The subject line simply read "Erma" and I knew it had to be something regarding one of her favorite American humorist writers, Erma Bombeck.  I was nearing the end of the almost 1500 emails I had stored in my inbox like birdseed in a squirrel's cheeks, so I decided to reward myself by finally taking a moment to open that email.  Even the squirrels have to crack a sunflower seed once in a while! 

I opened up the mail to find a link and a quick little message saying, "Click the video on the right hand side of the site. Enjoy."

I followed the link to find a very short video of Erma Bombeck discussing what I can only imagine was the first moment that she truly realized, or believed, I should say, that she was a writer.  She was working part time and taking a class taught by Brother Tom Price, a man of many hats, who as Bombeck tells us in the interview, saw each of his students individually.  He clearly saw who Erma Bombeck aspired to be and suggested she write something for The Exponent, the magazine at the University of Dayton at the time.  She did and the next time he saw her he spoke these three simple words to her:  "You can write."

Bombeck considered not believing him, saying her first thought was, "I won't believe him," (notice she thought won't) but because he was a man of the cloth, she made the choice to go against her first inclination.  She chose to believe.  Bombeck went on to become one of the most well-known humorists, writers, journalists, and columnists of our time.  

I held onto that email from back in December because I knew it pertained to writing, but more importantly because I was certain it held something valuable inside - some precious little nugget to help me along my way - and it did.  I, too, have been told I can write and as I sit here thinking about teachers in high school, professors, and friends who've ever taken a moment to see who I am, and to encourage me, I feel that not writing is a disappointment to myself and to them.

So today, I choose to believe.  I desire to write meaningful things, things that inspire and evoke whatever the reader seeks, that cause some sort of awakening in those who read what I write. 

So cleaning out my inbox didn't help me figure out how to make crock pot chicken that everybody is sure to (Heart), but I have learned one very important thing.  It's ok to believe in yourself.  Erma Bombeck did and look where it got her!

photo credit: SweetOnVeg via photopin cc