I’ve been itching to come back here to this page all the while my Logical Brain asks: “WHY do you need to write in your personal blog space when you have…
- a journal for private thoughts and to work things out
- a professional blog to talk about work, your books, and ladle out advice
- the new magazine, with a regular column to share a little more about your life
- and lest you forget Instagram, where you share both photos and snippets about real life
I don’t quite have the full answer to assuage my logical voice, yet here I am on a Saturday morning, typing into empty WordPress window. Going back to my writing roots, words on an internet page that folks might happen across…or not. Allowing my less-than-perfect self to be witnessed.
Maybe that’s what is compelling me this morning to write here: to allow myself to be less than perfect AND to allow that to be seen. I won’t be running this through Hemingway to remove excess adverbs and passive voice. I won’t be choosing a “key word” and optimizing this post for SEO. I won’t be writing this in Word, letting it sit for a bit, and then editing it.
It’s raw. And possibly too real. And a part of me is OK with that.
And while I allow myself to be naked and vulnerable and imperfect in my journal, that space is 100% safe from prying eyes, a necessity. Yet, having that safe space to work things out doesn’t negate the fact that I am also in a messy space that needs witnessing.
That in my less-than-perfect pouring of words onto a page, I want to connect with other souls.
When I am writing in my role as “coach”, I am an authority figure, taking the lessons I have learned in my life and shifting them into teachable examples. Though another side of my writing voice has begun to shine over at Modern Creative Life, I am still the “editor”, another authority figure.
I am falling out of love with my role as coach when it comes to the online world. I do stellar work with my one-on-one clients. I am both loving and no-nonsense. It’s a role I am comfortable in and a role in which I still shine and do some of my best work. Yet, the trappings of that – the SEO, the BRAND – are losing their shine.
I am in a transition year for my coaching practice. I am still actively coaching clients, yet not seeking new clients. I am also in the midst of retiring the products I’ve sold in my practice. I am turning two of my 30 Days to Clarity courses into books and that feels right on target.
When it comes to my role as “editor”, I must confess that I fall more in love with it each day. How magical is it…to take the works of others and help them shine? To put a spotlight on beautiful and talented souls? To reach out to people I admire and say “please can we feature your work” and “how can we serve you in some way”.
To be honest with you, I got out of bed before John on this Saturday morning to edit Clearing Brain Clutter. And you’ve probably caught onto the fact that, no, indeed, I am not editing. Am I?
I got up and prepared to do it. Came downstairs to my office, made a “short” pot of coffee (just enough to tide me over til John wakes), pulled my “card for the day” (a practice I began in August), posted a book review for a friend’s book, and wrote a little in my journal.
I just poured my 3rd cup of coffee. The folder with my hand edits for Clearing Brain Clutter is still closed and I haven’t double-clicked the Word icon yet.
The biggest issue is this: the person that first created the course Clearing Brain Clutter isn’t the person sitting here turning it into a book. When I first decided to begin retiring products as saleable eCommerce items and turning them into real books, I thought it would be a fairly easy task. And yes, it’s easier than beginning with a blank page, but in order to be happy with releasing this into the world as a hold-in-your-hand book, I need to do more work.
I discovered this when I was working on Clearing Soul Clutter. Yet, I powered through that process and got it to “proof” format before we returned from vacation. And I am kicking my own ass because I didn’t get the same done for Clearing Brain Clutter. I wanted to get it done before vacation, but it wasn’t humanly possible. Because the editing and formatting process took three times as long than I had first thought.
Just as I am not the same person who wrote those courses that I am turning into books, I am not the same person that left here on September 13th, bound for New York City.
I had a couple of days of solo time, and during that time alone in the “city that never sleeps” I was able to better listen to the still, small voice of my inner wisdom. I’d shared coffee with a film-maker friend earlier that day, had some some shopping, and came back to my room to rest. As I stood in my hotel room, overlooking Times Square and the bright lights of Broadway and got a glimpse into what my work is to be in 2017.
Damn and double damn.
My solo time in the city ended. John arrived. We explored every nook and cranny of the Intrepid and then set sail for our planned cruise. On the last evening, after a perfectly lovely outing sailing in Newport, John came down with a fever. We had some excellent travel karma and were able to catch an earlier flight home after disembarking, arriving home at noon rather than the planned 8 PM last Saturday (the 24th).
He showered and took a nap, I began tackling laundry and shoring up our supplies (groceries!). And by Sunday evening, I, crawled into bed feeling less than stellar. We had Monday off together – and rested. Tuesday, we both went “back to work”. And frankly, I only had energy to devote to client calls and not enough energy to go back to the task of editing.
I am rarely sick. In fact, it’s been at least three years since I’ve had even a cold. But this respiratory infection has been a doozy. Most of this week, I’ve coached clients and rested on the couch.
Not what I had planned for the week, that’s for sure.
I had planned on finishing the edits and ordering a physical proof by the week’s end, but I didn’t touch Clearing Brain Clutter until yesterday.
So here I am on Saturday morning. Not editing. Needing instead to write through this, make some sense, be seen. To pour out some words, then pause.
From the time I began this blog post to now, John has risen. We moved out onto the deck to breathe in the fresh fall air. I made a full pot of coffee and am sipping my 5th cup. (Which is unusual because I typically have 2 cups).
I’m still feeling like I’m under the influence of too much cold medication (cough syrup) though I’ve been up for a couple hours and have been med-free since midnight.
I am in limbo and at the edges of my own new beginning. We had a New Moon yesterday, today is October 1st. John’s work stress should be abating thanks to a new team (officially effective today). The earth is shifting and morphing in ways that are both new and familiar as she prepares for winter.
Because I am the gal that lives to dive in feet first, I long to begin the work on the new project. It is whispering to me in my dreams. It’s calling to me as I put sugar in my coffee and beckoning me as fold freshly laundered handkerchiefs into neat rectangles.
I am shifting right along with the earth. I am wishing for the hard work of autumn – the harvest – to be completed. But I must face facts that there is work to be done. We are still three months away from 2017’s arrival. And before I can begin that work, I must do the work before me.
When we get a glimpse into what’s next, it can be easy to abandon what’s now. Yet, it’s irresponsible and it would taint the what’s next.
I must do the work of the harvest. Finish editing Clearing Brain Clutter in the coming days, order the proof, and do the final work to release both it and Clearing Soul Clutter into the world on October 16th. To do this in a way that feels nourishing to me means that I need all my little ducklings in a row for this no later than Friday, the 7th.
I need a clear head to go along with my strong heart to get it done. Thank goodness I created a robust task list to guide me through the final steps of this process, the proof, the publication, and the marketing pieces. The covers have been designed, the sales page is being written, and I am poised to move quickly.
Then, the rest of this month’s creating time goes to the new book for 2016 – and all of November’s energy goes into the editing and formatting the NEW book.
Yes, in addition to the two 30 Days to Clarity books, I will be releasing a brand new book into the world before Winter arrives. The book that demanded that I write differently is the work that opened the way for the next work to be born.
I see the two 30 Days to Clarity books as a way to harvest some of the best of my body of work from the last five years and a share it with a broader audience.
The New Book is something I have been meant to write for years now, but just wasn’t ready. Little did I realize that it wasn’t a pinnacle of my body of work, but a gateway to what 2017 is demanding of me.
It is the way of the creative mind, to introduce us to what’s next as a way to keep us going, engaged. To help us to not lose heart when we labor away.
I think it’s no coincidence that my word for 2016 is CREATE. I need to honor it. To complete the work I’ve been given this year – the finalizing of the two 30 Days to Clarity books, the finishing of my 100 Day Project (which stalled on day 85), and to be devoted to the NEW book, to be finished before Winter arrives.
To clear the slate, clear space physically and metaphorically for the new work to emerge from a place of clean energy. To tidy up the 2016 Harvest and allow winter’s call of rest and restoration to nourish my soul. Then, to plant my tiny seeds of new growth in 2017 for the next harvest.
I think sometimes we forget that each year’s harvest relies upon years and years of seeds that were planted.
I had forgotten how much I needed this space here – a personal blog that few read, yet a space that anyone might stumble across. To step away from being on-brand-perfect.
To allow the messy parts to be seen.