I'm so excited!!! I've got a working title, pitch and idea for the cover of my next book. Now I just need to finish the ending and work on the editing. . .here is a sneak peek:
I always dreaded when the teachers would place us in groups on projects in school because you would always have the person who wanted to be in charge, the person who never did their share of the work or the person who was always indecisive and totally useless when it came to brainstorming and making decisions. It made the project a lot more stressful than it had to be and the end result would often be a mishmash of mediocrity- just enough to pass.
Real life collaborations will follow this same path if you're not careful. Here are five tips for guaranteeing strong collaborations:
1. Determine what role everyone will play before you get started. Will there be a leader? Will responsibilities be shared? Make sure everyone is on board and understands their role.
2. Set deadlines and stick to them. Make sure everyone takes the project seriously and is committed to meeting the deadlines.
3. Be open to explore ideas and opinions different from your own. One of the biggest issues with collaborations is people aren't willing to consider ideas that are not their own or things that they aren't familiar with. You can't stay nestled in your comfort zone if it's going to stifle the growth of everyone else involved.
4. Learn to communicate effectively. Set meetings and times to chat face to face to (or on the phone) to discuss the progress of the project. Emails and text messages often lead to miscommunication. Watch your tone and remain respectful but also don't bite your tongue if there is something you're concerned about.
5. Check your ego at the door. When you are working on a collaborative project remember it's NOT ABOUT YOU. So many people get caught up in titles and credit instead of working to do their best to make the collaboration or project successful.
I used to be a "mommy blogger". My blog name was Phenomenal Mama. I blogged about my experiences as a mom and posted cute photo's of my kids and the places we traveled. Then one day my kids asked me to stop posting pictures of them.
It made me pause and think about what I was doing. I believe I fell into mommy blogging because well, I'm a mom and I had struggles with working outside the home and then challenges when I became a SAHM, so I felt I had stuff to share and needed an outlet. But soon it all started to feel a bit staged and contrived. Every time we did something or went somewhere I tried to see how I could turn it into a blog post. It was exhausting and started to infringe upon our quality time as a family.
Also, a scary thing happens when you share so much of your life: people become really invested and they think they know you- which is fine- but they also think they know your kids, most of it is totally harmless but given the world we live in, it can still be scary.
And I totally understand that if you plan on blogging and want to build a community, you risk losing that anonymity because people want transparency. But there is soooo much more to me than being a mom. I LOVE being a mom and it brings me joy but I'm also a writer, designer, reader, etc. I just felt I wanted to explore my creative side more, so I granted my children's wishes and stopped posting about them. I rarely even post about them on social media. I figure if they are so inclined, one day they can get their own blog and share their own stories.
I have to admit I really miss the community of mom bloggers- the support I received from those ladies was amazing! But life is all about new experiences and I'm enjoying my new journey!
Today is International Peace Day. This day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. While I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of strengthening peace among all people and nations, I particularly like the idea of strengthening peace within ourselves. I think when we are filled with internal peace, we aren't as distracted or destructive. When we are happy and content with our own lives, it makes us more compassionate with each other.
It's easy to get frustrated with all the demands of daily life but here are five things you can practice to achieve peace within yourself:
1. Practice Gratitude- Count your blessings daily. Consider keeping a gratitude journal and write down at least two or more things you're grateful for each day. This will help you put things in perspective.
2. Practice Faith- Find something to believe in. A higher power, something greater than yourself. Allow yourself to believe that there is an orchestrator of the universe looking out for you. Believe that the good you put out there will come back to you and pray for discipline to stay the course.
3. Meditate- Carve out at least five to ten minutes per day to be still . . .to just focus on where you are and all that you've accomplished. Let your mind be still and let go of your anxiousness. Remain calm and carry on.
4. Affirm Yourself- Think of all you've overcome and use that as motivation and plant a seed of confidence. Repeat these affirmations in the mirror daily: I AM STRONG. I AM CONFIDENT. I AM SMART. I CAN HANDLE WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT ME.
5. Take care of your mind and body- Get some form of exercise everyday, even if it's walking to the corner and back. When your body is healthy it energizes you and makes you feel stronger. READ! Grab the community newspaper, log on to your favorite blog or pick up a novel or self help book. Keep your mind stimulated.
Treat your inner peace as something sacred and don't let anyone disturb it- including you.
TED Talks are everything. I am addicted to the inspirational and informative talks given by creatives and industry professionals. They are entertaining and I always learn something new!
This TED Talk by Chip Kidd on how he comes up with ideas for book cover designs is nothing short of brilliant.
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”