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Freshly Pressed on my Birthday

Cover of "Julie & Julia"

Cover of Julie & Julia

I must admit that when I started blogging I expected nothing less than a major book/movie deal to result from my posts. I didn’t really read blogs, but I had just finished Julie & Julia and it seemed entirely possible to make a career out of blogging.

And then reality set in.

After about six months of consistent blogging, I had about forty followers; not nearly enough readers to warrant a six-figure book deal. I viewed WordPress‘ Freshly Pressed page every day and wondered how I could get featured. Honestly, I envied other blogger’s success.

After about a year of blogging, something had changed. I really enjoyed writing, and looking back at old posts. I enjoyed reading other blogs, and building a network of online writers. I forgot about my lofty, and ridiculous goals, because really they weren’t serving me.

And then yesterday, on my birthday, I was notified that my post would be on Freshly Pressed.

I had completely forgotten about Freshly Pressed. I felt like one of those women who say that they found love as soon as they stopped looking. I have received over 400 hundred emails in the past 12 hours my post has been on Freshly Pressed. I am slowly responding to all the thoughtful comments, and viewing the blogs of the people who lived the post, but it’s going to take a while. The sudden outpour of support and encouragement felt better than I could imagine. I am so appreciative of the exposure Freshly Pressed gave me, and my only piece of advice to anyone who wants to get on it is this:

Keep writing 🙂

Lovely Blogger Award!

I’ve been nominated for the One Lovely Blog award (not to be confused with the Beautiful Blogger award) by Of Mind or Matter; a beautifully written blog featuring philosophy, poetry, and a whole lot of humanity. Check it out!

The rules for this award are:

1.  Thank and link back to the person that nominated you… thanks again to Of Mind or Matter!

2   Post the award picture in your post.

3.  Tell 7 things about yourself:

  • I’ve eaten at some of the nicest restaurants in NY (Bluehill, Elevan Madison Park, Aldea), but nothing is as good as a greasy bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from the deli – and it needs the bright orange American cheese that melts like plastic 🙂 I’m drooling.
  • Here are the five countries I’m itching to see: Peru, Argentina, Ethiopia, Germany and Thailand.
  • I’m a literalist. The first time I was punished and my mom told me I couldn’t leave my bedroom for the whole day, I went to the bathroom in the closet. When my parents discovered it I tried to blame it on my cat.
  • All Mike has to do to make me cry is say the name of a sad movie and the waterworks will start. The first time I watched a sad movie with him, I couldn’t walk home I was crying so hard. At first he tried to comfort me, but when he realized there was no help for me he started cracking up. People passing by were giving him dirty looks for being so insensitive.
  • My superficial dream is to one day be able to get my entire wardrobe from Anthropologie (before things go on sale).
  • I over use exclamation marks. It’s gotten so bad that when a normal person uses an exclamation mark  have to use 4. I usually end up rereading my emails and replacing some of them with happy faces!!!!
  • I have a thing for older news men. Charley Rose and Brian Williams…so sexy. They can read the news to me anytime 🙂

4.  Nominate 9 other bloggers and notify them of the nomination. (Actually you’re supposed to nominate 15 but I’m sorry I just don’t read that many blogs!)

Here is my diverse list of nominations.  All are great site’s and are worth a visit so check them out.

http://mike-sayre.com/blog

http://manningtreearchive.com/about/

http://hikingphoto.com/

http://underthejewfro.wordpress.com/

http://simple-politiks.com/

http://anoutofthewayplace.com/

http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/author/youvebeenhooked/

http://saresknipping.wordpress.com/

http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/

My One Year Anniversary of Blogging!

 

Wow it seems like yesterday when Mike was suggesting I should start a blog, and I agreed to try it for a month (just to get him to stop suggesting it). I’ve never been able to keep a journal or diary for longer than a week so I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve kept up with the HeSo Project for a year!

I know you’re dying to reread all my posts from the last year, but you’re super busy. So I’ve done the hard work and picked out 10 of my favorite posts for you peruse:

Commitment:

I wrote this in my second month of blogging when I was considering giving it up. I’m glad I was honest about how hard it was to continue writing because all my favorite posts were written after this post and it helps me remember that there are always hurdles in the beginning.

The Power of Vulnerability:

I watched this video about 10 times. It was so motivating.

A Lesson from my Dad:

Simple yet so true.

Top 10 Most Amazing Places #8: Nicaragua

This was an example of how blogs make the world a smaller place. After writing this post someone contacted me to let me know she had just visited the same village I wrote about and the people there still talk about us!

Three Reasons Why my Body is Smarter than my Brain:

I’m still running every other day, and I’m still reminding myself of these rules.

Disposable Creativity:

I meet with a group of women twice a month to reflect on the Artist’s Way process. It’s truly a fantastic guide for anyone who wants more out of life.

All You Ever Need to Know:

This is perhaps my favorite post of all. I wish everyone would try this.

The Roller Coaster of Making a Prototype:

I love looking back on my entrepreneurship days. I was so motivated – I even motivate myself.

Blessings in disguise:

Rereading this post reminded me of how crazy I was to ever think about buying a house.

The Challenge Day:

I forgot what an incredible program this was.

And as an encore:

Flamenco Changed my Life

 

How do we let fear stop us?

I’m a coward. I wrote the first post about a month ago and it took me that long to make it public.  Was it hard to start a blog? No, that took about three minutes. Was I editing, and fine-crafting my writing? Definitely not. The truth is I made it very clear what my goals are, and by making them public I stand to make myself a public failure if I don’t achieve those goals. Isn’t it enough to have a good idea! Why can’t I just stop there?

I made plenty of excuses. Here are some of them:

Maybe I should try making money before pretending to be an expert.

I’m going to Spain for a month. How am I going to blog while I’m there? It’s not like they have the internet way over in Europe, right?

My computer’s really old, I should wait until I get a new one.

I can’t spell, and I get comma happy,,,

I need to dust under the couch. In fact my apartment is so dirty I’ll never have time to maintain a blog.

It’s a (insert day of the week here) and everyone knows it’s bad luck to start a blog on a (insert same day here).

BUT my boyfriend kept at it, and I couldn’t stand him coming home every night with that expectant look. “Did you start your blog yet???” He would ask EVERY day. Sometimes twice a day. So really I just started it to get him to stop bugging me.  If I ever make money from this, I will owe him a huge chunk. Shoot! Did I just put that in writing?

Well, let’s take a look at why we are ruled by our fears. And, yes, I know I’m not the only one. I am currently reading How to Do What You Love for a Living by Nancy Anderson. Ignore the cheesy cover, it’s actually really insightful. In addition to the great exercises and anecdotes she gives, she analyzes why we stay in jobs that we hate. Here are some of the basic fears that control our lives:

1. Fear of poverty

2. Fear of Criticism

3. Fear of loss of love

4. Fear of old age

5. Fear of death

If you think those fears don’t effect you think again. When I first read the list I didn’t think they applied to me. After all, I’m not poor, I’m pretty confident, I’m surrounded by unconditional love, I’m young, and I’m not dying anytime soon (knock on wood). However, when I read over the descriptions again with an open mind my head was bobbing up and down so much I hurt my neck. I’m just going to go over the first two. If you want more info read the book yourself. Click on the picture of the book to connect to Amazon.

When considering a new job, or a big change have you ever been slowed down by  indifference, worry, indecision, overcaution, and/or procrastination? These are all symptoms of a fear of poverty. And this fear can effect people with money even more than people without. When you know what’s at stake it’s a lot more scary. What does money mean for you? For me, it means control, independence, and freedom. Remember the first time you went to a store with your own money? Remember how good it felt to get exactly what you want and not have to beg your parents for it? When I was 12 I won a $100 and I spent it all on candy at CVS. I got what I wanted and didn’t have to ask for it. If I don’t have money, how will I ever get what I want? I will be at the mercy of other people’s charity. How would you feel without money? Bad enough to continue doing something you don’t like?

Have you experienced self-consciousness, lack of initiative , lack of ambition, and an inferiority complex? I can hear you saying yes. Well then you have suffered from a fear of criticism. I remember going to a brainstorming meeting with my brother. After hearing the initial pitch, I had some ideas but I thought they were pretty lame. I decided I would observe for a while, let my ideas mature, and then maybe share them. As the meeting went on people kept sharing the ideas I had but never vocalized, and everyone would applaud and say, “that’s brilliant!” At first I thought those people were just idiots, and I shared this with my brother afterward. He then said something that shook me to the core. “Are they idiots, or are you just under-estimating yourself?” That’s one point for my brother. How often do you hold back what you’re thinking because you’re afraid someone will think it’s dumb, unoriginal, or not funny? The more successful, powerful people I meet the more I realize they are not smarter, more talented, or hard-working than the rest of us underlings. They just speak up. In middle school I was upset that I didn’t get a solo in chorus and I asked my teacher why she choose another girl instead of me. My teacher told me that I had a better voice, but that the other girl was louder. I probably would have gotten a lot further in life if I just learned that lesson back then.

And so, I am going to finish this post with a wonderful quote from Nancy Anderson. A sentiment that is guiding my entire HeSo project. “When you know exactly what you want and have the emotional strength to go after it, your mind and heart work together as you give your plan enough time to come into being.”