Having the Guts to Share: A Reader Question

I think we all, sometime in life, feel a draw, or even a calling, to do something that we feel unqualified to do. I’m talking specifically about writing here but if God calls you to do something you need to be more concerned about obedience than how that obedience makes you feel.

A reader emailed me to ask this question:

 “How do you have the guts to share your writing if you feel like you aren’t really wise enough yet to say anything that would be helpful to other people? Have you ever struggled with that?”

Please know that if you email me about a struggle, there’s a good chance I struggle with it too. My first response was to wonder if perhaps she has been listening to conversations with my husband or a few friends. I think we are all innately aware of our own shortcomings. We know how far we have to go and we know that there are wiser people that surround us. But perhaps we have that itch to write and we can’t kill it. Or we don’t want to. Or we don’t believe we should no matter how strong the urge is. Here are a few ideas I’ve picked up that might help.

10 Ways to Make Time for Projects

I cringe a little when friends ask me how I find time to blog and podcast and raise my boys. I didn’t wake up one morning and think I’ll start writing a blog and I’ll cohost a podcast and I’ll start some art projects. It happened really slowly.

The best things in life are slow. We develop as people; we develop our craft; our projects grow (and sometimes shrink) right along with us. That’s how it all works in different seasons of life.

Enough of my mama friends have asked me how to make time for these things (while looking at me like I’m a freak to make this happen) to make me realize that I’ve learned a few things about getting the work done while you’re mothering. Because, right now, all of my work is done with my kids home with me. I don’t have a babysitter or a regular day free for work- although I’m not saying that will never happen. So here are ten ways I accomplish projects.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’ve never been big into Valentine’s Day but this year I want to try a little bit harder to celebrate smaller holidays with my family. No fancy parties, no decorations, just little tweaks to our daily routines that recognize a special date on the calendar.

When I sat down to plan this month’s blog content, I decided that I wanted to make something special for you as well. And last week, when my husband was in New Orleans on a business trip, I spent my evenings watching YouTube tutorials and making my eyes cross learning how to digitalize handlettering. (After all, learning Illustrator is on my list of goals for this year.)

So, for you on Valentine’s Day 2017, a free download of a Emily Bronte quote. Yes, this is from Wuthering Heights. While Wuthering Heights is my favorite classic book, it’s a creepy, tragic love story, so take that however you will. This is the original design that I started with pictured below.

9 Project Ideas

Lately I’ve gotten quite a few questions about project ideas and how I fit in time to do projects. This post won’t address both of those topics but I’m going to tackle a list of project ideas if you are looking for some inspiration for March. Or April or May or- you get the idea.

(However my number one tip on accomplishing projects? Start small with something you know you can manage and let it grow if it blossoms. Commit to 20 minutes once a week and see where it takes you.)

The one thing I would challenge you to do when you start any project is to document your work. Whether you take pictures for yourself (maybe on a private Instagram account so you can make a photo book later) or share them in a public spot on the internet or take notes on what you are learning, you will get more out of the work if you can see what you’ve accomplished when you’re done. Does this mean all the work will be good? Of course not. But that’s not why you are doing it.

5 Things I’d Tell You: Pregnancy Edition

I love going out for coffee with friends, especially if I can sneak out once the boys are in bed or while they are working on a project with my husband. There’s nothing like sipping a drink or eating a brownie while discussing the best and hardest parts of life. And since I was 20 weeks pregnant this week it seemed the perfect time for some maternity talk. So grab your drink and chill for a few minutes this Friday.

1. I run the gamut of emotions between the wonder of a child growing inside me to the realization that soon this baby will be in my arms and I have to reorient our entire schedule to handle that. When I’m energized I think I can handle it; if I’m tired I’m sure that we’ll never adjust. But we’ve brought home three already so surely at some point we’ll find our footing. (Right?) For that very reason, part of my prep time praying for a coming baby always includes praying that God will prepare my heart and our family.

Choosing the Adventure

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. -Helen Keller

(Sometimes living an adventure means that you fracture your ankle at volleyball practice. But I’ll take the fractured ankle over sidelining myself in life for fear of what might happen.) I read the above quote on Instagram (I seriously love the inspiration I’ve curated for myself on IG) and was reminded that I get to choose my attitude every single day.

One of my favorite things about my life as a stay-at-home mom (I’m not sure I can legitimately call myself that anymore) is the variety of the work I get to do. I get to do the daily work with my munchkins: living life, doing school, and learning to get along. I get to write and podcast. I get to sing. I get to coach volleyball. I keep a friend’s baby and get my baby fix on. If variety is the spice of life, we’re pretty spicy around here. And I love that. There’s absolutely no time to be bored.

How to Get Your Work Done

It’s the earlier morning as I’m writing. I won’t quite claim early morning since most of the working world is already up. I’m trying to ease back into my morning work habits and here I am, writing before my kids are up. As early as I’d like? Nope. Did I do the whole morning routine I’d like to? Nope. And I almost stayed in bed because of that. But then I realized that I’m going to want at the end of the day is to have written. And if all I get is 200 words, that will be better than none.

It doesn’t help me to say “well, the kids will be up soon so it’s not worth my time.” It doesn’t help me to make excuses like, “I don’t have three hours to work on this; I only have thirty minutes.” We can spend our lives looking for the big chunks of time, moments that are uninterruptible. But if we want to do real work, we have to do it in real life. That means working in fifteen minute chunks between laundry and running errands and lunch breaks. That means working when we’d rather drift back to sleep for a few minutes or dig into a good book. (Although, bonus, reading is totally part of the work of being a writer.)