When I started this a few weeks ago, after much crying and knashing of teeth, I wasn’t sure if I was writing a book about the process of writing or if I was going to actually begin to share the story and lessons.  I was open to the process would be.

Now after posting several times, I am going to do both.  First I will post the writings that I feel I’m supposed to share and then periodically I will write about the journey of writing, which seems a little redundant.

First, I can’t wait to share this cool tool I have found. Those of you that have blogged for a long time may already have a favorite tool to create graphics for your blog. I’ve owned an agency with graphic designers on staff for years so I didn’t really pay attention to the tools.  The website is www.Canva.com and allows you to create everything from social media graphics like FaceBook header to graphics in posts to business cards and posters and lots more.  I find quotes to use from www.GoodReads.com/quotes, you can search by person or by topic.

For my email newsletter subscriptions/RSS Feed, I am using FeedBlitz {full disclosure: I love it so much I became an affiliate}.  I used to recommend MailChimp because it was fun to setup, easy, free for the first 2000 subscribers.  After attending, Type A Parent blogging conference last year where I sat in on an email marketing session by the company’s CEO, Phil Hollows, I began to research FeedBlitz.  The number one thing I love is that it combines RSS with email, which saves a step and consolidates your list of people that follow you into one place.  For those that don’t know, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  You use an RSS Reader, my favorite is Feedly, and it delivers all your favorite blogs to one website instead of you going to 17 websites just to see what all your friends wrote.  I subscribed to the FeedBlitz newsletter and learned a lot about email marketing just from following them and reading their blog posts.

OK, that’s the tools, what about the process.

Let me start at the end of the process.  I have had so many people private message me, leave comments here and on FaceBook, or tell me when I run into them how they love reading my blog.  I forgot how many people I’m friends with on FaceBook.  It’s so rewarding. Of course, words of encouragement is my #1 love language, gifts is #2 in case you were wondering.  I went to several blogging conferences last year and I would hear my friends talk about this feeling but I had no idea.  I am really inspired to continue because of all the positive feedback.

The beginning of the process is awful.  I am a fairly confident person, I take calculated risks, I love meeting new people (except the frustration of not remembering their name 3 minutes after they told me, but I’m working on that), if you asked me if I struggle with insecurity I would say, not really.  Until you have to bare your soul and your writing ability.  I’m a very strong editor, comes from Honors Freshman English, that I took with Gwen Rockwood.  We had to write a paper about an inanimate object without using am, is, are, was, looks, seems, or appears.  Then we traded papers with a classmate and had to edit it. We were graded on how well we edited it. Then we had to re-write it. Then we switched papers with a different classmate and had to edit again.  Excruciating.

When I write, I edit it in my head as I go along. Which is TERRIBLE writing form.  And creates a ton of insecurity (you aren’t supposed to start a sentence with And, but in casual blog writing, I like it).  Plus it means I’m not doing either well.

I also use classic avoidance when I have to write something hard.  I’ve written a lot more than I’ve published here over the last few weeks.  If I have to write something difficult I suddenly remember all the very urgent things that must be done before I can write.  Laundry and dishes could have been there all morning, but suddenly they must be done now.  Even this post is an avoidance technique, I’ve been meaning to write it but what’s really swirling in my brain has to do with some hurt feelings over my More about me post.

The most useful tool I have found for this process is Brene Brown and her TED talk on Vulnerability –

It reminds me that I have to stop avoiding and start being vulnerable.  Soon there will be a whole post on the role of shame in my life.

For now, I will stop avoiding and go write what I’m supposed to write this morning.