On the whole, writers tend to be a self-motivated bunch. We write because we’re moved to, we need to. But occasionally, we find ourselves tired, uninspired, and in need of nourishment. On days like this, having a collection of inspirational quotes at the ready is a very handy tool, because in the space of just a few seconds, we can read something to fuel us again—words from another writer who has been where we are, staring down the page, finding the courage to begin.Read More
Starting a book club sounds like a simple endeavor. The rules are simple: choose a book, pour wine, and talk about it, right? But if you’re planning to manage an office book club, there are a few more considerations (like looping in human resources!).
I’ve started three book clubs over the years, but I chaired this post the longest while working at a family foundation who supported humanitarian work in developing countries. During my first week, I asked the HR manager if there was a book club, and when she shook her head, I asked if I could start one. She thought it was a great idea, so I chose a book and sent an email around to the other 15 employees to see who might be interested. By the time I left more than five years later, the book club was still running, and our staff had tripled in size.Read More
Blogging has changed so much since I first started in 2008. Back then, it was less about site design, SEO, and sponsorships. There are still plenty of hobby bloggers out there, but blogging is big business, and if you Google “blogging tips,” you’ll find hundreds of thousands of posts about how to be successful. There are more ways than ever to make a little money, or even a full-time salary. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, though, and for lots of new and even veteran bloggers, the scale at which the industry is growing can be overwhelming and even demoralizing.Read More
In the corporate world—where goals, benchmarks, and achievements are highly valued—an annual review is one step in helping align our own ambition with our company's broader mission. It's typically led by the human resources department, and ideally, you sit with your manager to have a productive and reflective conversation about the year ahead.
As a writer, you're in charge of your own growth.
No one sets up meetings or looks out for your professional development, and it's up to each of us to manage our goals and expectations. This is one step towards professionalizing your writing practice, something I discuss a lot in the Write Where You Are course. The problem is, we rarely sit down to really think about how we're feeling creatively.Read More
In addition to glasses of bubbly champagne and (hopefully) a kiss at midnight, New Year’s Eve also brings with it a desire to start fresh. January tends to be a time for cleaning our slate—disposing of baggage, literal and emotional—in order to usher in clarity, hope, and new ideas for the future.
But a few years ago, the constant list making felt off. Although I appreciate the satisfaction that comes from crossing a task off a list or making a triumphant check mark, I was also itching for something that felt more nurturing.
That’s when I stopped setting goals, and started choosing a word.Read More
In an effort to make sense of the emotional turbulence that is adolescence, many young girls retreat to their rooms to scribble pages and pages in a journal. Flooding our emotions onto the page is how many of us arrive at the practice to begin with.
As I came to learn, the furious journaling I embraced as a teenager wasn’t sustainable in adulthood. A new stage of life demanded a new approach to the reckless and uninhibited journaling I enjoyed as a girl.
Most likely, the real reason you’re having hard timing sticking to your journaling habit has less to do with your commitment to the practice, and more with not embracing the best kind of journaling style for what your life looks like at the moment.Read More
It all started last month when I spent two hours doing a deep clean of our condo before friends and family arrived for my son's birthday party, and while I was up to my elbows in towels and non-toxic cleaner, I made one very small change in the kitchen. I moved the sponge.
Our sponge rests on a ceramic tray painted in an abstract teal and navy pattern. Its home is usually on the counter, to the left of the sink, but to free up the space and make it feel even cleaner I moved it to the right side of the sink, on the silver lip where the dish soap and hand soap used to be.
It was one of those seemingly insignificant changes that actually made me feel better about life for a few minutes.
But what happened next surprised me. For about four days, whenever I picked up the sponge and dish soap to wash the remnants of our meals, I would place the soap bottle directly onto the ceramic dish.. Within seconds, I realized the mistake, but it got me thinking about muscle memory and change.Read More