Tuesday, December 2, 2014

4 Not-So-Simple Goals for December

My December To-Do List is nearly five feet long and yet I'm still smiling. Read on to find out why.

Near the end of the year I often set what I call 4 Simple Goals. The brainchild of Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess, the idea behind 4 Simple Goals is to pick simple, activity-oriented goals that will make your life richer, happier, and healthier as you finish up the year. 

This year, though, I have four not-so-simple goals for December. These goals are all about doing what needs to be done to finish 2014 strong and to hit the ground running in 2015. 

My four goals aren't simple; they're huge! They're goals that needed to be broken down into several smaller steps -- so many steps that when I wrote them all down my to-do list for December turned out to be almost as long as I am tall! 

Believe it or not, this list doesn't intimidate me. Instead I'm excited! This list motivates me because it's a carefully crafted plan for preparing to make 2015 my best year yet. 

1. Finish fall semester. As a teacher this is my top priority for the month. The to-do list for this goal consists of tasks such as grading papers, writing exams, filling out end-of-the-semester evaluations and paperwork, and cleaning my classroom. 

2. Meet all freelance deadlines. I have four major freelance stories due this month. This to-do list is about conducting and transcribing interviews and writing and editing copy. 

3. Survive Christmas and get ready for New Year's Eve. If you know me well, you know I am not a fan of Christmas -- a holiday that I believe drives individuals into debt and families into arguments. But since everyone else in the world thinks Christmas is awesome, I try to be a good sport and buy gifts and such, which is what this to-do list covers. My reward for playing along with this whole Christmas thing is New Year's Eve -- my favorite holiday! I usually celebrate by throwing a small party at my apartment with some of my closest friends (so some to-do list items are party planning tasks). The party is always a blast and the perfect way to end the year. 

4. Launch my debut e-course. The main reason I'm not stressed about my five-foot long to-do list is because I know I'll get everything done. I always do. And I don't say that from a place of arrogance, but one of experience. I'm really good at time management, so good that I've created an e-course to help other women writers better manage their time, too. The bulk of my December to-do list is focused on polishing and promoting my e-course so I'll be ready for a successful launch on Dec. 31. If you want to stay up-to-date about the e-course and other programs I'm offering in 2015, be sure to sign up for my new newsletter

What are your four simple (or not-so-simple) goals for December? 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Watch me #bloglikecrazy!

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Hey babes!

As I mentioned in my previous post, November is the month when #bloglikecrazy. I publish a new blog post every day for 30 days and challenge members of my organization See Jane Write to do the same.

This year I'm going to #bloglikecrazy on my See Jane Write blog instead of here. But I'd still love for you to follow along.

So each day I will update this post to include a link to my latest entry to my See Jane Write blog. I hope you enjoy!

Nov. 1 - Why should I #bloglikecrazy? 
Nov. 2 - What if I run out of blog post ideas?
Nov. 3 - Can I overcome stage fright? 
Nov. 4 - How can I get more done?
Nov. 5 - How can I build an authentic brand for my blog?
Nov. 6 - How do I find my ideal reader?
Nov. 7 - Do I need an elevator pitch for my blog?
Nov. 8 - Should entrepreneurs take a day off?
Nov. 9 - What blogs do you read?
Nov. 10 - Blogging - What's the Point?
Nov. 11 - Why did you start See Jane Write? 
Nov. 12 - Why do you call yourself a feminist?
Nov. 13 - What should I do this weekend?
Nov. 14 - How can I improve my blog?
Nov. 15 - What should a writer do on her day off?
Nov. 16 - What is a Twitter chat?
Nov. 17 - Do I need business cards?
Nov. 18 - What should I include in my blog's media kit?
Nov. 19 - What is Bloglovin'?
Nov. 20 - How can I get more involved with See Jane Write?
Nov. 21 - Have you heard the new Beyonce songs?
Nov. 22 - Did I hear you on NPR yesterday?
Nov. 23 - What do you want for Christmas?
Nov. 24 - Can I touch your hair? 
Nov. 25 - What are you thoughts on the Ferguson grand jury decision?
Nov. 26 - How can I give back this holiday season?
Nov. 27 - What are you thankful for today?
Nov. 28 - How can I "shop small" this holiday season?
Nov. 29 - What blogging and writing conferences should I attend in 2015?
Nov. 30 - What did you learn from this year's #bloglikecrazy challenge? 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Currently: The Writer's Edition, Vol. 2

Currently is a feature Dani Hampton of Sometimes Sweet and several other bloggers I follow occasionally post on their sites. Currently is essentially a list of what you're into at the moment and is a great way for your readers to get to know you better. Earlier this year I decided to start doing Currently posts with a twist -- Currently:The Writer's Edition. 

Freelancing for Birmingham Magazine. Be sure to check out this month's issue which includes a profile I wrote on Shella Sylla, the founder of SisterGolf. SisterGolf is an amazing program that teaches women how to play golf and how to use golf to network and enhance their business relationships.  

Brainstorming ideas for business. I haven't been doing much personal blogging lately because much because most of my attention has been growing See Jane Write. I even have a business coach now. That sounds so fancy! I'm working hard to build See Jane Write into a profitable, but meaningful business that truly empowers women who write. 

Pitching to WBHM. Each month I'm pitching story ideas to my city's NPR affiliate. Each month you can find a new blog post by yours truly on WBHM.org. And on the last Friday of each month you can catch me on the air at 90.3 FM (or on the website if you don't live in Birmingham) discussing my latest post. Last month I wrote about how despite the fact that I'm 33, the women who inspire me most are under the age of 21. For this piece I interviewed one of my former students who recently launched her own magazine. Color me proud!

And speaking of being proud, I must say that out of all my writing endeavors the one that makes me most proud right now is my column for B-Metro magazine -- Write Like a Girl. Each month I write a personal essay on women's empowerment and through this column I feel I've produced some of my best work. In this month's column I examine the intersection of feminism and faith.

Blogging about #bloglikecrazy.  Every year I challenge the ladies of See Jane Write to publish a new blog post every day for 30 days in November. I call this challenge #bloglikecrazy. This year, for the first time, I'll be publishing my #bloglikecrazy posts at the See Jane Write blog and I'm hosting a #bloglikecrazy kick-off workshop on November 1. To learn more visit the #bloglikecrazy page at SeeJaneWriteBham.com.

What's going on in your writing life? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

30 Things I Love Right Now

For this month's issue of See Jane Write Magazine I interviewed author and poet TJ Beitelman about his writing process and his latest novel John the Revelator. TJ is one of my co-workers at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, one of my favorite writers and one of my favorite people. 

TJ (pictured above) also blogs and on his blog has a feature he calls 30 Things I Love Right Now

So I decided to give it a try. 

In addition to working with talented people like TJ, here are 30 things I love right now. 

(1) Tacos. | (2) My lunch bunch at work. | (3) Brach's marshmallow pumpkins. | (4) #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso.  | (5) Talking to other women about their dreams. | (6) Essie nail polish. | (7) See Jane Write's new website. |  (8) Birmingham. | (9) Almond tea at Urban Standard. | (10) Giggling with girlfriends in coffee shops. | (11) Brunch. | (12) Women Business Leaders. | (13) Running the Lakeshore Trail. | (14) Beyonce's latest album. Still. | (15) Goddess by Banks. | (17) Pretending to be a real professional by using my LinkedIn account.  | (18) Blogging. | (19) Reading other people's blogs.  | (20) Dreaming. | (21) Writing a column for B-Metro. | (22) Cooking salmon for husband every Sunday.| (23) My red shoes. | (24) Maxi dresses. | (25) Being a happy feminist. | (26) Finding other happy feminists on the Internet. | (27)  Fancy Love fragrance by Jessica Simpson. | (28) Being childfree. | (29) Being free. | (30) Being me. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Things That Made Me a Happy Feminist This Week, Vol. 4

I met this lovely lady -- PR diva Candie Price -- at a blogging conference last month.
As you can see we became buds instantly. So I was elated to see her at this month's WBL meeting. 

1. Women Business Leaders. On Saturday, I joined Women Business Leaders, a networking group for professional women of faith. I plan to write an in-depth post about the group before its next meeting in hopes that some of you Birmingham babes will join me.

2. Alabama feminists. The University of Alabama student newspaper The Crimson White reports that my alma mater is now home to the UA Feminist Caucus!  

“The issue of feminism impacts us everyday regardless of gender, sexual orientation or anything like that. That’s why it’s so important to be involved,” Cassidy Ellis, club president and a first year graduate student studying gender and race studies, said.
According to The Crimson White, Ellis came up with the idea for a feminist club for the University last spring. She said her goal was to address those who have said there isn’t a need for feminism, and that the group seeks to dicuss further misconceptions faced 
about feminism.
Upcoming events include a “Feminism Is for Everybody” panel discussion. I might have to take a trip to T-Town to check this out! 


3. Supporting fellow woman writer and entrepreneur Carrie Rollwagen. Carrie, the owner of a local coffee shop and book store, has written a book about the importance of supporting local businesses and she's launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the book published.  I consider it a privilege to be a backer of such an important project. Watch the video above to learn more and then pledge your support too! 

4. Feminist Wednesday. I can't believe I'm just now learning about FeministWednesday.com, but I'm so glad I recently stumbled upon the feminist storytelling site.  Go check it out now and thank me later. 

Princess of the Press!

5. And thanks to NPR I also learned about another awesome site this week -- Rejected Princesses. Produced by Jason Porath, Rejected Princesses is a series of illustrations of women whose stories wouldn’t make the cut for animated movies, or has he says "women too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids' movies."  

What made you a happy feminist this week?