During the holiday break, I watched the movie Julie & Julia with my mom. The movie is about the woman who blogged about making all the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook in a year. I actually liked the movie a lot, but it made me think about my new role as a “blogger” that I took on when I started The Opportunities Project. While Julie Powell seemed to experience all love, it’s been equal parts love and hate for me.
Before I actually started blogging, I thought I always wanted to be a blogger and had very romantic fantasies about it. For someone working in a relatively high-level position in a government bureaucracy, writing what you wanted on the Internet for the entire world to see was not an option. But because I couldn’t, it made me really want to do it! Now that I am blogging for my business, it’s not all unicorns and liberation. I can’t keep up with my ideas! In addition to blogging, I am working on other writing projects that I am not making great progress on, including e-courses, workbooks, invited guest posts and articles, my well-outlined book on teacher recruitment with a pitiful 30 pages completed, my dissertation proposal and an academic paper for a conference in April.
It’s enough to say AGH! I am glad for these Reverb10 prompts to get me focused.
December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)
December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)
December 25 – Photo. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and and what it best reveals about you. (Author: Tracey Clark)
The number one thing I can eliminate that doesn’t contribute to my writing is procrastination. While there is some fear involved as to whether what I have to say is worth it, a major struggle I have is switching from task to task- meaning it’s very hard for me to switch from writing my book to answering emails at a designated time. I have a hard time letting go of a task in-progress when I am in a groove, even if there is a more pressing (um, clients) issue to tackle. I also seem to face difficulty going back to unfinished writing projects because other demands come up. Both habits often prevent me from really starting writing projects at all. The only way I am going to make it as a solo-preneur with income streams based on writing is to establish the focus this task switching requires.
I need to take action to get my writing to the next level. I’ve hired a time management coach for the first three months of March and addressing my issues with procrastination and writing is my first priority. Even without her guidance, I am writing all my ideas for blog posts on index cards with notes, putting them in some order, and making sense of them so they become doable.
One of my favorite blog posts that I did write this year involved a picture, the headshot I am using for The Opportunities Project. During the summer, I was interviewed for The Los Angeles Times about my experiences with curly hair and my thoughts about how you present your identity in the business world. I wrote about my experience taking the picture on my blog and facilitated a great discussion about it in the LinkedIn Career Explorer group. I love how my headshot truly reflects me and the love that my friend Wendy Glickman used to take the pictures that day, as well as do all the necessary editing. If you’d like to read how the picture was taken, please read the post and let me know what you think. Here are other fun pictures from that day, too.