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Do This When Editing

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When you catch an adjective, kill it. No I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them – then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are far apart.

Mark Twain

 

I Come From . . .

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In the spring of 2014, as part of a speaking training, we had to craft a three minute talk from the prompt “I Come From . . .”

I loved this because I love talking about myself – and I love tying that into something bigger and making it relevant to an audience. I also love to talk about what’s inspiring me – at that particular “moment” in time it was Breaking Bad. And who am I kidding, Breaking Bad will inspire me till the day I die. It’s just that great.

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What’s the most important takeaway from Breaking Bad?

  • It’s not that cancer is bad.
  • It’s not that cooking meth is bad.
  • It’s not that manipulating vulnerable people to fuel your underworld ambition is bad.

All of those ARE bad, no question.

The most important takeaway from Breaking Bad is to observe and acknowledge the dangerous consequences of not living up to your potential . . . of seeing what CAN happen when we let ourselves be ruined by fear or some other lower level energy that thwarts our dreams.

I come from a family that valued art and storytelling above most else. We never had much money. I believe we were technically considered “poor” at certain points in my childhood. But one thing there was never a shortage of was books. Movies on tape. Stories. I learned a lot about who I am through reading, writing and deep conversation with my father.

One thing that stood out as we immersed ourselves in all that art, is that all humans have a dark side and it’s better to acknowledge and work with it than to avoid or deny it.

When we first meet Walter White he is depressed and underperforming in every aspect of his life. Living in that energy will take a toll on anyone. Add a terminal cancer diagnosis and his brilliant mind latched onto an idea. An idea sparked by the desperate need to find a source of personal power before dying. By a DEA brother in law taking him on a meth lab busting ride along. By a former student being vulnerable enough to be manipulated.

Walter White could have had a brilliant scientific career. He could have created a benevolent empire.

Instead, Breaking Bad ends with a tiny glimmer of something that could almost be called hope but we’ll never know. A few steps toward a redemption that could never be fully realized in a situation that was too far gone.

This is also where I come from. The fear of ending up like Walter White. Not that I plan cook methamphetamine, lie to my family, or hurt people.

But I’m not immune from my own dark side. The key is, I believe I CAN live up to my own potential, if I want to badly enough. That’s why I’m here.

 

Gratitude

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Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Oprah Winfrey

 

Coming soon . . .

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coming soonIf there were a time in this 100 Day Writing Challenge that I’d start to be hard on myself this would be it.

Three of the past five days of posts have been quotes, and one has been a post entitled Under the Weather. And YES I did just link to it. ROFL. LMAO.

 

 

 

The former me would be so underwhelmed by what she’d call LAME attempts to pass this “non-writing” off as writing that she’d start saying mean things like – “you can’t do this, might as well pack it in now.” “You suck.” “Just stop this already.” “No one is reading anyway – so no one will notice. Quit now before you make a total fool of yourself.” Then she’d get meaner and would start beating up on me for failing – because really, what HAVE I written in the last five days anyway?

Thank GOD I’m not that person anymore. Shades of her are still there but I’ve gotten so good at managing her that she’s become 95% nontoxic. And I have a former coach to thank for that. Someone so skilled and empathic, so willing to meet me where I was without judgment, and so strong and centered herself, that even though I’ve not worked with her in two years I still feel her influence. Today especially. So I wrote her a thank you card and stuck it in the mail. 🙂

My point with this is that, for the first time since I started my writing business, I’m coming through for myself with my own writing. Publishing for 100 days in a row is a bit of an undertaking. It’s not for everyone – and by that I mean: everyone doesn’t NEED to do it. The women in my 100 Day Writing Challenge don’t. They are getting clear on WHY they need to write and are setting writing goals that fit their businesses, schedules and livelihoods, creating editorial calendars, and they are writing.

My WHY is that I NEED TO WRITE. And I NEED TO PUBLISH. I need to craft my way in the digital world under my own name (as opposed to ghost writing for clients, which I do love – but it’s not the same – ghostwriting without doing my own writing has made me a well kept secret and I’m OVER being a well kept secret).

So yes, I do love long(er) well researched, well thought out articles. I have a lot of those in me. AND there’s no way I will crank one of those out every day, or even once a week. When I come out the other side of this 100 day challenge I will have a writing rhythm to call my own. Not sure what it will be yet but it will be something consistent – something that inspires me – AND, dare I say – something that inspires YOU.

Writing about stuff that matters to me (even if some of it is simply sharing quotes) and publishing it is my WHY of this challenge. And I’m living up to it. I’m winning. I’m keeping the mean girl in the corner, where she belongs. Silent and nontoxic.

I do have some awesome posts in draft. On subjects like:

  • How to Edit Your Own Writing
  • How You Can Move People With Your Writing
  • The Story of My Truck (trust me it will be relevant)
  • Book Review of Everybody Writes (fabulous and I’m only 50 pages in)

26 days into my own 100 Day Challenge I feel some bigger ideas percolating – which means some bigger posts are on the horizon. 

I’m just getting started . . . .

This is post 26 of 100

Under the Weather

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Today I’ve been laid up with a mild version of the stomach flu. Since I hardly ever get sick, being so today has renewed my gratitude for my health BIG TIME.

Hope  you all are healthy too. I have some longer posts in draft. Coming soon. 🙂