An Interview with Myself: My Current Projects & Writing Process

My real life friend Misty and my blogging friend Tara challenged me to interview myself on my blog, so I decided to give it a try!

1) What am I working on?

Business-wise, I’m preparing for what may be my biggest blogging month yet! I’m getting ready to officially release a Get Organized challenge, I’ll launch my third eBook titled Chaos to Clutter-Free next week, and I’m planning on participating in the annual 31Days writing challenge!

Chaos to Clutter-Free: 16 Realistic Steps to an Organized Home

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I think that all bloggers – and all organizers – are on a different walk in their own journeys.  For example, Nony from A Slob Comes Clean is still working on decluttering her house – she’s not a natural organizer but she’s learning! Then there’s Lisa from Organize365 who’s always been organized and now goes into other people’s homes and offices to help them turn their spaces into something beautiful.

As for me, I’ve always loved being organized but I had a hard time finding my way. Now that my home is (mostly) clutter-free, I want to help others find that freedom as well.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love to write about parenthood and Christianity, but once I started noticing that people kept coming back for more and more of my organizational articles, I started focusing in that area and it’s a great fit for me! I love writing about organizing. I also know how much I was hindered in my own life when my house was a mess, so I feel so honored to be able to help others in this way.

LaundryGetOrganized2

4) How does my writing/creating process work?

I fit writing into little pockets of time – mornings before my kids are awake, during afternoon quiet time, and a couple of evenings a week after they’re in bed. When I have larger projects going on (like now!), my husband is really great about letting me go to a local coffee shop one evening a week while he hangs out with our kiddos at home.

While I’m working, I generally write each article from start to finish but I’d like to get to the point where I’m working on several articles at one time. I’d love to crank out a few rough drafts one day, polish them up the next day, then a day of photo preparing, and then spend a day of final edits and scheduling.

Thanks for reading as I shared a little about myself! Be sure to stay tuned for my 31 Days of Simple Organization series that will begin this Wednesday!

To keep the tour around blogland going, I am challenging my blogging friends Sara from Embracing Destiny and Jody from The Sweet and The Salty.


Letting it Go

This post is for those of you who need a little encouragement to share your gifts with others.

I’ve written several articles on here about living intentionally and using our talents. I’m trying to do both of those things, but it’s a process and I need to give myself plenty of grace as I learn.

One thing I’m realizing is that with everything I do, there comes a time when I need to let it go.

Letting go when it's time to share your work with the world
When I write an article, I eventually need to hit “publish” and leave it alone. When I write a book, I have to get to a point where I stop writing/editing and start publishing or it will never have a chance of being read.

The more information I share with others, the more I’m realizing that once I allow my words to become public, I can’t control what other people do with them.

And that’s okay.

I think it’s important to understand that while it is our responsibility to use our talents well, it is not our responsibility to make sure everyone else accepts or uses our works just how we want them to.

Hopefully we all want to be careful to honor other’s wishes with work they put out there, but when it’s our own work, someone may misquote us, share something we didn’t give permission to share, or not like what we’re doing.

So we need to remember that, while we should want to bless others with our talents, we’re ultimately serving God.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)

If you have something you want to share but have been afraid of what will happen once your work is out there, I want to encourage you to let go of your fear and release your work. Share your talents.

What about you? What talents do you share or struggle with sharing?


When Fear Gets in the Way of Living

MothersDay2013Many people who know me in real life know that I am a bit of a reserved person.

I’m working on becoming more open with others and sharing part of my heart on my blog is one way I’m doing that.

So, after much deliberation, I decided to try to boost my blog readership by offering a free eBook to subscribers and I excitedly undertook my new project. Just as I’d hoped, it worked! My readership grew significantly in a very short amount of time.

So what did I do? I hit the ground running, right? I took off with my writing and kept posting articles that others could read and share with their friends, and my subscriber list kept growing and growing, right?

Unfortunately, no.

I wrote nothing.

I struggled to figure out why I kept making excuses not to write, and believe me, I had really great ones (decluttering my entire house and the passing of my grandma were biggies).

GrandmaNov2011

And while those things were real reasons not to spend hours a day writing, when I honestly assessed myself I knew they weren’t the true cause for my lack of writing, so I needed to dig a little deeper.

Upon further self-examination, I finally admitted the deeper reason I wasn’t writing boiled down to one main thing: fear. (I’ve written a little bit about my fear issues here and here).

I was so afraid of writing the wrong thing and scaring my readers off that I wrote nothing.

Now, I understand the irony of this. If I write the wrong things and everyone leaves, then I’m probably not reaching anyone. If I don’t write anything at all, then I’m definitely not reaching anyone.

I also get that if I don’t write, then I’m burying my talent. And while talent-burying is a safe and comfortable way to live, it’s not what I truly want to do.

This is kind-of like the buried talents we read about in Matthew 25:14-30.

Each person in this parable was given a different amount of money (referred to as talents). The first two servants used their talents to earn more talents. But the third servant, being afraid to lose the one talent he’d been given, buried his money to keep it safe.

WP_001483

When it came time to report to their master, the first two servants were praised. Here’s the exchange between the third servant and his master:

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord… I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant… you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. (Matthew 25:24-27, emphasis mine)

That servant didn’t lose his talent, he simply tucked it away for safe keeping. And he was condemned for it.

The parable could be about me. Here I am blessed tremendously with a jump in subscribers, so what do I do? I hide. I bury my talent and think of every reason imaginable not to use it. But really, I am just scared. Scared of rejection, and ridicule, and losing my readership, and saying the wrong thing in the wrong way, and, and, and…

DandelionSeeds

I am this one of little faith:

But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:30-31)

Time and time again, God has proven His faithfulness and time and time again, I doubt.

When will I learn?

But I want to learn. I’m determined.

So, I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to write when I want to and write when I don’t. I’m making a goal to carve writing time into each day, whether it’s five minutes or two hours, in a notebook or on my computer. And I’m making a commitment to write about things that matter. I’m determined to keep writing in spite of my fears, until I conquer my fears.

And while I want to use my talent as well as I can, I also want to make sure that I’m not neglecting my family in the process.

WagonMay2013

However, if a season comes where I need to set aside writing, I hope I can choose, excuse-free, to do that with patience as I wait on the Lord.

I want to encourage you to use your own talent for good. Whether your gift is writing, sewing, baking, cleaning, teaching, or something else, please don’t bury your talent like I’ve buried mine.

My hope is that we will all use our talents well so one day we can have a conversation like this with the Lord:

He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.(Matthew 25:22-23, emphasis mine)

May2013


Working through Fear

5K

I’m honored to have guest-posted at Mimi’s House about Working through Fear. Here’s a snippet:

I’m just going to come right out and admit it: I’m a scaredy cat. My husband jokes that I won’t take any risk unless the worst possible outcome is a two or less on a scale of one to ten. The reality is, that’s not really a joke because it’s absolutely true.

I’m afraid of so many things and, while some of my fears are silly, some of them have been so strong that I’ve felt completely paralyzed. The fears that top my scaredy cat list are rejection, ridicule, and failure.

After years of being too afraid to live out my dreams, I knew I had to either overcome my fear or one day regret that I never even tried.

Read the full article here.