Work For It

When I was in elementary school I got straight F’s on my report cards. I failed pretty much every class. Ultimately I  failed the sixth grade, almost failed the seventh and was put into special education courses for some subjects in eighth grade. Needless to say I’m not a smart person. If I possess any intellect at all it is because I worked for it. I worked my way out of Special Education, graduated with Honors and by High School was taking all honors courses. I had never been good at math but it didn’t stop me from taking Advanced Algebra with Trigonometry. I was possibly worse in science than math but it didn’t stop me from taking advanced Chemistry. My point here is that everything that I have always done had been with a particular work ethic. I’d never been the kid who could automatically understand, no. If I was to understand anything I had to study it. So I became a nerd because I had to be. Not being a nerd would have resulted in continual failure. By the time I was a junior in High School I was also taking College Courses for College credit. This meant that most of my day was spent at school. I would go to High School in the daytime and then College at night. I graduated High School eleventh in my class and went on to begin the next part of my academic journey. When I look back I notice that I graduated Elementary, High School, and College at the top of my class and with honors.

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The moral of the story is not about the Educational System. Nor is it about me. Like I said, I am not a smart person. Everything I have required work to get. The moral of the story is that when it comes to achievement, of whatever kind, it’s not as mind boggling as some make it. Despite your perfectly outlined plans there really isn’t a silver bullet for how to do something well nor is it about doing something the way others tell you it should be done; it’s just about doing the work. Whether we are talking about Blogging, Self-Publishing or being of service in any capacity it is always about doing the work. As long as you are willing to work then you are willing to be successful. By successful I do not mean making a lot of money. By successful I mean accomplishing what you set out to accomplish. Someone who desires to lose weight and takes the steps to get it done and does it is a successful person. There is no special diet he or she can take part in that will help them. There is no special meal either. But there is that persons mind and its willingness to put forth the work necessary to get it done. Yes, Self-Publishing is a challenge in many ways but it is not as overwhelming as it can be. Every time you walk pass an Independent book store there is opportunity. Every time you open your blog and stare at the page there is promotional opportunity. Every time someone reaches out to you as an Author there is opportunity. Every time you walk pass a library there is opportunity. The question then is not whether or not people will buy your books, not whether a book store will house your series, not whether or not you have perfected marketing and promotional plans. All of these things has its part but they are not really the point. The point of it all is always whether or not you are willing to do the work. Are you willing to walk into that bookstore and ask them about housing your book? Are you willing to schedule a FREE book signing at the local library? Are you willing to take advantage of shameless FREE promotion on your own blog? I just use writing as an example but this can apply to every aspect of our lives. It all boils down to one question: are you willing to do the work? If you are not willing to work it doesn’t matter how many doors open, you will always be too lazy to walk through them.

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Bloggers: May You Come Out of The Closet – #May Challenge Day 1

No, not like that. By “Come Out of The Closet” I just mean to reveal yourself to your readers. I know, I know, you MAY not consider yourself to be that much of a blogger to have “readers”. It MAY feel arrogant in nature, narcissistic or whatever, but the truth is that its not. It doesn’t matter how big or small your blog is we all have readers. There is someone somewhere who reads your blog. Someone somewhere who is always watching, silently and consistently keeping track of everything you post. Scary isn’t it? In some ways yes. You MAY feel that one day you’re going to be judged, called out, accused. I wouldn’t worry about that. First of all, no one reading this is my judge. Neither of you have the power to give my breath or to take it away from me. So for me personally, if I were you, judgement is not something I would worry about.

Today is the first day of the #May Writing Challenge and my first message is MAY you come out of the closet. For most of our lives we’ve been taught to keep our skeletons in the closet, which means to keep those most intimate parts of ourselves, those mistakes and faults secret. The closet represents something hidden, the heart if you will. We are taught to keep our deepest darkest secrets in the deepest darkest places of our hearts. The problem with blogging this way is that readers will never get the chance to see who you truly are. It is not about airing dirty laundry (My motto is always to: Keep Ya House Out Ya Mouth” meaning everything that goes on in your home should not be shared). So obviously we’re not talking about that. What we’re talking about is the kind of openness and intimacy that will allow people to get to know the real you because that’s what people want to connect to. Not something fake, something transparent, something real.

Bloggers: May You Come Out of The Closet

Tell us something about you that is personal. By personal I mean your favorite food, music, movie, your mistakes, your experiences. By personal I mean something that we can connect to. Something we can bridge to. Experiences are what connects us. Sure, we MAY make mistakes but that’s the beauty behind the whole process. Re-blogs are cool, writing tips are always good, and quotes are uplifting but sometimes that gets boring. It gets boring because people read blogs not just to be inspired or encouraged but to be informed. People want to know who you are on the inside, what your life is like, or did that new recipe work out for you? Yesterday I read a post about a woman’s journey to conception and it was truly touching and close to my heart. Truth is you never know how sharing your experiences can help others. In the end its about blogging without fear. Don’t be afraid to share a piece of yourself with your readers so that they can have something to connect to. Its the only way to build.