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Are You Giving It Your All? by Kitty Bucholtz

February 9, 2021 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , ,

I went through a bad burnout period a couple years ago that took me nearly two years to recover from, so I got used to treating myself very gently during my recovery. I tried to give myself the compassion I would give my best friend. In fact, even the compassion I would give a stranger would be better than how I had gotten used to treating myself!

So I was surprised to find myself hearing over and over this idea of — am I truly giving this writing life my all?

It’s a growth mindset and I’ve been feeling myself itching to move from a stable recovery back into growth again. That’s probably why I kept noticing — but quite possibly it was also a matter of hearing what I need when I’m ready. I think God was pushing me to consider some areas of my writing life anew.

I “accidentally” had a Disney movie with Mark Wahlberg on in the background while I was working last week — “Invincible” about a professional football player who was a bartender and former teacher the week before. He was waiting to find out he was cut from the try-outs, but he didn’t get cut. However, the coach yelled at him during the first game that he needed to start giving 100% or he was out.

That was such an inspirational movie that I turned on “Miracle,” which I had already seen a couple times (meaning: so I could work and ignore it, use it as background noise), about the US Olympic hockey team that beat Russia back before they started using professional players. Again, the coach was incredibly tough on those college students, pushing them to give 100% or get out.

Trying again to turn on something I could ignore, I put on “The Blind Side.” Again, I’d seen it several times, didn’t have to get caught up in the story, and I genuinely dislike American football so…ignore, right? But these stories aren’t about sports so much as they’re about the underdog doing more than they think they can.

Fully inspired now, I turned on “The Rookie” today and specifically looked for the most inspiring parts because…the movies weren’t the only things reaching out for my attention.

We’re having a prayer and fasting week at church so I’ve been praying specifically over my writing business. The Bible verse in my Bible app was about — “are you trying hard enough?” The devotional there led me to a book about creativity (The Last Arrow by Erwin Raphael McManus), and the excerpt on Amazon ended with the author asking himself if he was trying enough, praying enough, expecting enough.

Then, because apparently God wanted to be very clear that He’s talking to me and didn’t want me to think some of these things were coincidences, I opened up a devotional book (My Utmost For His Highest) I hadn’t read in a couple years and turned to today, February 9. At this point, I can’t say I was shocked to discover it was asking, “have you given all you have?” And it reminded me to stay aware of my “why” — why am I doing what I’m doing? Because that’s what will keep me going.

By the time I’d had all of these things filling my brain, I was full of questions. Am I giving all I have? Am I giving 100%?

And you know what I decided my answer was? No.

Even though I’ve been working 6 days a week, and 3 nights, too, every week for months to build my writing and coaching business, I’d say I’m giving about 98%. Like Vince, the teacher-turned-bartender-turned-professional-football-player in “Invincible,” there is a small part of my mind that isn’t sure I can do this and is ready to lead the way out when I fail. (Vince was sitting on his bed with his duffle packed waiting for the knock telling him to go home, he was cut.)

Like Vince, it’s easier to say, “Look how far I’ve come, I should be proud of my accomplishments,” and have my duffle bag packed and ready for when someone points out that I’ve failed to build this business but boy, you sure tried hard.

But like the coaches in those movies, and the writer of the Bible verse, and the writer of the devotional — someone is pushing me to just believe and give that last 2%. Because it will change everything!

I was an A student in school. While I tried to get 100% on tests just for the fun of it (and for my pride), I was happy to get a 90 or 95 or whatever other number gave me the highest grade. Sadly, being an A student doesn’t prepare you as well as being a C student. I didn’t learn to work for it; I learned that 98% is generally more than enough.

But 98% is not enough in professional sports.

And apparently Someone is trying to show me that 98% is not going to be enough to achieve what I very much want to achieve.

I genuinely and passionately want to write books that change people and change the world, and I absolutely want to help others finish and publish books that do the same.

But it’s going to take 100% of me to do that.

What are you thinking about right now? What do you need to give 100% to?

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Finish Your Book This Year by Kitty Bucholtz

January 9, 2021 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , ,

Happy New Year, friends!! I hope the first week of 2021 was a beautiful surprise, with more peace and more joy and more hope than you expected. (With one glaring exception, that’s how my week went.)

I emailed my list this week and encouraged them to believe that each of us can change the world with our books and writing. I shared what a nurse friend told me, that when she loses a patient all she wants when she comes home is to escape into a story with a happy ending. Now, more than ever, I want to be part of encouraging those with necessary and difficult jobs to keep going.

And I want to encourage you to keep writing stories that help people feel connected, stories that give them hope, or nonfiction books that help people where they need it. If you’ve been stuck in your writing, if 2020 seemed to have stolen your artistry or creativity, maybe my Finish Your Book one-to-one book coaching can help. Reach out to me (kitty at kittybucholtz dot com) and let’s talk. Finishing your book and getting it out into the world is a worthwhile use of your time this year!

You may know that I always have an Encouraging Words episode on my podcast on the first Sunday of every month. This month’s episode is a great boost to get 2021 on the road to being a great year. I hope it encourages you!

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Editors and Agents All Month Long by Kitty Bucholtz

December 10, 2020 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

I’m excited to share with you that I have a mini-season on my podcast all about editing in honor of all the first-drafting that went on in November for National Novel Writing Month. Five episodes of editors and agents talking about editing and giving you their best tips. Jennie Nash, my first guest, even gives you two handouts!

Check out the episodes every Thursday on WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast. You can find it on your favorite podcast app or watch the episodes on YouTube. Be sure to subscribe, either way, so you don’t miss out! In 2021, I’ll be moving to seasons, which means there will be a couple weeks in between without an episode and I don’t want you to miss anything.

Here is the first fabulous episode with Jennie Nash from Author Accelerator. She offered two free handouts as well! One is here on the show notes page, and the other is on her website.

As we finish up a difficult year, I also wanted to share my Encouraging Words episode with you. I hope you find it uplifting and hopeful. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

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“Blank” Is A Daily Struggle

November 12, 2020 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , , ,
Blog header titled Blank Is a Daily Struggle by Denise M. Colby, with some suggestions such as Life, Sleep, Relationships, Writing.

I titled this post “Blank is a Daily Struggle” because each day can bring its own set of challenges. Sometimes for me writing is a daily struggle, my health can be a daily struggle. Our finances and dealing with our children. In essence, everything in life can be, well,…a struggle.

Since we are all writers here, I’m going to focus on how writing is a daily struggle. I work almost full time now and finding the mental capacity to write has become a new challenge.

I tried writing after work, but most days I have no mental capacity left. I’ve tried to plan in the morning, and then I had 8am calls every day for a few weeks, and that routine went out the window. So, right now I focus on different times each week and weekends.

But Sunday I rebelled.

I just didn’t want to sit. Of course I had been sick all last week and resting when I wasn’t working, so I was a little done with the messes in my house and inability to move around without being lightheaded.

So instead of pushing myself, I gave myself grace. And focused my energies where I seemed to want to go. It helped. It was like I needed to clean off the desk so I could start new. 

That’s how I try to approach each new day. 

One of my favorite things to do each morning is focus on the fact that it’s a NEW day. And each new day is a re-start to whatever happened before.

It’s not always easy.

But sometimes it helps immensely.

A clean slate to start new. New words. New projects. New edits. It doesn’t matter how much I did or didn’t do the day before, what matters is how purposeful I am today. 

Which reminds me of another idea to help with the daily struggle

The planner I’m using this year – My Brilliant Writing Planner – has sections to focus on ourselves as a whole. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, creative. We are made up of all these parts. But we don’t always pay attention to all these parts of ourselves.

When something is a struggle it could be that we are out of balance with one of these and we need to take time to replenish ourselves in a way that continues to help us function the best we can.

Just something to think about.

Just some rambling thoughts this month, as I try to balance life. Each day does feel like a daily struggle if I allow it to overwhelm me. I’m trying really hard not to do that. And I just wanted to share in case you were struggling too. I hope you find some encouragement in my words and that you have a blessed day.

If you are interested in checking our the 2021 My Brilliant Writing Planner, take a look at this website. She redesigns them every year and this year there are multiple sizes and types. I find them very adaptable to my needs, and I know Kitty has mentioned she uses them too. I already have mine!

This is what the My Brilliant Writing Planner looks like for 2021, with beautifully drawn feather pen and the words My Story Matters
I already have my 2021 Planner! I’m so excited!

I wrote a post recently about Finding Motivation to Accomplish Your Goals, and showed a few pics of the inside of my planner, if you wanted to take a peek.

Blessings,

Denise

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Do or Do Not, There is no Try When it Comes to Building your Brand

May 12, 2020 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , , ,

Since May is all about Star Wars, I thought I’d start with a famous Yoda quote and apply it to a building your brand message:

“Do or Do Not, There is no Try”

Yoda

How does this apply to your author platform?

  • We write or we do not write.
  • We post social media or we do not post social media.
  • We start building a brand or we do not. 

When it comes to building your brand, there’s this fear of getting things wrong.

And sometimes this fear prevents us from doing anything about it.

But that’s exactly what I want to encourage you to do. Do something! Don’t just say you will try. And know, whatever you do, it doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. It’s most important for you to do.

Yes, I know, all the different variables to building your author brand can be stressful. But keep in mind, I’ve seen several small businesses evolve and grow in their online presence. It has opened my eyes to the fact that they did not get to their current place overnight. There’s not a magic switch that turns on everything perfectly. Most sites have evolved over time, trying things that work and don’t work and making adjustments as they work out the kinks.

Our author websites and social media are just like this.

We need to do some things first before we figure out if it works or not. 

That’s what happened with my Marketing for Authors newsletter. I saw a graphic I liked and wanted to make it into the brand for Marketing for Authors. But no matter what I did, it wasn’t working the way I pictured it. And so I put off sending out my newsletter, or doing anything else for that matter. Not very business-minded, was it? So, I too am right in the thick of it, challenging myself with starting over and moving forward.

I’ve since chosen a simple design (thanks Canva!) and color scheme that I can incorporate into my training materials easily. And if I need to change some things as I go, I’m okay with that.

Here’s my new logo.

Building your brand one step at a time blog topic includes Marketing for Authors Logo - Teal, black and white text with a light bulb and MfA over it. By Denise M. Colby

What do you think?

I’m super excited about it. I didn’t overthink it like I usually do, and I can incorporate the colors into my training materials. The only issue is when I print it on my home printer, the color comes out a little more blue than what it looks like on the screen. Since most of my stuff will be digital anyway, I’m moving forward with it. And boy does that feel freeing.

I understand how much establishing brand and building content is complicated and time-consuming. That’s where I want to help you in figuring out what works and to offer encouragement.

As a writer and a small business person, every little action can help propel your brand forward.

For myself, I’ve written my first newsletter and I’m ready to send it out (you can sign up for my free newsletter here). I’m also preparing to teach my first online class and give my first zoom interview. I’m trying not to over think things, but just take baby steps, one step at a time.

I hope to encourage you in the same way.


If interested in learning more about brand and SEO, take a look at some of my past posts:

Why it’s Important to Have a Blog and What to Write About

Why Link Building on Your Website and Blog is Important

Why SEO Should Matter To An Author

Or you can visit my website by clicking on the button below.

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