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i'm in the pursuit of magic and writer's block sucks

I have been staring at a blank screen for a few hours now. On a number of occasions i have written a sentence or a paragraph only to hit the backspace button while taking a deep exasperated breath. Such is the journey of writer's block.

writer's block sucks

the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing
— google

it sucks even more when you are trying to remain consistent with a blog. I decided not to erase the last paragraph but of course then I was stuck again. So I decided to research writers block. During my research I found a pretty cool article about the different types of writer's block called "The 10 Types of Writers Block (and How to Overcome Them)". 

score

Maybe I won't find anything to write about but at least I might be able to figure out why. Instantly, I recognized my issue...Number 2 on the list "You have a Ton of Ideas but Can't Commit to Any of them and They Peter Out". 

story of my life

When you write a blog, you write each entry separately. On the left side of my screen is a list of all of my blog posts and at least 1/3 of them are started but unfinished blog posts on a variety of different topics. The idea is not the problem. It's just once I start writing, often times the thought doesn't fully come together in a way that wouldn't be utterly embarrassing for you to read, so I leave it there and hope that I can come back later and turn it into something that doesn't suck. 

My situation 20 minutes ago, or maybe an hour ago, it is kind of all blurring together at this point.

My situation 20 minutes ago, or maybe an hour ago, it is kind of all blurring together at this point.

So I read this article in the hope that it would tell me what to do. Guess what? It didn't. It basically told me told me what I am already doing. Apparently I am totally ahead of the game and know exactly what I am doing. Well, that is a first. It also does not help in this moment.

Apparently, writer's block is a pretty common thing and obviously not really something you can pin a date on as to when/where it originated but apparently the term writers block came about in academic literature some time in the 1940's by a psychiatrist named Edmund Bergler. In fact, Bergler went on to research writers block and wrote a paper on it in 1950 called "Does Writer's Block Exist?" The basic premise is that a writers is working to solve their inner problems by writing. This actually makes sense to me. It is like a lot of different creative outlets. You work through your issues by getting your creative juices flowing. He posited that a blocked writer could use therapy to become un-blocked.  The idea being that you figure out the psychological struggle and you unlock the ability to write.  Later research seems to confirm this. A lot of this later reserach shows blocked writers were often unhappy, anxious or depressed and all sorts of other things that claim to be the source of the block.

This is where I got a little lost. I get how being unhappy, anxious or depressed could cause writers block, it isn't that but if writing is your creative outlet, well then...

it is your therapy

Here is the thing though. Writing a book or a manuscript is a lot different than writing a blog. Writing something in long form is an intense process. It more than likely takes over your life. Writing a blog, I suppose could do the same thing but it is different. Depending on how often you post you have to come up with new and exciting topics that will make someone one want to continue to check in and care about what you are writing about.

not really doing a great job of that in this post right now I realize...sorry about that

If I waited for perfection I would never write a word
— Margaret Atwood

But telling stories is in fact my therapy and whether it is in writing or verbal story telling it fills the void. My problem isn't that I am unhappy and blocked, it is that I am seeking perfection. within reason of course. I say within reason because I am not a writer at heart, I didn't study English or journalism. I very rarely remember the grammar rules of a semi-colon and I probably use the wrong adjectives all of the time. The perfection I seek isn't in the writing as much as it is in the way the content is received.  I feel a responsibility to the content I choose to post. It is important to me that there is a purpose to what I write. I want the stories I tell to create a spark. What happens then is up to you but if I can somehow create the spark then...well then that is where the magic is.

i'm looking for magic

and that is why writer's block sucks so bad. I am in pursuit of magic here people and having a block is not helping. This is where you come in...that's right, I am bringing you into my block.

What would you like to read about? It can be about anything as long as it is positive in nature. Give me some ideas in the comments below.

SOURCE: 

http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/how-to-beat-writers-block

http://www.9bridges.org/overcoming-writers-block/

networking isn't for dummies.

The word "network", when used as a verb means to:

"cultivate people who can be helpful to one professionally, especially in finding employment or moving to a higher position."

As soon as I read the definition, I realized why so many people struggle with this particular part of the job search. The definition is almost sleezy. It is all about what you can get from people and not about what you can offer them. I get it, climbing the corporate ladder is no easy task, it is a dog eat dog world, everyone must fend for themselves...YUK." I prefer to look at things differently. I define networking as a way to cultivate relationships among people with the intent of building EACH OTHER up. It is about learning from each other, having someone's back and sharing common passions and pursuits.

My biggest pet peeve in networking is being asked "what I do" or "where I work" as an introductory line. I am not my job and my job is not me. I am here to meet and connect with people and that is not the best opening line. Think of it this way, on a first date, do you really want someone asking you how much money you have in the bank and what kind of yield you are getting from your 401K? No, well to me these are very much the same things.


networking two.png

The easiest place to get caught in the trap is when you join a networking group or organization. 

Networking groups are a great way to meet people in a similar industry or profession as you. Most people however get overzealous when it comes to the term "networking" and "networking organizations". The job market is crowded, competition is stiff. People see this, get scared and use networking entirely wrong. They use these orgnaizations to "pad"their resume instead of truly becoming part of what they are doing. Networking is all about what you put into it and the authenticity that drives the connections you make.

If we are going to do this, then we need to ask some questions to ensure that we choose the right networking group for us...


Here it is important to look for organizations that will help to educate, inspire, lead and nurture you into whatever your next step may be. This means you have to ask yourself some hard questions. I suggest some quiet time to reflect in a place that inspires you. (it's okay if it involves some sort of dessert or wine, I am not one to judge.) As you are contemplating these question it is key that you research groups that will work with what you are going after.

what do I want to do? what and who do I want to be? where do I want to be?

Networking groups vary. Many meet only once a quarter. (How in the world are you going to network like that?) Some meet every other day. (Who has the time?) But networking is about more than sharing a cocktail and trading business cards. It is important when doing your research to find a group that meets or interacts regularly enough to develop real relationships with the people in the group. You also need to be honest about how much time you have or are willing to invest. 

80% of all jobs are secured through networking!

If 80% of all jobs are secured through some form of networking, why are you spending the lion's share of your time on job boards? When you look at the landscape of your search, how much time are you committing to true networking? When you have a job you love, how much time are you committing to networking AND helping others? Both are important because you never know what the future holds. Reciprocity is key.


Everything you do with regards to networking should have a "why" attached to it. That does NOT mean you have to GET something out of every network but it does mean you should know why you are there. Driving with no destination in mind is a fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon, it is NOT however a great way to find your purpose. You need to attack it with intent. This doesn't mean you know where you will end up, but you should have a destination in mind. Don't jump the gun. Don't "pad" your resume just because it will get you A JOB. Determine what you REALLY want to do. Think it out, write it down, pray about it, meditate and really hone in on what it is you want. THEN, start your network. When you do this, you build with purpose in mind and the results become much more fruitful.

In the spirit of networking, leave a comment below with some of your favorite networking groups.  To get you started here are a few of mine.  

Friday's 3 Things From My Last Day

For the past 11 years I have had the opportunity to travel the world. I have been forced to go outside my comfort zone more times than I can count. I have met the most amazing people who would change my life forever.I found a career. Then I found my passion.I owe this to one place. Oakley.

Today, in the strangest TGIF ever, I will walk out the doors of the "big grey bunker on the hill" for the last time. It is a bittersweet time and in honor of that I have decided to dedicate today's post to 3 things I have learned during my time at here.


Tackling your fears can lead to some of the most excruciating & invigorating moments of your life.

 

Thanks to a team of 8 individuals who not only love thrill seeking but apparently also loved seeing what this girl looks like when terrified I crossed off so many things on my "I've Never" list. There was the time I cried upon receiving a death waiver before white water rafting and then cursed my way down a river in Vail, CO. (It was truly the most terrifying moment of my life.)

Then there was the time I screamed my way down a zip line in Big Sky, MT and was affectionately nick named "HSMF" by the guides. (I cannot and will not define what those initials stand for.) But just imagine what it feels like to be hanging hundreds or more feed above the ground just flying through the air when heights are one of you biggest fears ever and imagine the words that might be slipping out loudly and frequently and you will probably get the drift. (don't event get me started about being left alone on a chair lift!)

Of course there were more adventures from indoor sky diving to fly fishing, glamping, a half marathon, running in general and more. I might be the most scared person in the world with all of these things, but I did them. I will never have to wonder "what if" and what an amazing life lesson that has been. 


1 person, giving you 1 chance can change your life!

That person for me was "Becky Wilkinson". She took a chance on me in 2004 and then proceeded to keep giving me chances. It was because of her I got a passport and was able to travel to places I really never even dreamed I would go. It was because of her I had a career. It was because of her I went back to college. It was because of her I learned what I was capable of. It was because of her I learned what a smart, savvy and accomplished woman looks like in business.

People can say what they want but she was the boss that was okay with me being outspoken, aggressive and driven. She nurtured that and that was the first time my life changed at Oakley.


The toughest moments  bring you to the best moments.

Not every moment was good. In fact some were awful. This is true of all relationships and that is definitely how I would define my time there, a relationship. Some days pure bliss. Other day's not so much.

Oakley is a place to find your pasion.
— Jim Jannard - Founder

But in those tough moments I I learned more than I probably even know. The last few years were rough. It is hard to be away from your support system. I felt beat up and tired and some days I didn't want to get out of bed but I did. My boss told me that he had never seen someone get hit so many times that would dust herself off, shed a tear or two and then get up and do what had to be done. I never saw myself that way but I think he was right. These challenges showed ME just how much gumption I have. 

The quote from Jim above is right. I found my passion at Oakley. I'm not meant to live it out with there but will forever be grateful for all that I got from my time with such an iconic brand.Finding this passion and my purpose was the second time my life changed because of Oakley.

Today is not an ending. It is the start of the next chapter where I get to take everything I learned & apply it to my purpose. Butterflies are already going bizerk in my stomach. I'm ready! As always, let me know what you think. Comment here or on social media.

 

P.S. Today's P.S. is a 4th thing. That's right it's a true Ginsu Knife infomercial "That's not all" moment. Here it is.

Best Friends can be found in the strangest places!

 

Some of my BEST friends were found the first day I walked into Oakley. I gathered a few more amazing ones along the way but these first 6 ladies, we had something unique that lived in one of those bubbles of time that cannot be replicated. Some have drifted away while other's are still putting up with me but the ladies in this picture taught me a tremendous amount about friendship and made me a much better person. Technically, this was probably the second time my life was changed by Oakley but I didn't want to put them out of order so let's just agree to call it the third time my life was changed because of Oakley.

Three life changes in one place is not a bad way to spend your time. #fabsevenforlife