Making it Home, pt 2

Here's a snippet of what's going on over at my new site, Wisdom Within, Ink:

I have heard – and experienced – that it takes about two years to break into a community. When we first moved back to Vermont, although living in a town just 20-minutes from where I went to high school, we might as well as been in the middle of Alaska for how connected and at home I felt....

Come on over... I miss you!

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I've moved! Come on over!

So, forget getting it just right... my new site is open for business!

Wisdom Within, Ink

Wisdom Within, Ink is the name of my journaling and writing business under which I am offering workshops. The random musings of this blog will continue to ramble on over there.

Please join me...

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Spinning my new web

Can't stop, but I just wanted to pop in to say I won't be around much because I am working on my new website. I'm so excited to launch it but I have to get it just right. Stay tuned...

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Finding a theme for my blog (and my career)

So, I've gotten a little off focus lately. Whining about my career path and money. Blogs are supposed to have a topic, a theme, a thread. My sub-title up there says "acknowledging positivity and serendipity while randomly musing my way to publication." Have I done that lately?

Penelope Trunk writes in this post that blogs have to have a topic to be successful and to help your own success. She advises that you use your blog to get known for what you are good at. She asks:

a) What do you want people to know you for?

b) Where do you want to go next?

What do I want to be known for?

I want to be known as a writer. A non-fiction, personal narrative writer. A writer who muses about my life and the paths on which I daily ramble. I, like Anais Nin, taste life twice through my writing. I experience it then reproduce it in words. I find meaning this way. I woke up once in the middle of the night with this phrase banging around in my head:

I am a writer. I have to document my life.

So, while this blog may seem random - kids, money, career, religion, writing - it all huddles under one umbrella: life as interpreted by me, in my words.

I approach my life as a writer. I'm not here to offer my readers advice on how to write or what to write, only to offer myself up as an example of how one writer thinks and lives. The fact that more minutes of my life are dedicated to being a mother, a wife, a housekeeper, and a struggling business woman than a writer, means what I write are these things. My other hats are fuel to my writing fire.

The fact that I look for and believe in Serendipity and Thinking Positively makes these things natural themes in my writing. Due to life's current struggles I haven't focused on them lately, however, and this is where I think I need to make a change. I do strongly believe that if you look for the positive you will not only find it, but it will also find you.

So, that brings me to Penelope's second question: Where do I want to go next?

What I want is to take this blog to the next level. I want to make it a source of Positive Thought and Serendipity from the point of view of a writer. My "outside" writing and the (inner) journal writing instruction will merge with one concrete theme: Helping others to Live Authentically using their Inner Wisdom. This is my focus, my theme, my thread.

In another post, Penelope emphatically states you should not have more than one blog. Oops! I have three. My logic was: one for writing my everyday musings, one to promote my journaling workshops, and one just to have a place to shove various essays or stories that were laying around. I am in the process of launching a real website to promote my workshops and my husband's psychotherapy practice. Writing to wellness and self-actualization and seeing a counselor for such go hand in hand, kind of like him and me, so why not live together in a little patch of cyberspace.

I am planning to launch my new website January 1, 2010 (to give myself plenty of time to conquer the scary HTMLs and other such foreign languages I don't understand). Please stayed tuned!

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Jour du Journal: Memory of Cabbage

Join me at jlucyjournals for today's thought and writing prompt.

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Another waste of time

Great. This is just what I needed. Another minute-sucking, hour-gnashing, completely pointless obsession.

On a daily basis - ok, more like half- hourly basis - I check these things:

Both my blog's sitemeters

I do not play any games or partake in asinine Facebook quizzes. I only check status updates and if anyone "likes" something I've chosen to share that day. However, I still waste probably over an hour a day doing this.

Sitemeter gives me a little thrill every time I see a brand new reader or better yet, a repeat one. And I love to see the google searches that found me. Hot fireman and Husband gone are two popular ones. And how's this one for funny/disturbing?: I hate pooping its so unfeminine.

And now that I am on Twitter I like to see how many of those links are followed (not many). Twitter takes the least of my time because I don't really care what other people are tweeting on about and I assume no one gives a damn whether I am wearing wool socks for the first time this year (which I'm not, but I wish I was - it's cold today!). I post my own blog links and check to see if anyone has mentioned me, and that's it, but it still takes time (and brain cells, I swear).

And now... Examiner.com. I am on my second week as the local Journaling Examiner (talk about a niche) and how many times do you think I have checked to see how much money I've made? Probably 50. Every page view makes me one whole penny and I can't stop myself from checking to see those (very) little cents add up.

Ridiculous! Why can't I just check once a day or week, or even better, be surprised when I get some money in my PayPal account? It's the same with my blogs; why do I need to know who's visiting from minute to minute? Or who's commenting on my Facebook status?

Validation. Acknowledgment. Appreciation.

And that's sad. Very, very sad.

The benefit of the internet is also its curse. Instant networking, instant information, instant publication, instant acknowledgment. Acknowledgment you could never hope to get in real life (not on a minute-by-minute basis, anyway). For an introverted, self-esteem-challenged, compliment-junkie, aspiring writer, the internet is a confidence booster.

But is it wrong to have an inflated sense of confidence? I think not - as long as it gets you where you deserve to be due to authentic talent and not just an over-stimulated sense of entitlement.

But the attention you receive online sucks you in and makes you feel more important than you actually are. And is the acknowledgment real? NO! (Well, sometimes.) Just because someone thumbs up my status update doesn't mean I'm special, a good writer, or wonderful human-being. And my blog? Like-minded, aspiring writers and over-worked mothers like it because they relate, not necessarily because I'm a writing genius. The internet is a playground - some days you're popular, other days you are one click away from being unfollowed, unfriended, unliked.

Where would I be today without the internet? Maybe further ahead. Maybe not. In the hours that I have spent staring at my Facebook page I could have written a novel. Or at least sent out some queries so I'd have a legitimate reason to call myself a Writer. But since I started blogging I have had the audacity to call myself a Writer and it is because of the internet that I am now published.

So while I thank the wonders of cyberspace (which I barely understand) for giving me opportunities and instant feedback, some days I wish my laptop would stop winking at me, luring me in, and causing me to look beyond myself for validation.

And yes, this whole post was actually a foil - an attempt to get you, my dear readers, to validate me further as I watch my penny-counter reach the dizzying heights of a whole dollar.

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