Day 50: That is a wrap?

My 500 Words

Wow! Day 50 of #my500words….here we are. I don’t know if I want this challenge to end. While I have found it exhausting on busy days, it has been so enriching! It has forced me to put my crazy thoughts onto a “page”. And, this alone has been therapeutic…even when I wasn’t saying all that much. What a great gift. I feel grateful that I have been able to take on this challenge with the first 31 days and then the additional 19 days, making it 50 days of 500 words…without missing a single day. Talk about starting a new habit!

As my previous post detailed, I still want to keep blogging. I just don’t know in what capacity. Maybe the primary purpose of this blog is that I write my thoughts down each day. Maybe that is the benefit of this, period. I am not sure, but a break will be nice. It is funny. I thought about starting a blog for so long, wanting a reason to write crap everyday, as though you need a reason! I think I put too much pressure on myself, too much pressure to be interesting or funny or to make money. Now that I have thrown all of those things out the window (and much more), I am able to just write and to start a habit. So that has been great. And, as we all know, blogs are still important for marketing purposes, but the market for “bloggers” is saturated and such. So, apparently, I need to know that things are “dead end” to motivate me to get involved hehehe.

This brings me to an interesting thought I have been having today…hobbies. My boyfriend is really great at getting involved in the community. He goes to meetups and talks and happy hours. Everything he does is related to his professional goals and network. I am just NOT like that. It is funny how different we are. I want to take classes and go to meetups that enrich me personally and bring fun into my life. I don’t want to go learn how to enter data into excel sheets. Maybe this means I am a loser, or maybe it means I haven’t found a career that lights me up. In any case, going to a happy hour to discuss my day job makes me ill to think about. I would rather walk around the library.

Speaking of the library, there are a lot of homeless people that hang at the libraries here. One such homeless lady complimented my boots today. “Hey, I like your boots, man!” What a compliment! I was so stoked….”THANKS!” I yelled back at her. Sometimes, it really just is the little things. How lucky am I?

Speaking of the little things, today I went for a walk (to work and then back home) and got my heart rate up. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was nice. I got sweaty and warm, and it was good for me. As Sophie Lennon says in her act on the Amazon Prime Series Mrs. Maisel, “PUT THAT ON YOUR PLATE!”

XOXO

Day 14: Writing Outline? Just kidding!

My 500 Words

Well, I was all set and primed to start my outline goal today…But, there is a gigantic problem. Actually, there are two problems, one of which is gigantic. The first problem, the small one, is that I don’t think I can attach an outline document here as though I were attaching a document to an email. I never considered that this wasn’t an email, but now I know. Sure, I could add it as an image or project. This seems like more work than it is worth.

Plus, upon further consideration, I don’t think that an outline matches the #My500Words challenge. The point of this challenge is to build a habit of writing everyday. I might incorporate an outline into my next challenge, but as Henry Miller commands, I cannot start a new challenge until the task at hand is complete.

I tend to deal with this shiny object syndrome. I don’t know if it is a personality trait or merely an unfortunate habit I have picked up. In any event, I can get in over my head sometimes, committing myself to too many things and losing focus. I had a practice for a while (that I try to continue still) where I wrote down my goals every single night. I would remark on my progress towards each of these ends and whether any of my goals were reached and could therefore be replaced. This REALLY helped me.

I love to learn, and I can get so excited by new possibilities that I overdo it. My enthusiasm for life and possibility is one of my favorite things about myself, honestly, so I would never want to squelch that. However, I would like to harness it better than I currently am. I have done this before, and it has been PAINSTAKING. While I worked my way through college and graduate school, I cried and felt spiritually and creatively oppressed. When I finished, I felt directionless and without purpose.

The best course of action for me is to write down all of my ideas when I have space for a new goal or project…then write them down each day of the week that follows…hopefully losing a few. Those that are left at the end of 1 week get into consideration mode. In consideration mode, I have to come up with a plan of what achievement means and how I plan to do it. In addition, I need to come up with my REASON for wanting to do it. This final list, those that are in active consideration mode, have to be said out loud to a third party. Hopefully, the act of planning it out and reasoning the action to a third party will allow for greater clarity. In addition, this process will hopefully allow me to have a greater “why” to come back to when the going gets difficult.

Shiny Object Process:

  1. List all ideas out
  2. Write them each day of the week for 1 week.
  3. Cross off ideas that have lost luster over the week.
  4. Come up with a plan and a reason for each idea. Write out.
  5. Vocalize the list along with the plan and the reason to a third party.
  6. Decide.

Day 13: Do You Plan Your Posts?

My 500 Words, Professional

Today, I spent a lot of time thinking about my goals, or rather my big, audacious dreams. I am maniacal about my personal information upload and try to cram most moments into brain updates of some kind. Today, I did a lot of that. One podcast I used to accomplish this was by The Life Coach School about setting impossible goals. It builds off the Tony Robbins idea that you need to change your beliefs of what is possible to achieve what was previously thought of as impossible. It resonated. So many dreams that I have yearned for in my life were buried because I thought they were impossible for me…that I could never even come close to achieving them. Crazy! If only I knew how pliable our universe is and how my biggest impediment to achievement was that very thought. Ugh…C’est la vie.

On day 1 of this challenge, I thought it was all a bit of a stretch…that I probably wouldn’t think of a way to write 500 words each day. Now, I am like…”hmph…500 words is pretty doable actually.” How sad to think I could have quit right away…and likely probably already have a trillion times before. Perhaps my first product will be some kind of challenge that anyone looking to smash those limiting beliefs. If you have a belief or an impossibility that makes accomplishing your dreams impossible, share it with me. It would be nice to know I am not alone out here! I am even thinking about starting a podcast. They are my favorite media, and it could be fun to get involved. Do you listen to podcasts?

I digress! I am thinking that I want to add one more feature to this challenge. I want to add an outline of each post…to get in the habit of thinking about what I am going to write before I do it. It might be kind of ridiculous to do this, but I want to get a better idea for how I can optimize my personal writing process. If that means that writing an outline will help, then I want to start doing that! I have gotten comfortable in the past 13 days (only 13 days, gasp!) with pumping out 500 crappy words. But, I want to add a little challenge, without abandoning my current goal of 500 words for 31 days. I will start (and finish!) the edX course “The Writing Process” that is offered by Berkeley through the awesome education platform. I think the course is an undergraduate, introductory level, but I haven’t taken a class like this in years, so I think it will be beneficial. I am also planning to take what I learn and apply it to my new goal to add an outline of my blog post and attach it for the next 18 days. My assumption is that it will improve the content and the flow with just a bit more effort…I look forward to seeing how it all shakes out!

One of my favorite sayings has always been, “trust the process.” What I will do instead is test the process and see if it makes things better 😊.

 

 

 

Day 8: What is copywriting?

My 500 Words, Professional

Copywriting is the creation of text surrounding the publicity, sales, or marketing of a product or service. It is the words or text that strive to promote and persuade the target audience to engage, decide, or act in a certain manner. It is…everywhere. I found myself asking what exactly copywriting was after a conversation that started with me very sure that I knew what it was and ended with me googling it to be sure. I had always thought about copywriting and “copy” in terms of advertising campaigns, and it is. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about this nebulous term and to learn of its broad scope. I decided to sign up for some online courses and to download a copywriting podcast to listen to while I work.

I am learning a few interesting things, but I am struck by one general nagging thought. Copywriting as a profession seems to be devoted to knowing your customer or target audience and telling them in the most efficient and effective way possible how your product or service solves their problem. This spoke to me, as it is about communicating in the most effective way to a certain target audience. And, it sounded fun. So, I was implored to keep learning.

I learned some terms that seemed important as well: value proposition, direct-response copywriting, conversion copywriting, and the 100 audience formula. Why don’t we talk about the importane of copywriting and persuasive messaging more? This seems so critical to the sales and marketing success of an enterprise, but I have only heard it as a freshman year journalism student when kids talked about what kind of jobs they would be OK taking. I was confused then and now, even after many years attempting to understand the professional and regular world in all its weird splendor, it seems like we never talk about the things that matter. If this is a skill, it seems like it is an underdeveloped or at least acknowledged one. Sales is often seen as an ability, a calling, or a product of persistence or beauty. And, yes, perhaps it is all of these things. But, really, it is a skill. And copywriting, the messaging, and the mindset that goes into the creation of impactful words in strategic times and places can teach us a lot about how to sell.

I have been told at various points of my young professional life that I was great at sales, terrible at sales, should definitely make that my career, and should look elsewhere for opportunity. The room has been split. I have found ways to connect and do well and have found plenty ways to fall flat on my face. Luckily, my ego is bothered by the thought that I can’t do something well and especially that I just can’t do it. I like to try to overcome it. Maybe studying copywriting, which combines the need to sell, which exists in every business, and my interest and passion for writing. It would be great if this new avenue to explore might be a fruitful, or at least interesting, one.