A Very Rough Draft

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I reach the word count limit of 3750 words, but I haven’t finished the article. I highlight everything in the last subsection because I know I need to revise it. I estimate that have at least another 600 words to go, so I will have go through the manuscript and make it more concise. That’s actually one of my favorite editing jobs, trying to convey the same message with fewer words.

I have to admit this article is currently a rough draft . . . a very rough draft. It’s so rough it deserves the empty descriptor “very,” the kind of word I would immediately cut out of a draft. It reminds me of my life in general. Right now, it’s a rough draft . . . a very rough draft, and I still need to do a lot of editing to make it more concise.

Fortunately, this is the last week of classes for the summer and then I have a short break before fall. It won’t be three weeks of vacation, though. I scheduled a four-day trip to Orlando with “the little,” but the rest of the time I will spend planning for the academic year ahead. The difference between dreams and goals are action steps, and I will need to schedule a whole lot of action steps to get where I want to go.

I hit the save button and close my article for the evening. Although being productive is important, so is resting and regenerating. Tomorrow, I will wake up early and start again.

New Business Address and Company Car

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It’s the end of another busy day. I’m typing in bed as bunny eyes me from the floor. Her fluffy feet move stealthily across the tile. I’ll be going to sleep soon, but wanted to take time to tap out my 500 words for the evening.

I didn’t get everything on my to-do list accomplished today, but I did make some important strides in the future marketing of my writing, editing and coaching services. I signed an agreement for a new business location, updated my website, reordered business cards, and ordered a new decal for the back of my car (see the image above).

I do my own graphic art for the company because I enjoy working with Adobe Illustrator. It’s one of the many ways I get to express my creativity as an entrepreneur. (It also saves me a lot of money.) The logo for my company was inspire by a painting that I did back in 2012. At the time, I did a series of seven paintings, one for each Chakra and I used two intertwined cranes to represent the throat Chakra. Since the company’s mission is “To enrich the personal and professional lives of others through quality communication,” I felt the image and its significance was appropriate.

Like the website says: “Nothing empowers, inspires, or motivates like a well-crafted message, whether it is professional, creative, or academic.”  As a writer, I value the co-creative act between the writer and the reader. A great message doesn’t merely hinge on what the writer intends to say. It also depends on how the reader interprets it.  When I work as a writing coach, I try to mediate between those two perspectives. I try to help writers see their work through the eyes of a reader.

The same is true with most interpersonal interactions. What we say and do is often subject to the interpretations of those who listen and watch. Sometimes what we intend to convey isn’t what others perceive, so I always try to be kind and patient. I don’t always succeed, but I do my best to remember everyone is seeing things through his or her own lens.

That doesn’t mean that we must always come to a consensus. Sometimes we are just going to disagree, and that’s OK, too. We would have to be brain dead zombies to all agree on everything all the time. We need our differences to challenge each other. Challenge is what makes us grow. That’s why I love what I do. I help others express themselves and their ideas with confidence.

Do you like helping others? What do you do? Why do you find it fulfilling? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Back to the Hustle

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I sit under the ceiling fan and start typing to the sound of washers and dryers whirring all around me. I’ll be at the laundromat for another 40 minutes while I wait for my clothes to dry. I’ve already graded one assignment my students turned in. Later, I will grade another. For the moment, I have time to reflect on my day and the week ahead.

After a Saturday of blogging while my daughter made slime, we had pizza and watched some YouTube together. We managed to binge watch 13 episodes of LD Shadowlady’s “Sims 4 Disney Challenge.” I know that sounds like a lot, but each episode is only about 15 minutes long. The next morning, we watched the remaining 8 episodes. Why on earth would we watch someone else play video games? Well, it’s not really the gaming, but the commentary. A good gamer knows how to see humor in the world (even if it’s a virtual world) and laugh at themselves, a trait that paves the way for success.

I also admirer successful bloggers like LD Shadowlady because they take a passion and commit 110% to it until that passion turns into a career. It takes hours of work to create those 15-minute videos. Others, like Ihascupquake, create their own merchandise to sell via online stores. These are hard-working entrepreneurs, not just people playing video games. They are living the life most people only dream of.

Why don’t we all live like that? Well, speaking from my own experience, being an entrepreneur is both exciting and scary. You’re no longer a cog plugged into someone else’s wheel. You have to develop the business plan, trouble shot the disasters, and often wear multiple hats with no guarantee of income—at least at the beginning. Then there is the emotional toll. Working for someone else, especially on salary, can give you a sense of security you just won’t have when you’re starting your own business. You have to be ready to ride the waves. However, if you love what you’re doing, it can soften the seasickness.

That’s why my work week usually starts Sunday night, if I take the weekend off at all. I’m not crying though. I don’t usually mind working when I can do it outside in the sun sipping a cup of coffee (or a rum and coke). I don’t mind working for 12 hours straight when I set my own schedule. With my own business, I even have the liberty of deciding which clients I will work with.

As I take my laundry to the car, I consider the tasks I will undertake when I get home: organizing my weekly planner, updating my website, reading some research. Before I get back into business mode, I just wanted to take a moment to say hi to my community, my fellow bloggers. I hope your enjoying your Sunday night, whether it is work or play.