The road to hell is paved with good intentions

When I first started writing this book and blogging about it, I intended to write about every single mother that I contacted, whether she contributed to the book or not.  I was encountering so many great moms out there, and I wanted to bring attention to each and every one of them, whether they were interested in being a part of my book or not.  Well, intentions are great, but they don’t always come to fruition.

I did a good job in the beginning.  I contacted one or two women every day and blogged about each of them, linking to their websites, etc.  If I’m going to finish this book… ever, I’m going to have to move.  Slow and steady wins the race, but I needed to put a little pep in my step, so that’s what I did.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still move extremely slow and steady.

I’m still working every single day on the book, with the exception of a few days that were fun-filled family days.  I was so devastated the first day that I missed a day.  I was so busy having a great time with my family that I completely spaced working on the book.  I didn’t even realize it until the next day!  That feeling of disappointment didn’t last too long.  Family first!

Now that I’ve picked up the pace, I’m obviously researching and emailing more and (unfortunately) blogging less.  I wish I had more time to dedicate to all aspects of this book, because I truly love them all.  But, such is (mommy) life.

Of the moms I contacted yesterday, the last five have agreed to interviews.  And, I want to share a little about them today.

  • Kaylie of Mulberry Market Design – Kaylie and her husband, Josh, make hand-lettered signs, wedding décor and home décor in Plant City, Florida.  See their Etsy shop here.  See their website to view their entire line of wedding décor, home décor and calligraphy services.
  • Amy of Inviting Moments – Amy makes wedding invitations, family trees and chalkboard art and sells them in her Etsy store.  She’s a wife and mother of three.
  • Allison of Epically Epic Soap – Allison crafts colorful and creative soaps, lotions, lip balms, and gifts in Sante Fe, New Mexico.  You can see her Etsy shop here.  Read about her transition from art gallery director and painter to soap maker.
  • Tessa of Amos and Sawyer – You simply must read her story!  Tessa makes adorable newborn, infant and toddler photography props and accessories in Rogersville, Tennessee.  See her Etsy shop here.
  • Chelsie of Printable Candee  – Chelsie creates precious invitations and printables and sells them in her Etsy shop.  She’s from Seattle, Washington, and the mother of two toddlers.

These are just a few of the interviews you can look forward to in the coming days.  I’m looking forward to visiting with each on of them.

I intend to do better about blogging in the future, but you know what they say about intentions…

Don’t break the chain!

How is your calendar looking?  Not to , but mine is looking awesome!  I made a commitment to myself on December 27, 2016, to do some kind of work on this book everyday.  And, I have! (Here‘s my previous post about it.)  Some days it’s researching for a few hours and some days it’s simply sending or replying to an email.  BUT, it all adds up.

There have been a few days that I get ready to go to bed and realize that the day had slipped by, and I hadn’t done one single thing for the book.  So, I lug out the ol’ laptop and get to work.  There was one day that I even thought I could skip it–just that one time.  But, I know I wouldn’t be able to look at that one square on the calendar that didn’t have a big red X.  So, after everyone was in bed, I got to work.  And, I’m so glad I did.

So, just because it’s been quiet around here, I assure you, it’s not because I’m not working.  I’m actually getting quite a bit done.  Shocker! But, now that I’m committed to work on the book everyday, I’m getting so much more done.  Yeah, I know!  Who knew?

I have some great interviews in the works.  I just visited with Erin Althea, and I’ll be posting about that soon.  She’s the mother of twins and is a props/FX designer at DreamWorks!  She also owns her own business, Love&Quarry, where she produces concrete and resin objects and accessories.  I also have a telephone interview tomorrow with Darrah from OtisB Jewelry.

So, stay tuned.  There’s lots in the works.  And, keep working everyday so you can put that big red X on your calendar.

More than just motherhood and creativity

When I started this blog, I simply wanted to post about motherhood and creativity and to chronicle the progress of writing a book about how the two intersect.  It was never my intention to post about much of anything else.  But, Dory’s got me thinking again.  (You can read my Dory-inspired post from yesterday here.)

I was thinking about all those things that I listed in that blog post.  Those things that happen in life that truly get in the way of our creativity.  There really is so much more to motherhood and creativity than JUST motherhood and creativity. Since yesterday, I’ve been thinking about that quick little list I jotted down, and I began to reflect on those things in my own life–those “Just Keep Swimming” moments.

I’ve realized I really have come quite a long way.  While I don’t claim to have it all figured out, I do have a few ideas that I’d like to share with you that might just help you reclaim some time, energy or sanity in your life so you can have more of those things to spend on your creative passion.

Over the next week or so, I’ll be posting a series of blog posts about some of those life things that can hinder our creativity and the solutions that have worked for me.  I look forward to sharing my “infinity wisdom” with you!

Speaking of Ruth Soukup…

I just shared with you an email that I received from Ruth Soukup on Friday.  Within that email was a link to The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit.  While the toolkit looks amazing, that’s not the point of this post.  I LOVE the story Ruth shares about how she began her blog.  Very inspiring and definitely worth sharing.

Here’s the story from Ruth’s blog:

I don’t usually write about the business side of blogging here at Living Well Spending Less. My main focus and passion is helping my readers discover simple ways to live better, spend less, and have more time for the things that matter most.   

That said, as someone who earns a full-time income through blogging, the topic of how to start a blog and how to make money blogging is something I get asked about all the time! The truth is that I am incredibly passionate about helping other bloggers—or those who aspire to be—gain the knowledge to do the same.   Don’t get me wrong, blogging is by no means “easy money”, but it is very possible to earn a full-time living writing about what you love and care about.

I know because I’ve done it.

You see, when I first started blogging, I set a goal to make enough money from my blog that my husband—an aerospace engineer—could quit his job and become a stay-at-home dad.  At the time, it was a completely crazy goal that seemed utterly impossible, and my husband told me as much, insisting that I would never be able to make money from a blog.

But I wanted it so bad, I could almost taste it, and I was determined to do whatever it took to make that crazy dream a reality.

And so, with two toddlers at home, I started getting up at 3am every morning—and sometimes even earlier—in order to work on my blog before anyone else was up.  I took advantage of every naptime, every weekend, and every spare moment.  And when I wasn’t working on the blog itself, I was learning everything I could about blogging, from SEO to social media to how to monetize.

I’m not going to lie, it was a pretty exhausting time.  There were lots of downsides.  My husband couldn’t understand why on earth I was spending all my time on a blog that he was sure would never amount to anything.  My real life friends made fun of me and talked about me behind my back.  My kids watched way too much Dora the Explorer.  I didn’t get nearly enough sleep.  I had almost no life.

But to me, it was all worth it, because I could see the vision, even if no one else could.

And eventually, that vision paid off because in 2013, 2 ½ years after starting my blog, my husband was able to quit his job, and we’ve never looked back.  The blog—and the business that has grown out of it—has continued to grow and flourish.

Such an inspiring story!  You can read Ruth’s full post here.

Rachel Jones bring a new perspective

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Jones of www.nourishingminimalism.com.  You can see my previous post about her here.  I love her blog, and I’ve been a follower of hers for quite a while now.  She’s the mother of six children, and she is the author of several books and resources that she offers on her website.

One thing that I did not realize about her is that she is the main breadwinner for her family.  Her husband quit his full-time job to help her at home, and now he works part-time.  This brings an interesting perspective into the mix, as most of the mothers I have interviewed work what most would consider “part-time” and the financial responsibility of the family does not fall on their shoulders.

She mentioned something in her interview that I want to share with you right away.  I asked her if she ever turned down a project or chose not to pursue a project due to family obligations.  This is what she had to say:

No. I have taken longer on a project because I needed to parent though! I have known for a long time that I am a nicer person and better parent when I have projects and goals. I knew that I wanted my children to see a healthy person taking care of themselves, so I determined that that is what I would do. My children have joined me in my life, rather than becoming my life. Getting divorced when my oldest was 5 years old, I had to be honest with myself on what I wanted my children to see as normal and healthy through the rest of my parenting of them. The first 5 years was a toxic example, and I knew I had to change that to be as healthy a person as I could be. I want my children to value themselves and be their own person, and I knew the only way was to be that example to them. 

And generally, my projects are geared towards earning an income, and they all need to eat… so. 🙂

I picked up on two specific things in her answer.

1.  She wants her children to see a healthy person who can take care of them.  We all want that for our children.  I HOPE my children see a well-balanced, efficient, happy mother who delights in their care and well-being.  When you step back and look at the big picture, what do you want your children to see as their example?  No excuses.  Not if the circumstances were different.  Not when they’re older or you have more time or you aren’t so stressed out or you don’t have so much to do.  What do you want your children to see as their example TODAY?

2.  She has to earn an income, and her children need to eat.  That’s pretty good motivation.  I think our children need to see that hard work puts food on the table.  I think (hope) it instills gratefulness and appreciation in them.

Many thanks to Rachel for taking the time to answer my questions.  Even if you have no interest in minimalism, I encourage you to check out her website.  It will change your life for the better.  Look for more from Rachel’s interview in my book.

It’s been quiet around here…

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I’m sorry it’s been a little quiet here on the blog.  I’ve been reading an amazing book, Blogging for Writers by Robin Houghton, so I’ve been working behind the scenes to make the blog even better.  The world of blogging is completely new to me, and this book has been perfect for me.  It’s geared toward writers, but I think anyone interested in starting a blog could benefit from reading it.

I’ve got some exciting interviews coming up.  I’ll be visiting with Meg Lemke, editor-in-chief of Mutha Magazine soon.  She also programs the comics and graphic novels at the Brooklyn Book Festival, which is this weekend!  Oh, how I wish I could be there!

I’ll also be talking with Lauren Lim of Photography Concentrate.  You can see my previous post about her here.  She has been such a pleasure to visit with so far; I can’t wait to share a little bit of her interview with you.

I’ll also be talking with designer Erin Flett.  She was featured in the September 2016 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. She was featured as one of the Style Makers of 2016!  I absolutely love her style, and I can’t wait to get to know her better.

So, stay tuned!  Many great things to come… I’m learning lots about blogging and the blog is getting better everyday, and I’ve got some really great interviews coming up that I am so excited about.  Can’t wait to share them with you!