Community of Awesomeness – June 2018

Photo by Crown Agency on Unsplash

Shout-out to everyone who submitted something to this month’s Community of Awesomeness post. Folks shared requests + offers for everything from international pen-pals to a YouTube web series. I’m truly blessed + thankful to be connected to so many wonderful people all around the world, and hope to do this project again in September 2018.

If you’re reading this you’re invited to participate! 

Aight. Here’s how this works.

  • Take a look at the lists below, and reach out to anyone you’re willing to support and/or solicit resources from. All exchanges come at zero monetary costs. If it eventually turns into a business thing, that’s for you both to discuss.
  • Be kind, be honest, and don’t spam anyone.
  • If you’re nervous to reach out, that’s okay. Just start your email to them with, “Hey, I heard you were requesting/offering _______ from this post and go from there. Then, press send.
  • Everything is posted in alphabetical order by name.
  • You got this. Amazing-ness happens when you do the brave thing. Reach out to someone!

Awesome Requests 📬

Alexandra is requesting career advicealexandra.coreen@gmail.com

Courtney is requesting an academic writing buddy to commit to a few hours of writing each week, in addition to a weekly writing debrief (in person or by video conference, text, email, fax, carrier pigeon, etc). crgibbon@hamilton.edu

Erin is requesting content ideas for a YouTube series and writes: “I co-created a web series called “The Adventures of Fab Jenkins”. It’s a blaxploitation parody about a stylist that is driven to save the world from a tacky fashion empire. I launched the show in 2016 with the goal of creating additional content promoting independent fashion and beauty brands. I plan to create an inclusive, global community celebrating diverse voices within the industry. After a number of setbacks, I am committed to revamping the Fab Jenkins brand in 2018. I am requesting ideas for content. If you are an up and coming fashion designer, launched a skincare line, or are making other moves in fashion and beauty, this opportunity is for you. If you are interested in being involved in any other way, I’d love to hear from you too. To view Season One, visit the watch page. johnson.erina@gmail.com

Hilary is requesting relationship advicehillaryonyuo@gmail.com

Jamier is requesting acting opportunities and writes: “I’m starting out in the acting business. If you know casting directors that are looking for actors or any great casting calls, please don’t hesitate to contact me.” jamiercampbell27@outlook.com

Jeanie is a medical student requesting advice and encouragement and writes: “I’m a  non-traditional MS1 starting this August. I’m seeking current or recent medical students for advice/insight, encouragement, studying resources, and/or friendship.” jeanie.elle@gmail.com

Katie is requesting a book club to join that can help with finding good summer reads. kaitlin.muttitt@gmail.com

Marisa is requesting a pen pal and writes: “I am a high school English teacher from New Jersey who loves to write. I think this is a great opportunity to create a new friendship while adding a little zest to our lives.” marisaferris@yahoo.com

Wren is requesting a bucket list partner and writes: “I’m seeking bucket list partner pen pals for mutually supporting each other’s willingness to dream and act on those dreams.”  schoeneckwren@gmail.com

 

Amazing Free Offers 📤

Amy is offering been there, done that advice to people considering or actively pursuing graduate degrees. ajebecker@gmail.com

Ana is offering to proofread/edit your work (i.e. paper, thesis, presentation, short story, blog, etc.).  amc912@hotmail.com

Benedicta is offering to be your pen pal, and said, “I love meeting new people, sharing stories, laughs, and memories! I lavish in the beauty within human connections and think they are so important!”  oloniluab@aol.com

Betsy is a longtime professional artist and creative with an art degree offering feedback on the work of any young artists (school age through college) + offering encouragement to any young creatives who are wondering what to do with their careers/lives. Feel free to check out Betsy’s work before you reach out. mail@betsystreeter.com

Dr. Prime is offering leadership advice, personal development advice, public speaking advice, mediation + relationship advice with co-workers, and advice on how to improve your interactions with people. drprime26@gmail.com

Emily is offering a handwritten letter to any destination in the U.S.A. and will even put stickers on the envelope in true kid pen-pal style. rock.emily@gmail.com

Jasmine is offering summer reading recommendations and book reviews and said, “Writing is my absolute passion. Last year I started a blog. It offers simple, easy-to-follow recipes, toddler arts and crafts and everyday stories about parenting, good and bad. I enjoy offering these blog posts because, as a stay at home mom, I understand how important it is to be able to relate to others and not feel alone through the journey.”  rodriguez1308@gmail.com

Jennifer is offering encouragement. Especially for anyone experiencing panic or anxiety. fowler_scorpio@yahoo.ca

Katie is offering to send out love and send up prayers for anyone who needs it. k5kt@prodigy.net

Lacey is offering a resume review to current students and recent graduates, and said, In my career, I’ve hired nearly 100 interns and staff positions, and looked through many more resumes…I can and I will prioritize requests of those from low-income backgrounds, students of color, or those who are first-generation college students. Please share as an editable Google Doc. I will do my best to respond to all requests.” lacey.n.dunham@gmail.com

Megan is offering travel tips and recommendations for anyone visiting South East Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR), China/Hong Kong, London, New York City, and northern Florida. gitmospecial1976@gmail.com

Rachael is offering coaching + mentoring and said, “I usually work with people involved in education, simply because I work in this field. However, I’m happy to coach/mentor people with other occupations.  I just might need you to explain your job to me.” rshaw@res-ed.co.uk

Sokari is offering travel advice for anyone visiting Southern Spain, Morocco, and the UK (London + the Lake District). sokariekine@gmail.com

 

If this works out for you, or if you have any feedback on this project, hit me up at hello@thesapronextdoor.com anytime.

 

 

The life changing magic of writing every single day.

Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

I wrote a blog post every day this week and published it.

Here’s how I did it.

  1. I’m currently on Day 12 of building a daily writing habit. I’m simultaneously doing a plank challenge (40 seconds today) and a push-up challenge (3 push-ups today).
  2. Austin Kleon posted about using a calendar to keep track of habits. You focus on one thing you want to work on and you stick to it every day. The goal is NOT to miss two days in a row. I got my free printable PDF calendar from Time + Date. I haven’t missed a day yet, but I’m human. It could happen.
  3. Let me talk about how the writing portion of my habit building works. On Day 1, I wrote zero words – gotta be honest. On Day 2, I wrote 100 words and stuck with that for the rest of the week. I increased my daily count to 150 words. Each week I add 50 more words to the goal.
  4. Every morning, I go into WordPress, open a new draft, and start typing. I don’t edit, I don’t look for hyperlinks, I don’t attempt to sound impressive, I just go. At first, I used a random adjective generator for ideas. Now, I’m inspired by any quote I see – I have so many posted on the walls of my home office.
  5. Once I’m done my Sh*tty First Draft (see: Anne Lamott’s amazing and life-changing piece on this), I do a couple of quick revisions. Again, the goal here is to write a certain amount of words, not to be perfect. 
  6. I typically exceed my word count, which is a cool unintended feature of this process. It’s also neat to be able to track my word count in real time, because WordPress has your word count at the bottom right-hand side of the screen at all times.
  7. After the draft is complete, I select the Morning Writing category for my post. This way I can go back and see all my old habit building entries. I select a hi-res + beautiful featured image from Unsplash, and then publish* the post.
  8. This entire process takes 15-20 minutes**.
  9. Once it’s all done, I go back to my calendar and draw an X through the day. I love seeing how much I’ve accomplished after the week is over. I never thought doing something for 5+ days in a row could feel so satisfying. Working out doesn’t feel that way, but writing does.
  10. I’m hoping to keep this up until I get to 1,000 words a day. Then, I hope to remain at that level. Chris Guillebeau does, and he’s written several books among many other amazing things. But, for me, it’s about creating and sustaining a habit within something I care about: sharing love and light with you through the written word. 
  11. Oh, and I was mainly inspired to do this by Glennon Doyle Melton because of her interview about showing up before you’re ready on Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast. She talked about how she just writes her honest truth, posts it, and then let’s it be. So refreshing and scary at the same time. But, I feel less afraid every day I do this.

*Note #1: Several of my earlier writing drafts are saved in my Google Drive. I only recently began posting here every day. 

**Note #2: For the sake of productivity, speed, and efficiency, I keep everything I need for this entire process in a bookmark folder on my bookmark toolbar – another reason using Chrome rocks. This also means linking directly to an artist on Unsplash that has a collection of photos I can easily download from. I don’t want to spend too much time on any part of this process. The majority of my creative energy needs to go into the words I write. Not fonts. Not pictures. Not anything else. This post took longer to write because it’s more of a teaching post (I want you to have all the resources), but typically, I’m just aiming to get my words up and out. 

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Yes, this is from May 2018. It didn’t make sense to show you only one day crossed off from June 2018, lol. You can get this free calendar by visiting Time + Date.

 

BEFORE YOU GO: I loooove hearing from readers! What’s one habit you’re wanting/working to build these days? Comment below 👇 and let me know. Or email me at hello@thesapronextdoor.com