Moms Write Challenge Intro

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Go beyond what you think you’re capable of and aim for that. One of the biggest challenges people face, especially mothers who are in the throws of motherhood, is allowing themselves to pursue their passions.

I’m not saying to try to find more time to do more when that time honestly doesn’t exist. What I’m challenging you with is to do something you don’t think you can do. Something you may even think yourself unqualified to do. Brush up your knowledge and do it anyways! You might surprise yourself.

How about submitting a piece to a magazine?

Lead a small group.

Write an eBook

Start a blog!

It could even be as simple as journaling for 15 minutes each morning or evening. Sometimes just getting started with something can be the greatest challenge!

Give yourself permission to create.

That creating can be writing, or painting, or scrapping. For me, it’s writing. I imagine for many of you, it’s writing as well. If you enjoy something other than writing, simply replace when I speak of “writing” with whatever it is you are passionate about creating.

I would love to consistently put challenges out for us mom writers throughout the year. Nothing completely out there, but far reaching enough to stretch us to become better than what we believe of ourselves–because God is capable.

Next week I’ll post the first challenge. Before then, I want you to give yourself permission to pursue your passion. Give yourself permission to create

Writing and Blogging Goals for the Remainder of 2012

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As we wrap up 2012, I’d love to make the most of it before ringing in the new year with new writing passion and fervor.

I’m writing an eBook right now and other than posting about twice a week here and 2-3 times per week at Joyful Mothering, all my writing efforts and focus will be invested in my eBook. I may not be able to roll this out for sale by the new year, but I can certainly have it in a position of editing by then.

I’ve already put a down payment on a cover — so I have purposefully committed myself to this project!

This eBook is geared toward mom writers and bloggers—those who are really in the thick of mothering who struggle to find 10 minutes together to breathe, let alone scratch out coherent thoughts.

Can you relate?

My writing goals for the remainder of 2012:

You do know reading is a large part of what makes a great writer, right? ;)

 

Tell me, what help do you need when it comes to wanting to write alongside being a mom? You don’t need to be writing a book to be a writer; you simply need to write.

What writing goals do you have? Or need to make?

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Hold Your Writing With an Open Hand

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This week, the mom in me has had to take over the writer in me. And isn’t that how it should be?

Sunday morning my toddler came down with a fever and proceeded to get worse. He had all the symptoms of the flu by Monday. Monday and into Tuesday morning, he didn’t want me to leave his side, and in many cases just wanted to be held–even while he slept.

Hosting Thanksgiving in our home had to be canceled and my house is currently in a position where a tornado has run through it and didn’t miss a room.

Where does writing fit in on days like these?

Writing still exists in the busy days of mothering, it simply takes a different form.

Maybe you only have time to jot down a few ideas that you don’t want to forget. Perhaps opening up a journal and writing unedited is all you find time for.

Experiencing life is what helps us write our stories. It’s what fills our words with emotion and depth. When we write from the core of what we know and who we are, this is where we find our voice.

You may write about a similar experience but no one can write it in your voice, and different people will grasp it best through your voice.

Being a writer and being disciplined to write everyday doesn’t necessarily mean you need to publish everyday. Just write. It also doesn’t mean that you cannot take time off when necessary. The goal is to pick it back up again as soon as you’re able. Don’t let too much time go by because you don’t want writing to become a distant passion.

In order to keep it alive, you have to keep your hand open to its possibilities.

How do we do that?

We are careful not to snuff out the life of our writing by hiding the spark that gives it its flame.

Living life.

Our lives must be lived so that we can write with passion.

Don’t close your hand so tight around your writing that you have to force out its life just so you can publish it. Keep it open to life’s possibilities and God’s direction.

Keeping it too close can actually kill it. How do we keep it close and keep tightened grip on it? By stressing when we haven’t had a chance to sit down to write because life happens. Or worse, ignoring the real needs of living life to choke out words that just aren’t ready to yet come out.

You don’t need to write a piece everyday that publishes on your blog. People prefer quality over quantity. It’s better to write one excellent piece per week, then 5 mediocre pieces.

In what ways have you tightened your grip on your writing?

Moms Write {#MomsWrite}

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A while back God gave me a vision to start something, I don’t know, a community of sorts for mom writers. My blog Joyful Mothering brings in hundreds of moms in need of encouragement and direction. But not everyone writes. Not everyone has a blog and not everyone has a desire to blog.

Earlier this year I had a vision to create a separate site to connect mom writers and help them through services offered and a blogging community, which was birthed as Joyful Living Media. It wasn’t exactly what I was going for. Or maybe the timing was just off.

I watch the needs of bloggers through social media: Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest. I see what’s popular and I’ve kind of tucked ideas away in the back of my head {when really, I probably should have been writing them down}.

Moms need an outlet for creative expression–for many of us, that’s writing. For some it’s art or music. For me, it’s writing.

I know there are many moms out there who so badly want to write, but run into so many challenges and walls they simply can’t push through in order to get to that place–the place where pen meets paper or hands meet the keyboard.

It’s tough trying to juggle house work and meals and nap times and play time with the hopes of having a few minutes to sit down and scribble out some words.

If you have a deep desire to write, it’s because God has given you something important to say; a message to spread, and the best way for you to convey that message is through words.

I am a terrible phone talker. I stutter at times, mumble and fumble over my words. I don’t think “on my feet” through the spoken word as well as I do through the written word. That’s probably why speaking in public terrifies me.

So what is Moms Write? It’s really simple: moms who write.

It doesn’t matter what you write. You don’t have to write about being a mom on your blog or anything like that. You’re simply a mom who writes, or longs to write.

I have looked for a community that speaks specifically to mom writers about writing and have fallen short of finding anything that fits the vision I have.

I love reading blogs written by people of great influence–they typically have very large followings because of their knowledge and generosity to share it. But they also spend a lot more time than I have to reach that many people by making goals that can only be filled by a full time blogger. Even if that means paying someone to help them with the details.

The point is, as moms, some of who work outside the home, some of who homeschool, and everyone in between—it’s time for us to embrace the reality that we cannot set as many goals for our blog or writing as people who do it full time are able to.

But, we can instead learn to be consistent and watch the time we do set aside to spend on writing compound and take shape and be used by God.

Sally Clarkson spoke at Relevant (now Allume) in 2010 about blogging with integrity and it has always stuck with me. I cannot write for all the world to see about challenging mothers if I myself am not willing to be challenged. I write openly and honestly about my struggles as a mom, but my goal is never to stay there. My blog is very much an accountability for me as much as it is an encouragement and help for other moms who seem to go through the same things I do.

For me, writing is an important make up of who I am. It’s not just something I do. It’s a part of me. But writing has a time and a place and I must set aside time to make it happen.

That doesn’t mean I need to punch out a post every day of the week.

Maybe some of my writing won’t be public, but remain between me and God alone. Maybe that’s the case for you, too?

The goal is to set 15 minutes or 30 minutes or 60 minutes aside per day and just write. Maybe a blog post will come of it, maybe only part of one. The point is consistency.

The goal is also accountability, not just for writing, but for keeping mothering in the balance and Christ at the center.

You can find us chatting it up on Twitter under the hashtag #MomsWrite. Help me spread the word? You can pin this post, share it on Facebook and/or Twitter.

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Welcome to the Moms Write community! Woot!

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