Get Inspired

July 10, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I need to get inspired. The problem is, a word that rhymes with inspired is usually a better descriptor of me…tired!  I’m busy. I work a lot. I get home from work and cook dinner, eat dinner, make lunches, take a shower, and go to bed so my day can start over in less than 8 hours. I have so many ideas that shoot across my mind each day, but I don’t always have the time to bring life to them.

I’ve read that writers should write in the mornings. You should know, if you don’t already, that I’m NOT a morning person. I will convince myself in the mornings that there is no one else in the entire world awake, and therefore, I should not be awake either. Nevermind that hubs is already at work. I am very good at ignoring that fact. 🙂

So, write at night, you say. The thing is, I’m not really a night person either. I’m tired at night, and I want to sleep!

You may be assuming at this point that I fill my evenings with television, games, or reading, but if you are, you’d be wrong. I rarely watch t.v. I have one show that I’m keeping up with right now, and I have to record it just to see it every week. I’m not much of a gamer, and I do all of my reading during my 1 hour commute to and from work.

I’m really just. that. busy.

And tired.

So I’m reaching out to y’all (that’s southern for you guys) for inspiration.

What do you do to motivate yourself? What plans have you made or goals have you set to make sure you achieve your dreams? How do you get inspired?

You should know – just because it may be humorous to those of you who know me – I’m multitasking at the moment, and I may or may not be blogging in an apron. But it’s okay. I’m southern.

When reading a fashion magazine today, I noticed that many things have at some point been labeled the “new black.” Why not blogging? A lot of people are doing it. People blog to express themselves, to record their children’s lives, to increase their creativity, to track their journey. People blog in color, in black and white, through pictures, through video. People blog with big words, with little words, about facts, and fiction. People blog about books, about exercise, about technology, about blogging. They blog about truth and about beauty. Blogging is everywhere and it’s about everything. So, I say blogging is the new black.

Word of the Week: Blogging

Word to the Wise:  “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

Disclaimer: I read only the highest class of fashion magazines for blogging inspiration.

Do you have a blog? If so, what do you write about?

The Overactive Blog

May 12, 2011

In my last post, I told you how I ended up with an overactive blog. Now, let me explain why that could be problematic.

The overactive blog is much like the overactive bladder. It hits at the most inopportune times. Out to dinner with a friend? Oh, gotta go. Dancing the night away? Not again. In the middle of church, on a train or bus, at a neighbor’s house?

It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

It’s the same with blogging. When you gotta blog, you gotta blog.

Eventually, it can take over your life…if you let it.

Have you ever felt like your blog was taking over? How did you take control of the situation?

When I started this blog, it was to fill a void. You see, I was doing very interesting but very serious work at the time, and my creative brain was starved. This blog was the perfect solution for that situation.

As I started this blogging endeavor, I began spending numerous  hours reading blogs and blogs about blogs. I read that to be a successful blog (generally speaking) I needed to study up and read other blogs, write for a larger audience (not just my loyal followers, ahem) about a specific topic, and write frequently. I think these tips are excellent, but they began to take over.

During this time, things changed. I no longer had a creative void that needed to be filled, and I was left with an overactive blog.

So, I began thinking about re-doing the blog, spicing things up a bit. This is when I realized I needed to write my own rules for blogging, some ground rules, if you will. So, here goes.

Rule #1:  I will not blog stalk. I love following other blogs. I even have a few favorites. But, if I start to feel envious of someone else’s fun life, his or her number of followers, or his or her captivating writing, I will not let that feeling take over. I will not blog stalk.

Rule #2: I will not feel obligated to blog. Here’s the thing. I don’t get paid to do this. I would love to…but I don’t. So, I will blog when I want to blog – no more, no less. (my exception is the Sunday post, which started it all. the Sunday post will continue.)

Rule #3: I will not keep track of my followers or the number of site visits. I did. I even set a goal for myself once. I exceeded it a few weeks after my intended time period. It was exciting.  …it was fleeting. I will blog because I want to blog, not because I want people to read it. If you read it, thank you. If you don’t read it, that’s okay too (unless of course you are my friend or family…then, it is unacceptable).

Rule #4: I will blog about whatever I want.

Rule #5: Rules are sometimes meant for breaking.

Word of the Week: Rules

Word to the Wise:  “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”  Romans 10:4

Disclaimer:  I make no claims that my “new rules of blogging” will bring you a successful blog. I only instituted these rules to relieve some of the stress in my own life. Follow them at your own risk. Blog responsibly.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by something? What rules have you set for yourself to stay focused on your priorities?

The Story of You

April 18, 2011

This is the story of one of my readers. Feel free to leave words of encouragement in the reply section. I hope you learn something about yourself by reading the story of someone else.

Her Background

Age: 28
Gender: F emale
State of Birth: NV
Current State: TN
Marital Status: Married
Children: Not no, but heck no

Her Story

1. What is the last book you read?  In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks . . . and Other Complaints from an Angry Middle-Aged White Guy by Adam Carolla. Absolutely hilarious! I highly recommend this book if you frequently rant about the most mundane annoyances of life. I concur with approximately 85% of his viewpoints, and I was able to remain un-offended by the other 15%. I’m expanding my reading repertoire to include memoirs and other types of non-fiction. I’m currently reading The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio; so far The Rite is fascinating yet mildly creepy.

2.  What is your favorite book?  Hmm . . . this is a difficult question. I have so many favorites! I guess I’ll narrow it down to two. First: Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll (with fabulous illustrations by the original illustrator, Sir John Tenniel). This book fascinated me as a child—even more so than its predecessor Alice in Wonderland. As a grownup, the story resonates even more because the life lessons Alice experiences are too intense for a child to comprehend. Children see the story as a great adventure, while adults may read it as a metaphor (or just a pretty awesome hallucination). Second: The World According to Garp by John Irving. Please don’t watch the movie as it is not Robin Williams’ best work. This is a timeless classic for anyone who has ever had a parent or been a parent. It will make you laugh and cry at the same time. My dad loved this book, so when he died, I made it a goal to read it. I’m so glad I did. It provides a connection to my father I otherwise would never have had, and I completely understand his passion for Irving’s work.

3. What do you do for fun?  I try to fit fun into my regular schedule. During the week, I happy hour with friends, run (new hobby and quite enjoying it), or go to Hot Yoga. As you can see, distressing is a big part of my weekday fun. On weekends, I love to spend time with my husband and friends eating out and having game nights. We love to try new restaurants and dishes (my husband makes fun of me because I consider food fun, but it totally is). Game nights get pretty heated, but I wouldn’t trade those nights for anything. Reading is another hobby that I don’t have as much time for anymore, but it’s something I consider fun.  Also, anything that makes me laugh is a great time—usually any of the above does the trick.

4. What is your most treasured memory?  I was about twelve when my mom and I went to a wildlife preserve not far from the town I grew up in. My parents had been fighting, which was the status quo back then, so we escaped to do something fun, something that just the two of us could enjoy. While we were driving through the preserve, a giraffe crossed the path. Of course, we stopped to let her (she was graceful in an Audrey Hepburn kind of way, so I assume she was a she) cross the path. Instead of walking by without noticing us, she leaned down from her great height, looked into our eyes, and licked the hood of my mother’s station wagon. It was as if she was giving us an encouraging maternal push. My mom and I laughed hysterically and genuinely for the first time in a long time. I will always keep that experience close to my heart, and I know that it meant a lot to my mother as well; her house is covered in giraffe tchotchkes that she’s collected since that day.

5. What causes you to lose sleep at night?  I lose sleep when I know someone I love is troubled or worried, and I can’t do anything to help them.  Also, the feeling that I’ve disappointed someone bothers me enough to lose sleep many nights. I have very high expectations for myself as a friend, and I know I don’t meet them nearly enough.

6. How do you define grace?  Grace is the characteristic of being able to fall on your face in a crowded room, pick yourself up, smile, and keep on walking with your shoulders back and head held high. Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically. If you actually fell on your face in a crowded room, I would laugh my butt off. Seriously, though, if you can live life without taking yourself too seriously, but without losing your self-respect, then I consider that to be living gracefully.

7. Describe an event of grace exemplified in your life.  I’ve had such wonderful women role models in my life who exemplify grace and inspire me to do the same—my mother, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, and the great actress Lauren Bacall. I think grace as I describe it above is usually present during difficult or stressful times in our lives—challenges in relationships, careers, health. The past two years have been just that, a challenge. I moved to Nashville and started a new career, I bought a house, I got a new puppy (believe me, still a challenge), and I got married. Through all of this I rose to the challenge gracefully and in a way that proves I’ve finally become an adult woman. Sometimes I slip and choose the less-than-graceful path, but I look to my role models and strive to be the epitome of grace.

8. Do you have any parting words for my readers?  “If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Lewis Carroll – This is my favorite quote. I have no idea what or who I want to be when I grow up, and that used to bother me and keep me up at nights. Now I know it’s okay to be undecided and that growing up can be an adventure. We lose a lot of our adventurous spirit the older we get, so it’s good to be reminded every now and then that dreaming is still a viable pastime.

Do you relate to this reader? If so, tell her how by commenting on this post.

Want to participate in The Story of You? Let me know! I publish posts in this category once a month.

Follow me on Twitter: @hbur3234

May Book Selection

April 16, 2011

And the winner is…Shanghai Girls by Lisa See!

Results:
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison – 0%
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See – 75%
The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton – 25%

Upcoming events for the Bloggy Book Club are listed below:

April Book Club Dates
April 30: Bloggy Book Club – We will discuss April’s book – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

May Book Club Dates
May 28:  Bloggy Book Club – We will discuss May’s book – Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. 

June Book Club Dates
TBA

If you have any book recommendations for the June poll (which will occur in May), please leave them below! I will use your suggestions to build the poll. Questions or suggestions? Let me know!

Recent book club posts:

March 2011 – The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Bloggy Book Club
Bloggy Book Review

February 2011 – Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Bloggy Book Club
Bloggy Book Review

Happy reading!

Feature Friday

April 8, 2011

Date:  April 8, 2011

Blog: BigGameJobHunting.com

Author: Sherry

Link: http://www.biggamejobhunting.com/

Description: With so many people looking for work these days, this blog is a site to be shared! Whether you are looking for freelance, traditional, or residual work, this is a go-to site. Big Game Job Hunting reviews job search engines and provides tips and tricks for navigating today’s job market. Check it out!