The Old Blinders

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Can we talk about self awareness for a moment? It's a wonderful, amazing thing. Self awareness allows us to evaluate ourselves, manage our emotions, make our lives and actions line up with our values. Taking part in weekly therapy sessions has been HUGE for me in terms of self awareness. I am always thinking through who I am, who I want to be, how to get there, what choices bring me closer to the best version of me. . Self awareness can also feel a little like being naked. You see things about yourself you wouldn't have noticed before. I can more easily recognize when I'm falling short of my ideals. That old blissful ignorance is dead. Your eyes become sharp and see everything, including the moments you are lazy or took risks hoping others wouldn't catch your errors. . As a recovering perfectionist, self awareness is a double edged sword. It helps me evaluate what is truly important, but occasionally I get stuck back in those perfectionistic trenches. Thankfully, self awareness can also recognize the trenches. . I am reflecting on revisions to Truest, before the eyes of my eyes were open, versus revisions to #SaltNovel, when the blinders are mostly long gone. . Thanks for listening.

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The Arena

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Writers, please tell me this happens to you too. You spend so much time in the trenches of your manuscript that you lose all perspective of whether it's any good or if it's just a monumental altar of mediocrity. . I'm staying (mostly) calm though because this lack of objectivity feels very inevitable and like something I can kick with some good time away from this story. . Did I just say I was staying mostly calm? That feels like a stretch. . Writing is such a lovely, incredible calling. I'm nearly always grateful to be a little creator. But it's a paradox: you have to be sensitive and thick-skinned, detailed and big picture. For me, as someone with anxiety, it feels like climbing into the gladiator arena over and over and over again. . Still I love it. . Here's to writing, here's to calling, here's to the arena, here's to Brene Brown, here's to fellow writers, here's to the readers who make it all worthwhile.

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Amen & Just After

Closer

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Five years ago tomorrow, I published my first novel, a huge dream of mine and a goal I worked toward at a feverish pace. I am still so proud of the story, the characters who feel real to me (and each represent a part of me), and the hard work. . I've been working at a less feverish pace on a second story, doing it the only way I know how: fumbling, awkward, clumsy, trying every wrong idea first, finding every right idea last, and simply not stopping until it feels like a book. . It's getting closer. . . #blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #radicalacceptance #editing #revisions #SaltNovel #iwriteya

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FutureMe

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Yes, it's move-in day. . I wrote that Future Me email back in May, when we didn't know what this fall semester would look like. Let's be honest, there's still a lot of uncertainty. But today and tomorrow, we welcome something like 500 new students to campus. Next week, returning students come back. . There are masks, social distancing, hybrid classes, a chapel rotation, plexiglass barriers separating the cafeteria tables, a lot of patience, and a lot of grace. . We move forward despite fear by caring for the others in our community and remaining flexible. It's hard after hearing other colleges starting on campus and quickly shifting to online, but we will do our best. . Fall 2020 semester is here: college in the time of COVID. . #UNWAdmissions #UNWNation #UNWmoveinday #maskupeagles

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Spoon Management

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It's gonna be a good/long/happy/difficult week. New students are moving in and starting orientation on Friday and Saturday. In a normal year, this is such a tremendous celebration, especially for admissions… A year or more of hard work and problem solving and relationship-building all coming together. . It will be different this year. Still exciting. Still rewarding. I'm thrilled for the new students and the life-changing adventures before them. But orientation is marked with social distancing and masks and other signs of COVID and its uncertainty. And it will take longer, require more energy. More spoons. . My goal for the week is spoon management. For those of you unfamiliar with spoon theory, I'm referring to how I spend a limited amount of energy. . My mind is racing with revision ideas, my heart is battling perfectionism, my soul is embracing deep relationships. I'm blessed. Here we go. . #blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #radicalacceptance #editing #revisions #SaltNovel #bookresearch #enrollment #recruitment #collegeadmissions #admissions

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Love/Hate

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Critique is hard for me. Not because I'm scared of revisions or hard work, but it triggers an emotional response (and sometimes panic). . On the flip side, I love critique. It pushes me past the boundaries of my own talent and ideas. . It's two sides of the same coin, but I have to essentially prepare myself. I heard somewhere that to be a good writer you have to have a thick skin but to be a good writer you can't have a thick skin. It's okay if you have to reread that. . Today my chronic fatigue is flared, and my body is really struggling with the transition to working back on campus after five months at home. My friends are having hard days and I want to make everything right. My agent emailed me feedback on my manuscript. COVID feels heavy. I've been irritable with people I love. My therapist is out of town. . All shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. This is not toxic positivity. This is faith after a history of rescues bigger than any I've needed today. . Excuse me, I need (even more) sleep. . #blog #writer #writing #writinglife #author #authorsofinstagram #writersofinstagram #courageovercomfort #courage #enneagram4 #enneagram4w3 #4w3 #cultivatewhatmatters #2020goals #ambition #JesuJuva2020 #radicalacceptance #editing #revisions #SaltNovel #critique #critiqueishard #writingcritique #spoonielife #spoonie #spooniewhowrites #spooniewriter

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