Do you have bloggers block?

My new obsession - Mail art.

My new obsession – Mail art.

After a couple of weeks of ranty rant rants here on the blog, I thought I’d share something a little more practical and helpful.

One of the questions I saw posted recently in a forum I’m on was from a  girl who was getting ready to write her first ever blog post.  And she had writers block.

She had no idea what to say.

Some of us feel like that with our first blog post.

And some feel like that every. single. week.

I’ve been blogging here for just over two years.  And in that time, I’ve only had writers block once or twice that whole time.

Maybe it’s because I’m such a chatterbox.

On my first date with my husband, I told him I talk a lot.

He said – “That’s okay.  I’m a good listener”.

I thought – “Just as well mate, because you’ll be lucky to get a word in”.

I usually have a few blog post ideas in various stages.  I’ve even junked some that just didn’t sit right.  Because they felt awkward and clunky.  Because what felt like genius when I first typed them up, were rubbish in the cold light of day.  And some posts just can’t (or shouldn’t) be saved.  Like the rant I wanted to go on a couple of weeks ago.  Might have felt great at the time but I would have looked like (and felt like) a boof a few days later once I was over it.

Public Service Announcement – Don’t blog angry.

Or PMS-y for that matter.  No good can come of it.

So what did I say to this girl frozen with fear about her very first tentative steps into the blogging world?  What have I learnt so far that could help her?

If you force it, it’s gonna suck.  It will be hard.  It will take forever to write.  And you’ll hate it. You’ll hate how hard it is.  You’ll hate every word you write.  And you’ll end up hating everything about blogging full stop.

Imagine your favourite person is reading what you write.  Are you excited when you hit the publish button?  Or are you thinking “That’ll do – at least it’s something?”  For me, I imagine my favourite actor or art mentor reading the post.  Am I proud of it?  Is it who I am?  Would I be happy for them to read it?

Let it sit.  Don’t hit publish straight away.  I just get it all out in a draft and come back to it in a day or two.  So I know what needs re-jigging, I write “Ash Edit” in the title.  That means to go back and Ashley Ambirge edit it.  Her advice on “Don’t be boring” and “Use better verbs” means when I edit my post, it reads soooo much better.  It means I love what I write and I’m proud of my words.  You need to be able to say the same.

Inspiration usually strikes when you can’t do anything about it.  For me, it’s usually when I’m in the shower, just as I’ve gotten shampoo in my right eye.  Or as I roar down the on ramp, merging into highway traffic as I go to That Day Job.  In those moments, I keep saying what I’ve thought of over and over until I can get to pen and paper.   Maybe it happens in those moments because you aren’t trying so hard.  You aren’t trying to force the magic.  It’s the same with my art – how often do you figure out the solution to artists block just as you are trying to drop off to sleep?

If you are putting off the jump into the blogosphere…

If you are blogging but hating every damn second of it….

If writers block is a constant companion that will just not go away….

Give these a try.  They might help you fall in love with blogging.  They may make you see your writing in a whole different way.  And they may help you find your voice if you are still looking for it.

I’d love to hear what works for you – let me know in the comments.

Coral xo

Posted in My story, What I know so far | 2 Comments

Finding courage when you have a sucky day job

Sometimes it's hard to find, but it's in there somewhere.

Sometimes it’s hard to find, but it’s in there somewhere.

I was getting ready for another day at That Day Job.  I was looking in the mirror, putting on my makeup with an invisible timer in my head telling me to hurry up or I would be late.  Then came the mega turbo 2 minute blow dry which is usually followed by the phrase “That’ll have to do”.

And then the light went on.

This sucks!

Why didn’t I realize this sucks a long time ago?

Why do so many of us end up here?  Doing a sucky day job for sucky wages.  If I was earning the same money getting inky and painty and arty, I would think I was a genius.  But when it’s for a sucky day job, you don’t feel like a genius.  You feel like an idiot.  An idiot getting her soul sucked.  Slowly.

If your working day looks anything like mine, it goes a little something like this:

Get up at 4am.  Perform Olympic gymnastics routine called “Don’t trip over the cats”.  Truly the ninjas of the animal world.

Blog like a woman possessed for 2 hours.  Actually blog for 2 hours and 10 minutes because “I just have to finish this”.  So now I’m running behind in my perfectly timed routine which is no longer perfectly timed.

Frantically feed the furry kids while still performing that gymnastics routine.  Then do social media with one hand and feed myself with the other.  This girl knows how to multi task!

Perform the mad rush and minor miracle that is a shower, makeup and afore mentioned blow dry before the mad dash out the door hoping I remembered everything.  There’s days I stop just to check I remembered to put my undies on.

Why?  Why are we afraid to follow the thing that calls us when this shit is the alternative?

Seriously, a day job is what we should be afraid of.

Why do we wait until we are 40 (or are staring at it very closely)?  Why do we wait until we can’t stand it no more.  Hating the ‘have to’ of a day job suddenly gives you courage to do the things you’ve told yourself for years that you couldn’t.

When I first wrote my About page 2 years ago – I said I found myself in a day job I didn’t love but didn’t hate either.  I’m figuring out it’s the worst kind of day job to have.  Because when you hate it, you get the hell out.  And when you love it, you are happy to do your creative business on the side.  But when you don’t love or hate it – you just sit in limbo.  You let the days go by.  The weeks go by.  And before you know it, you are celebrating another New Year’s Eve.  And facing another year of the same same.  Until eventually you grow to hate it.

If you are scared because you don’t know how to start.  Because you don’t think you can do what your SHeros are doing.  Because you aren’t smart enough or talented enough, or just that you don’t think you are enough….

Take a minute to picture what your life will look like if you don’t take that leap of faith.

Now go do something for your business.  Go do something for yourself.

Coral.

PS – In case you couldn’t tell, my mid life major reassessment was really getting to me this week.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Mindset, Motivation | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

I’m not like everyone else – do I still get to play?

April Book 22

You’ve read them.  I’ve read them.  We’ve all read them.  Those stories of being business-y or arty since they were 5 years old.  Of having everything just fall into place by serendipity.

But what if that’s not my story?

What if it’s not your story?

Do we still get to play?

When I’ve been to workshops or read the about pages of those big name websites, the stories are all the same.

Business-y stories of buying lollies at the shops then selling them for profit behind the bike shed at school so the tough cookie tuckshop ladies didn’t catch them.  Or getting neighbours to pay to watch a show with singing and dancing like a little Beyonce – would love to know how they pulled that one off!  I never had neighbours that would have even watched, let alone pay!  Who are these people?

Arty stories of creating an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower out of clag glue and paddle pop sticks for their grade 4 art project.  Of people posting a couple of paintings on Etsy just to see what it’s all about and selling out in a day and quitting their day job six weeks later and never looking back.  Oh, those stories hurt my heart.

I’m not either of those people.

I’m just a square bear that likes to get inky and painty.

I’ve spent most of my art life trying to figure out what my signature style is.  And how to get my artwork “there”.   “There” is of course, where my favourite artists are.  A style people recognize as soon as they turn the page of Somerset Studio – before they even see the by line.  Making a living doing that creative thing you do and being able to answer “I’m an artist” when people ask what I do.    That just sits so much better than “I do paperwork in a stark office where I arrive just as the sun begins to warm your skin and leave just as it disappears behind the buildings across the road”.  You get this, don’t you?  You feel it too.

So if my story isn’t a typical arty story, or a typical business-y story – do I still get to play?  Do I still get to dream big?  Do I still get to be the one a few years from now telling other people how I did it?  Will I still get the book deal or athe licensing agreement or the signature product line?

I think there is room for all of us.  And an audience for all of us.

Someone, somewhere will love your art.

Even if your story isn’t the same as everyone elses.

Maybe that’s exactly why they will love you.

Because you have a new story to tell.

Big hugs – Coral.  xo

Posted in Business Design, My story | Tagged , | 6 Comments

What do you want to be when you grow up? (And a Goonies reference)

Redpink3

We used to have a high school girl come into the office at my day job to help out.  She would come in a couple of afternoons a week to do filing and photocopying and all the un-fun stuff.  She was incredibly shy and completely terrified on her first day, poor thing.  I like to think we helped her find her feet and gave her courage to face the big wild world by the time she left us to go to university.

Despite being terrified, she managed to talk to us and over first few weeks she was there, she let us in enough to find out she wanted to be a doctor.

While her friends were reading magazines like Dolly, Cleo and Cosmo; she was reading New Scientist.

While other girls were out shopping for clothes; she was at home doing homework and reading books.

Now, a few years later, she is at university.  Yes, she is studying to be a doctor.  And she is loving every second of it.

I wonder what that would be like.

Just knowing.  Knowing what you want to be when you grow up when you are 5.  To be fearless enough to follow through and become what you’ve always wanted to be.  The boys that play with trains and cars and planes.  Who grow up to be conductors and race car drivers and pilots.   Girls who make handkerchief clothes and cut the hair off their Barbie dolls.  Who grow up to be fashion designers and hairdressers.  Of course, girls can be race car drivers and boys can be hair dressers, but you see where I’m going here.

Because some of us do know what we want to be when we grow up.

But we don’t have the courage to become who we are meant to be.

Because other people tell us we can’t.  And because we tell ourselves we can’t.  Because we think we aren’t as talented as others kids in our class who want to be the same thing.  Because we have no idea how to become that thing you want to become.  Because people tell you that you aren’t good enough.  Smart enough.  Enough.  And for some stupid reason, we believe them.

And often we think we’ve missed our chance, our window if we aren’t what we are meant to be by the time we are 27.  But becoming who you are meant to be – a business woman, an artist, your true self – doesn’t have to happen by the time your age clicks over to the big 3-0.

Eventually you wake up to yourself.  And you realize what other people think doesn’t matter.

Other people don’t get to tell you that you can’t.

You have this tsunami hit you.  You can’t keep doing That Day Job.  You can’t have your soul sucked for one minute more.  And so, you get determined.   You get fierce.

And that gives you the fire to push away all the crap you had in your head whispering “you can’t”.

My favourite movie as a kid was The Goonies.  I must have watched that movie over 200 times.  And that was with my Mum doing an hour round trip to the closest video store each week to hire it out until she finally said if she was driving all that way, I had to hire out something else.  Still not sure why she didn’t just buy it for me and save herself all that time and petrol.

One of the most quoted of quotes from The Goonies is this:

It’s our time.  It’s our time now.

So no matter if you are 17 and ready to burst out of the gates of high school or you are like me and fighting off a ‘mid life major re-assessment’, remember this…

It’s your time.  It’s your time now.

No more waiting.  No more can’t.

So… what do you want to be when you grown up?

Coral.  xo

Posted in Mindset, Motivation, What I know so far | Tagged , | 5 Comments

What’s another word for marketing?

Playing with mail art

Playing with mail art

I’ve worked with designers and manufacturers and read blogs and done online courses and now, finally, I have my stamps in my hands and my Etsy store is open.

Soooo.  Now what?

I’m kinda left twiddling my thumbs wondering what to do next.  I’m not exactly setting the world on fire at this stage. I’m not drafting the resignation for my day job just yet.  So it would seem I need to get the word out more.  Which means marketing.  I’m doing a workshop in a couple of weeks which is perfect timing.  (Thank you universe).  And I’ve got bits and pieces from different courses I’ve done along the way.  It kinda went in one ear and out the other at the time.  But I’m glad I’ve got some reference points to go back to now I’m actually ready to use them.

I hate the word marketing.

It sounds so advertising agency.  So corporate manipulation.  Sleezy guys in wanky suits all standing around smirking at each other before they head off to a boozy lunch where they will be obnoxious to the waitress who doesn’t get paid nearly enough to put up with these idiots.   Clearly I’ve thought about this a little too much.  Moving on.

What I love about the art and handmade community is marketing isn’t about that.  That’s not how we see it.  There was a couple of tweets on the Oh My Handmade Goodness TwitChat last week which kinda worded it much nicer.

“Marketing is like a Farmers Market – People come for the smells, the touch, the taste”.

“Marketing is opening a door to your work and life and welcoming new friends in”.

I think that sounds much nicer.  Maybe we need a new word us arty girls can use instead of marketing.  The suggestion box is now open.

You know those people who walk into a room and make friends with everyone in the room in the first 5 minutes?  Who seem to draw everyone’s attention effortlessly.  Who are just naturally fascinating.  Yeah… I’m not one of them.  I’m a hermit.  Quite happy sitting at home watching my favourite TV shows on DVD.  Hanging with my hubby (yes, I actually like mine.  Quite a lot in fact).  Taking the dog for a walk.  Reading my Sunday paper while constantly trying to convince the cat my paper is not the best place for a power nap.  So this whole putting yourself out there thing is kinda weird and awkward and scary.  But I think there is a way to tell the world what you are up to.  To find the people who will love what you are doing.  And in a way that doesn’t make you feel like one of those guys in the wanky suits.

So, my mission, which I chose to accept before it self destructs in 10 seconds, is to figure out some marketing stuff.

My first challenge – submitting something to a Stampington Magazine.  They have a call for mail art – my latest arty obsession.  I’m not expecting my Etsy store to go into meltdown.  Or the Finding Firelight blog to crash the servers.  It’s more about a slow burn.  About putting my name out there.  About a gentle introduction.

And it’s really cool when you get published.

Especially in a Stampington magazine.

If you’ve just started out or if you are hearing crickets in your Etsy store – try stuff.  Marketing stuff.  And let me know what you try and how it goes.  And I’ll do the same.

Lets give ourselves a beautiful introduction.

Coral.  xo

Posted in Marketing | Tagged | 5 Comments

My Etsy numbers revealed

Pages in a mini art journal

Pages in a mini art journal

It’s a big secret, isn’t it?  Etsy numbers.  No-one wants to tell you what their numbers are.  Well, huddle in a little closer because today I’m sharing mine.

I’d never seen anyone reveal this before.  And I thought it would be great to share such a big secret with you.  Then bugger me if Claudine Hellmuth didn’t show two days of her Etsy numbers on her Instagram account!  Why do people always beat you to the punch by a week?  Anyway – she was sharing rockstar numbers.  Numbers that even blew her mind.

The first day she got 1,879 views.  The next day she got 11,205!!

No, that is not a typo.  She got over eleven thousand views.

In a single day!

I think my head just exploded.

I’m so grateful she was willing to share.  You always wonder what good ‘numbers’ are.  I’m no expert, but those seem like some damn good numbers.

And now, the grand unveiling of my numbers.

Remember, these are not rockstar numbers.  They aren’t boasty boasty numbers.  They are “just starting out and figuring out things as I go along” numbers.  Here goes.  Okay… no really, here goes.  Grrr – why am I so nervous?

February – my first month.  163 views.  14 hearts.  1 sale on Etsy, 1 sale off Etsy.

March – 159 views.  9 hearts.  1 sale on Etsy, 1 sale off Etsy.

April – 69 views.  5 hearts.  1 sale on Etsy.

Let’s be brutally honest here.

I’m not dancing into my bosses office, resignation letter in hand, trying to hide the huge smile on my face as I hand it to him with these kinds of numbers.  I’m not going on that dream escapade to the USA where I will play hopscotch on the Hollywood walk of fame stars.  (if I can survive the 16 hour panic attack – also known as the flight over there).

But you’ve gotta start somewhere.

I went to a workshop for starting on Etsy a few months ago.  And the girl speaking said you have to decide what you idea of success on Etsy is.  For her, she was happy with 2 sales a month.  2 sales a month?

I dunno about you, but I ain’t in this for 2 sales a month.

 So.  You can sit on your butt and do nothing, wishing it was better.  As the saying goes – wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up first.  Yup, pretty much.  Or you can try some stuff and see if it works.  Basically, that’s my strategy.  Try stuff.

Most people wouldn’t share their Etsy numbers with you.  And most people wouldn’t share what they do to make them better.

But I am.  Maybe because I’m pretty cool like that?

But more likely, because I just don’t know any better.

Yeah, that’s probably more like it.

I’m gonna play around with the wording in my listings.  Add some more personality since I seem to have so much to share around.  No more yawn-y yawn yawn wording, although I still gotta include the basics like size etc.  But I’m going to try to make it more interesting, different to what everyone else is doing and basically more me.

I’ll check in with you in another month or so and let you know if it works.  Or if it doesn’t.  Or if it doesn’t make a lick of difference.

I hope you understand how big a deal this is.  People only share their numbers when they are rocking the kasbah.  They don’t tell you average numbers.  The “I’m just starting out” numbers.  Or worse, the really sucky numbers.  Because they don’t want to look like an idiot.  Clearly, I’m not worried about that.

If you want to get better numbers, I hope you’ll do the ‘try stuff’ tactic too.

Don’t just sit there wishing.

Or all you’ll  end up with is a handful of spit.

Coral.  xo

Posted in Learning, My story | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Why don’t people talk about this?

Aprilbook21

Finding Firelight stamp on a magazine page – part of a mini journal.
Not really sure what’s going on with the picture. I just like how the stamp looks on the wall.

Something got brought to my attention this week.  Something no-one talks about.  And I think it’s about time someone did.  And apparently, that someone is gonna be me.

I’ve been told that I am  showing the ‘real’ side of starting a creative business.  Not just showing the ‘highlight reel’.  Not just showing the ‘good stuff’.  It’s such a beautiful compliment isn’t it?

It’s not something I planned or really thought about when I started.  I’m just sharing how my adventure is unfolding.  The good stuff.  The bad stuff.  The ‘I dunno what the hell I’m doing’ stuff.   I didn’t realize how big a deal it was until I had a think about it this week.

I’ve talked about all the overnight success crap before.  The ‘just do what I did’ rubbish.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how other bloggers are sharing their adventure.

And it pissed me off to be perfectly honest.

Why do so many blogs only talk about the image stuff.  Getting artwork licensed by a big name company.  Being published in a magazine.  Having a sell out market.  Look – all that is awesome, but what about the market where they didn’t sell a thing and went home in tears, their heart shattered for days afterwards?  Or the 8 rejection letters they got before they finally got a yes?

I’m fed up with hearing over and over in these dull as dish water interviews about becoming and expert in your field.  Making yourself seem bigger than you are.  To trick your audience into thinking you are successful.  What sort of crap is that?  Why do people do that?  Why do people WANT to do that?  It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Why do people only measure their success by sales and money and facebook likes and twitter followers and website statistics?

I get that it’s important.  I get that those things can matter.  It let’s you know if something you’re trying is actually working.  Or sending you backwards.  Or not making a lick of difference one way or the other.

But what about all the reallllly good stuff?

Why doesn’t anyone talk about that?

About putting ourselves first instead of last for a change.

About finding strength and courage we didn’t know we had to go after that big wild crazy dream we’ve had inside us for years.  That we’ve pushed aside for the daily grind for way too long.  That we’ve put off because not trying hurt less than trying and failing.

What about the community you discover along the way?  Beautiful souls who are willing to share what they know to help you on your adventure?  What about sharing what you have learned with the gorgeous girls just starting?

What about the sense of achievement and fulfillment you get from taking even the smallest of steps?  One of my favourite thoughts about this whole creative business thing is that I want it to make me feel full to overflowing.

Why doesn’t anyone talk about that stuff?  Isn’t that the really, really good stuff?  The stuff that makes it special?  That takes it beyond just trading your sucky day job for a less sucky day job?

Isn’t that the stuff that really matters?

Other bloggers treat this like it doesn’t count.  Or it’s a big secret they don’t want to let you in on.  Maybe they just aren’t seeing that part of it.  Maybe they are missing the good stuff in the mad race to the finish line.

But I want you to know I think it’s the most important part.

It’s what makes the adventure worthwhile.

It’s what makes you get up at 4am to take another step towards your big, wild, crazy dream.  It’s what means you’ll try again tomorrow when things have gone completely sideways.  It means you’ll find the courage to start.

Isn’t that the real reason we are all doing this?

Coral.  xo

Posted in My story, What I know so far | 10 Comments

Are you an apprentice or trying to cheat?

A gift for a friend

A gift for a friend – a mini journal using scrapbook paper, Finding Firelight rubber stamps, torn magazine pages and ephemera all hand sewn together.

You listen to interviews on Blogcast FM, don’t you?  If you don’t, you have to get your butt over there.  Srini  does the BEST interviews.  Yeah, yeah, big woop you say….  But the thing I looooove about Srini’s interviews is that he asks questions from a beginners point of view.  So good. They are easy to listen to with no crazy jargon and no stupid advice like ask your millions of readers….  None of the stuff that normally sh*ts you to tears with interviews.

I was listening to one of his interviews in my car on the way to That Day Job – my car is my mobile university.

They talked about serving your apprenticeship.

Of paying your dues.

And how rare it is to hear about that as a path to where you want to go.

It’s not just about deciding what you want and getting it as soon as you make the decision.  It’s not about replicating what the ‘big names’ do and having their success right from the word go.

At my day job, I call it the “We’re not McDonalds”.

You don’t just ask for something and 10 seconds later it gets handed to you out of the window.   Life isn’t McDonalds.

So many people sell the overnight success path.  The ‘just do what I did and you can have everything you’ve ever dreamed of and it will only cost you $499’ story you see over and over again.  Ick – I think I need a shower.

You can’t pimp out your dreams like that.

It will make you feel cheap and nasty.

And what about all the good stuff you’ll miss along the way.  You’ll end up with no name brand vanilla icecream instead of honey macadamia Baskins & Robbins.  You’ll end up with digestive bisucits instead of Tim Tams dunked in hot milk with extra Milo.  You’ll miss out on the extra stuff that makes it worthwhile and important.  Those things that means it matters.  That’s the stuff that fills you up to overflowing….

I hate letting the overnight success lie make me feel like a failure.

Because it’s taking time.  Because sometimes it hasn’t gone how I thought it would.  Because there has been such a steep learning curve.  Because it’s harder and more challenging than I thought.

Instead of feeling like I’ve failed or I’m not good enough because I’m not Kelly Rae Roberts (yet), I’m just going to keep serving my apprenticeship.  I’m going to keep learning so I can run my race, my way, in my own time.  And as I break through the tape when I get there, with that exhausted sweaty happy look on my face, I’ll know I earned it.  I did it my way.  I ran every single one of those steps by myself.  I didn’t bum a lift on the bus to get me there.  I didn’t take a shortcut through the park.

Who wants to run with me?

Coral  xo

Posted in Learning | 2 Comments

If you speak in the middle of a forest, does it make a sound?

The Crafters Workshop stencil, Ranger spray inks and shipping tags.  So obsessed with shipping tags

The Crafters Workshop stencil, Ranger spray inks and shipping tags. So obsessed with shipping tags

Okay, I’m back on the voice thing.

It’s one of the things I’ve struggled with the most with this whole blogging adventure.  And I think a lot of us feel the same way.  How do we write without sounding like a robot?  Or like the most boring person on the planet?  You know when you read over your blog post and the only thing you are thinking is….

I’m not that boring in real life… am I?

I did a course with April from Blacksburg Belle a few weeks ago.  A pretty busy 4 week course on blogging.  It even had homework!  But I was a good little square bear (when am I not?) and I kept up with the course the whole way through.  And I did my homework.  Yup, told you.  Square bear.

And between doing the course and looking, like really looking at other people’s blogs, I’m starting to figure out how to find my voice a little more.  I’m sure you find it bit by bit, piece by piece.  It’s not a revelation.  It’s not you’ve got it or you don’t.  I think it’s something you slowly find and discover and grow.  These are the things I think I’ve worked out so far…

You gotta give it some personality.  Mayi Carles talkes about cupcakes and Panama and community.  And she writes how she talks.  Rapid fire and with Energizer bunny enthusiasm.  Srinivas Rao talks about surfing.  A lot.  Everything ties back to surfing.  In a good way.  In an – even though I don’t surf, I still get it – kinda way.  But the thing is, it’s gotta be your personality.  Don’t talk about green juicing if you start off your morning with a chocolate milkshake.  Let out the quirky bits that make you, you.

You gotta paint a picture.  One of the awesome tips I got from April was about using all your senses.  Don’t just write what you think.  Include what you see, hear, smell and taste.  And best of all, what do things feel like – to the touch of course, but also what does your heart feel.  What do you feel inside?  And use lots of describing words (I’m starting to channel my English teacher – imagine me squinting over the top of my glasses).  A steaming hot chocolate, piled high with airy froth with two pink marshmallows slowly sinking into it.  When you write it like that, you can almost taste it.  Just saying a cup of hot chocolate – not so much.  But you can’t over do it, otherwise it sounds fake and wanky.

Show me the metaphor.  Or actually, the simile.  Similes are “like” phrases -I still remember this thanks to my grade 8 English teacher who would hit your knuckles with a ruler if you didn’t get the answer right. Ah the good old days, where the teachers could assault you with stationery without getting sued.  ‘I felt warm and fuzzy inside LIKE a hot chocolate on a cold winters day’.  (Can you tell it’s getting cool here?  I’m fantasizing about hot chocolates and bed socks and thick, snuggly jumpers).

I talk with lots of wording that is very me.  My own little sayings and phrases.

But for some reason, I run my words through a washing machine to make them squeeky clean for my blogs.  And while the whites are whiter than white, they are also blander than bland.

No-one wants to read that.  When there are so many amazing voices out there, you need to be you to stand out.  To be found. To be read. To be heard.

Every time I’ve let a little bit of me shine through, I’ve thought I’ve found my voice.  But then I discover there is a little more to let out.  And around I go again.

Are you feeling like your writing is a little blah? (Cause I’ve felt, a lot!)

Do you feel like you are even boring yourself silly? (Yep, that too)

I know part of the adventure I have loved so much is getting to know myself better and finding your voice is a big part of that.  Another one of those hidden rewards on this adventure.

Maybe we can work on this whole voice thing together?

Coral.  xo

Posted in Learning | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Don’t let the dream theives in…

My first ever big canvas - The Crafters Workshop stencils and Claundine Hellmuth's Studio paints

My first ever big canvas – The Crafters Workshop stencils and Claundine Hellmuth’s Studio paints

Last week, Terri left a heartfelt comment on my blog.  She called herself a “Dream Chaser”.  Isn’t that the most gorgeous description for what we are trying to do?

But one of the things she said made me really angry.

People tell me all the time I’m nuts, or they give me ‘that look’ that says “seriously you’re 49 yrs old – grow up and act it”

You know what?  There are 80 year old’s going to university for the first time.  There are people learning piano in their 50’s.  And there are people like me, going after a big, wild, crazy dream they’ve had their whole life in their late 30’s (soon to be early 40’s – eek). What’s with only being allowed to go after that big, wild, crazy dream in your twenties?  Says who?  When so many people bury their true calling deep down inside, never to be realized -surely having the courage to chase after it should be applauded.

It’s hard to make that choice instead of ‘playing it safe’.

It’s even harder to get back up again if it doesn’t work the first time or go the way you planned or happen as quickly as you would like (I’m the Queen of Impatience, remember?)

It’s scary.

To take that first step.  Figuring stuff out as you go along.  Constantly learning new things.  Constantly trying those new things.  And putting yourself ‘out there – Mirror, Mirror on the wall, that’s the scariest of them all.

The last thing you need is some idiot who says you can’t.

Because they think you can’t.  You know what?  Get stuffed!  You are supposed to be my cheer squad.  You are supposed to help me find my courage when I think I have none left.  You are supposed to be there with the Kleenex and Baskin & Robbins if it doesn’t go to plan.  You are meant to make the victories feel like winning an Oscar (secret childhood fantasy revealed – wanna hear my acceptance speech?)

Do not let the dream thieves in.

Do not let people steal your big wild crazy dream from you.

They don’t get to do that.

Coral.  xo

Posted in Mindset, Motivation | Tagged , | 7 Comments