So, I just had a sort of “A-ha!” moment that I’m worried may be more of an “Um, duh?” moment, but let’s see how this goes.
Earlier today, I finished reading You are a Badass Every Day by Jen Sincero. It’s supposed to be little daily exercises, which maybe I’ll go back and actually do one by one, but I just liked to read it all in a few sittings. Pages 201-204, she tells a story about having a stuffed animal that she thought was a dog, but upon closer inspection, she discovers it’s actually a cat. I’m including a quote below, which later ties into the moment I had –
I had never questioned Scruffy’s dogness because there was a dog who looked just like him in my immediate environment, which meant that’s what dogs looked like, so Scruffy must be a dog. I didn’t investigate, I just took what appeared to me as the truth… We go through life accepting these “truths,” many of which make us miserable, and it isn’t until we wake up and investigate that we suddenly discover unexpected and liberating insights hiding beneath our old dirty, scratchy beliefs.Jen Sincero, You are a Badass Every Day
She goes on to talk about the assignment for this section, which I’ll go ahead and do, just for kicks and giggles.
Choose something that relates to your goal that you’re currently struggling with or that has always tripped you up.For me, that’s feeling like my blog doesn’t have a “niche,” because I know blogs are inherently good to have if you’re an aspiring published author (my goal) but I don’t know the best way to use mine toward a purpose.
Spend today talking and thinking and journaling about your goal and write down any negative thoughts or beliefs that come up for you and then investigate the crap out of them.I talked to Reid, and thought on my own, and now I’m journaling in post form, and I’ve realized that I had a limiting belief that blogs about writing would need to teach others how to write better to be successful. I think I was thinking that in order to write about writing, I would need to be teaching writing, and didn’t even realize that my blog could be about the journey of becoming an author.
Like, I hadn’t even ever googled “aspiring author blogs,” even with all the other research about blogging I’ve done and all the “make an income from your blog” webinars I’ve attended and even after how I decided I wanted to be an author months ago. (!!!) It sounds so dumb now to admit it, but I’ve been over here saying, “My goal is to become a published author one day, and I can’t figure out what the niche for my blog is” … Helloooooo, there are other aspiring authors out there who probably have blogs! I can just look at those who are already doing what I want to be doing as a model for ideas of what I can do!
And, I actually don’t even need to really investigate that many other people’s blogs to know what I want to do now, it’s just that now I feel I can give myself permission to write about writing without feeling like I need to be giving writing advice. There’s inherent value in simply sharing the journey, and collecting stories along the way.
Things I can blog about within the aspiring author niche
- Book reviews of what I’ve been reading
- My writing process – journaling, writing for Reid’s online course, Ozobot blogging, and personal blogging
- Author Masterclass and Webinar class notes
- Discussion guides / exercises / worksheets from self-development books I’m working through
- Going through blog-to-book courses of other bloggers’ and taking notes
- Goal-setting and habit-building to work towards author goals
- Selections from my journal
- Short stories – from our RV travels, from the current day or week, from Lincoln’s perspective, from real life, dream of mine, or fiction
- Random thoughts I expand on from the iPhone notes in my phone
- Pretty much, literally everything I was already wanting to write about before, but I was just having a hard time defining the niche because it’s writing about writing, which for some reason I thought there was a rule against
Journal Selection from Monday, February 18th
I was watching Beauty & the Beast for about the 13th time since it came out in 2017, and had a thought: I’ve been wanting my ideal life to be like Belle in Beauty & the Beast for as long as I can remember.
First of all, because she is seen as special + unique + different by all the “normal” townsfolk. Who wouldn’t want to be the heroine of her own life story, and what is “normal” anyway? I’d much rather be a strange and funny girl, with crazy dreams and wanting “more than this provincial life”. “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want so much more than they’ve got planned.” These were the lines that clearly cried out to my soul throughout my childhood and made me want to do the whole RV adventure. I just loved the idea that even if all else failed, it would still be a crazy story to tell our kids and grandkids someday that Reid and I quit our jobs and sold most of our things to ride around the country in an RV.
Secondly, she’s smart and can help her dad with projects and intuitively knows what tool he’ll ask for next because she’s paid attention and cares about helping others.
She just tries to be kind and do right by everyone while also being true to herself. Then, also helps her true love turn into his true self. (Which is like me helping Reid with his business… not saying Reid’s like the Beast in a bad way, just in the way that he’s realized he can’t start his company without someone’s help and has asked for mine. The Beast couldn’t break the rose’s curse on his own either, he needed Belle’s love). I’m helping Reid step into his purpose of helping people through entrepreneurship. And I can find purpose in supporting him in this venture too.
And then finally, she’s living her best life reading books all day while still being kind to everyone. Oh, and she lives in a castle. I would LOVE to live in a castle. I think that’s why I loved visiting the Biltmore House so much, and J.K. Rowling lives in a castle now after finding success with her books, so… Who’s to say it’s a too far-fetched dream??
Anyways, I digress. [I realized I say that a lot; I think it was in my last post twice! I clearly missed out on an opportunity to call this blog “Danielle’s Digressions.” xD ] Another element of Beauty & the Beast I was thinking about being relative was the symbolism of the rose petals falling signifying the passage of time toward the Beast’s deadline to accomplish his defining life task. I have viewed my life like that rose, where the last petal falling is my death. And if I haven’t fulfilled my life’s purpose by that point then I have failed.
And, I guess subconsciously, I was self-defining that life purpose to be some kind of accomplishment equivalent to a world-changing feat that would go down in history books. But tonight I realized: I don’t want that pressure to have my life’s purpose depend on some level of approval of masses of people here on Earth.
I want that last petal fall to mean that I see Jesus, or God, or my spirit guide guardian angels (or whatever really exactly happens when we die) and they tell or show me: “Danielle, remember when there was that one lady in front of you in line at the grocery store and she seemed to be having a rough day, and she dropped something and you picked it up for her and offered some kind words? Well, that mattered,” and then to go on to show me a string of small moments in my life where I was just being me and trying to be as kind as I could in any situation, and that could be my light or gift I bring to the world, fulfilling God’s purpose for me and my life.
(end journal selection)
I can have a life goal of becoming a published best-selling author whose books inspire empathy in the masses. My life purpose is to just be kind and show God’s love by loving myself and others well.
Aha! Yay for aha moments! Aren’t they grand? I need to share with you my personal mission statement, that I spent my late 20s writing and rewriting and rewriting in my 30s.
I love your journaling about Beauty and the Beast! Especially about how empowering it is to be different or “not normal” …. it is such a compliment, right? .
Thank you for sharing your authentic self in your writing, and in your blog about writing. And, if you want to change the name of your blog to Danielle’s Digressions, you go right ahead! (Most published authors publish a blog under their name anyway.)
Yes ’twas grand indeed! And I’d love to learn how to write my own from your personal mission statement 🙂