The Queen of England for the past 70 years died peacefully yesterday in her Scottish Castle at the age of 96 and it didn't have the impact that you might think. It reminded me of when Michael Jackson died. He was an iconic star who died and the world didn't skip a beat not even a synthesized down beat. It got me to thinking about the way to live life. So many people strive to be important. To wield clout and status, to matter. That places so much of life outside of oneself. Look at these two examples of people who gave their entire lives to people, for the sake of some sort of immortality I suppose. Is the sacrifice worth it?
The thought that came to me in my meditations today were first noting not feeling anything when the Queen died. The lack of energy shift or emotion was notable. When Princess Diana died there was a deep feeling of loss, there was an energy that moved. I felt it as did millions of others. We viscerally felt it. I had my own harrowing journey that day, which is a story that I will leave for another time. When I stepped off a plane in Long Beach, California and saw the screens, and heard the Princess died, it hurt. Not so much with the other The Queen or MJ. Which makes me wonder why? Why the difference?
The three main lessons I've learned are these.
First, there are only a few people who are really going to care if you are dead. Those are the people that you should care about in return. Don't sacrifice them for a greater love of the people that isn't truly there. It's vapors. Public attention and affection comes and goes and won't be there for long in the end when 'the next one' shows up.
Second, if you are going to be great. Be great by lifting others up not by self-serving gain. Diana was missed because she brought out something in all of us that was acceptance and love. It wasn't about her it was about what we as humanity could be. She reflected a utopic way of being to us, and we did our best to make her happy in getting as close as we could to it. That is a noble, beautiful, and lasting way to hold the power of public attention. When the time is spent securing power for power sake, or to indulge every twisted fantasy that comes to mind it's not worth the trouble of fighting to be loved.
Third, invest in self-validation. Looking to be validated and given sense of duty, purpose, and existence externally requires balance. Where there is value in being a service to your community. To be a creative force rather than a destructive one, is a way to live. It's iffy. It's iffy that you won't be left empty from giving and receiving no satisfaction from it. Not only satisfaction there are many noble souls that die forgotten and destitute being forgotten from all of the people they gave to when things got rough. Public love is fickle! Love for yourself is eternal. Only you are there for you all of the time. That's where focus should be.
Whether it is Queen Elizabeth II or any other great person of power their stories tend to be complex and complicated. Public opinion varies depending on who you talk to. When creating your own story you are the creator. Allow yourself to write your story doing the most with the environment you find yourself in. Learn to thrive in whatever status you find yourself in. Love your tribe and they will love you back. This is a far more satisfying way of life.
""I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else – I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations."
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
A big step towards success is developing 'forest thinking'. You've heard of "not seeing the forest for the trees". Meaning someone is so fixated on one tree they don't see what is happening in the forest around them which may be on fire for all they know because they aren't paying attention.
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Anyone who has gone through a losing streak can understand the value of a win.
Even a small one. Sometimes just being in the green a few pennies is enough to feel a momentum shift like things are finally going in the right direction.
It's important to celebrate small wins in life. Depending on individual personality, some people may find it easy to celebrate themselves and harsher to see losses in a realistic way. On the other hand, there are people who are quick to criticize themselves for even the smallest of errors and slow to give equitable value and weight in celebration when things go well. Either of these extremes can lead to unsatisfactory outcomes over time. The importance is to tune into accurate reactions in relation to results in order to make the proper adjustments going forward. Wins must be celebrated. We want more of that. Document in a journal or a spreadsheet what worked in that case. Likewise, document what didn't work, and how you would do things differently now that you know what you know from experience.
It's important to give analysis the proper objectivity and perspective. It is an error to inject too much positivity or negativity in the analysis. It is important that the impact and outcomes can be seen accurately for appropriate follow up action and accountability.
For those that have difficulty taking the "W" know that this level of energy is important to fully feel and let flow in order to bring more of it to you. Energy attracts energy like it. Especially when working in particularly challenging fields or on challenging projects. The bread crumb trail of smaller wins becomes vital to feed the ambition and motivation to keep the effort going for the greater goals to be attained which may take much longer to accomplish.
So take time to fully appreciate and document the milestone wins. This will fuel the fire of action and stoke further ambitions to lead to greater success. It is as important as eating, resting, and exercise to keep the effort going.
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur in Scottdale, Arizona.
There may be times of reevaluating, raising capital, obtaining more resources, networking to obtain more information all for the purpose to make a new attempt. The key is that everyday something is done to support the ultimate outcome. That is how success is achieved.
In order to have consistency there must be focus. There is a saying that someone can "have it all". And that is debatable and out of scope for this discussion the point being you can't have it all at the same time. There are parameters of attention and focus and there is a limited capacity for such things. So decisions must be made and they can be tough decisions but they must be made.
Priorities must be made and it should be written in a plan that all the important people in your life understand. Because it is less disappointing to know that you will not show up for every school event when the children know that you are working for a goal that needs your attention right now. Or vice versa, a work colleague will learn not to reach out to you after 5 PM because that is the time you are doing homework with your kids and having a family dinner. Laying out expectations for yourself and others makes for a smoother ride.
The important part is not to multitask. Like the driver who is texting on the road, they think they are doing great and they absolutely are not. Because things take thoughtful attention to do well. To be in the moment managing it as it unfolds, taking in all of the information the environment is giving at the time requires focus in order to manage the situation well. We can't do it all. Pick what you want to focus on and give it all that you've got to give in the moment.
Slow and steady wins the race is an old lesson. Small consistent wins add up to something meaningful over time. But inconsistency can blow up a big pile of wins in an alarmingly short period of time.
Show up, do the work, reap the rewards, and call it a day. Get up and do it again tomorrow until the job is done. That is the way to success in any endeavor.
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The best thing to do when a plan fails is to recognize it. Fail fast. Fail well. Make adjustments and move on with a newly adapted plan for what the environment is showing you.
You can't know what you know until you know it. That is the most frustrating part about the success journey. You can't know if something is right for you if you don't know anything about it and never try it. So there is inherent risk in the process. You can put a lot into something and it doesn't pay off. Sometimes it's because the task at hand is not compatible with your personality or previous obligations like being a caregiver to someone at home. Sometimes it's because of market environments that present themselves at the time that are out of your control. And sometimes it is because your lack of information about a project caused you to not fully understand what was needed to complete it. Perhaps it was something that put success in that project out of reach for you. These are all very real things that happen in life while trying to find a path to success.
Financial disaster can be a hard thing to get up from. It's overwhelming. Everything costs money and not many are in the mood to hear about why you don't have it no matter how noble the cause. It is a tough place to find yourself in. Where to go now? How to trust yourself to be able to do what is necessary? How to mentally not crumble under the pressure? How to not drown in stories to tell yourself about luck and other ways to put the ability to make things better outside of your ability or control? It can be very challenging. Especially in a world where so many are struggling or overwhelmed in their own ways and don't seem to have the capacity to take on someone else's struggle as well.
The best way to fail is to fail fast. Learn what didn't work and what you became better at during that particular time or project. Find an expert if you can to offer smart, fact and experience based advice. Stay away from those who would enable you too much or punish you too much for the mistake. You don't want someone telling you it's not your fault and that everything is great because that is not true and it will keep you from doing the work that you need to do to correct course and not find yourself in the same situation in the future. On the other hand, you don't need someone making you feel more horrible than you already do with nowhere to place that energy. I got some great wisdom from a member of my investor group, Luke, who said "The market has already punished you, you don't need to punish yourself. Learn the difference between discipline and punishment." Discipline is focusing your behavior in a direction of success. It may mean picking yourself up and rewarding yourself after a mistake to give you the positive outlook and energy to make corrections instead of berating yourself, denying yourself, and weakening yourself further. Find strength, make corrections, find the joy in the moment, and move forward.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. I think this may be one of the most difficult things. In order to ask for help, you have to admit you have gone as far as you can go by yourself. You have to admit that it did not work out. You have to admit to yourself in that moment that you can't do it, at least not with the current conditions in reality and you have to let others in to see your mess so that you can get help cleaning it up. That can take some courage. Facing fears of rejection and embarrassment that things got this far out of hand. I for one wanted to believe I could force success to happen, I could fix anything with time on my own. But that is not always the case. You need others with more knowledge, experience, and resources than one person has alone. And stepping out to ask for help can be very intimidating. But without further knowledge and resources, a person will be perpetually stuck. It's best to stay stuck for the shortest period of time. To go a new way it's likely help is needed.
Sure you may need some time to step back heal and recuperate from a long struggle. You may take some time to be gentle and care for yourself to build back up for another go at it. Rest, regroup, but don't stop taking action. You have to continue to go for it, to do something, even if it isn't perfect and even if it leads to a different way of failing. The sooner you move through the process the sooner you get to something that does work for you. It's the only way really. So many times we want to just pick the perfect way to do things the first time and that would be beautiful. But very few get to success that way. It's not important how you get there. Only that you keep trying things and working with focus towards the goal until you do.
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur in Scottsdale, Arizona.
How do you know if you are in the presence of an energy vampire?
It can be difficult to place at first. A person wakes up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to go. Then they come in contact with a person or a social environment and they feel drained. Completely drained, not just physical fatigue, it feels like more than that. Like their very lifeforce has been drained. They were in the presence of an energy vampire.
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur living in Scottdale, Arizona.
Reflecting today on the struggle of a successful life. This reel popped up as I was scrolling Instagram that captured it so well. It is a point beyond the crossroads. When the decision has been made already, and steps have been taken, progress is made. Friends lost, love lost, life is completely different all of that has happened. It's the moment before stepping into the future. The moment before becoming the reality that all of the work was for. That moment just before, where every nerve screams to return to what is known, to go home to the comfort of familiarity. Regardless of how toxic or dead that reality has become now. It is the most dangerous part of the journey. It is by far the most difficult.
The only thing to know is to hold fast. Keep working, persevere. The prize is almost within reach and going back won't be satisfying, because face it if it were satisfying why would you have put in this much work to change it? That space belongs to someone else now. The future exists outside of your comfort zone. Deep inside we know this. Our Higher power will not allow us to settle in and go back to sleep for there is an adventure ahead. It's the only way to long term peace of mind and happiness. Stagnation brings misery over time. No matter how much it may be tempting to lie to oneself for the short term capture of the death throws of a previous place and time. It is so tempting but in the end it's an empty win that doesn't last. Because it isn't real. It's a lie and lies never hold together long term.
So leap! Deeply. Completely. With all of you. Commit to the risk and the reward. Release the fear and allow the hope of gain to fill you and carry you to the summit, to the prize, to the place where your long term happiness and satisfaction resides. What is the choice? You haven't come all this way to only come this far. Keep going! Taste the champagne. Feel the warm rays of success on your path. You've worked for it, sacrificed for it, disciplined yourself. Now celebrate the last leg of of the journey. Let the next volume of your epic tale begin!
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur living in Scottsdale, Arizona.
There's nothing like the morning after a big storm in the Sonoran Desert. The ionized air and the fragrant desert bloom perfume wafting on the light breeze. It is the best. Heaven on Earth. As I took a morning walk the other day it got me thinking about the storms of my life and the mornings after them when I made it through some lessons learned that I want to share today.
In the moment of the storm it feels like there is nothing to hold onto. Being swept into a cyclone of pain, grief, loss, an unwanted things that happened. Control taken and placed elsewhere in the hands of another, feeling as though there is no power to stop the winds from tearing apart all that was ever known. The thunder and lightning crackling and pounding. Nothing feels safe in these times. That is the turmoil when doubt and fear are main motivators. Wondering if survival is possible or if the flood will come to sweep everything away to oblivion.
That is the storm. The day after when it is time to assess what happened it seems many things are more clear. Much of the debris of life, things that were not sturdy or strong are carried away. The soil is cleared away. It becomes fertile and ready for new things to be planted. The air is clean and clear and a joy to breathe in and out. A feeling of being even more alive for having survived it. For having weathered something scary, strong, and adversarial. One learns their own strength and faith for making it through.
There are many kinds of plants and trees that need strong winds in order to grow. They wither and die without it. I often think of those plants when times are tough. Thinking these winds make me strong. Bend do not break, rest do not quit. The storms always run out of rain as Maya Angelou said. They pass and the possibilities of new growth takes hold.
In life we face storms full of devastation and emotion often during times of transition. The old is swept away and for awhile there is nothing as the seeds of future endeavors take root. It can feel as though life is a wasteland during these in between times. It's difficult to have faith and patience enough to allow the process to happen and for new opportunities to grow. But like a field of wildflowers they do grow. And it is a wonder, fragrant, and glorious to behold the rebirth. Focusing on things that can consume is a great way to get through these empty times. Whether it is servicing the community by volunteering for something important. Whether it is learning a new skill or supporting an organization with labor. Doing something that brings purpose and meaning to the day while the parts of transition that are not in one's control form and solidify into existence. Make the most of these moments, doing what is needed or desired in the minutes and hours that build up to the new thing. However that shows up for you. Weather the storm and see what beauty unfolds in your life. It may not be easy but experience always seems to find a way to make it worth it.
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur in Scottdale, Arizona.
It can be difficult to embrace, and yet to live with peace of mind one must embrace, the reality that a moment is a moment and it will never exist again. There is a saying that you can't stand in the same river twice because the water is forever moving and causing the river bed to forever shift and change. So many people use large amounts of time and energy trying to live forever in a previously lived moment in time. This often happens because they had a moment of impact in their life and they spend the rest of the time living trying to hold onto it. It is impossible. Like holding mist it will not stay still no matter how hard someone tries to make it do so.
"Letting go of what once was creates an empty space to fill with the possibility of now."
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur in Scottsdale, Arizona.
One of the most significant moments in a person's life is the moment they trust themselves above all else. Not out of a sense of ego or unsubstantiated overconfidence but because in that moment the known variables, experience, vision, and intuition all come together after thousands of hours of doing something to create an a-ha moment when it is evident--
"I have the best answer. I have the best way forward!"
It is both exhilarating and terrifying when parents, mentors, teachers, people of authority, leadership, and others given power of being the one that knows better, doesn't in fact know better. In that moment of discovery the only thing standing in the way of reaping the rewards of that knowledge is the trust you have in yourself.
"The moment in time that is both terrifying and exhilarating is the moment that you realize that no one has a better capability to make the best choice about the decision at hand than you."
Know where you are.
The first thing that chasers do is to find the most likely place to find the location of touchdown. There is never a guarantee of certainty however, there are ways of knowing where to look. Often we talk to others in the industry to know the choice spots for what we are looking for. Areas of interest that historically produce the type of volatility we are looking for the Tornado Alley of the market. This is where many competitors fight for the best spot, while the traders compete for the best price, in the end it's an educated guess. But in a game where a couple feet or a couple pennies make a difference, experience, mindfulness, and position, matters a great deal.
Have the right equipment.
You don't want to face a twister or a volatile market breaking off the open without the proper tools. You want to be able to scan for trades like scanning the skies for the clouds and formations that produce the events that bring the results you're looking for. The better your equipment and funding, the more storms you get to chase. It is not prudent to go into either of these endeavors overly eager, without proper information, unable to scan what is happening or being undercapitalized so that one mistake takes out your entire season, or in the example of trading your entire account. Panicked minds do not make good decisions. One must be calm, aware, and able to act in the moment with training to manage whatever situation the trader or chaser finds themselves in.
As a trader the tools are trading platforms with Level II ladders, scanners, and a network of traders with common goals and expertise. These are as vital to our mission as maps, Doppler Radar scans, and ham radio networks are to storm chasers. They are essential for protection and success.
Know what you are doing.
The beautiful and dangerous thing about both trading and storm chasing is that there is a relatively small barrier of entry to both endeavors. Technically with a lap top, some software, and a couple hundred dollars a person can technically start trading. The way anyone with a vehicle and a cell phone could start storm chasing. That doesn't mean because you can, you should, or that taking on that kind of high risk adventure should be done without some training and education. Yet many people do it. YouTube is full of them all. Random people walking outside to take a live video of a storm passing their house and various financial gurus with their get rich program to make you rich in 3 days using proven techniques. Some get lucky, and it works for them, however the majority that try it get hurt if not devastated by the results of doing something that requires a high level of information and skill to maneuver properly with no prior planning or effective exit strategy when the storm starts heading in the wrong direction in a hurry!
Experienced mentors are great, but personal experience must be earned it can't be bought.
A great place to start chasing your passion is with someone who knows the terrain. Who has been there, who has learned from the storms, and who has learned to come out unscathed on the other side. Sure there may be some scary times, some cracked windshields, some 2X4s embedded in the door. Just like there can be 5R losses if you don't place a stop loss correctly. Things happen and even the best laid plans can go awry. The storm teaches storm chasers and the market teaches day traders. In order to learn you must show up and interact with it. The more you show up and interact with it the more accustom to stocks patterns you become. The quicker you notice when they change direction and you can either change your position by adjusting your target or stop loss, decide to not go in, or get the hell out when that bad boy is moving against you! Live to chase another day.
Data, data, and more data!!!
Information is everything! Journal, back test, and review strategies. Where did it happen (which stock)? What time of day? What was the environment like at the time? How did the pattern form? How long did it last? The more data the better. Which can be used for better execution of the plan at a later date when similar conditions consolidate whether in the sky or on a chart.
For the love of the chase...
For those who have caught the bug there is a love and a desire to face the beast every day and see what beauty and magic awaits. The wins and the losses over time. The consistency that comes from the chase. But then when that perfect pattern starts to form and the excitement starts to build as the checklist is ticked and we know this has a good chance of being the one and a pattern forms and away we go! That makes the work worth it. Whether it's the cupping clouds that produce the touch down of twin sisters in the middle of a corn field or whether its a buy set up that rips to the moon. Those are the moments that we chase for. That's where our money is made.
If you would like to learn more about day trading visit www.livetraders.com or follow the
Live Traders YouTube channel
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur living in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In my meditations preparing for the day this week I've been thinking a great deal about the lioness. She is the hunter that keeps her pride alive and she has common strategies that are relevant in the world of business and investing. We could learn some important lessons from her.
The first thing to learn from the lioness is patience. Often she will hide in the tall grass for hours studying her opportunities and waiting for just the right moment to make her move.
The lioness does not pounce on every opportunity she sees. She knows how to protect her resources of time and energy. Many people new to business and investing want to over engage in investments that fall through draining valuable resources. Relax! Only take the best opportunities with the best probabilities of success. How do you know which opportunities have the best probabilities of success you ask? Become educated on well-used real world strategies with documented results and document your own experiences in a journal or on a spreadsheet and over time you too will know which opportunities are worth the time and energy and which ones are not.
Know your hunting grounds
A lioness will scout her hunting grounds knowing the best advantage points. It is the same with the investor. A stock trader will have a few core stocks that she revisits often in order to make successful trades. A business person will be an expert of a particular area. Sometimes that area is geographical and sometimes it is an area of expertise in a field of study but they know the field they are working in and that knowledge and wisdom that comes from experience brings success whether it's a business project or a lioness' hunt.
Know when to rest
Lionesses will often stretch out in the warm sun for a nap. Being rested is an important part of being good at business and investing. Good decisions are not often made by exhausted, stressed, and over-worked state of mind. Take time to rest and relax with those who you enjoy being with, because it is in these times that inspiration is able to find us and offer us some great insights that lead to opportunities!
If the pride doesn't eat, she doesn't eat.
In a pride of lions, as with any leadership position, if the team is not fed the leader doesn't get to eat. In business if everyone else isn't taken care of the owner doesn't get a check. In investing there is risk there is no absolute guarantee of a return. It's important to know this and plan accordingly. However, when done well there are more wins and more productive hunts then there are hungry nights. That is what makes all the effort, patience, and planning worthwhile.
Sophia Tesch is a #momtrepreneur who lives in Arizona.
"Some of them want to use you.
Ego is a powerful thing. The way we determine our own self worth particularly when there isn't a long list of accomplishments to tick off that society would deem traditionally successful. From my observations of myself and others is the temptation to measure self worth by who we interact with instead of doing the work to be truly successful on our own. Hence the dynamic of the lyrics the power comes from the story of who loves us, who hates us, who we allow to use and abuse us just to say that they are in our lives. Because we find personal value in that. Let me explain further.
I have been on both sides of this dynamic. Being both the bestower and recipient of perceived personal value due to association. Neither side of it feels awesome once the realization happens that that is what is going on. For example knowing that someone is trying to strike up a relationship in an attempt to steal some of the aura of success you created by working hard and achieving goals feels bad.
It also feels bad when after a personal evaluation you find yourself inquiring "Why does it matter so much to me that I have a relationship with this person? Is this a bond on mutual connection and affection in exchange or am I just trying to make myself feel better because of the company I keep?" That is especially problematic when knowing the relationship is an excuse for not doing the work and finding true personal success. True personal success allows one to feel good about life's accomplishments regardless of what anyone else does. Personal accomplishment that is authentic is a feeling that no-one can take away from you. Basing value on relationships leads to unhealthy power dynamics all the way around. It doesn't last because it isn't real.
A healthy way to come together with a successful person, either in a friendship or something more intimate is to do the work to deal with personal insecurities. Do the work to create personal fulfillment and feelings of success that way there is something to share. Confidence is attractive, dependence is not.
Always remember all happiness and power is yours to access whenever you want to when you internalize personal value. Do not place the ability to obtain it outside of yourself in what may be some unattainable standard that another person, for their own reasons, places outside of your grasp. That is no way to live a contented life. Add value to the lives of those around you. Do something difficult and stick with it until it is done. Each time this is accomplished a higher level of confidence is achieved. Ego dies, as it is not needed, and personal value is felt deeply and authentically because it is real. It is all yours. No one can take that away from you because you earned it and it's yours to keep.
Sophia Tesch is a writer and #momtrepreneur living in Arizona.
In the latest chapter of how to fund my fun I have wandered into the world of Real Estate and Investing and I have to say I am having a good time. Never have I felt so stupid and excited at the same time. Everyday I learn more, however, and the excited fun overshadows the feeling stupid part that happens because of lack of experience.
Anyone that knows my journey knows what a 180° turn this is for me. To jump into the corporate world of finance. I did it for the same reason I've made other choices in my life to immerse myself in it and learn. To understand that which I feared and didn't understand.
So far I have learned that it is a lot more difficult than it looks from the outside. The actual work is not hard, but knowing the timing and when to act is definitely a skillset that sorts people out pretty quickly. I have just begun, so it is difficult to tell at this point whether or not I'll be sorted out. Only time, patience, and practice will say for certain. I'd be happy to answer any questions you, dear reader, may have as I set upon this journey. Pray for me. LOL
How do those words hit you?
I find that for a long time the words and concept of enjoyment weren't present in my mindset or brain space at all. For so long I was in what could be called a reactionary-survival mindset. So much so that to actually enjoy something? I mean, what is that?
Lately I have been put in a place to observe a different social group of people. People who speak in the language of enjoyment. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your day. Enjoy your meal. Did you enjoy your sleep? What is all of this enjoyment they speak of? However, this goes back to an older lesson. If you don't ask the Universe for it, you don't manifest it. That which you think and speak about the most in your life is what you bring into it. Right?
So when most of the chatter in your head and your mouth is a complaint. When it is about what sucks or what isn't working, then that is what is magnetized to you. It is where your attention is so it is what you notice more often. I did this way too much for too long. But when you begin to embrace the mindset of enjoyment that worldview begins to change.
The first thing I noticed when thinking in an enjoyment mindset was how my shoulder muscles became more meaty and less stony. Before, if you were to touch my shoulders they would be wound tight, hard with tension. I would beg someone to rub them to get my circulation going again. Now not as much, if at all. Because no matter where life is, how challenging it may feel in the moment. There are things to enjoy. A sunset, a smile, a cup of coffee or your favorite drink. There is something if you look for it. Enjoying a rest or the sound of a friends voice telling you a story.
When you are enjoying life people want to enjoy it with you. Enjoying life is a practice like any other. And like any practice, it becomes a habit over time.
I've been on social media for about as long as it has been around being a GenX kid. I recently got kicked off of one of the major players for playing too rough apparently which led me to explore an up and comer platform. It was nice. It reminded me of the Golden Age of social media, the time before governments, big corporations and advertisers get a hold of a platform and destroy it. Here are my thoughts about the transformation from what I would define as a pure platform and its slow demise as outside forces attack and destroy the social fabric of social media.
Average people when left to their own devices will often share posts about music, travel, children, pets, food, inspiring quotes and stories, some sports perhaps, play games maybe, and share jokes. That's what we do on our own without interference. Often there is beauty and love in the posts. People share the things that bring us together, things that we care about the most. This usually builds large platforms of users happily chatting and sharing like a fun picnic or cocktail party.
Politics can come into these early stages, particularly now a days because it has become so prevalent and worrisome in our daily lives. But often in the pure phase of a social media platform, politics is a spicy side dish that a few wish to partake in, but it is far from the entire content meal. It's over there, not center stage. It's not the main driver of clicks and shares.
Then as a platform becomes more popular the bad actors arrive. My heart sinks and angers simply at the typing of it. They ruin everything! And here's how. Often you hear snide comments laughing about people sharing snaps of their lunch. Then they come in with vicious kinds of politics for clicks. Not problem solving politics mind you. They are articles and posts meant to incite anger and inspire an attack on an individual. That individual is chosen because they represent a group, teachers, police officers, public servants, and groups. Groups are racial, ethnic, class, however humans can be divided up and set against one another.
Don't get me wrong. There are times when this outrage is absolutely called for. There is a great deal of corruption going on in the world today. Abuses of power and valiant struggles to find Justice in and unjust world. However, the side effect of a cesspool of this kind of strike and attack content created solely to create outrage and hatred without channeling that energy into an outcome that is more suitable to the group only creates a community of hostility and destruction. Not one of coming together in a spirit of finding out how to harmoniously share public space with one another which would be a far more meaningful discourse to engage in. It would be far more productive to solve problems that way.
This dark social space is not the fault of the average user. They only reflect the world in which they live. The pain forced on them from an increasingly authoritarian and austere political and economic environment is like the boiling frog in that they don't feel the heat until it is too late and they are captured in it. Where else can they go to let off steam and feel heard? If they don't let off steam life feels a great deal less manageable. So though a casual observer might find this behavior unhealthy and unreasonable it is quite the opposite. It is very healthy and reasonable especially when due to lack funding or access, no professional counseling or guidance is available to them.
Nevertheless, as advertisers begin to take up the time line which people resent because they come to social media to escape the pressures of corporatism and finance. As the political forces fear monger and vomit false platitudes on the screen. As corporate media churns out miles and miles worth of vicious click bait the environment of social media discourse becomes more acidic and vile until it breaks. That hasn't happened yet but it is close. A societal reckoning.
It is not that this vicious content doesn't hold a truth to it. People are telling their truths on social media. Each personal lived experience, even if totally fabricated holds a truth because to advertise how you would like the world to be and your place in it holds as much powerful truth as reporting strictly in unemotional terms what is happening in your space. However,when that becomes a pumping of a particular kind of manipulative communication which is not meant to do anything but spread a false narrative like a virus in order for people to participate in destructive behavior that is not beneficial to anyone but a few who profit off of it that holds no moral or social value.
I am happy that I have been released from that Hell. It is nice to be on a new platform again looking at puppies and kitties, lunch, and beautiful landscapes. Smiles of laughing families having fun. This is the best of us as humanity. This is the best of not only what social media can be, it's also the best of what we as humanity can be as well. I support that.
Hello out there!
I started this site mostly to journal my own thoughts as I had time. I felt like I was just sending things out like a message in a bottle to see if anyone received the message or cared about it.
I was happy to get some positive feedback from readers that found value in what they read. That is fantastic! If you have anything that you would like me to post about feel free to comment and let me know. If my writing is given purpose here, I'd be happy to give more time to it. What would you like to know more about? I am listening.
Until next time. Happy Writing!
My journey as a writer is approaching a decade now. I have been sporadically documenting the path going from writing for fun, to writing for funds. I have learned a lot during this time. Would you like to know my conclusion about the process? It is complicated. I cannot stop there and give you that vague answer though. So let me break it down a little more.
There's a place for us.
There is a place in this world for talented writers. There are billions of people wanting their stories heard. This creates both a tremendous audience and a tremendously large, noisy crowd to contend with. If you want to write for money, you must write about things that people (most likely a corporation or industry leader) would like to pay for.
Selling or sell out?
One thing that is quickly learned is that money is not the best indicator of what is valuable subject matter for humanity. Therefore, we choose. We choose to pursue the subject matter of most interest to us, the writer, and all else be damned. Or we choose to write about the things that others want to pay for. Those blessed few who are able to have a passion that people are willing to pay for are extremely fortunate--and rare.
About the bills.
I am $16,000 in debt from my Communication Degree. I wonder if it is worth it. I thought the process was interesting, engaging. I felt like I was accomplishing things. I was extremely happy that I did this in my forties instead of my twenties. If I had gone through this process when I was younger I may have allowed it to define me more. When a person is in her forties she knows who she is and what she is capable of, for better or worse. The process held me accountable to my writing process and that is the most important gift that the process of gaining a degree brought to bear in my experience.
About the cost.
Why does the cost of the degree matter? It matters because unless a person makes a decision to give ALL of themselves to the writing. ALL time, ALL energy (and then some), ALL self; it is very unlikely that a writer will be able to make a living otherwise. Working as a writer is ALL CONSUMING! For some it is a calling and not a choice. It matters not that it is all consuming. However for anyone wanting relationships, children, and other things to happen in life simultaneously, it is a serious decision to make. If it is your calling perhaps the decision has been made for you. If you came to this calling late in the game, as I have, the decision becomes what are you willing to give up to make enough room for the writing to make something of it.
For all those out there who are still hungry, who still have that craving for the keyboard. I say go for it! Learn all you can learn about your craft and give it every second you can. Between the demands and the obligations of life. Sneak away for awhile for you and your writing. Your voice is needed by someone. It is not your job per say to know who that someone is. Just do your best to craft your message for them. Perhaps it will touch them, move them, inspire them. And after all isn't that what it is all about? I think the money comes later, like love, it comes when you least expect it. But you must create yourself first. Create yourself as a writer, the best writer you can be, and when that happens. The rest of it comes with the work.
Good luck fellow writers!
"Don't let the turkeys get you down." This is my favorite phrase to tell myself after reading the comment section of some articles. I am fortunate that many times I have more positive comments than negative ones. However, the important thing for any writer that wants to go from writing for fun, to writing for funds to remember is, not to give either kind of comment too much weight in your writing life. That is not to say that a writer should ignore comments. I think comments are the best part. I am able to get feedback and see how my readers received the information I put out there. I get to be enriched by my reader's experiences, which I find to be an extremely rewarding part of the process.
However, as many writers know there is always at least one in the group. Especially when writing for more populated sites, the one turkey that wants to take pot shots for whatever reason because that is what they like to do. I have seen many writers get frustrated by this, sometimes to the point of wanting to give up writing because of them and to those writers I say "Don't let the turkeys get you down." Keep writing, keep improving, learn your topics, be brave in your point of view and keep at it.
The other difficult challenge is to face the notes given by professors, colleagues, or editors about your work. It is difficult to know what type of weight to put on their notes. I think there is value in listening to what they have to say. However, there is also the need to understand that they are people too. Some people just don't get where you are coming from and that's okay too. There are changes that need to be made in writing and there are also times to stand your ground and stick up for your writing. That is something that a writer must develop in her gut. Being able to correctly engage or know when to back down in order to write another day, is an important social skill to have as a writer. Nevertheless, when a writer comes up against an editor or other in authority that "Just doesn't get it." That is another time to remember "Don't let the turkeys get you down."
The most important thing is that a writer puts her best writing out there. Some readers will get it and others won't but just keep writing.
Until next time.
What would you do if you were exactly where you wanted to be with your writing career? Every day as I strive to go from writing for fun to writing for funds, I attempt to shape my day as that of a writer. What would a writer do? I watch the news in the morning and tweet comments to my favorite shows. I scan for the trending topics of the day. I attempt to read a few blogs about how to be a better writer, and a few sources about the topics I like to write about the most, and then I write. Some days it works out better than other days, because I still have other responsibilities. Nevertheless, the more I "act" like a writer, the more habits of a writer I take on, the more I become a writer. I get stronger and better by practicing and by developing the successful habits of a writer. When I go to writing lectures or conferences and meet other writers I always feel inspired. This is what writers do. So if you are still writing for fun and you'd like to write for funds take on the habits of successful writers.
One of my writing friends recommended this blog about getting work as a writer. It's worth a read: http://bit.ly/HSKSsW.
Until next time...
Happy Writing! :o)
Writers who want to transition from writing for fun, to writing for funds often place all effort on a jump into the big pond too soon. Excited about finding a place on the big websites and those websites see them coming. Competing with tens of thousands of writers to get a a dollar a month if your lucky for work can be disheartening. It is a good way to build skill and hone your craft. It is nevertheless not the best way to get paid money to purchase the required amount of caffeine, for example,that most writers need to fuel their efforts.
On my personal writing journey, I was very excited to get a message on Facebook from one of my writing buddies Tamra McRill, she offered me the opportunity to write a guest blog for her on http://www.punditthis.com (look for it next Monday April 16, 2012). As writers it is important to come together and help others with their work. Don't be selfish with your talents, trying to hoard them all on your page or on big sites where your work is buried for the most part until you can develop a large following. Get out there build your audience and make the kind of money that folds, not jingles. It's a winning situation for all involved.
It gets me thinking.Perhaps, I'll start paying for quality guest blogs here on Writer's Notes. Hmmm let me look into that. Stay tuned for more information.
Until next time...
I love that by some freak of cyber nature--I'm calling it my guardian angels-- the share screen for this speech by Randy Pausch about Time Management (see below) pops up first when I look for Facebook on my most visited websites list. Watch it! It is worth the time :o)
How many genuine opportunities in life pass a person by while she's deep into someone else's Facebook, Twitter, (or whatever other site) profile? It sucks you in, like that sticky licorice spot on Candy Land, and you miss your turn. You miss your turn to see what you could have accomplished today. You missed a dip in the river of inspiration, which as a writer knows, its never the same river twice.
This may be one of the bigger challenges when transitioning from writing for fun to writing for funds. A writer cannot accept her own excuses for not writing. The only way to be a successful writer is to write....A LOT!
Facebook can be a good thing-- in moderation-- for inspiration. Especially when you can be inspired by other artists, writers and interesting thinkers. For example my Facebook friend and fellow writer Sender, who posted on his profile the quote:
"Write a thousand words a day and in three years you'll be a writer!"
So getting some inspiration is fantastic as long as the writer takes that inspiration and then uses the rest of the day to write, write and write some more!
Happy Writing All :o)
Til next time...
I've been away for awhile. Partly because there was a fire at my house and I've been rebuilding from that. It's taught me a lot about myself and what is important about life. I felt glad that I was a writer gpoing through this. Because being a writer allows something good to come from this madness. I have a story to tell that I didn't before. Would I have forgone the experience if I could choose? I don't know. That's hard to answer because none of it had to do with my choices. These choices were made for me, so all I have now is to decide how I reflect on this moment of my life. I choose to find the silver lining and move forward with life.
What's great about being writer is having something to show for having gone through the experience. So what do I want to say about it? What are my observations, my unique point of view? What do you have to share? As one can see through Facebook or speaking to people sharing the story I have found many people have a similar story of some sort, they just don't know how to share it.
The other good part about being a writer is the ability to get the thoughts, the fears, the anger, the hope and the lessons I've learned out onto the page and for me that is a huge help in healing from this traumatic event. Yes, I feel very blessed to be a writer. Blessed that good things can come out of the worst of situations.
Until next time. Happy Writing!
Sophia Tesch is a graduate of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. Sophia is a community advocate. She lives in San Tan Valley, Arizona with her husband and children.