It’s so hard to believe that the last year has gone by so fast.
Over the past year, we went through a ton of different things. I love this adventure we are in together. I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone else.
Wanted to celebrate June 11th (Which was yesterday… I was on the road and couldn’t publish this because I was in and out of WIFI.) and share some pictures from our special day last year!! We had such a lovely day! I’ll forever hold these memories close to my heart! So thankful!
Do you ever get speech anxiety when public speaking?
This year I did my first speaking engagement at the MN Blogger’s Conference in Minneapolis Minnesota. I was so nervous and when I get nervous and see a ton of eyes on me, it’s really easy to start stuttering and randomly freaking out inside your mind.
And on another similar note, you know how there are all these live video streaming options on social media now? Last month, I held a book club for my book “Creating A Fit Life” on Facebook Live and boy did I learn a lot. But whenever I saw that people were viewing the Facebook Live, I got that same feeling I got when I was standing on a stage giving a presentation.
It’s a scary feeling not knowing how to handle public speaking. How do you deal with that?
6 Things You Can Do To Get Better At Public Speaking
This one is important and I’m not just saying practice before your event. That’s a given. But you should practice public speaking on a more regular basis.
You can do this by getting on Facebook Live or Instagram Live more often. You can read a chapter of a book you wrote, or go over the main points to your most recent blog post.
2. Do it consistently.
Challenge yourself and set up a month of speaking. This could be teaching a class once a week at your local library on writing (or whatever you want to talk about.) Or getting on the live stories app of your choice a couple times a week.
3. Eye Contact.
In real life, and on social media, people can tell when you are nervous. Especially if you are one of those people who divert their eyes away. I can say that, because that’s something I do sometimes.
Something that could help if you are on social media is to put little sticky googly eyes on either side of the camera. It will remind you to look at the camera a.ka. your audience.
This is also the same in real life. Don’t just read off of your index cards or the power point. Look up and out to your audience.
You would think this was a given, but this is something that can be forgotten in moments of intense speech anxiety. Take a moment to breathe and smile.
5. Be like honey badger and just don’t care.
There are some moments when public speaking where some people might get up to leave. You are looking across the conference room and you see them get up and walk out. This also happens on social media stories, when people leave.
But this is actually a good thing. You aren’t going to be able to please everyone. And that’s alright.
So if this happens while you are speaking, just smile and be honey badger. Don’t be bothered by it.
6. Get rid of your comfort words.
Do you know what your comfort words are?
Comfort words are the words you go to when you are nervous. My comfort words are: yeah, so, & and.
When I was doing my book club on Facebook Live, I wrote my comfort words on a sticky note to remind myself not to say these words.
When you realize you say certain words a lot, you’ll have an easier time quitting using them. You might even find more words that you use too often.
Something that might help is: whenever you find yourself wanting to say one of these words is to take a breath and just pause. Sometimes we are afraid of silence. But having some breaks in your speech is okay. Let people have time to comprehend what you are speaking about, and this will also help the note takers out there.
Just as there are pro’s in every situation, there are also con’s. These will be good to know so that you and your partner can stand up against them and thrive across the distance. Here are a couple of the different con’s to being in a long-distance relationship:
Con #1: You can’t get a hug when you need one.
Con #2: You have to save up and plan ahead, in order, to see each other.
Con #3: You have to plan when to chat inside of time zones.
Con #4: Normal events aren’t as fun because they aren’t there with you.
Con #5: You don’t get to learn your person’s everyday things, especially if you’ve never visited their home and the place when they live.
Con #6: Airport good-byes!
No matter the difference between the Pro’s and Con’s, I’m happier everyday that Johan and I made it work.
Every month I like to put out a new blog post that has to do with creating believable characters. If you haven’t read any of the posts yet, be sure to check them out here, here, and here.
The news is everywhere, isn’t it? It’s on the radio, TV, in newspapers & magazines, as well as almost everywhere online. Since the news is overpowering and everywhere, why not use the news to collect character ideas?
In the article, there was a video. He said, ““The key is, you have to love them like your own. I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.”
When I read that, I got extreme goosebumps. I felt a story.
Start Collecting Stories From The News
1. Take some time every week to look through the news.
Don’t spend too much time on news everyday or you might get depressed.
2. Look at news from other countries.
I really like looking at the BBC. Sometimes stories are waiting outside of the main news avenues that you are usually looking at.
3. If you get newspapers or even magazines, take a glance through them. Read the areas you don’t usually read.
Take ideas from those sections and connect it to something you do like writing about.
4. Take notes where you are. If you are out and hear something that is happening, take notes in your phone.
Story ideas are everywhere. You just need to listen for them.
From my example up above, I would be inspired to write two characters. An elderly couple, who takes in children that others normally wouldn’t. Here are my characters.
“Honey, are you ready?” Glenda called from the kitchen. In the study, her husband, Calvin sat at his desk and traced his finger around the face of a little girl who wore pigtails. On his desk were countless other small frames filled with different faces of kids who had been in and out of their house. Deep down inside he’d wished that they’d left to live with happy families to live the rest of their lives. But that did not happen, because he and his wife had decided to take the children that were sick and dying. It was a tough calling, but they were children who needed love.
Calvin stood up and set the frame back on the desk. He turned the light off on his way out of the room. His wife, who wore an ebony dress and a locket, hugged him.
“We should probably head to the church now. So we can say good-bye.” She said. He felt an intense gurgle in the pit of his stomach. This was never something he enjoyed. Whenever they left, it was the hardest saying goodbye. It broke his heart every single time.
Now It’s Your Turn…
Find a story in the news that inspires you to create a character. Then, write your character. Share it with us below, in the comments if you’d like!
There comes a time in a writer’s life where they need to make a very tough and important decision.
First off, a little back story: I went to college for English/mass communications with a certificate in publishing. I did multiple publishing internships and built a great portfolio (online and offline). Besides being an author, my dream was to work in publishing. For the last four years, I’ve been working in some form of publishing, which was a dream come true!
I’ve worked as an editor/writer at a couple different magazines.
While enjoying my last magazine job, I started feeling like I wasn’t dedicating enough time to my writing.
Don’t get me wrong, I was writing.
And writing a lot.
But I felt like I wasn’t chasing my writing dreams of being an author.
That’s when I decided to make a decision. A hard one.
I decided to find a job outside of publishing, so I could spend more time focusing on my writing goals.
So that’s what I did. I found a job where I could pick my hours and leave work at work, so I can focus on my writing.
I was just listening to a publishing podcast the other day while running, and they were talking about that same situation. They noted as well, that there comes a time in a writer’s life where they have to make a decision to either stay in their publishing role writing and publishing things that aren’t their projects OR find a way they can write and publish their own projects.
I am super thankful for the publishing jobs I’ve had in the past and really feel like I learned a lot and improved myself as writer. But am so thankful for the time that I get to chase my dreams as a published author now.
What about you? Are you a writer (who wants to be an author) who is working in publishing? Or were you once?
You are sitting at your desk in the middle of the day and your eyes are starting to give. You look out the window and wish you were outside instead.
I know I have that feeling once in awhile. I’ve been really focusing on trying to be healthier lately. Mindfulness, healthfulness, and rest all intertwine when it comes to being a happier and healthier creative.
So I thought I’d put together a post filled with ways you can find time to workout, do yoga, breathing, and other relaxation techniques that can help you feel more balanced throughout your days.
Are you spending a lot of time at the computer/keyboard typing? I definitely am. Here’s a simple exercise to loosen up those fingers.
2. Get your wrists moving.
If your wrists get sore throughout the day, then you’ll love this. It feels amazing!
3. Refresh your posture and breathing at work.
Ever feel like you are a step away from turning into the Hunchback of Notre Dame when your at work? Here are some stretches for that:
4. Are you feeling stressed?
Deadlines are fast approaching you, people keep adding things to your to do list, and you also have to run errands after work. This all adds stress to your life. Take a couple moments to let go of the stress by doing this stretching exercise. You could even get a blanket out in the park and then stretch it out. These relaxation techniques will solve the stress issues:
5. Maybe stretch at your desk.
Somedays it’s hard to get away from your desk. (Even though I recommend that you always try to get away for good chunks where you can get some steps in.) These will help you stretch it out if you sit a lot throughout the day.
6. Yoga breathing to awaken your creativity?
Follow these breathing exercises to bring in more creativity:
7. Get rid of tension and stress before bedtime with bedtime yoga.
Doing so, will help you get rid of stiffness. Try stretch it out before bed and after you wake up in the morning.
8. Try sneak in a morning yoga session.
This will get your day started in the right direction. It’s also a good way to make sure you aren’t stiff in the morning.
9. Get rid of tension by rolling it out.
Do you hold a lot of tension in your neck, shoulders, and back? If so, you should look into getting a foam roller. I love mine. They are amazing. I have two. It’s almost like having your own personal back masseuse, which is awesome right? I always try to foam roll my neck and back in the morning and at night. The actual foam roller exercise starts at 2:17.
Mindfulness Practices To Relax Your Mind And Help You Get More Creative
In order to create awesome things, we need to be able to relax and recharge our minds so we can continue to create and work at the speed that we currently are.
I’ve collected some awesome sites that have some calming music and meditation noises below, just for you.
A note about music: Can you work with music that has lyrics? I really can’t, so I focus on instrumental soundtracks, classical music, and nature sounds. And while at work sometimes I need to just tune out everything so that I can listen to my mind. Our world is so busy and loud that sometimes you forget to listen to—yourself.
Make sure that you know that when talking if there’s ever those little quiet spots that sometimes feel like awkward silences. Don’t worry about those. It’s perfectly normal.
Don’t get worried and think “Oh no we don’t have anything to say to each other.” Or “What’s wrong with our relationship?” Even in times when we are together like now, there are moments when she’s reading a book and I’m watching TV. We are sitting on the couch together. We aren’t chatting, but we are just being together. So why are we expecting this to be different with long distance relationships? You can be on Skype, just being there with each other and still do your own thing. You don’t have to chat the whole time. So don’t worry about that. It’s all right.
Tip #2: Your social life might change a bit.
When we started dating and went into the long distance Johan told me he didn’t always feel like he fit in with his single friends anymore because they’d go places and do things that didn’t fit with him anymore, since he was in a relationship now. And with couples as well—like friends who were married or in serious relationships—he didn’t fit in there either because he was missing half of his relationship. It just didn’t feel right.
If you ever feel like that, you may be in an awkward situation there. Anticipate this and be ready for it, because it might happen. But it’s normal.
There’s been so many times in our long distance relationship within the 5.5 years, where people have said things that have really been hurtful and I think that people don’t really realize that these things can come across (hurtful) mean.
They’d say things like:
What are you going to do now?
Who is going to move?
Are you sure that he’s not cheating on you? (I was never asked this question, but know a friend who was.)
People in long-distance relationships are already thinking about those things anyways. They don’t want other people to remind them of those things.
Don’t let it get to you. I don’t think they mean those things in a bad way, they are just ignorant, and they just say things. Don’t worry about it. Shake off the dust and just move on. You know what you have in your relationship and just believe in it.
Yes, it’s okay to look to the future, but don’t let it freak you out too much. Johan said in the video, “I let it happen to us about one year into our relationship and it almost had some very bad consequences. Because I got scared of what was coming.”
Instead just set short term goals like “When are we going to see each other again?” and little things like that. Work toward those and also concentrate on living just every day life – day by day. Work on your relationship then and make it as good as possible, as strong as possible, because that’s where you’re at, at that moment. Make the most of it. Enjoy where you’re at. It might not be the ideal situation, but you can still enjoy your relationship and make it as good and as strong as you can.
If you want to make your long distance relationship THRIVE and you want to build a wolf pack-a community of people who are going to surround you and help you through everything that is ahead in this long distance relationship journey, then be sure to follow our YouTube channel.
What are some things you’ve learned about being in a long-distance relationship?
And it’s not just any book. We were planning on starting a magazine for couples in long-distance relationships, but currently with our workflow, that goal isn’t doable at this time.
But, our book is going to be full of tips on how to make your long-distance relationship THRIVE, as well as, some stories from ours.
Since we want to start letting people know about us and our book, I thought I’d share this awesome vlog video that we created this last summer.
Currently, we aren’t releasing new videos weekly, but I have some saved up that I will share with you here soon! When the launch of our book gets closer, we will be doing some NEW videos and then I’ll probably create a page tab underneath my header for “Wolfland Magazine,” which will be our long-distance relationship vlog.
Hope you enjoy!
We were in a long-distance relationship for 5.5 years. I met Johan when I went to study abroad in 2010. We made the distance work for us and now we are together in the same place.
Why did you name your vlog “Wolfland Magazine?”
We were inspired by wolves and good qualities that they held.
Wolves have three attributes that we really value and believe has a lot to do with successful long distance relationships. And crazy enough, they actually all begin with a C.
Commitment: Wolves are committed as they mate for life.
Community: They have wolf packs, which is a community that will help them thrive in the dangerous wild.
Communication: They also communicate across the distance with howling.
Over the past couple of weeks here, we’ve been having character conversations (for the character convos intro, click here) where we talk about creating and writing believable characters and how to make them come to life.
You’ve learned different steps and tips on how to create unique characters that feel real, even if they are fantastical.
Today you’ll learn how to create characters from nothing. That statement might come off as a bit strange, but what I mean is… that you are going to learn how to create characters from your imagination and how to look for characters in your daily life.
Alright, Let’s Begin Creating Memorable Characters
1. First off, where do you get inspired?
Brainstorm a couple of the different places. Here are mine: the woods, the mountains, and on road trips with people I enjoy.
2. Now pick one of those places. (I will pick the woods. Wish I could go to the woods right now. So restful.) What place would you choose? Where would you go?
3. When you are in that place, sit down, shut your eyes, and listen. What do you feel? What do you hear?
4. After sitting there for awhile, take out a notebook and write those things down. What you were feeling? What you heard?
5. Ask yourself questions like:”What kind of characters live here?” (My Example: Trees live here.)
6. Create a character from your choice. For me, my character is going to be a tree.
Now, it’s time to ask the question that all writers ask, which is: “What if?”
– What if trees could talk?
– What if trees were filled with wisdom from the history they’ve seen?
– What if trees were protectors of man kind, I mean they do give us oxygen to breathe?
Write all your “What if” questions on paper.
Now… write about your character. Write a paragraph about them. Put them in their setting and give them some thoughts and maybe even a conversation.
A meeting only happens once a month, when the whole moon brightens up the sky. A tall hooded figure walks through the forest. His long cape trails on the forest ground amongst the foliage. With each step, he took the ground lit up with more vibrance. The greens became greener. The pink flowers shown brighter. Once into the middle of the forest he stopped. Wind whispered through the forest, shaking the leaves of the trees around him.
“I know.” he said, as if he were speaking to them. In a matter of moments four other tall men in hooded capes appeared around him.
“What are we going to discuss this month, King Spruce?” Elmwood King asked.
“There’s been a disturbance in the world. A pain. The creatures have been fighting and peace has been fleeting. How shall we help them see what’s important?”
What paragraph did you write? What character came alive?