It is the writer's privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart.
And so it begins. Summer of Songs 2018 begins today! WOO-HOO!!!!!!!! So here are a few things about how this will work and why I'm so excited.
I am a great starter. I am not always a great finisher. But I'm working on it. For some reason, turning 50 last year gave me a little more peace about embracing what I'm good at and coming clean about the things that are not really "my thing." There is a lot of freedom in recognizing and owning both. So, knowing I can struggle with follow-through and finishing, I've learned to set some parameters that help keep me on track. I have also invited people to keep me accountable about the stuff I don't like being accountable for, and flat-out asking a few key people to be my cheerleaders. Yeah, it's okay to do that. There is nothing wrong with telling someone, "Hey, I may need some encouragement along the way and I would love for you to consider being one of those encouragers." The flip-side to that is that I've tried to identify people in my circle of influence who need me to do nothing more than encourage them. Because believing in someone's potential and telling them they're awesome is powerful.
Regarding the parameters for this summer, they're pretty simple:
Body and soul come first - For me that means staying physically healthy and spiritually healthy will set the tone for anything else I want to accomplish in a day. So, exercise, good food, time with Jesus. It's just foundational stuff for me.
Social media management - Comparison kills contentment, creativity, and can make me question my calling. And nothing brings on a good comparison battle like social media. My story is my story and no one else's life is going to look like mine. And no one else's social media life is an accurate representation of their real life anyway. So, it's best to keep my emotions in check by limiting social media time. In practical terms, this means doing my best to limit social media time in general, but more specifically, to have no social media before noon unless I am posting info from my website. To a certain extent, our social media world is a necessary evil since I am actually running a business and social media is a marketing tool. It is what it is. Hopefully I'll use those platforms wisely.
Write every day - There is certainly no shortage of work this summer. Between two big projects I want to finish and all the songs I want to write, I can surely find something to write about every day. Most writers will tell you, the more they flex those muscles, the better shape they are in and the better the work they do. So, the goal is to write something every single day.
Share the journey and encourage fellow travelers - A couple years ago I was at a retreat where we were challenged to come up with our WHY statement. You know, those few words that basically sum up your purpose. I never quite got my WHY statement finished, (funny, in light of paragraph two) but I did identify four words that I hoped would define what I want my life and my writing to be about. Those words are: ENGAGE, INSPIRE, EQUIP, MOBILIZE. Hopefully each song, each blog, each chapter, and each script, will do one of those four things in some small way. So as I journey, I will share my experiences with you. Not because those experiences will all be incredibly exciting or because I think my life is cool or because I think you should have similar experiences. I just know how encouraged I have been to read other people's good/bad/ugly/success/failure stories and I feel compelled to share mine with you.
That's it for now! Appointment #1 starts in 30 minutes and I haven't showered. And the coffee is brewing. And I am praying the ideas will start flowing.
Be a blessing!