Working Out LOUD (WOL) Week!

Today (5 June) is the start of International Working Out Loud Week.  Curious?  Check it out and get involved.  It’s fun and rewarding to work out loud (WOL).

On Day 1, answer these questions about the purpose of your work:

  1. Why do I chose to do the work I do where I do it?
  2. When I and my organization are at our best what are we doing?
  3. What outcomes are we looking to achieve for others with our work? How will my work make things better for others?
  4. If we didn’t do this work, what would be missing?
  5. What about this work gives me energy?

I have 2 sets of answers to these questions, one based on my corporate job, and the other based on my hobby of creative writing.  I work my corporate job because I haven’t yet been able to focus enough on other projects that would generate income.  If I didn’t need to earn an income, I would definitely fill the hours of the day with more time spent with my children, more reading, more writing, more gardening, more sewing.  For me, there aren’t enough hours in the day, and I can never say that I’m bored.

I’m at my best when I’m being creative, when I can ignore responsibilities, at least for some time, and when I don’t need to follow someone else’s time table.

Unfortunately, I can’t even finish this post as I would like because the baby is awake, and it’s past my bedtime.  Hopefully I can finish more tomorrow.

Here’s to working out loud!

One of my Favorite Poems

One of my favorite poems is “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes.  I first read it as a teen, and I remember feeling sad for all of the people unable to achieve their dreams.  I vowed then that I would make my dreams come true.  My oldest just had to read this poem in Language Arts, and he and I discussed it, and I told him about why I love this poem, and a bit of what I will now share.  (He has a basic understanding of the poem, but I think he doesn’t yet have enough life experience to put it into context.)

Some of my dreams have come true, but I still have a big dream that I have, through a combination of personal choices and circumstances, deferred:  publishing fiction.  I could kick my younger self for squandering my twenties–when my main responsibilities were working and paying my rent and other bills, but not the great responsibilities that come with having a spouse, children, and a house–by spending most of my free time chatting online, going out with friends, and traveling, instead of finishing and publishing my stories.  Now, in my forties, I feel stuck.  I’m working full-time while pregnant, as the breadwinner for my family of five young children and a stay-at-home husband, and have very little personal/free/”me” time.

In November, however, even though my energy level is low, I will be using every bit of personal/free/”me” time for a specific project:  NaNoWriMo.   I plan to do my best to make the most of what little free time I have next month to write as much as possible.  My efforts for NaNoWriMo are part of my WOL goal for my current WOL circle with 4 of my coworkers.  Even if I don’t write here, I will definitely be writing!  I have a new story idea, and I can’t wait to start typing it, to see how far I can take it.  I’m not sure if it is actually long enough for an average-length novel, but maybe it could be a novella, if not a short story.  We’ll see, hopefully, on Nov. 30 when I total my word count.

NaNoWriMo, here I come!

My Circle of One Failed

Unfortunately, although I had high hopes to complete the 12 weeks of a circle this summer, I wasn’t able to make it past week 3.  I created a goal–spend at least 1 hour/day doing something for FUN/leisure instead of work–and half of a relationship list, but I didn’t get beyond that with working out loud activities (although I did accomplish my goal of having some “me” time almost every day during those 3 weeks).

Soon after I decided to start my circle of one, I realized that I’m pregnant, and morning sickness soon became “from-the-moment-my-feet-hit-the-floor-in-the-morning-until-the-time-that-my-head-hit-the-pillow-at-night” sickness for at least 9 straight weeks. Ug! After work all day and spending time with my family in the evenings before the kids’ bedtime, I had NO energy for anything else.  Sleeping became my favorite activity and trumped anything else (writing, reading, working out loud, etc.).

Finally I’m feeling better, for the most part, but I will not resume my circle of one.  Instead, I will be devoting time to working on my new goal–write something personal/creative (a poem, a blog post, a letter to a friend) at least one day/week  and then publish/send that piece of writing and, depending on the audience, receive positive feedback from at least 5 people–with the official WOL circle that I facilitate.  My circle with several coworkers began today, and I’m excited to help my circle mates to meet their goals as I work to accomplish mine.

More soon. In the meantime, I’ll be doing my best to WOL!

Working Out Loud in a Circle of One

I’ve loved the concept of working out loud (WOL) since I first learned about it in November 2015.  After reading Working Out Loud: For a better career and life by John Stepper, even doing some of the exercises in the book, I was excited and eager to join a circle.  Unfortunately, the end-of-the-year holidays and demands of work and home all kept me from being more proactive about forming a circle, and before I knew it, June had arrived.

After a few conversations this week with some coworkers who are part of a (fully-booked) WOL circle, I became even more determined to participate in a circle in particular, and to WOL in general.

I can be patient and wait until September to join an official WOL circle, but in the meantime, I want to work out loud.  Since there are, from this week, 12 weeks until September, I decided to go through the 12-week WOL process on my own, in a circle of one.  I want to immerse myself in the process, make connections related to my goal–which I will announce in the next post–and lead with generosity along the way.  I plan to publish not only my goal(s), not only my 50 facts, but also my actions, thoughts, and feelings of the entire WOL process.  I can’t wait to get started!  Stay tuned!

After a 6-year hiatus…

…I return to writing on this blog.  I’ve been BUSY–and still am–since I last wrote, especially now that I have, again, a full-time, out-of-the-house job in technical writing, and spend most of my time doing things with and for my kids when I’m not at work.

The reason that I’m writing again after all this time is because I want to get back to blogging, and I want to write about my new goal, which I will explain in my next post.