8 Things I’m Up To (and where you fit in)

I decided to tag myself to write an 8 things post. Actually it’s not a tag at all, I just made that up, but the idea gave me the frame for sharing some of what I’m up to.

E I letter G Bellevue H T

Group Writing Project: Writing Lessons

In case you missed the announcement, I’m running a group writing project on the lessons you learned from your blog community.  The entries so far have been wonderful - a great mix of ideas, approaches and writing lessons, and lots of creative adaptation to fit the writer’s own blogging theme.  There’s still plenty of time for you to take part: it’s open until 27 March.  Details on how to contribute here.

Extension to the Community Theme

For various reasons, including the fact that I’ve got too much to write about to squeeze into the next couple of weeks, I’m going to extend the community theme until mid April.  I’ll then run another 6 week theme through to the end of May.  I hope this works for you… seem to be getting a good response to the theme so far anyway, and still lots to cover.

Blog Housekeeping

Prompted by a friend who was working on her ‘about’ page I’ve revised the home/welcome page, about the blog (with due emphasis on the community dimension) and about how to work with me.  Also been doing a bit of scouring for broken links… quite a nice way to spend some time while you’re busy tweeting, and keep your blog tidy too.

For those of you who are WordPress users, I check using the Broken Link Checker plug-in (though don’t leave it on all the time as it slows things down too much, just run it every so often.)  If you know of other good alternatives please do let me / us know.

Coaching Services

I’ve given the page on my coaching services a bit of a shoogle so it better reflects what I’m currently doing.  There are three main points of focus (1) blog coaching (feedback on writing, coaching around what you’re trying to achieve) (2) business writing - helping people to improve their written communication skills at work, and to be more confident in what and how they write (3) help with non-fiction book writing.

I’ve also sorted out my rates so I’m just have one hourly rate rather than trying to manage different rates for coaching and editing/writing feedback, which was getting a bit messy.  I think this is clearer and easier all round, for you as well as me.  I’ve also shifted to quoting my rates in £ sterling - partly because more of my work is now coming from UK clients, and also because it offers such good value to any of you who are based outside the UK! (The pound has been slumping big style recently.)

If you’d like to work with me on a writing project of your own please do just drop me a line (it’s joanna[@]]

A Love Affair With Books

I’m taking part in the annual love affair with books at Joyful Jubilant Learning.  Contributors from all round the world are sharing a review a day of a book that they’ve loved, or learned from, or both.  Some fascinating finds there, and if you love books yoursself it’s definitely worth a browse.

My review comes out on Friday (it’s on Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, by Oliver Sachs).

Writing Retreat in Sardinia

As some of you know I’m running a writing retreat in Sardinia in early May.  I want to make sure that everyone who’d want to know in time does know in time, so… if you know of someone who you think would be interested, please could you do them and me a favour and let them know?  Thank you :-)

The Hero Within

I’ve just started reading The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By and it’s already making my mind race with ideas.  More to follow on this, I’m sure.

Have you read it?

Memoir Writing and Teaching

I’ve started writing fragments of memoir as part of my learning to teach memoir and life-writing.  I’m still to find the frame, or the hook, or the voice that gives me the way in, but I’ve stopped beating myself up about it.  Your feedback on battling with the inner critic helped a lot, plus I figure that the harder I find it the better able I’ll be to teach and coach others through their own blocks.

Actually, I do know what I want to write, and what the way in would look like, but I’m a little afraid of where it might take me.  Of course, I realise this is precisely the place I should start.

In real life get out of the way when a person with a gun is running down the street.  In your writing life step in front of his path, let him shoot you in the heart.

What you fear, if you turn toward it, will give your writing teeth.

Natalie Goldberg: Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir

If you’ve 8 things of your own that you’re up to, and that your readers might want to know about… please consider yourself tagged!

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26 Responses to “8 Things I’m Up To (and where you fit in)”

  1. On March 16, 2009 at 11:32 am Cath Lawson responded with... #

    Hi Joanna - you are so busy. I’ve just been reading up on your writing retreat and it sounds awesome - Sardinia is supposed to be lovely. But I am so behind with all the things that have gone wrong this year that I can’t see myself being able to go anywhere until late summer.

    I wonder if you could ask Arvon if they’d be able to mention your retreat on their blog. They are likely to be booked up for a whole year now - so maybe folk on their waiting list would be interested in coming to Sardinia instead.

    I’m going to check out the group writing project though, as it sounds like it might fit with something I’d been planning to write.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..What Your Customers Really Want

  2. On March 16, 2009 at 11:51 am Iain Broome responded with... #

    Crikey - and I thought I had a lot on at the moment. Oh, how I’d love a little mediterranean break. Alas, the wind of (very little) time doth blow hard against my cheek.*

    * I’ve no idea what that means.

    Iain Broomes last blog post..Free e-book - ‘The academic eccentricity: creative writing in the classroom’

  3. On March 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Hi Joanna, Gee, I got tired out just reading your post! The shoogling on your web pages turned out well. It’s hard to get your own blog situated content-wise, isn’t it?

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..Take the Online Marketing One Question Quiz!

  4. On March 16, 2009 at 12:11 pm amypalko responded with... #

    Hmm, wonder who that friend could be? ;-)
    Glad I’ve helped to spark a rethink and a shoogle!
    Speak to you soon

    amypalkos last blog post..A Few Questions

  5. On March 16, 2009 at 12:48 pm Bo responded with... #

    Great quote from Natalie Goldberg. I often find myself in the position of trying to dodge that bullet.
    You are busy. What a list! And Sardinia sounds lovely-how I wish I could jet over for a week. Wouldn’t that be fun!

    Bos last blog post..Birthday Wishes

  6. On March 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm Alina Popescu responded with... #

    Wow, talk about really busy! And I thought my schedule was way, way too full! I’m or should be up to quite a few things from your list, I should build my own next week!

    Alina Popescus last blog post..Rule #1 to Effective Replies to Customer Emails: Read and Understand the Inquiery

  7. On March 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm Karen Swim responded with... #

    Joanna, this post is precisely one of the reasons you have created a community of caring friends. You are so open, honest and gracious. You have been busy and I was energized just reading it all in one place. I love the changes you’ve made and am so inspired by you tackling challenges and sharing the learning. I am so happy for you Joanna and all the good things you are doing and inspire!

    Karen Swims last blog post..Savoring the Now

  8. On March 16, 2009 at 5:33 pm Ulla Hennig responded with... #

    I am impressed by your list. A few of the items could be mine, too, but I am afraid if I put 8 items on my “What I am up to”-list, I would not be able to get them done. Is it okay if I confine myself to - let’s say - five?
    So I am feeling inspired and at the same time “I could not do that”-like.

    Ulla Hennigs last blog post..Just an Old Church

  9. On March 16, 2009 at 6:14 pm Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach responded with... #

    Love your 8 things, particularly The Hero Within. I always belief life is a hero’s journey…and whatever we experience is because we’re meant to learn something from it and carry it with us through our lives.

    Data points, Barbara

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coachs last blog post..Twitter Affiliate Marketing

  10. On March 16, 2009 at 9:22 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Cath I understand, and am grateful for all your support. I hope there will be another running in late September, and again next year… so maybe there’ll be time then. I will contact Arvon - I have another idea that I’d like to explore with them, and it would be good to establish contact. I hope you’re able to join the project - your posts are always full of the most compelling lessons learned!

    Iain well, a lot of it is developmental which I why I wanted to share, and why it can seem a lot (I feel I’m going up a steep hill a lot of the time!) Your nonsense quote made perfect sense, thanks for making it up ;-)

    Brad it is the hardest thing to do. Another thing I find hard is going through the site to make sure everything is consistent - hard when you’ve 100s and 100s of posts. To be honest the challenge of doing this is the main reason I’ve not contributed to your project on website writing - still trying to work it out

  11. On March 16, 2009 at 9:30 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Amy yep, you threw me into a fit of rewriting! Thanks ;-)

    Bo I’m glad you liked that quote. It really helped me to unblock something. I love her work - she gets me writing again, every time

    Alina but if I was really busy would I have had time to write this? ;-)

  12. On March 16, 2009 at 9:42 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Karen it’s interesting, your comment really made me think how far I’ve come. I could never have written something like this maybe even a year ago, but the support of such intelligent and generous people means I know I can share good things with all of you, with confidence. Thanks for yet another of your most brilliant comments!

    Ulla you are free to interpret the tag as you wish :-) But I will say this to you… there are, undoubtedly, 8 things of interest going on. And most likely 88. So what I’d encourage you to do is ask your unconscious mind to come up with the 8 things you’d like to tell your blogging community about. And then see what it comes up with. (By the way, this might give you insomnia… but should generate a good list!)

    Barbara that is so true, and I love the way you have captured it here: “whatever we experience is because weâ??re meant to learn something from it and carry it with us through our lives” Thank you.

  13. On March 17, 2009 at 3:00 am Robyn McMaster responded with... #

    I started to write some memoir and have let it go for a little. But it would be fun to have a group writing project in that line once you get it underway! That would prime my writing juices.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Stress - Buster or Builder?

  14. On March 17, 2009 at 8:22 am wilson responded with... #

    WoW, it’s definitely a very tight and pack schedule, Joanna. However, I can tell that you’re satisfied with all the things you’re mentioned above and hope you’ll enjoy it as we did!

    wilsons last blog post..Earth Hour – Have You Signed Up Yet?

  15. On March 17, 2009 at 8:32 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Robyn, okay I’ll bear that in mind, definitely. Your comments about memoir writing were part of what helped me realise this is the direction I should go in, and I often have you in mind when I’m thinking about how best to teach!

  16. On March 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm Bruce Elkin responded with... #

    8 things I’m up to (in random order):
    1. Getting the Natalie Goldberg memoir book.
    2. Putting the finishing touches on my new ebook - Staying Up In Down Times: Creating Resilience, Results, and Rewards — With Whatever Life Gives You!
    3. Canvassing for bloggers to read and review my ebook pre-launch. Hint, hint!
    4. Coaching folks from Switzerland and Morocco today. US and Canada tomorrow.
    5. Tweaking my website.
    6. Imagining a new cleaner, uptodate WP blog/site
    7. Writing my weekly Simply Success newsletter for this week.
    8. Enjoying the weird spring weather on the west coast of Canada: sun, rain, sun, hail, sun, snow, sun, rain… and that was just yesterday!
    9. (Bonus) Enjoying this blog and Johanna’s insights. Much appreciated.

  17. On March 17, 2009 at 9:05 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    wilson I am indeed, and it’s thanks to all of you that I keep on coming up with all these wonderful ideas!

    Bruce full marks for coming up with such a great 8 things list! Sounds like lots of good things are going on for you - good luck with them. I hope you enjoy the Natalie Goldberg book. I’m loving it - even down to the feel of the pages. Already feels like an old friend…

  18. On March 17, 2009 at 9:13 pm Tumblemoose responded with... #

    My goodness, such a busy little bee!

    I think it’s great how you have managed to tie so many of these tendrils into a cohesive unit that empowers so many of us to write and do what we love.

    I sincerely hope that one of these years I will be able to make my way to Italy and bask in the glory.



    Tumblemooses last blog post..Ebooks: charge or give away

  19. On March 17, 2009 at 11:24 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Thanks George, I know we’re all busy, but I’m not sure we all do enough to let others know what we’re up to. I’m trying to get better at tooting my horn ;-)

  20. On March 18, 2009 at 10:43 am Ulla Hennig responded with... #

    I thought a bit more about your post, my comment and your answer. The results of my thinking process will come up in a post on my blog soon. When I try to summarize my “8 things I am up to” (it’s really 8 things now!), they all have to do with the balance of blogging, work and life outside the Internet, something which is quite tricky at the moment. I’ve got to work on that definitely.

    Ulla Hennigs last blog post..Looking across the River Spree

  21. On March 18, 2009 at 9:11 pm Robyn McMaster responded with... #

    I’m excited that I helped prime your thinking about memoir, Joanna. While I want to keep focused on present and future, memoir show the roots. All of these are the spirit’s ingredients.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Stress - Buster or Builder?

  22. On March 19, 2009 at 8:15 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Ulla I’m glad you allowed yourself to come up to 8. I know I go on about it, but writing to a numbered list really does help you to identify things that otherwise might have satayed hidden. I’m looking forward to reading your post, as I’m fast losing sight of what life outside the internet is!

    Robyn you inspire my words in so many different ways. It’s like a virtual class we’re taking together sometimes.

  23. On March 21, 2009 at 3:21 am Wendee responded with... #

    This is a quite a good prompt. It got me back at the keyboard for a bit! Thanks, Joanna!

    Wendees last blog post..What I’ve been up to

  24. On March 21, 2009 at 9:10 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Wendee, I’m glad the prompt worked - I really enjoyed reading about what you’ve been up to



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