Wow! I came across the following blog post the other day and realized how blessed I am to have these chronicles to go back to and see where I was in my life journey at the time. This post originally appeared here at Degrees of Maternity about seven months ago on May 25, 2020. As written content, it was simply the explanation or justification for all of the writing I did for my last set of reading and writing ebooks for parents and their school-aged children.
And the absolutely cool comparison I made of myself is that, six and a half months later, I still firmly hold onto the rock solid perspective of how important the three criteria (of “the right stuff”) truly are. And that these three criteria should be focused on when determining what content to create or what endeavor (new or existing) to spend my time on. For me, “the right stuff” always goes back to writing and I’ve come full circle to embarking on a new product development journey once again.
For those who’ve read the following post before, I apologize for the replay. But, the content is so relevant to where I am today; therefore, I just had to dig it up and put it on display for the second time. I absolutely love looking back on my thought processes to see how they’ve evolved or remained consistent in outlook. So today, I thought I’d reflect on my writing mindset back in May and enjoy the consistency of my own thinking for once. And for those who’ve not read this post before, it’ll give you some more context as to why I do what I do . . . WRITE.
It’s amazing to think that we’re in the last days of May. Time definitely stands still for no one. And, my family managed to come to one major milestone last week: the official end of Little Man’s school year amid Coronavirus. So, he and I are currently on summer break. However, I’ve already told him that summer break doesn’t equate to no work. Actually, we’re in summer school mode, starting this week.
What summer school will look like is yet to be determined. I’m currently in crunch time with my new project journey, specifically in getting my books into final draft mode. Plus, now that Baby Girl (Toodlez) has gone back to work, my requests from her for graphic design assistance have slowed down somewhat. But, I still have my eyes focused on a June launch date for the reading/writing products.
And because I’ve got my work cut out for me during this “break”, I’ve got to create a new summer schedule for me and Little Man that incorporates my content creation efforts as well as his summer schooling at home for the months of June, July, and August. So, while I’ll be giving my all to my digital product efforts, I’ll also be determining what daily activities I want included in Little Man’s work day. I think my Daily Activity Planning Sheet is going to come in mighty handy in helping me establish some type of weekly schedule.
I already have my eyes set on utilizing some of the online programs provided by Little Man’s school system as well as investing time in some reading books for fun, math workbooks, and reading/writing objectives from my ebooks to bridge the educational gap until the school year starts again. My mission is to bring Little Man some daily educational assignments in an attempt to keep him from becoming “couch potato” expert status from YouTube gaming videos, Netflix and Disney+, Playstation, and online video games such as mope.io and slither.io.
Oh, by the way, I’m personally excited about us reading one of the books that’s on our reading list for this summer: The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase by Wendy Mass. It’s the sequel to her New York Times Bestseller, The Candymakers, a 400+ page book which Little Man and I read during the last nine weeks of school (at home). I think I enjoyed the book more than he did and could hardly put it down at times or could hardly wait to pick it up the next time. I would highly recommend Wendy Mass’ The Candymakers for children with late fourth grade through fifth grade reading levels.
This was a fun book to read with Little Man. And like I said, I’m looking forward to purchasing the second book in the series for us to read together this summer. Books like The Candymakers are making me itch to get into the “writing children’s books” scene — all in due time, of course.
And speaking of writing children’s books, I’m currently in the process of writing a couple of ebooks for encouraging children in reading and writing pursuits, which I’m hoping to complete and share with you very soon. The reason I chose this path was somewhat Coronavirus-lead, which I’ve blogged about in past posts, regarding my “New Product Journey”, but my reason also had a very important trifecta involved in its origination.
Simply stated, I wanted to bring something or some things to fruition that I’d be good at creating, that I’d enjoy creating, and that others could benefit from. From a product perspective, that’s a perfect triad if I’ve ever seen one.
Something Up My Alley
Writing has always been an activity in which I relatively performed well. And, I don’t mean that my ability to work cohesively with words was a delusion I made up in my head, because it very well could have been. However, the fact that others were involved in my validation process as a writer was the determining factor as to whether or not I had writing chops or not.
I’m also one to be a little skeptical of praise from family and friends as an indicator that someone has potential at a given task. Reason being: family and friends can, sometimes, subscribe to your ability to do no wrong (even to the point that they’re accommodating of your flaws because their “love blinders” for you are so strong).
It often takes a neutral, unbiased party to give you a true perspective of your talents, skills, and abilities — someone outside of you and your family and friends. So, when I started receiving accolades from teachers, fellow students, bosses, coworkers, and others outside of my intimate circle of loved ones, it became apparent that I had some skill in putting words together that was unique to me and could be somewhat effective from another’s vantage point.
In my youth, I can honestly say that writing was more of a chore than a choice. It was something that I had to do through school or work. And although I never hated the task, I definitely didn’t always get enjoyment out of the writing responsibilities assigned to me. Can anyone else out there relate to what I just stated? Have you ever had something you had to do, but your heart wasn’t in it? You simply did it out of sheer responsibility to the matter at hand because it was required of you?
Well, you don’t have to even answer that question. It was more of a rhetorical one. I can say with 99.9% certainty that just about everyone that has lived enough years on this earth has been in a position where a mandatory task was required of you; and it wasn’t a suggestion, it was a command. And if you’re a good little boy or girl, then you followed through on what you were told (not because you necessarily enjoyed the mandate you were given but because the negative ramifications of not doing that “thing” outweighed and pretty much cancelled out any positive consequences that could result).
So, for me, writing didn’t become truly enjoyable until I got to do it on my own terms through the content creation I perform through Degrees of Maternity. Now, I write about the things I’m passionate about, when I want to write about them and in a writing style that is comfortable to me. I can truly say that I’ve come to love writing and that the “task” has become a choice instead of a chore. It’s something I “get to do”, not “have to do”. And, it fulfills a part of my self-actualization process that no other activity can fulfill.
Something of Benefit to Others
This subject is probably the most important factor (out of the three) to a content creator who wants someone other than him/herself, family, and friends to partake of whatever content he or she is sharing with the world.
It can be very unnerving and humbling to be told you’re good at something but not really receive welcoming feedback for that “something” outside of the response received from your immediate circle.
That validation in your high-level skill set can feel threatened, or (at the very least) challenged, when it appears that you’re not reaching others by what you’re doing, that they’re simply not acknowledging what you’re doing, or that they’re down right against what you’re doing.
When these feelings have come about in my personal sphere of influence, I’ve chosen to take the route of “trying” to be patient and keep plugging along in my pursuit of what I’m good at and what I enjoy. I figure that, at some point, people that I have commonalities with will show up. And hopefully, those individuals can relate, appreciate, and find some benefit in what I do.
So, choosing to write books seems to be the no-brainer option for my new product journey that will allow me to do what I truly have come to receive as my calling, have come to enjoy over time, and will utilize as a platform to spread helpful knowledge and doable activities that can assist adults with encouraging their children to develop in two fundamental areas (reading and writing). (Can you say, “run-on sentence”? What was I thinking here?)
Reading and writing are those foundational skills that I can safely say are building blocks for children now and will continue to be instrumental in the development of their personal and professional lives as adults. The benefits of reading and writing encouragement and development are apparent to me. And, I’m guessing they are to you as well.