Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts

Empowerment Goals

Empowerment and Fun are like peanut butter and jelly. They are fine solo, but even better together.  Whether you are working on a writing project or building a business, when you empower yourself - and add fun into the mix - you set yourself up for success.

During Women’s History Month in April, I hosted a wonderful #GoalChatLive on Empowerment and Fun with Bryce Batts, Carla Howard, and Deborah Pardes. Bryce Batts is a career coach and host of the Wine After Work podcast, Carla Howard is a change strategist, and Deborah Pardes is VP of Stories and Voices at Swell. The trio shared their own empowerment aha moments, as well as their thoughts on empowering yourself – and others, how to have fun, and much more.

According to my guests, empowerment is helping people find their natural gifts and supporting them (Carla), giving someone the confidence to go after what they want (Bryce), and being able to define your own success and knowing you are worth being listened to (Deborah).

Goals for Empowerment & Fun 

  • Carla: Do one thing for the next 30 days that will make you healthier (drink more water, go for a walk, read). It will positively impact you professionally, as well as personally.
  • Bryce: Write down your goals/dreams. Look at them often.
  • Deborah: Pick a buddy to be your accountability partner.
  • Deb: Gift yourself the time and space to figure out what’s next.
Watch our conversation.

Final Thoughts 

  • Bryce: Try new things; do something fun so you will feel empowered.
  • Deborah: Be easy on yourself.
  • Carla: Surround yourself with kind and ambitious people.
When you empower yourself, and have fun in the process, it shows in everything you do!

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For more inspiration and motivation, follow @TheDEBMethod on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin! 

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How do you empower yourself? Please share in the comments. 

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Debra Eckerling is the award-winning author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A goal-strategist, corporate consultant, and project catalyst, Debra offers personal and professional planning, event strategy, and team building for individuals, businesses, and teams. She is also the author of Write On Blogging and Purple Pencil Adventures; founder of Write On Online; host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn, and The DEB Show podcast. She speaks on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Writing Fun 101

When was the last time you wrote something because you wanted to? Usually on the priority scale, things tend to get done because it's deadline or time-sensitive, client work, a long-delayed project you had to wrap up, and in some cases all of the above. 

If you don't know the answer off the top of your head, then it has been way too long.

It summertime! And, while there is always work to be done, that shouldn't stop you from having fun ... both in real life and with your writing.

So, here is your assignment. Pick one of the following:

1. Have an adventure and write about it. It can be as simple as people watching or a fun afternoon out.
2. Start a new journal. How awesome is book full of fresh paper just waiting for you to fill it with words?
3. Write a pitch, essay, poem, song, or quick article.
4. Start a new long-form project, such as a book, novel, or screenplay.
5. Do anything you want. Haven't you been paying attention? This is your project. Your decision.

Now comes the fun part...

After you finish reading this article, stop what you are doing, set a timer for 15 minutes, and start writing one of the above. If you can't freeze time right now, that's fine. You may do it later today ... or if necessary within the next 24 hours. Then schedule at least two 15-minute appointments each week to work on it. 

The point is this. You will always have things to do, deadlines, and other responsibilities. Yet, on most days 15 minutes is totally doable. Take time for yourself and your passion projects, in small increments of time. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you prioritize the things you enjoy. Oh, and bonus: you will likely be happier too!

What fun thing will you write today or this week? Please share in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of The D*E*B Method: Goal Setting Simplified and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group.  She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, and host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat. Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Bloopers Can Be Fun ~ International English #4

This is post #4 on the subject, International English.
It can be fun hearing the bloopers made by people learning a new language or using phrases unknown to them. But as writers, if we want to include a snippet of local language in our writing, we need to be sure we get it right.

I read recently on a website of a student in Northern India who was asked, "What do you do?"

"Main chata hoon," he replied carefully in Hindi, meaning to say, "I'm a student." He later discovered he had actually said, "I'm an umbrella." Chatra is a student; chata is an umbrella.

When my daughter was new to Venezuela, she was making her way through a crowd of people. She kept saying what she thought meant, "Excuse me," as she tried to pass people. In South Africa this would mean, "Please make wayI need to get through." She later learned she had been moving through the throng saying, "What's the matter?"

If a South African or British writer sends their heroine for a leisurely stroll along the pavement, this is good for her health. The pavement in South Africa and England is the paved area alongside the road, reserved for pedestrians. However sending her for a stroll along the pavement in America could have dire consequences as that's where the cars drive in the States.

So if we're writing about another culture, we need to make sure we not only have the correct word but that we use it in the right way.

I asked around for some more examples of easy mistakes that can be made when using English. Here are four examples.

Ruth Ann Dell in South Africa said:" When we visited friends in England, they were astonished when we talked about turning right at the robot. They couldn't see any robots on the road. We had a good laugh as we explained that back home in South Africa we called traffic lights robots"

Barbara Strohmenger in Germany shared this: "A funny thing is the wrong use of become by Germans; the German bekommen means to receive, but some think it means to become because it sounds similar; so they say I become a gift instead of I receive a gift.

Karen Shaw Fanner, formally of Zimbabwe and now living in England says: "In Africa just now means in a while, at some point. In the UK just now means immediately, right this minute. How to really annoy people in England is to tell them you'll do it just now and leave it an hour!

And one from myself, an English-speaking South African: "I nursed for many years in a paediatric ward in Krugersdorp, South Africa. Although as a Christian I don't believe in "luck", and I often prayed with parents when their little ones headed for surgery, I nevertheless fell into the practice of saying, Good luck! I'll be praying. If the patients were Afrikaans, I would translate this and say, Geluk! Ek sal bid, which I thought was Good luck! I'll be praying. One day a colleague overheard me, and with a broad grin asked me why I was congratulating the parents. Turns out that although Geluk sounds like Good luck it actually means, Congratulations! So I was sending my small patients off for surgery with the words, Congratulations! I'll be praying."

So, writers, be careful of the words you use, especially if you're trying to use a snippet of foreign language to add flavour to your work. You might just be adding the wrong flavour which could leave your readers with a bad taste. Make use of your Internet friends, and find someone who lives in the country you are writing about, or who fluently speaks the language you wish to quote.

How about you? Do you have an amusing story to share of the wrong word being used as a result of a different language or culture? If so, please comment below. Perhaps I can include them in another post for us all to enjoy.

What in the World Do You Mean? 
The Cultures and Greetings of Christmas Around the World

SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband, Rob. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer has created a multitude of friends and contacts across the world.

Please visit Shirley through where she encourages writers, or at where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or Facebook.

Sign up to receive a short devotional message from Shirley in your inbox once a week.

Unlock Your Creative Spirit: Play With Playdough

When was the last time you set aside a portion of your day to be creative?

No, I don’t mean being creative to brainstorm ideas for a work meeting. Nor am I talking about using creative thinking to come up with the perfect gift for your significant other’s birthday. And no, I don’t mean being creative in thinking of new ways to motivate your kids to eat their vegetables or study for the SATs.

What I mean is, when was the last time you set aside time to be creative ... just for the sake of being creative? Simply for yourself and your spirit?

Remember when you were a kid and you could spend hours absorbed with a wad of brightly colored playdough? In playdough world, your imagination takes you to a place where an orange snowman is commonplace and a three-horned fire-spouting monster takes shape before your very eyes.

If you feel like your writing life is stuck in a rut, I have a solution that won’t cost much money or take much time: go back to playdough world.

Grab a wad of playdough and roll it into a ball. Feel its texture between your fingers. Don’t think; don’t worry; don’t question yourself. Enjoy the moment. Just see what shapes and figures emerge from your imagination.

This can help your creativity in multiple ways. You might find yourself making sculptures that relate to your life – maybe you’ll make figurines of your family and friends, or create a visual 3-D diagram of a problem you’re facing. Perhaps you’re feeling frustrated and rolling the clay into a ball, then pounding it flat, will feel like a release.

Visualize your negative energy trailing out of your body through your fingertips into the playdough. Then, pound it away. Do this multiple times until you feel rejuvenated.

Even if you don’t sculpt objects that relate to your life, you’re still allowing your mind to roam free and explore various ideas and possibilities. Just see where your thoughts take you!

A good exercise when you are done sculpting with playdough is to spend five minutes writing stream-of-consciousness style in a journal. Don’t censor yourself; don’t edit; don’t even think too much – just write, for five minutes, without letting your pen leave the paper. You might be surprised what thoughts, emotions, and new ideas turn up!

At-home recipe for playdough:

  • 3 cups four
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 7 drops food coloring.
Mix dry ingredients with oil. Add food coloring to water and mix together. Add water to flour/salt/oil mixture slowly – about 1/4 cup at a time – and mix together with a spoon. Once you’ve added all the water, knead the dough with your hands until texture is smooth. Enjoy!

Bio: Dallas Woodburn is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories and the editor of Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today's best youth writing. She has written more than 80 articles for national publications including Family Circle, Writer’s Digest, CO-ED, Justine, and The Los Angeles Times and her plays have been produced in Los Angeles and Ventura, California. Her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Dzanc Books "Best of the Web" anthology and has appeared in a variety of literary journals including Monkeybicycle, Arcadia and flashquake. Dallas is the founder of the nonprofit organization “Write On! For Literacy” that has donated nearly 12,000 new books to disadvantaged children. She hosts frequent writing contests, teaches writing camps for kids, and is Assistant Fiction Editor of Sycamore Review while pursuing her MFA in Fiction at Purdue University. Contact her at her website or blog

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