When I was a little kid, my 2nd grade teacher always did “Show & Tell Day” once a week.
One by one, each student would walk up to the front of the room, show something to the class, and talk about it for a minute or two. It could be anything you wanted. “This is my favorite rock from my rock collection…” “This is my project for the science fair…” “Hi, I made this drawing of a horse…”
Show & Tell always brought me a mixture of excitement and dread. I loved seeing all the interesting projects. But my stomach churned when it was my turn. I always worried that my project wouldn’t be “cool enough.” I worried that I’d bore people. Who cares about my dumb drawing of a horse?! Certainly not Crystal Johnson! Her project is way cooler AND it has multi-colored glitter AND a baking soda-vinegar volcano that erupts in front of your eyes!!! Why didn’t I think of that?!!
I think we all have a nervous, slightly-awkward 2nd grader inside our hearts. We all have that little voice that says, “My project isn’t that great…” “My career isn’t that impressive…” “Nobody cares what I have to say.” “My horse drawing is stupid. Other people can draw horses way better!”
Even today, I hear that voice all the time. Every time I’m getting ready to share something new, that voice chimes in—and suddenly I’m 8 years old with a mouth full of braces, tons of missing teeth, asthmatic wheezing, huge glasses, and trembling knees, trying to muster up the courage to show people my horse.
In those moments, I talk to myself with lots of kindness—almost like I’m talking to a little kid. I say to myself, “You know what? My horse is awesome.”
I made it. I like it. I’m proud of it. I’m going to share it. People will like it—or they won’t! That’s not something I can control. But I’m going to share it because… that’s what you do when you create something from the heart. You take a deep breath, you stand up, and you share it.
. . .
Guess what? It’s Show & Tell Day!
I wanted to share a few recent projects—plus some amazing projects that my clients have completed, too. And there’s a fun invitation for YOU at the end.
– NEW BOOK
It’s official! The contracts have been signed. My next book—YOU’RE GOING TO SURVIVE—will be released by Mango Publishing in Fall 2017. (The manuscript is due in just a few weeks. Eee!)
I hope this book inspires people to face criticism, rejection, and other disappointing experiences with courage. Even if you get a 1-star Yelp review… even if you get fired from your dream job… even if you get bullied and ridiculed online… Your heart will keep beating. You can find the strength to keep going. You will survive. Don’t give up on yourself, and don’t give up on your work. Keep marching.
– NEW ARTICLE
“If I pour tons of time and energy into writing this book, then… what do I get in return?” The answer is: Nobody knows for sure. Making art is not a bank transaction. Results are not guaranteed. That’s part of the magic—and part of the challenge. Here’s an article I wrote for anybody who feels like pursuing a creative project is “too big of a risk” or “just not worth it.”
– NEW PLAYLIST
Here’s my latest music playlist, featuring music from Columbia to Belgium and beyond. Lots of Latin pop plus tribal and house beats. I crank up this playlist whenever I want to feel awake, wide-eyed, and re-invigorated. Perfect for that mid-afternoon slump when my brain starts to feel a bit soggy. A little Shakira always fixes everything.
– FREE CLASS
A few weeks ago, I taught a free class on “How to stop procrastinating and start writing.” If you missed the class, if you only saw part of it, if you had any tech issues with the video, or anything like that… here’s the entire recording! I did this class in collaboration with my longtime friend and client Susan Hyatt, and it was such a beautiful experience. I hope it brings you some fresh ideas and inspiration!
– COLORING SHEETS
I still love drawing horses—and unicorns, mermaids, and porcupines—even though I’m a grown-up now. Here are some silly coloring sheets I made. You can download them, print them out, and then color ’em in. Get your Crayons and channel your inner 8-year-old! Enjoy!
– CLIENT AMAZINGNESS
As you may—or may not—know, in addition to writing my own articles, books, and other things, I also work as a ghostwriter and writing coach / consultant.
My clients have been on FIRE lately! I want to shine a spotlight on some of their work…
Ellen started The Career Forecast, an astrological forecast focused on your career. Super fascinating.
Emma is producing a conference focused on feminism and financial empowerment. Hell yeah!
Liz has been writing up a storm, tackling important social topics like… why strong women are often labeled “difficult,” and why that’s got to stop.
Melissa’s first movie airs on the Lifetime Network this weekend. Tons of people told her, “You’ll never make it as a screenwriter in LA. It’s such a tough business.” Melissa decided to ignore everyone’s warnings and just GO FOR IT. Full-hearted effort. All in.
Kelsey is running a new program for people who want to feel happier at work—but without necessarily quitting your job and uprooting your whole life.
Amy’s veggie-based pizza crust company won an award and sales have been blowin’ up! (I’m helping Amy write a book on food, creating healthier habits, and taking good care of yourself even when you’re super busy. I’ll share the book with you when it’s ready. It’s going to be lovely.)
Susan got a terrific literary agent and her book proposal is being reviewed by numerous publishers this week. She’s also celebrating her 10-year business anniversary with a tea party in NYC next week. (I’ll be there!)
Susan also does 1-on-1 business strategy sessions for people who want to take their work to an entirely new level. She’s incredibly motivating, smart, and makes you believe that you can do anything. Oh, and if you want to schedule a 1-on-1 session with Susan AND me (business coaching AND writing coaching—double-trouble!), send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for more info on that.
What about you? Do you have something you’d like to “Show & Tell” and talk about publicly?
Maybe an article, book, video, podcast, song, painting, product, activism project, workshop, or… something else you’ve created? Hit REPLY to this email and tell me about it. Please include your name, a link to your project, and a brief description of what it is, and why you’re so excited about it.
I will choose a handful of projects and… my next email will be a “Community Show & Tell” filled with YOUR projects. This will be so fun!
Whether it’s online or offline in your daily life… please don’t be afraid to share your work. Don’t hide in the back row. Stand up. Speak up. Let people know what you’ve been writing, researching, and working on. People will (probably) be much more interested and excited than you think. And your bravery will inspire other people to be braver, too.
You never know how your horse drawing, blog post, or story might impact someone else’s life.
The impact might be bigger than you could ever imagine.
PS. I almost forgot, but today is my 7 year entrepreneur-iversary! 7 years of being a self-employed writer. If you dream about being your own boss, your dream is doable. Be devoted, work hard, and follow your “hut” (heart + gut) as often as possible. Also, here’s a “business advice” article that I wrote called: 10 slow and difficult steps to moderate success. Haha! Enjoy.