Eat, Pray, Love — In Business Too

As I was reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert earlier today, two things dawned on me. One, I’m enjoying this book. Two, the concepts discussed apply to business as well as life (and no, not only for women).

Bring pleasure to your work space!

I bring pleasure to my work space with a couple of my favorite things: espresso and a dragon tree.

In Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert travels the world in order to examine three different aspects of her life — pleasure (in Italy), devotion (in India) and balance (in Bali). While we all may not be able to globe trot to find our way in life (or business), it is important that we understand how to achieve symmetry in these three key areas.

Pleasure

I’m not going to throw a cheap motivational poster at you, but you should enjoy what you do, at least most of the time. We all have bad days, even world-class athletes, kings and queens. I’ve never bought the “love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life” mantra, but it is far more pleasant to enjoy what you do. So whatever you’re in business for, I hope you enjoy it. If not, your true talents may lie elsewhere.

Devotion

You need to be devoted to something (or multiple somethings), so one of these might as well be your business. I’m not recommending that anyone be a workaholic, because that usually doesn’t work out in the long run. But there will be plenty of times that you’re up pre-dawn to travel to see a client or burning the midnight oil finishing up a project on deadline. You may want to be doing anything else during these times (such as sleeping), but devotion to your clients, to your craft and to your business will yield results.

Balance

There’s a lot of talk about work-life balance today. Some people believe it’s an ever-evolving work in progress, while others stick to a tight schedule. However you achieve balance, it’s important that you do. Focusing on only one area of your life for too long will leave you feeling out of sorts or unhappy. A vacation may not be on your horizon, but the smallest breaks can bring balance: sipping espresso on a patio, enjoying a night out with friends or taking a lie-in one morning.

While my goal is to one day enjoy gelato in Rome, you may have no interest in that dream.

What 3 places would you go on your own pleasure, devotion, balance journey?

Fellow Eat, Pray, Love readers, what’s your feedback of the book?

On my own journey,
Jaime

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Step 2: Now It’s Time To Write

If prewriting is the pregame strategy session, step two of the writing process — drafting or writing — is the mad rush onto the field. After all of the film watching and play designing and planning, it’s time to let it all out.

Wildcat Willie leads the Kansas State football team onto the field!

Step two of the writing process is a rush of adrenaline!
Photo by The U.S. Army via CC BY 2.0 // effects added by the author

draft·ing (verb): the second stage of the writing process during which a writer organizes information and ideas into sentences and paragraphs

You may be wondering why I’m using the term drafting instead of writing. I thought it would help avoid confusion because we’re discussing the entire writing process. But rest assured, we’re talking about the same thing. This is the phase where you try to type or write as fast as the words pour out of you, if you’ve done a good job of prewriting.

Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down.”  -John Steinbeck

This is the fun part, or at least the part where you start to see results. It’s like rolling that first stripe of paint on the wall after hours of prep work or taking the plunge out of an airplane after going through all of the pre-jump requirements. (I prefer the latter but I’m sure painting is just as exciting to some people!) This is the time to introduce your characters or describe the situation or state your points clearly.

This is not the time to worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation or overall structure. I’m not saying that you should leave them out on purpose, but these items will be addressed during the next two steps (revising and editing). If you tend to correct grammatical errors or typos without thinking about it, don’t worry. Some of us are just hardwired that way (including yours truly). It will slow you down if you attempt to not correct these errors at this time.

One of the reasons that I love writing is that you can do it almost anywhere. All you need is a computer, typewriter or pen and paper AND some privacy. How much privacy? That depends on you. Some people want a room with a door they can shut. Others don’t mind light background noise: quiet conversations on a cafe patio, the soothing tones of the ocean or the peaceful sounds of nature.

“Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream… The space can be humble, and it really needs only one thing: a door you are willing to shut.”  -Stephen King

Privacy can be hard to find in today’s corporate America environments. If you’re sitting in a cubicle in the middle of an open concept floor plan, surrounded by talking co-workers, music piped through overhead speakers and other office noises, it can be tough to write — for anyone. Don’t discredit your ability to write if you have issues in this type of environment. Try to find anywhere quiet — an open conference room, a forgotten nook or a local park during your lunch break. It’s frustrating, but you may have to take your writing assignments home in order to produce quality work.

And if you’re into writing by hand (like a certain author of this blog)? Don’t be embarrassed or feel old-fashioned. It turns out that it’s good for your brain.

FREE Download –> The Power of the Pen: 5 Steps to Writing That Produces Results

Feedback on This Draft

Where’s your favorite place to write?

Who’s your favorite writer?

What’s your favorite written piece — by you or someone else?

Chime in with any other thoughts on the drafting (or writing) phase of the writing process.

If you have any writing-related questions, please ask. Or we can handle all of your writing needs so you can focus on saving the world before bedtime (or the big game).

Cheers,
Jaime

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Free Your Mind and The Productivity Will Follow

One of my favorite college classes was Business Writing. While it was a morning class (night owl here), we were so productive in that hour and fifteen minute time frame. Why? Free writes.

Do you free write?

Free writing — and espresso — help me get the creative juices flowing.

Each class, we’d arrive and sit down at a computer. The professor (who was another reason that class was so productive) would give us a topic, seemingly at random. We’d have 15 minutes to write on that topic, whether it be our desired superpower or a special memory from our childhood. No matter the topic, the free writes produced the desired results — getting our creative juices flowing.

Let’s be honest. College students aren’t known for being morning people and may party more than most. But the simple act of free writing helped us wake up, start thinking and made the rest of the class more productive.

Do you free write?

Sometimes I’ll look back through my college papers, and I always enjoy re-reading the free writes from this class. I’m going to begin incorporating these back into my routine to help break through writer’s block and get my mind going when it’s just one of those days.

Here’s your free write topic: What superpower would you choose? Why? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

Cheers,
Jaime

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The Road Less Traveled

the road less traveled

Sand Run Metro Park : March 13, 2014


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

–Robert Frost

How has taking the road less traveled made a difference in your life? Where has it led you?

Making my own path,
Jaime

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Blink: The Power of Snap Decisions & First Impressions

“On straightforward choices, deliberate analysis is best. When questions of analysis and personal choice start to get complicated — when we have to juggle many different variables — then our unconscious thought processes may be superior.” –Malcolm Gladwell

Do you agree? Or do you think the opposite is true?

This quote is pulled from Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, a book that takes you deep into the unconscious and explores the power of thinking without thinking (i.e. thin-slicing, snap decisions and first impressions). It’s amazing how powerful (and correct) our snap judgments can be although it is easy for them to become flawed by a number of factors. As Gladwell notes, “From experience, we gain a powerful gift, the ability to act instinctively, in the moment. But… it is easy to disrupt this gift.”

blink_malcolmgladwell

Discover example after example of people using thin-slicing to make impressive quick decisions in the face of pressure, and learn how we can practice these abilities to improve them, just like anything else.

What’s remarkable to me is the wide range of people, places and events represented in this book — inner city detectives, Civil War generals, marriage counselors, musicians who defy genre. I love psychology and learning about the powers of the mind, but even if you don’t, this book can help you in your life and career by helping you make better decisions.

At the end of this intriguing read, Gladwell leaves us with this final thought.

“This is the real lesson of Blink: It is not enough simply to explore the hidden recesses of our unconscious. Once we know about how the mind works — and about the strengths and weaknesses of human judgment — it is our responsibility to act.”

Have you read this book? What did you think?

What other books would you highly recommend?

Blink cover courtesy of Gladwell.com

Your favorite bookworm,
Jaime

Don’t blink! Join the conversation…
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Bleeding

Clearly Conveyed Communications is excited to share a guest blog post, Bleeding, by Sage Doyle. Following is an original poem by Mr. Doyle that he was willing to share with our readers. Enjoy!

Who is Sage Doyle?

Sage Doyle GravatarSage Doyle is a mainstream novel writer pursuing
publication. On his blog, he features a mix of
poetry and short fiction, including the ongoing
story, The Journal of Wall Grimm (which
contains mature content.) Mr. Doyle has a B.A. in
English and an M.S. in Psychology/Counseling.
His approach to fiction writing is character-
based, psychological and literary. You can
connect with Sage on Twitter @sagedoyle or via email at sagedoyle@yahoo.com. Sage Doyle is a pen name.


Bleeding

by
Sage Doyle

I feel it inside corrupting the
moment of each plaited
glance you press
upon me
intense and
formulaic
I understand
those subtle grimaces as
they express pain I’ll take it
in order to sedate
your worried heart
do not ever think I am not
man enough for
an occasional beating
of my soul
beat me
beat me and i will
carry you upon my own
broken feet as
I prevent your feet
from bleeding

Related Reading: Table Top, The Opera: Chapter One 

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We hope you enjoyed Sage Doyle’s original work! Please visit his blog to enjoy more of Mr. Doyle’s writing and leave a comment with your thoughts below.

We would love to host more guest bloggers! If you’re interested, please review our invite and get in touch!.

Cheers! 

Table Top

Clearly Conveyed Communications is excited to share our second guest blog post, Table Top, by Sage Doyle. Following is an original poem by Mr. Doyle that he was willing to share with our readers. Enjoy!

Who is Sage Doyle?

Sage Doyle GravatarSage Doyle is a mainstream novel writer pursuing
publication. On his blog, he features a mix of
poetry and short fiction, including the ongoing
story, The Journal of Wall Grimm (which
contains mature content.) Mr. Doyle has a B.A. in
English and an M.S. in Psychology/Counseling.
His approach to fiction writing is character-
based, psychological and literary. You can
connect with Sage on Twitter @sagedoyle or via email at sagedoyle@yahoo.com. Sage Doyle is a pen name.


Table Top

by
Sage Doyle

I see my hand spread broad across the table top

empty upon the flat of my palm

with nothing to grip but the energy of my conviction

without a source to comfort the calm

and the swallowed voices of the years ahead

a golden lashing across the table

slashes my hand in a band of shadows

breaks my mind as my urges are fed

golden shades turning amber

turning gold and dark again

the bending dusk imparts the room

branded, awaiting my moments of pain

no thoughts are left, no more to hold

swollen from the passing day

bearing each moment to come, each time foretold.

Related Reading: The Opera: Chapter One 

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We hope you enjoyed Sage Doyle’s original work! Please visit his blog to enjoy more of Mr. Doyle’s writing and leave a comment with your thoughts below.

Also, we would love to host more guest bloggers! If you’re interested, please review our invite and get in touch!.

Cheers! 

My 2013 Bucket List: Six Months In

“Some people create a bucket list because they are dying; I created one because I want to live.”     –Lesley Carter

Earlier this year, I came across Lesley Carter’s 2013 bucket list and was inspired to create my own. (Ed. Note: If you haven’t checked out Lesley’s Bucket List Publications, please do so. What an inspiration!)

Related reading: My 2013 Bucket List: What’s On Yours?

It struck me a few days ago that we’re already half way through the year. Crazy, isn’t it?! So I wanted to post an update and see how I’m doing so far.

Without further ado… (items crossed out have been accomplished:

  • Attend a Kent State University basketball game (my alma mater!)
  • Go ice skating
  • Watch a hockey game live
  • Attend a professional networking event
  • Go for a twilight hike
Lake Erie Monsters hockey

I love Zambonis! Watching the Lake Erie Monsters

  • Enter a trail running event
  • Register for my first triathlon
  • Get together with my family at least monthly <So far, so good!>
  • Celebrate special occasions with family & friends <Just celebrated my sister-in-law’s birthday and Father’s Day this past week! Next up, my brother’s birthday.>
  • Watch the inauguration festivities for the first time
Valentine's Day wreath

A slightly different take on a Valentine’s Day wreath…

  • Bring on 5 new dream clients <On pace, lots of activity right now…>
  • Read 100 books! (Yep, full fledged book worm here.) <I need to start counting!>
  • Write the first chapter of my novel
  • Make time for me 🙂
  • Jump out of another airplane!
Dark Tower Series

Finished 6 of 7 Dark Tower books by Stephen King… along with a few others.

  • Go to the theatre
  • Pay It Forward
  • Learn a new skill
  • Take advanced coding classes
  • Attend a NASCAR race
KSU + Haven of Rest = Pay It Forward

Proud to join the KSU Alumni crew at Haven of Rest for National Day of Service 2013

  • Spa day 🙂
  • Finally bring home a furry friend
  • Travel, travel, travel — across town & across the world
  • Watch the sunrise
  • Watch the sunset
sunset at Canal Park

Watching the sunset at Canal Park

  • Step outside of my comfort zone
  • Watch the fireworks at an Aeros game
  • Book a spontaneous getaway
  • Unplug & connect with nature for a day
  • Laugh often
  • Create with my hands
Mother Nature's beauty

Enjoying the serene Alder Pond at Gorge Metro Park

  • Swim in the ocean
  • Walk on water again –> paddle boarding 🙂
  • Get up close & personal to the octagon at a UFC event
  • Be ready for my next great opportunity & pounce on it
  • Get muddy often

How about you? How are you doing on your 2013 bucket list? It’s not too late to create one! Leave your thoughts in the comments below or hit me up on social media.

Dark Tower books photo courtesy of The Dark Tower Official Website
All other photos from my personal collection 

Smiling in the sunshine,
Jaime

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The Opera: Chapter One

Clearly Conveyed Communications is extremely excited to host our first guest blog post, The Opera, by Sage Doyle. Following is the first chapter of an original work by Mr. Doyle that he will be seeking publication for this summer. Enjoy!

Who is Sage Doyle?

Sage Doyle GravatarSage Doyle is a mainstream novel writer pursuing
publication. On his blog, he features a mix of
poetry and short fiction, including the ongoing
story, The Journal of Wall Grimm (which
contains mature content.) Mr. Doyle has a B.A. in
English and an M.S. in Psychology/Counseling.
His approach to fiction writing is character-
based, psychological and literary. You can
connect with Sage on Twitter @sagedoyle or via email at sagedoyle@yahoo.com. Sage Doyle is a pen name.


The
Opera

by
Sage Doyle

“A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others;  the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley


Chapter
One

October 2006

“She got an abortion.” Jack looked down, tilting his beer to see how much was left. He guzzled the last of it and got another one.

“She told you that?”

“No, someone else told me last night.”

“Who?”

“That’s beside the point.”

“Well, that’s…I’m sorry. Did you even know she was pregnant?”

Jack shook his head, returning to sit at the table. “She never talked to me. I would’ve taken responsibility. I could’ve raised the child myself…”

“Well, I don’t know, but maybe women have a hard time with that, afraid to feel guilty about not raising a child themselves, I don’t know.” Corey sat at the median to the kitchen, a counter area with high stool chairs. He spun a bit in his seat, waiting for an indication of which direction Jack was leading the conversation, or a hint of its cessation.

Jack watched the room darken, as grey shadows spread in from outside across the white walls of the New York hotel room. The windows were open and the wind brandished the drapes, carrying the scent of city and the anticipation of heavy rainfall. Neither of them lived in New York, rather the two actors were in town for the premier of Corey’s film White Window, which occurred the previous night, and they sat in the hotel suite before going to a private party that afternoon. They planned to attend the party sans an entourage of publicists, reps, agents, and the occasional bodyguard. Jack and Corey preferred to pretend they were real people as much as safety would allow. Some celebrities needed their entourage like a security blanket, whereas Jack and Corey avoided that scene whenever possible.

“So…” Corey broke the silence, “who else knows about it, I mean, will it get out to the press?”

“Hope not, but she’s very private so I’m sure she’ll do her best to keep this quiet. It’s also against her culture. So…I got that going for me anyway.” He brushed water off his thigh that dripped down from the moisture of his bottle, and mumbled, “but everything seems to come out at some point.”

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We hope you enjoyed Sage Doyle’s original work! Please visit his blog to enjoy more of Mr. Doyle’s writing and leave a comment with your thoughts below.

Also, we would love to host more guest bloggers! If you’re interested, please review our invite.

Cheers!