[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] I’m writing to tell you

travel writingI’m writing to tell you…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – I’m writing to tell you or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

In search of mentoring

Greek columnsIn Greek mythology, when Odysseus sailed off to Troy he left behind his precious son and entrusted Telemachus, his old friend Mentor, with the task of helping Telemachus grow up to be a wise leader, by teaching, counseling, challenging, and encouraging him.

I have had some wonderful teachers, mentors and guides throughout this journey we call life. Some have taught me formally in the classroom. Some have come disguised as a chance encounter at the grocery check out line. Or, a walk on the beach where I received the magic of Nature’s nurturing. Other mentors have shown up when I had particular challenges such as the cancer diagnosis, getting voice mail that our employer has suddenly closed up shop, or coming home to find my husband at the kitchen table with realtors. My Mentors have helped me develop strategies, tools, and coping skills to adapt to the many surprises I have encountered. The surprises I now consider gifts.images

I know the value of having someone help you identify and then champion your goals for you. Someone who will be a mirror reflecting your hopes and dreams. Someone to adjust the focus of your obstructed view to help you see the reflection of the amazing human being you are right now.

  • Not after losing 10 pounds.
  • Not after publishing the great American novel.
  • Not after establishing a 6-figure business.
  • Not after speaking live to a crowd of 5,000
  • Not after…(you fill in the blank)

Someone to help you open the windows on your business, to your life, to let in fresh air and blow away the myths of doubt and fear that hold you back.

There is great potential in the gift of a life-altering experience. What comes after you crumble is how you rise up. And as you rise up, you may discover that your new normal truly is an amazing life.

I help women leverage their impact through writing…to transform readers into clients and customers by polishing your pearls of wisdom…reclaiming your voice…from tag lines to social media posts…from blogs to books…from free reports to entire websites…unleashing your true purpose message.

I would be honored to support you as your personal mentor as you unleash your story worth writing. Let’s have a complimentary conversation…a free discovery call…schedule your 20-minute talk here.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Your dream matters…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image5840193As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech I have to admit that I don’t remember much about what went on beyond my small 12-year-old Minnesota farm girl world back then. I didn’t care much about what happened in Washington, and the Deep South might have been the moon for that matter. Today, I do identify with the passion and courage that speech represents as a source of inspiration for a better life.

View your dreams as a sign pointing you towards your purpose; as a call to action.  Recognize that your dreams do matter. Pursuing your dreams can make a difference and change lives beyond your own.

My dream today is to build relationships where I can support reluctant writers who have been silent too long to come home to themselves, to reclaim their voices, and go from making dinner to making a difference. 

It’s a scary thing to have a dream and feel so overwhelmed with the enormity of having to do it alone.

The truth is we are never alone. Not really. Over and over, one individual has affected the lives of many. Take Martin Luther King, Jr as an example. As a Baptist Minister, I’m pretty sure that he knew he was never alone. He had, just as you and I have, the support of the God who instilled that dream in us in the first place!

Yes, making dinner does make a big difference to the people you are making it for. I do not deny the impact of relationships and being part of a “family.” I am asking you to consider what is the cost of your role? Are you keeping silent and deferring to whatever everyone else wants to do? Has it becomes part of the routine rather than the exception in your day-to-day? There is a difference between being someone who is agreeable and being invisible. Invisible people live in the shadows and learn to avoid confrontation by not speaking up for themselves.

Do you have a dream of your own? Pursuing that dream is crucial to your well-being… if you do not try; you deny a part of yourself.

It’s time to stand up for yourself and speak up to let your voice be heard…your opinion matters. Whether a woman works outside the home, or not…she is a homemaker. We are all “homemakers” in the same way the little turtle carries her home on her back; we carry our “home” inside…it is our spirit…our heart…our emotional well-being.

You want to know that you matter…what you do matters…your voice matters…and your story matters. There are all kinds of ways to make a difference in your lifetime.

How are you making a difference by pursuing your dreams?

 

 

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] Everyday Epiphanies…

travel writingEveryday Epiphanies…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period of time.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – Everyday Epiphanies or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and/or fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

What are your 2017 dreams?

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image871073Dream a little dream with me and decide how you want to design a brand new future for yourself in 2017!

January offers us all a new beginning and an opportunity to start over. That’s why so many of us, approximately 40%,  spend Dec. 31 writing resolutions. 

  • 34% of us set resolutions related to money
  • 38% of us set resolutions related to weight
  • 47% want to do something geared toward self-improvement or education
  • 31% of us set resolutions related to relationships

Are any of these topics on your list?

How confident are you feeling about making the journey from resolution to reality?

Are you ready to do something about that dream to…

  • get the education you need to pursue your heart’s desire
  • start that new business
  • enter that marathon
  • launch your website
  • write that book
  • develop a lasting relationship
  • save for that dream (vacation, home, car, boat, horse)

You don’t have to go it alone. Join a professional organization, heck start one of your own! Or organize a Mastermind Group. Research your mentors to observe how they surround themselves with a team. If you’d like to brainstorm with me, schedule a complimentary time to talk.

In fact, human nature suggests that when we share out loud our hopes and dreams we are much more likely to achieve our goals. And people who make resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

Little Mary

Little Mary photographed by E..A.Overland

As a child, I didn’t see myself living beyond 100 miles of where I was growing up. Today my dreams have taken me half way around the world writing, speaking and living in joy!

Hop over to my Facebook page and share where your dreams take you.

 

 

 

graphics photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

 

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] This time will be different

travel writingThis time will be different…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period of time.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – This time will be different  or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and/or fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Free training] Share Your Success Story

story hereWhat do you consider a success story? Money in the bank? Fancy car? Big house, pool & staff? Vacations to exotic places? Children attending private school? 

I had a conversation with a fellow writer recently about works-in-progress.  This business of writing poses challenges whether you are writing copy for your business, working on your first book, or want to commit your story to words for your family to hear. Regardless of the label or category (workbook, self-help, memoir, non-fiction, or novel…keep in mind that all fiction is based on fact in some form), you are writing about the journey called “life”‘ and how you’ve coped.

 These are Your Success Stories!  A truly unleashed description!

Everyone has a story to tell. Each and every one of us has a unique story belonging only to us. And no one else can tell your story from the inside out because not another soul in this world has had your experience. They do not have the ability to speak from your perspective.

Your voice matters. Your story matters. Your story matters because it is your story to tell. Remember…there is someone waiting to hear your story. Your personal story has universal impact. For example, you may quote a statistic such as one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. When I share that I’ve received form letters telling me of an abnormal mammogram…twice…then it’s not about a statistic…it’s about a real vulnerable and passionate woman…it’s about me and it’s about you. Stories of cancer touch many, many lives and mine is just one. (I’m fine now and have been cancer free for over 10 years!) 

Who you are as an individual is your success story. How you treat people with respect and compassion is your success story. When you share your gifts and live your life on purpose that is your success story. 

Put your passion into words…about what you do and why you do it, who you serve and how you help them…what lights you up! Grab a journal write it down. Let the words flow on the page as your hand moves across the paper. Yes, I recommend doing it the old school way with pen and paper. Tapping on computer keys puts you in another part of your head. Take dictation from your heart about the message you want to share with the world.

Start the year out on a high note with your own Success Story! Over the years as a journalist, I’ve honed my interviewing skills. If you’d like help putting your story together, sign up for a complimentary discovery session today!

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Welcome 2017!

Dancing Girls Mary & Tess

Ready to take the stage, Mary E Knippel, and daughter

 

Has your enthusiasm disappeared for a brand new YOU in 2017 as easily as the confetti was swept up from ushering in the new year?

Are you feeling that your goals are looking enormous and unachievable? 

Are you wishing you hadn’t said out loud that you wanted to learn a new skill, overcome a phobia, or kick a habit? I’ll tell you a secret…it’s a good thing when you say your dreams and desires out loud! 

A brand new year! I’m feeling goose bumps and chills, and it’s not residual from the bubbles I enjoyed on New Year’s Eve–it’s excitement about all the great possibilities next year holds. Just think of it, each morning a chance to create something brand new–a brand new YOU! 

Long ago, when my prize possessions were a pair of white go-go boots and my transistor radio, I wrote a high school paper about what I wanted to do with my life. My career choices included: dancer, actress, and secretary. Although I lived in a small town and my formal training had consisted of Square Dance lessons in the 6th grade, I loved moving to music and thought it would be a wonderful way to spend my life. Of course, it was ridiculous for anyone to consider my acting dream with any confidence as I was seen as the shy, quiet one. The fact that I’d managed to land a part in the senior class play, and pulled it off, was brushed aside as just a fluke.

A secretary was the most likely path for someone who had no particular “realistic” ambitions. All my journals and my humor column for the Adams Tiger Tales did not qualify me as any serious writer. I enrolled at the local Junior College to earn a One Year Secretarial Certificate, got a job in the Credit Department of the Hormel Corporate Office in our company town, and assumed that was my life. Along the way, I got married, started a family, got a college degree, moved across the country–twice–and survived emotional and physical challenges.

My skills as a secretary have served me well in earning a living and allowing me time to follow my heart. I pursued dance lessons as an adult and thoroughly enjoyed them. I performed in a couple of recitals; including one with my 3-year-old daughter! I performed in several productions of the local Community Theatre and had the time of my life. All the while I was writing as a volunteer for my church as well as parenting newsletters and writing in my journal. When I reflect on where I am now, I am amazed at the synchronicity of it all and grateful that I have been blessed with everything I ever asked for — and more!

I am living my dream as Your Writing Mentor, I mentor reluctant writers to share their stories, I move gracefully and confidently across stages, and empower other women to speak up to let their voices be heard in the world.

My wish for you in 2017 is that you realize your childhood wonder in every joyous new day to come…

Photo credit:  RCKnippel

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] A whole new year…

notebook and penA Whole New Year…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period of time.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – A whole new year… or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and/or fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Applause for You!

Applause from Mary E. Knippel, Author

Applause from Mary E. Knippel, Author

I’m so impressed that all of you are working so hard at diving deeper into this writing thing to be able to share your message with those who are in search of your gifts.

Writing…whether it is for your business or your life’s legacy… is about so much more than just blogging or social media posts. When you are clear about your true purpose, your message, and who you are here to serve, it becomes much easier to make decisions on everything from which networking events to attend, to what programs you should develop next to provide solutions for your client’s current pressing dilemmas.

When I’m asked for writing tips, often there are two things folks are most concerned about. Here’s a hint – these two things absolutely go hand-in-hand…when you are authentic about the first, the second will happen naturally:  

  • knowing what to write about
  • achieving reader engagement

Do those two things ring true for you? I’d like to offer a suggestion…pretend you are about to have a conversation with a friend the next time you sit down to write a blog post. Do you stress about catching up with them? Do you make an agenda about topics they may enjoy hearing about? Of course, not. You are excited to talk with them.

Yes, you may scratch your head to remember details about something you want to say, and it is enjoyable sharing information with them…about what is new in your community, the tidbits you learned from an article you just read, a recommendation of a book they might like, you could ask them a question about what they think of what you shared, get their opinion on something, and, perhaps include a short update on what is new with your business.

That’s it! You are building a relationship on-line. You share about your life and then ask them about theirs.  

Of course, some may assume that blogging is just free advertising that they don’t have time to pursue and dismiss the opportunity. They would be missing an amazing and far-reaching chance to have an impact on thought processes around the world. Your blog has the potential to influence readers in your community, in your state, your country, your continent, and beyond! After all, we are talking about the world-wide web here. This blog is read across the globe!

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com