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Writing & Editing

The map that’s helping me find my way again.

by Corinne on December 10, 2012

Lately, I’ve had an uneasy feeling. In one word, confused. My little family, my job, my health, all fill me with happiness and ease. I’m not overlooking these blessings–I thank my lucky stars for every one of them. But my writing, the words with my name on them, felt unsteady.

And then on Friday, I got the call. Probably a call that any writer would dread. My agent–a woman who has been my friend, editor, partner and cheerleader over the past three years–wanted to have the talk. And deep down inside, I knew we needed to have it. I’d changed, grown, shifted, and we weren’t on the same page anymore. No hard feelings. No ones fault. But, in the moment, it hurt.

Mostly, I felt lost, embarrassed, and mournful. I knew it was the natural next step and I needed to let go, but my pride was getting in the way. My ego was shouting at me: What will everyone think? You put in all this effort and you failed. You just blogged about how great everything was going. Did you really think you were going to be successful? And at the core of it all: You’re not good enough. Ouch.

I turned to two people who have been there for me every step of the way. My husband gave me a shoulder to cry on and my dear friend and boss, Kris, gave me some good ole advice and perspective. This doesn’t mean I won’t write fiction. It’s not a reflection of the quality of my work. It’s just another stop along the way. Rejection is good! Kris urged me to toast to this shift instead of resisting it. So that evening, after tucking Audrey into bed, I poured a glass of vino and clinked glasses with Steve. Here’s to rejection, I said, and I felt a little better.

But it takes more than 24 hours to move on, even if I was trying my best to keep my chin up. I still felt…off. As always, the universe had already given me exactly what I needed. I’d bought The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte the day before the call. Hello, life line.

Over the past three days, I’ve spent every free moment listening to Danielle read The Desire Map on my iPhone. Chores became pure delight as I washed dishes, mopped, and vacuumed the weekend away to Desire 101. Sunday morning, I printed out the first section of Book Two: The Workbook. While Audrey napped and Steve watched football, I sat on my bed, played The Desire Map’s soulful Spotify playlist and tore through the worksheets.

Three hours swept by. My heart raced. My stomach flip flopped. I felt uncomfortable, daring, hopeful. Clearly, I needed to do this work. And at the end of those three hours, I smiled. I felt lighter. I didn’t have answers, but I had less noise. I just felt present and I knew that I had begun something that would feed me and truly help me lead a happier life.

The Desire Map

I could see my blessings in bright, dazzling lights and I started to feel like I could take a little breather from my fiction. It’s not going anywhere. Maybe now is the time to read more, be present more, take more notes, journal, and just be. Maybe that’s what’s going to bring the best stories out of me. I’ve been writing so fast the past three years–trying to reach goal after goal. Maybe I just need to live. Not to mention the fact that I’m working on a digital book with Kris right now, which fills me with excitement and joy. Maybe that needs my attention at the moment.

For now, I’m doing what feels good. Early morning yoga and writing before the babe wakes up. Focusing on my job and soaking in all the phenomenal opportunities it offers me. Being present while reading Audrey a book or sitting with Steve in our decked out living room while the Yule Log crackles in HD. All of these things feel spacious, infinite and nourishing. That’s where I want to exist.

Here’s to Desire Mapping, new beginnings and letting go.

❤,
Corinne

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You can have it all…well, sorta

by Corinne on November 21, 2012

I’ve really been struggling lately to nurture one of my biggest commitments.

Family and health come first, but how do you prioritize the rest of the stuff? Writing is at the root of my passions. Luckily, my job is one of these passions. At work, I get to write all day long, interact with inspiring people who challenge me everyday, and focus on a mission that resonates in my heart–helping others achieve inner and outer health. I am truly grateful for that.

But there’s another part of me that loves writing fiction. And over the past year, through new motherhood, a new job and a lot of traveling, it hasn’t received the attention I used to be able to give it. And that didn’t feel right. I started to doubt myself. Can I do this? Am I being naive? Is this what I have to accept–that I have to let go of some dreams? Frankly, it was making me feel pretty blue.

Then, I saw Marie Forleo’s interview with Steven Pressfield about his book, Turning Pro. And it’s changed my life in a BIG way. Steven and Marie talk about the difference between pros and amateurs. A pro doesn’t hit the snooze button in the morning when they need to get up and write. A pro takes care of herself because she needs to be in tip-top shape to get her work done. A pro succeeds because she doesn’t give up. Amateurs give up. And I’m not an amateur.

The next morning, I got up at 5AM and wrote for two hours before Audrey woke up. And I’ve done the same ever since, including weekends (I get up at 6AM on Saturday/Sunday). Here’s what this small change has done for me:

I’m taking better care of myself: I start the day with lemon & warm water. I’m only drinking one cup of coffee per day. I’m going to bed earlier. I’m turning off my computer a couple hours before bed because I’ve already done my fiction and freelance writing in the morning. More sleep, more peace, more space for creativity.

I’m more in the moment with my family: I’m not distracted in the evenings because I know I have that sacred morning time to get my writing done. I’m not tuning out with the TV at night. Instead, I’m tuning in with my family at the dinner table, reading stories with Audrey or enjoying a glass of wine with my husband.

I feel passion for my fiction again: Now that I’m investing daily effort into my novel–the love, the drive, and the excitement are all coming back. And that feels really good in my core. Those feelings seep into every other part of my life. Making me a better wife, friend, mom, employee…you get the picture. When you feed your needs, especially the biggies, you have more energy and joy to give everything else you love.

I believe that you can have “it all,” depending on the things that fall into that category. For me, having it all means two simple things:

❤ Trying my best each day to love and care for my family, friends and myself.

❤ Working with people and on projects that are aligned with my beliefs and my passions.

I encourage you to watch Marie’s conversation with Steven and put a new habit into practice that will feed your dreams. Try to stick to it and watch how it transforms your life.

❤,
Corinne

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My New Job: Creative Director at KrisCarr.com!

by Corinne on August 31, 2012

Crazy Sexy Kitchen

This month was a biggie–for facing fears, taking leaps, and new beginnings. August kicked off with a biz trip to Woodstock, NY for a week…without my kiddo (for the first time). I was worried that I’d be a mess or she would be a mess or both. Luckily, we both had a fantastic week–Audrey with her Dad and grandparents in Baltimore and me with Kris Carr on her little farmette.

We spent our time planning out the launch of Crazy Sexy Kitchen, working on an awesome new program, eating some seriously delicious food (and drinking green juice, of course) and rescuing butterflies. I got a little break from mamahood and Audrey had a blast with her extended family. When we were reunited, it was pure joy and I had a renewed sense of gratitude for my family and my life. Win!

Rewind back to my last day in Woodstock. I was sitting on Kris’ porch, wrapping up our whirlwind week of work, when she asked me, “Wanna be my Creative Director?” (She was much more eloquent, but you get the idea.) As we discussed the position, I began to realize that this was the job I’d been working toward my whole life and it felt like the position was just falling in my lap. I finally understood one of the many wise things Joseph Campbell shared with the world:

“We must let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

I couldn’t have predicted that Kris would offer me this position or that it would be exactly what I wanted to do. I couldn’t have planned it out or forced it to happen. I just had to be my best self and be open to the possibility of good things happening. And they did.

Since I’m part of Team KrisCarr.com nowadays, I won’t be taking new copywriting/editing clients for the foreseeable future (Our new KrisCarr.com website launches 9/17!). If you’d like to receive my monthly newsletter (and you don’t already), which includes updates on all things writing, mamahood + vegan cooking, I hope you’ll sign up here so that we can stay in touch.

Sending you best wishes for September and a big thank you for being one of my readers!

❤,
Corinne

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Two Places to Call Home

by Corinne on April 30, 2012

I wasn’t sure what to expect when Audrey and I boarded a plane for Rochester last week and said goodbye to Steve. We were off to visit her grandparents and he was off to a conference. It was our first week apart since Audrey was three weeks old. Luckily, I had the joy of spending the whole week surrounded by my in-laws and friends.

Between wrapping up Crazy Sexy Kitchen, visiting Audrey’s cousins, enjoying phenomenal food at the Owl House (best veg grub in Rochester!) and soaking in the company and conversation of some of my favorite people in the world–I’m pretty sure I got the better end of the deal (sorry, Steve). Just staying in my in-laws home is like a giant hug 24 hours a day. I seriously lucked out in that department (and so did Audrey!).

In the end though, the best part was seeing Audrey wrap her arms around Steve’s neck when he picked us up at the airport. Now that we’re all back in Baltimore, I’m grateful that I have two places to call home. There were so many moments that I cherished. Here are a few that I captured.

Height Chart

Seeing how many inches Steve grew in 1993, marked more than a decade ago on the kitchen wall.

Cousins

Audrey hanging out with her cousins.

Bedroom

Steve’s childhood bedroom converted into Audrey’s room for the week.

Polenta

A celebratory Crazy Sexy Kitchen dinner with the in-laws. Sage polenta, homemade marinara, garlic sauteed mushrooms, and roasted brussels sprouts with shallots and pistachios.

Baltimore Airport

Arriving back in Baltimore. Awaiting Steve.

The best reunion, ever.

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