Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the debut of the Rise from Stuck podcast. Wow. One year. What a whirlwind year it has been!
I’ve been whirling behind the scenes anyway as my consistency with creating episodes for this podcast has been seriously lacking. My attention has been focused on creating content for my other podcast, Published Before College.
I’ve also taken four intense courses to learn podcasting, blogging, productivity, and Notion, tech tool that’s helping me get my life and business organized. I’ve made entrepreneurial friends that I’m now in a mastermind with, have been a featured guest on several other podcasts, and changed day job. I’m still working for the same insurance company, but now I’m getting paid to write fascinating things like underwriting guides. It’s not my burning passion, but it’s a step in the right writing direction.
Along the way, I’ve toyed with the idea of disbanding this podcast altogether. Life sure would be easier if my focus was on one podcast. But anytime I think of letting this one go, I’m filled with a nagging sense that my work here is unfinished, and I have a responsibility to see this through.
Four years ago in May 2019, I wrote a partial draft of a novella entitled Rise from Stuck. I wrote it for that twenty something version of me, that young woman who had felt the pain of publishing rejection, given up on her writing dreams, and settled into a practical normal job she was overqualified for. She was living a mediocre life barely earning enough to pay her bills and ignoring her writing talent rather than steadfastly working to improve it. She was stuck doing work that didn’t challenge her intellect, didn’t pay well, and didn’t draw her closer to her dreams.
At the time I was writing that novella, I was in a state of limbo. I had recently quit my job at Starbucks and was living off my savings while trying to make a go of being a full-time authorpreneur. My storytelling skills were strong, but my business mindset and business skills were weak. In July of 2019, I secured a job for an insurance company, and started that job in August of 2019. That’s the company I still work for today.
That job was an entry level position in the claims department, but it paid double what I had been earning at Starbucks. I had leveled up. I rose from being stuck in mediocrity but soon found myself stuck in another way. The work was interesting, but talking on the phone all day sucked the life from my soul and zapped my creativity. And the more experience I gained, the heavier the workload became.
So by the time I started this podcast in May 2022, I was on the verge of a breakdown. I couldn’t keep up with the insane volume of claims and found myself stuck in a job that was destroying my identity. Rising from stuck took on a new meaning than the original book I drafted, and I was desperate to change my circumstances. God led me to start this podcast, and I obeyed.
But I wasn’t clear on my message. I wasn’t clear on my audience. I wasn’t clear on the goal.
So I sought help from a coach in August 2022, and she encouraged me to go in a different direction. After praying about it, I followed her advice to teach writing to tween and teens, which is a desire God had already placed on my heart.
But I also want to teach that twenty or thirty something (or older) author who is stuck where I once was: settling for making a living doing something practical even though the deep desire of her heart is to tell and sell stories. If that sounds like you, I want to help you rise from stuck. I want to help you abandon mediocrity and embrace a life that lights you up even while working a practical job.
I’ve been using this past year to get clear about how to do that, and I’ve defined three specific steps.
First, you have to seek to know God and understand His design.
Then, you have to seek to know yourself and define your desires in light of who God is and who He created you to be.
Finally, you need an effective author operating system that plays to your strengths.
I’ve been refining and clarifying steps one and two and have designed a framework for step three. I’m now ready to start the strategic experiment of the operating system piece of the puzzle next week. It’s still in its infancy, but these are the basic principles:
- Always know the next right task to do, why it’s important, and how it links to your ultimate goal.
- Continuously level up so you don’t get stuck in your comfort zone again.
- Maintain a dynamic balance between all areas of your life, including faith, fitness, family, finances and fun.
- Pull you toward your core desires, desires that are rooted in your identity in Christ.
- Incorporates a built in accountability that motivates consistency and continuous improvement of character strengths, writing skills, and business skills.
As I build my operating system, I’ll share what I’m learning with you so that you don’t have to be stuck in mediocrity any more. You, too, can rise from stuck.
In the meantime, I’ll be sharing my wins and challenges with you right here on this blog and through the podcast every Monday. Right now I anticipate the content will be focused on one of the three steps of the rise from stuck system: knowing God, knowing yourself, and activating your productivity system. As I take action and learn and grow, those content pillars could change. If you want episodes that are more geared toward developing your skills as a writer, tune into Published Before College on Wednesdays.
The topics I’m discussing here are topics I need to understand and implement on a deeper level, and one of the best ways to learn is to teach. So I will teach you what I know and am learning to help you become the best author you can be without you having to struggle for decades like I did.
So until next time, keep seeking God.