Some of you who have seen my social media posts may be wondering what I’ve been up to and why. I thought it might be helpful to send an email to explain where I am at and where I hope to go with this.
For the past three months I’ve been working with a friend (who is absolutely amazing) to help promote my posts and increase traffic on my website. To be totally honest, this is so out of my comfort zone, not only am I apprehensive about this, but I also have no experience in this area. Why promote? Well, I’ve been working on a book for the past two years, and I will need a platform after it is published in order to sell copies. At least that was the initial reason for this website and blogging.
Writing was never “my thing.” I was a numbers girl. Figures felt comfortable…they were safe and predictable. It was easy to be right, and I could also insure that I made few mistakes. But then, things began to change. I began to change.
One evening two Marches ago during a book club gathering, I met Amy Impellizzeri, the author of the book we were discussing. While chatting, she shared that she was offering an adult writing workshop at the Yocum Institute of the Arts. My first reaction was, “Hey, this would help me with my students’ college essays. I mean, the last writing course I had was my freshman year at Lehigh.” But immediately I retracted, thinking that it was too much time, after all, the class was two hours long and met each Saturday for eight weeks.
Luckily, something inside told me to take a risk and try it, and so I did. Amy was a fabulous instructor, and I was the only one in her class. She didn’t cancel the course, which speaks tremendously to her character. So, everything we did together was individualized, just what I needed. She helped me publish professional posts. Then she encouraged me to post my personal blogs, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready to put myself out there. I mean what would people think if they knew what I thought? Would they judge me?
However, by the end of the course, Amy convinced me that I could write a book. She gave me the tools and helped me get started. I then I spent the next few months writing the first draft. And, I found myself having fun. I liked writing!
Now, after many drafts, a comprehensive edit, and feedback from beta readers, I’m revising the book so that I can submit it to my editor. If all goes well, I hope to self-publish late spring/early summer. That’s why I need the website… to promote the book. So I contracted with an expert to help me create a brand of sorts so that my social media presence could be consistent and direct readers to my website. It’s now my job to spend time writing posts, find inspirational quotes, and share information that I believe others might enjoy.
While balancing revising my book with creating an online presence, a surprising thing happened. I discovered that I like sharing information with others. It helps me learn, challenges my beliefs, and encourages me to form opinions of my own. In essence, it is facilitating my growth, perhaps even elevating me. It’s when I thought, what if I am able to offer what inspires me to others? Might they, too, find it beneficial?
And then the site’s name came to me… elevate. It’s the true purpose of my blogs and postings… to share personal reflections in a hope of “elevating” others.
Often I become inspired when running, at yoga, or in nature. I love taking abstract thoughts and connecting them to real life situations. We constantly face issues that challenge us to bring our best forward. While sometimes “we’ve got it,” there are moments when it’s nice to know that we’re not alone... that others also face these confusing questions, problems, and uncertainties. Writing about my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned along the way helps me better process the inner meaning, allowing me to move forward on a clearer path. It is my hope that these reflections will assist my readers in reaching their goals, climbing their mountains, and finding their higher selves… elevating to a new level.
Deep down I believe that is the same reason that led me to write my book, Learning to Bend. No doubt some (certainly not all) of what the main character experiences, I, too, struggle with. But it’s not a book about me. Learning to Bend is meant to help the reader realize that we’re all in this together, searching for who we are and what we want. We just discover it at unanticipated times and in unexpected places.
Through this entire process my husband, Scott, has been fabulous. He’s read my book, reviews my blogs, supports my posts, and just listens to me as I express uncertainty and fear about publishing and bearing my soul online. Jack and Grant, my sons, have been awesome, too. They give amazing feedback, and I truly value their input as young adults! They keep me on track .
So why reach out to my friends now? Well, I wanted you to better understand what I am doing and why I’ve chosen to do it. The goal is to have the book be available by June, however, the website is ready now!
For me, writing has been an unexpected blessing, something I never thought I’d be doing at this stage of life. It’s revealed my short comings, taught me how to show my vulnerabilities, opened me to unforeseen possibilities, and introduced me to some really beautiful people. I feel blessed, humbled, and supported by so many. Thank you for being there, reading my posts, and helping me have the courage to write.
"And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more
painful than the risk it took to blossom." — Anais Nin
Michelle M. Davis
author & lifestyle blogger