podcast

the SSR Podcast is live!

It’s a crazy experience to have your head down so intensely in a passion project for months on end, and then to release it out into the universe in a way that probably feels very loud (and maybe even a little annoying) to the outside world but somehow seems very quiet to you, at least relative to how much louder it actually sounds in your head. Basically, when I dispatched all the social media announcing that The SSR Podcast was a living, breathing thing at about 5 AM yesterday morning, it may have felt a little spammy from an Instagram perspective… but it seemed surprisingly quiet and private for me — and not because I’m not getting support (because I am, and it’s been amazing!), but because I’ve been so consumed with getting all of this up and running that it was hard to believe that tapping those little “post” buttons was really all it took to make it happen. After so many hours, hitting “post” was the last thing standing between me and the moment I’d been stressing about? It was a pretty crazy feeling.

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Believe me — I still have plenty of work to do in order to really get things moving and grooving the way I want to for the podcast. But to have met this one major milestone in what felt like such a quick, quiet way was an extremely weird feeling.

You may already be tuned in to SSR’s social media accounts — and if you are, thank you, seriously! — but I just wanted to take a quick moment to share some easy links for my followers here who may have yet to jump on the SSR train. If you’re feeling like I’m being a little spammy, bear with me for just a little longer here, please. Getting the podcast off the ground has been a huge part of my journey in 2018 so far, and it would be weird if I wasn’t getting the official launch news out with all my pals here on the blog! I’ll resume regularly scheduled programming shortly, I promise : )

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about yesterday’s official launch of The SSR Podcast

You can listen (and subscribe and leave reviews!) here…

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  • iTunes — if you’re going to subscribe and leave a rating or review, this is a great place to do it!
  • Google Play
  • Stitcher
  • the SSR Podcast website “Listen” page (this is a great place to go for fun show notes and extra resources, even if you actually listen to episodes elsewhere)

You can be part of The SSR Podcast community here…

I can’t wait to get your feedback on the show, and if you enjoy it, I hope you’ll share it with your loved ones! This feels more personal than anything I’ve done before — more even than the blog, which is kind of crazy — and inviting people into it is scary, but I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me : )

And while I’m talking about sharing with loved ones…

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Don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway! TWO of you will be getting a goodie bag full of all-natural lip balms from Bushel & a Peck (a woman-owned business YAAAAS!). Comment on my last post here to enter! I’ll be randomly drawing the winners this coming Friday 6/29, so get those entries in ASAP. I’ll announce the winner here on the blog. Unfortunately, you’re not eligible to win this contest if you live outside of North America, due to shipping concerns. I’m sorry about that! Good luck!

Product photo credit: Gallivan Photo (via Bushel & a Peck) 

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introducing… the SSR podcast!

*takes a deep breath, pushes her shoulders back, tries not to panic at the thought of putting this thing that she’s been working on for months out into the world*

**… but is mostly just so excited**

Friends, meet my podcast…

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(You have no idea how many times I’ve looked at this awesome logo — designed by the one and only Sophie Forman — thinking about how great it would be when I could finally share it. And now I can!)

Inspired by a little something called Silent Sustained Reading that was a staple of my elementary school days (you may have known it as “Sit Down, Shut Up, and Read!”), the show is called SSR: Literary Throwbacks Revisited. For an added punch, the show’s not-so-secret alternate title is Sh*t She Read, a nod to the fact that, each week, I’ll chat with a guest about a book that we millennials would have read in our tweens and teens. 

In the first few episodes, we’ll discuss Harriet the SpyThe Princess Diaries, and Matilda… and the list goes on and gets more awesome from there. I honestly can’t tell you how wonderful it’s been to revisit these books and to talk about them with each guest. These conversations have been so interesting and hilarious, and I am counting the minutes until June 26 when you can start listening to them.

You read that right. The launch is still a month away. So what can you do in the meantime? Well, in super fun news, the SSR Podcast social media starts to roll out today! Follow the show on Instagram here so you can take a peek at what this process has looked like so far and stay in the loop about new episodes come June. In the next few weeks, I’ll roll out our Twitter, as well as a Facebook group that will serve as a great place for book talk and (hopefully) a community for podcast fans. More on that to come!

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If you’re already feeling like you’re going to be an SSR Podcast superfan (because, duh), I’d love to have you join the launch team. I’ll send you a set of these crazy cute SSR bookmarks so you can start talking about the show to friends and family, and as we get closer to the launch date, I’ll provide you with plenty of social media graphics so you can help me get the word out within your own networks. If you’re interested in being part of this, please let me know with a comment below or send an email to hellossrpod@gmail.com.

It’s hard for me to put into words how much this project means to me and how excited I am to bring this podcast into existence.

As you probably know by now, books mean the world to me. They’re connected to so many of my own life experiences. In preparing to start SSR, I’ve found that even people who aren’t big readers as adults have intense memories associated with the stories they read during their childhood, and I can’t wait to create a platform where we can share those memories. And laugh. A lot.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, friends! Thanks for being part of this dream with me!

(… AND while we’re on the subject of books, don’t forget to enter to win this month’s giveaway! The prize is a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble. Pick up the book that’s at the top of your summer reading list, or grab a copy of Harriet the Spy or The Princess Diaries so you’re up to speed for the podcast launch on June 26! All you have to do to enter to win is comment on my last post here. I’ll announce the winner right here on the blog next Wednesday 5/30. Good luck!)

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what i’m learning as i prepare to launch my podcast.

When I started freelancing, everything was a new project.

Basically, my whole life was a new project.

I had to figure out what time to get out of bed in the morning, how often to check my email, where in my apartment I could be most productive, how aggressive I could realistically be about approaching new editors and potential clients, and what times of day were best for me to get creative juices flowing.

I had to figure out how all the pieces of my new schedule and lifestyle were going to best fit together… and then I had to figure out how to implement that.

I’ve always been the kind of person who thrives on the idea of a good project, so — while all of this felt kind of overwhelming at times — it didn’t scare me. I liked the feeling of getting up every day (no later than 6:30, which was one of the things I figured out) ad consistently working toward the realization of something totally new and cool. Back then, that something was, well, my career. No biggie.

Thankfully, I figured out my career/life project within a year or so. While there are always new things to learn, I have the basics of my freelancing business more or less down to a science. There are schedules and workflows, more predictable rhythms to my weeks. And while the routine-loving part of my brain gets positively giddy thinking about this, I knew a few months ago that I was antsy for a new project.

I’ve been teasing a lot to my podcast over the last few weeks (check out my May goals post if you need proof!), so it should come as no surprise that it’s become my latest project. Starting from scratch on something new and different, learning about a brand new medium, and somehow figuring out how to adjust my schedule to accommodate all of the work that it requires — none of these processes have been simple, but I am getting so excited to share what I’ve been working on with the world (AKA you) very, very soon. In fact, I’ve decided that I’ll begin sharing pre-launch details of the podcast in just over a week, on Friday 5/25 (!!!!!!). I’m nervous and psyched and all of the other feelings you can imagine about putting all of this (and myself!) out there.

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With that in mind, I thought this might be a great opportunity to share some thoughts about what I’ve learned in the process of digging into this big, scary undertaking, in hopes it inspires you or gives you some perspective on any new projects you’ve been thinking of bringing to life!

  • I’ve learned that it’s important to enjoy the process of starting something new, even if it means that you need to build in extra time to make it all happen. I started actively working on the show in late February, and while I probably could have waited until April, giving myself extra time allowed me to feel more invested in every, single step. Plus, I didn’t have to rush as much.
  • I’ve learned that it’s important to share what you’re doing with the people in your life. While I haven’t released more details about the show here on the blog or on social media, a few family members and friends are in on it. It doesn’t always come naturally to me to talk about myself (I’m sure this is hard to believe coming from a blogger, but it’s true!), but bringing other people into the process has made it that much more exciting and made me all the more accountable.
  • I’ve learned that it’s OK to set other things aside temporarily so you can invest time and emotional energy into a passion project. I haven’t changed up my writing workload drastically, but I have had to give myself more grace than usual in terms of saying “no” to opportunities here and there and meeting deadlines instead of beating them.
  • I’ve learned that it’s a good sign when you can’t stop talking about a new venture. I’m so consumed with and excited about the podcast that I’ve had to apologize to Matt on more than one occasion for having so much to say about it, but he’s so happy to see me passionate about something that he doesn’t mind! When the people around you can sense that your time is being spent in the right place, you know you’re working in the right direction.
  • I’ve learned that it’s OK to invest in new projects — whether that be an investment of time, money, or energy. I talked a little bit about the mindset shifts I had about money recently in my last post, but those shifts happened long after I’d hit “buy” on my podcast microphone, headphones, and software. It was stressful to spend that money initially, but now that I’m in the thick of actually using all of those tools regularly and can see what they allow me to do, I have no regrets.
  • I’ve learned that even if you think you’ve overcome imposter syndromeit can creep back in any time you put yourself out there in a new way. And you know what? You just have to take a deep breath and get over it. (That’s what I’m trying to do, at least).

How do you approach new projects? What big ideas do you have brewing in your head that you want to bring to life? Tell me more in the comments below! 

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monthly goals recap -> april + may.

I’m not sure how we’re already FOUR days into a new month, but here we are… which means that I’m already a day or two later than I’d like to be on my newest monthly goals post. Yeesh. It’s been a crazy few days winding down from the Ignite Your Soul Summit and throwing myself back into work, and last night I drove back to my parents’ house in Pennsylvania so I can be here to celebrate my youngest sister’s first prom later today! It’s days like this that I feel so grateful to have so much control of my schedule.

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Visual progress from my April PowerSheets

I can’t quite put my finger on why, but this last month felt like a big one for me. There were some healthy shifts in mindset and lots of exciting momentum on projects that have been bopping around in my head for a long time. It feels amazing. Even though I didn’t actually get everything on my April list finished (check out my last monthly goals post here for all those original details), I’m excited to share some updates with you. Here we go!

  • Start scheduling podcast recordings.  YES! I have recordings scheduled for the first seven episodes of my podcast. Friends, getting this project up and running brought so much excitement and creative energy into my life this past month. Every time I start talking about it, I get giddy. I’m still not sure when I’m going to start sharing details about the show in advance of the late June launch, but I can’t wait to tell you more.
  • Restore a positive attitude about writing the book!  YES! Instead of pushing myself to write a certain number of pages a week based on a certain outline, in April, I (literally) took a page out of the book Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I went back to basics and spent a lot of time simply writing down by hand things I’ve known and experienced. This process has reminded me how much inspiration I already have to draw from and has given me confidence in my ability to develop a novel.
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Brittney and I at the Summit!
  • Plan travel to Ignite Your Soul Summit.  YES! I successfully got myself to the Summit (in spite of some of the anxieties I was feeling before the event) in Portsmouth, NH. A week later, I’m still processing the experience of being there, and I’m still deciding if I’m going to share what I learned in any kind of dedicated way here on the blog — but I can say that it was an incredibly positive and inspiring weekend, and I’m so glad I went.
  • Read three books.  YES! I read Bird by Bird (a must-read for all the writers out there), Educated (an incredibly intense memoir that fed my fascination with fringe communities), and Text Me When You Get Home (a non-fiction book that gave me all the feels about my awesome girlfriends). I read a fourth book, but it relates to the podcast, so I’m not ready to name it quite yet : )
  • Pitch to 1-2 target outlets. I did pitch to two target outlets, but neither of them were technically new for me. On an unexpected note, Ranker approached me and asked me to start writing for them, and I gladly accepted! You can check out my first piece here.
  • Create social media for the podcast. √ YES! More on this to come if you’re interested in following.
  • Finalize reunion details. √ YES! We have a location and contract nailed down for our ten-year high school reunion in November. We have plenty of other things to do, but it feels good to have some major decisions already made.
  • Take a GarageBand editing tutorial.√ YES! I told you — I can’t get enough of this podcast project. For those interested, I used the William Boyd tutorial, and it was really user-friendly.
  • Have one phone-free night per week. I think that I was only able to put my phone away for the entire night once or twice over the course of April, but I did find myself making greater efforts to charge my phone in another room for at least a few hours a few nights per week. I’m going to give myself partial credit.
  • TAKE A DAY OFF! √ YES! All the praise hand and confetti emojis for this one. I shared all the details of my first real day off in months here.

For the month ahead, I’ve tried to leave myself more margin than usual in terms of time, largely because a lot of my focus outside of my standard writing clients (side note: I took on two more in the last week) will be on ramping up for the launch of the podcast. This is a massive undertaking, and I want to grant myself the time and space to do that well instead of lining up a huge list of other new goals. With the podcast alone, there will be no shortage of lessons learned and challenges conquered in May!

  • Start recording podcast episodes. I’m planning to bank a few weeks worth of episodes before I launch, and I have five recordings scheduled for this month alone. Each of those recordings requires a lot of time and prep. Moving forward, I doubt I’ll have this many recordings lined up in such a short period of time, and I know it will take some time to adjust to the new workflow, but I’d lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious about all of this.
  • Make a plan for podcast launch team. I want to get a small group together to help spread the word about the show in the weeks before the episodes go live! If this sounds interesting to you, let me know with a comment below and I’ll include you on the email list for a more official invite when I have more details. Don’t worry — you’re not making an official commitment yet!
  • Feel healthy and strong during the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I run my fifth Brooklyn Half on May 19. I don’t have a specific time in mind. I just want to feel good while I’m doing it.
  • Refocus on book outline and process. Now that I’m in a better rhythm with the journaling process inspired by Anne Lamott, I have to figure out how to translate that to an actual outline. I bought a big stack of index cards last week, and I’m thinking about using them to physically map out different ideas.
  • Read five books. Yes, I usually plan for three each month, but I have reading to do as part of podcast prep. Am I piquing your interest yet?

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  • Make plans for our second anniversary. It’s hard to believe, but Matt and I will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary next month. We’ve both had our head down with work recently, and I want to make sure we prioritize this time together and make it really special. (Check out a recap of our first anniversary trip to Maine here.)
  • Pitch to 1-2 target outlets. You know how it goes.
  • Get a strong start with new clients. Like I mentioned above, I’ve recently committed to working with two new outlets. I want to make sure I prioritize those gigs in the new month so that I can get comfortable with them as part of my routine.
  • Keep a positive attitude about plans for our future move. I don’t have any specific news to report about the move that Matt and I have been working toward, because at this point, there are a lot of things that are out of our control. With that in mind, I’m planning to check in with myself at the end of every week to make sure that I’m keeping my cool and speaking kindly to others about this looming potential life change. I’ll be honest — being in limbo is really hard. I’m learning, though, that only I can be responsible for my own happiness. This also means that I need to be accountable for my attitude.

What are your goals for May? Fill me in with a comment!

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follow friday: feeds i’m loving.

Happy Friday, friends!

I’m spending this weekend back home in Pennsylvania with my family, celebrating my sister’s high school musical! We’ve been going to these shows for years, and it’s hard to believe that the youngest of my sisters is now a junior. There are only so many more musicals featuring one of our own left for us to see, so I’m trying to soak up every one of them.

I thought I’d kick off the weekend with something fun and a little different. In the spirit of the #FollowFriday movement on Instagram, I’m sharing with you some of the feeds that I’ve been especially digging lately. Keep scrolling to check them out for yourself!

Also, if you’re planning to pop in your earbuds at some point this weekend and are looking for something fun to listen to, check out my interview with The Real Female Entrepreneur Podcast right here (or on your podcast streaming platform of choice)! The episode just went live on Wednesday — perfectly timed pre-International Women’s Day — and while I was nervous to share yet another super real part of my story with all of you (swearing and all… oops!), it was great to have the chance to dig a little deeper with Lauren about the insecurities that came with leaving my corporate job, the lessons I learned about my relationship throughout that journey, and what it meant to me to ultimately be able to match as a full-time writer the income that I had been so afraid to leave behind back when I made the leap. Happy listening!

And now, on to #FollowFriday… and a chance to celebrate social media in its most positive, uplifting forms! 

Do you guys ever feel like the weirdest person that was ever born? 🙋🏼‍♀️ … Do you ever feel like you’re moving + grooving and fitting in with the “cool” kids only to realize that you’re actually a total + utter weirdo? … That you’re the only one who thinks that hilarious cat gif was *that* hilarious…or like the posts you write never sound quite right…or like the big sparkly dreams that get you all heart eyes makes no sense to the people in your life? 🤓 … Oiy…sister…been there, (still) sportin the t-shirt. 🤡 … But here’s what I’ve picked up along the way…it turns out, we A L L feel like the weird one…and when we unite our weirdness + appreciate each other’s awkward-factor we feel more united than we do different. 👯‍♀️ … So today’s message is a salute to all of my fellow weirdos. 👩🏻‍🎤 To the ones who laugh at the jokes no one else does, to the ones willing to pick up the mic, share their insides on the outside while rocking what feels right over what will get the likes. …. The world needs (y)our weird, my love. 💞 … Comment below with what leaning in to your weird looks like IRL 😻 . . . 📸 by @laurenbodwell . . . . . . . . . #entrepreneurship #entrepreneurlifestyle #entrepreneurlife #entrepreneursofinstagram #thehappynow #livethelittlethings #meetthemoment #nothingisordinary #abeautifulmess #beingaleader #creativepreneur #bedeeplyrooted #pursuewhatislovely #becomingirresistible #creativeentrepreneur #createcultivate #bloomyellow #theeverygirl #flashesofdelight #savvybusinessowner #thenativecreative #thedulcetlife #businesscoach #successcoach #femaleambition #financialfreedom #everywomancan #mumcoach #flexibleworking #motivation

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Good quote

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In case you didn't know, in addition to running a PR business where I help entrepreneurs get more press for their business, I'm also the host of the @dayinthelifepodcast. . What started as a passion project has now turned into a way for me to interview the most interesting and impactful people in the world. . Recent episodes include: 💜a former Lutheran pastor where we discuss his thoughts on gay couples and Christianity 💜@BuzzFeed Lifestyle Editor @the_rewm (I've been following her for 9 years…insane!) 💜Health & Wellness Coach @homebodysoul on the pressure to be "healthy" all of the time 💜Former NFL Coach @coachdkr on making big career changes & setting boundaries. . There's so much more goodness coming out of the podcast this year. Would love to have you listening and if you already tune in, would love it if you left a comment below and told me your fav episode! . . . #ditl #ditlpodcast #dayinthelife #podcast #shepodcasts #podcasting #podcasters #podcaster #podcastersofinstagram #savvybusinessowners #mycreativebiz #thesavvycommunity #beingboss #thatsdarling #theeverygirl #risingtidesociety #entrepreneur #womeninbiz #womeninbusiness #onewomanshop #onewomanshoplife #creativepreneur #bloguettes #womenentrepreneur #dallas #dallastx #dallasblogger #entrepreneurlife #entrepreneurmindset #solopreneur

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What feeds are you loving lately? Tell me more in the comments below! 

 

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