5/365 Rise and Grind


After turning off all my electronic devices at 9:30, a new habit I’m starting, I began reading Rise and Grind by Daymond John last night. It’s been great so far, easy to stay interested in the content and pretty motivating. Have a read and let me know if it inspires you too!

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Marriage, Wine and a Good Book


Brandon and I have both been reading a lot more lately. I’ve personally devoured three books in the last two weeks and am working on book number four as I learn more about SEO, networking online, productivity and blogging. I guess it’s only natural that reading has rolled into our time spent together. We started our own evening tradition of sitting together on the couch, sipping wine and reading a chapter from a book. Currently, we’re on chapter six of ‘Boundaries in Marriage’ by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. I highly recommend it!

Elleword: Some of the most wonderful moments are the simplest. Looking over and seeing my husband reading by the glow of string lights in our cozy apartment.
He’s not sleeping, lol.

If you’re interested in self help books, I also recommend reading or listening to ‘The Productivity Project‘ by Chris Bailey. I’ve been listening to it on my own and have already picked up some great pointers on what I’ve been doing wrong when it comes to getting work done. For one, I’m spending too much time working! When I work in short spans of time, two hours usually, I get so much more done! I’m also working on fighting the urge to put on a video, look at social media or check my phone while I’m working. Today I not to actively use my phone until 9am. At first it was a little hard.

Waking up around 6:15am, I opened the windows, turned off the lights and let the apartment slowly fill with sunlight naturally. I imagined that I was in staying in a cabin deep in the mountains. I told myself that it wasn’t morning traffic that I was hearing but the gentle sounds of a nearby stream. Not wanting to disrupt my fantasy, I decided against playing music or any other types of media. Instead, I went about my morning routine in quiet serenity. Whenever I heard an alarm chime from my cell, I’d switch from one morning task to another one. Outside of that, I did my best to put all of my focus on the tasks ahead without searching for the nearest clock to see how much time had passed. I failed a few times but as time slowly went by, I began to realize just how much time I really had at my disposal to do each activity.

Brandon reads to me as we relax on the couch after a long day of working. Don't mind my oversized sweat pants! Elleword Blog
Marriage, wine and a good book are all we needed for a great evening.

The more I focused on reading, straightening up the apartment and my yoga positions, the sooner I finished ahead of time. So I guess my key to success lies in cutting out as many electronic distractions as possible (unless the work involves a computer). I’m going to give this a go again tomorrow and see how well it works out. In the meantime, since I’m still feeling lively, I’m going to put in a few more retouches in on a recent project. Have a great night guys! Thanks for reading. If you have solutions or struggles with time management, leave your thoughts in the comments.

Have courage,
Elle

Reading Inspired Writing

Elleword - the storefront at my local Half Price Books store

Aside from improving my photography and client relation skills, I’ve been working towards becoming a more descriptive writer. The goal is to improve my writing style and blog posts so I can start racking up paid writing assignments and spread my reach across the internet. Starting to write proactively after a long drought can be pretty intimidating. That’s why I’ve decided to go back to the basics and read books on a daily basis until I’ve equipped my mind with enough diction to improve my writing skills. I call this technique reading inspired writing. The more I read entertaining and colorful stories, the better I’ll be able to write colorful and entertaining content.

I’ve just begun this journey of falling back in love with reading now that I’ve left the corporate world. I’m starting slowly and then building up my mental stamina and capacity to learn again. I can already tell that this strategy is working because I found myself inspired to write after a few minutes of watching a small family through my patio window. I’m also incorporating foreign language studies, primarily Spanish, to keep my mind challenged. Alright, enough of the technicalities. Here’s what I’m reading to get my brain rebooted.

 

Elleword - Elle is reading 'My Life in France' by Julia Child to improve her righting skills.

My Life in France by Julia Child, with Alex Prud’homme

For those who may not know, Julia Child was a tall sassy chef with a thirst for adventure. She’s been coined as the woman who brought french cooking to America. If you ever watch her cooking show ‘The French Chef’, she just makes you feel wonderful about yourself. When she speaks, it’s like she is singing. This book speaks of her adventures in France with her husband Paul, a government worker and fine artist, and her love of delicious foods. The beauty of this book is that it is filled with historical images taken by Paul himself, of France in the late 1940s after World War II. Though Julia passed away just before the book was published, I feel as if I am getting to know her through her words and stories.

She was a woman of courage, living life in a way that filled her (and her husband’s) life with joy. Paul loved her intensely and always supported and encouraged her to go for her dreams, despite the limitations imposed on women at that time in history. She had this amazing spirit of perseverance and encouraged her readers to keep moving forward, even when they made mistakes. Paul and Julia’s relationship and zest for life inspires me to make an adventure of life and run towards my dreams. Be forewarned, you might want to eat before reading this book. Her descriptions of French food will make you start salivating.

The Wait by Devon Franklin and Meagan Good with Tim Vandehey

I have not yet started reading this book but I’m itching to get started. It’s a book about approaching relationships with a different perspective than that prescribed in magazines. Devon and Meagan share their personal stories of how taking your time and not rushing into things – sex and marriage – can change your life. Although I’m in a happy marriage already, I’m looking forward to absorbing as much information from this book as possible. I believe there is still much that I can learn and apply to my own marriage as well as sharing it with friends. I love talking about relationships, especially with single people because I have a new perspective that I didn’t have years ago. In hindsight, I can see some of the dumb things I jumped into and strive to remind my friends of their own self worth. When you know how valuable you are, you won’t just let any old person come into your life. I’ll give a full book review once I’ve read the book in case anyone wants the inside scoop.

Elleword - Whenever I want to read something interesting or get book/magazine pages for projects, I buy books from the Haggard Library in Plano.

Aside from reading, I’ve also started writing more frequently to stay in motion, so to speak. (This reading inspired writing thing is really working!) Currently, I’m writing up multiple blog entries for three blogs including Fun City Stuff DFW. They have been gracious enough to offer me compensation per post, especially ones with pictures included. I’m so excited because Fun City gets quite a lot of monthly traffic. Posting content regularly on their site is only going to benefit the rate of traffic on my websites. It’s also a way to show people what I can do photographically without consciously trying to sell them on my work. I love working with Fun City because they occasionally send me to events (they sponsor admission for me and a plus one!) to write up cover stories with plenty of pictures. I’ve been to two events thus far, the first being the Savor Dallas Garden Party. The second event was the Taste of Addison this past week. I am always ecstatic and grateful when Andi, their editor, asks me to cover an event. I hope another one comes down the line soon!

I’m only in the second month of my new entrepreneurial routine and having the time of my life. I’m learning how to find work, overcome shyness, gain confidence and rediscovering things about myself that I thought had been lost in corporate seas. I hope my blogging improves. I want you – all five lol – to enjoy reading it and hopefully take positive points away with you. I want my story to encourage and inspire others to live a life of courage. Inspiring stories must be told with inspiring words.

Are you interested in trying “reading inspired writing” techniques? What are you reading right now? When was the last time you read something for pleasure? Share your thoughts in the comment won’t you?

Have courage,

Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle