Last updated on November 6th, 2019 at 03:15 pm
Sometimes it can be difficult to find things to write about your dream, especially when your dream involves: uploading a new favicon image for web browsers, forwarding 8WomenDream email to one account, searching Google News, fixing meta-data that has gone sideways, and a host of other menial tasks involved in the day-to-day running of an online publication.
I could add that I am doing all this in a black lace bra, which might be more interesting to our male readers, but not so much for our female demographic. Besides, it’s much more likely that I am doing this in a bathrobe with my hair in a pigtail, sans make-up and deodorant, with reading glasses while ignoring my son’s pets trying to tell me that he is ignoring their basic needs.
I could talk about the Facebook ad campaign I started, or the press release I am almost finished with, but frankly, none of it sounds very dreamy or exciting, even though every bit of it is a part of my dream.
I get a lot of emails. There’s that. And when I say a lot of emails, I am talking in the thousands–daily. I have to be able to sort quickly through them and make fast decisions. I have learned that if I do not have time to address it right this minute then I need to let it go. Sometimes it’s a good decision, other times I’m sad that I passed on it.
Not so exciting?
There are books.
Every publishing company known to mankind wants to send me preview-books to read in exchange for a written review and help with promoting it. I’ve done a lot of these and I have been happy to help other authors with their book dreams, but after a while reviewing books has become another part-time job. I needed to let it go.
I swear one of these days I am going to take my collection of meaningful preview-books by new and seasoned authors and put them into a goodie box to give away as a big gift to one of our readers.
Hopefully, before I turn 99 years of age.
The book experiences have afforded me the opportunity to interview best-selling authors like, Jackie Collins, who blew me away with her thoughts on strong women characters and readers she adores. I received sound advice from Guy Kawasaki and laughed with other ground-breaking authors who were daring to change the world with their words, even if it placed their lives in danger.
I have often thought that reviewing books and interviewing the authors would be a great blog for some cleaver journalist/author that likes to read all of the time. But it’s not for me. It can become too much work. I made the tough decision to let it go. You too will have to make some tough decisions while stumbling along on your dream journey.
I needed more time to work the 8WD site and keep it up to date and time to finish my own personal websites–places for me personally to write about other topics besides going after your big dreams. The Internet is constantly evolving like that good spaghetti recipe passed down to you by your grandmother, which means that you spend quite a bit of time watching, reading and following Internet trends.
When the world began to love mobile devices, I had to change 8WD to accommodate new technology. It was a week of late evenings followed by one long pajama weekend to get everything on the site converted over and it’s still not all the way done.
8WD needs a new banner at the top of the home page. I have the design and the person to do it. It’s just waiting for me. It’s on my list of to-do’s, like that box of books.
Another part of my week is spent correcting little stuff that isn’t working on the site, or maybe a title needs changing that isn’t performing well in search, or fixing an old popular post that has suddenly dropped off from search. Tasks, that on paper look like they should take 2 minutes, which end up taking over an hour.
There’s always the site upgrades that suddenly, unexpectedly wipe out a sitemap or metadata (descriptions) that need to be rebuilt. Suddenly I am a coder, webmaster and SEO agent all at once. These three people do not get along. I’d rather be writing, or painting, or gardening, but the work has to be done. This is the boring part of being an online publisher.
What did you do this week to work on your dream? “Oh, I deleted some tags and removed some bad code.”
I feel like sharing these types of publishing activities with you each week would be like watching someone paint a house. It can’t be fascinating to you. But these menial background activities are important. What happens behind the scene impacts how 8WomenDream does as a whole– or you and all of the women who participate here. I’m like that little man behind the green curtain operating the wizard.
And trust me, most days I feel like writing, “Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain! The Great Catherine has spoken!”
And skip writing for the week.
Sometimes I have done this. But I can’t do it for more than 14 days because I promised one of the original 8 Women Dreamers that I would find time to write once a week on 8WD like everyone else in the group. She’d tell me that she enjoys my writing and lecture me that I was, after all, a writer. I couldn’t argue with her. Thus began my writing practice of slipping myself into 8WD on Sunday nights after helping my son with whatever homework project he had forgotten until the very end of the weekend.
I was going to be up late anyways…
A year and a half ago, just as Google was slapping everyone on the search and removing pages from certain search terms, my life took a more dramatic turn. It became difficult for me to make a regular commitment to 8 Women Dream — let alone write on 8WD.
Intermixed with what goes on behind the scene of the 8WD website there is my sick mother, who I help care for part-time. I don’t want to write about what living this situation is like because I feel that my mother deserves privacy and honestly, I haven’t decided what I want to say about it.
It’s made finding time to be here with you more difficult. When I sit down to write, images of my mother float across my face and all kinds of emotions from anger – to frustration – to deep sadness fill my soul.
I want to write,
“Today is a bad day. Come back tomorrow.”
But I can’t do that.
8WomenDream has carried me, just as it has carried others who dare to try their hand at working on their big dream. It’s the reason why I felt compelled to create this website with a group of women. I wanted a place for women (and men) to come when they needed inspiration, encouragement, laughter, hope, and find an understanding that they aren’t crazy for wanting to change their life.
It’s perfectly OK to dream big dreams. And YOU DO have the ability to make them come true.
That’s what I want to say every single week — even when I am struggling. Even when life is kicking my ass. I know if I keep showing up, even on the days when I am hanging by a thread — the time will pass and I will be one step closer to my dream.
I love publishing online. I love the women who have written and continue to write on 8WomenDream. We struggle just like you. Life kicks us in the face too. We want you to know that we are human and I am too.
We make sure to always come back around to our dreams, even when everything seems to be standing in our way or breaking our hearts. And sometimes your dream will feel like a boring life — a life stuck in watching the paint dry — but you must stay with it because eventually, you see that you have been wearing the ruby slippers all the long.
And dreaming big is your way back home.
Catherine Hughes is the editor and founder of 8WomenDream. She’s also a magazine columnist, content creator, blogger, published author, and former award-winning mom blogger. Catherine collaborates with companies to craft engaging web content and social media narratives. Her work, highlighting stories of the resilience and success of Northern California residents, appears in several print magazines. Outside of work, she treasures motherhood, her close friendships, rugby, and animals.
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