As a writer, I constantly have words floating in my brain. Words pinging the inside of my head, looking for the right way to get out. Sometimes they are lost or come out in ways unexpected, good and bad. Other times they flow out in a beautiful fashion. Those are the best times. Every now and then I might regret words, but that doesn’t happen often. I’m pretty deliberate with my words, often thinking far too much about what they mean and going back to explain them if they are misunderstood.

10553356_10152531841913558_4920417115845206146_nI was at a loss for words at the AYA Summit last week. By the end of the day on Thursday, there were tears, heart palpitations, and feelings of shock, happiness and empowerment all rolled into one. The bloggers in the room looked at each other and could barely speak. How do you explain the experience of hearing the words that explained exactly how those more than 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped from their school as told from a brave young woman who escaped within 24 hours of the abduction? How do you share the brilliant and poignant performances of a homeless woman and poet determined to be a role model for young girls and the Hollywood actress staying true to her roots and telling African women stories through her play.

Sometimes there are no words, though I will attempt to recap my experience at the summit soon.

I’ve become more mindful of words over the years. They have so much power. Words. They can hurt you or fill your heart with love. They can comfort, make you laugh or thrust you into action. And then, of course, there are the words we are too afraid to say. I feel bad for those words, stuck in someone’s mind just itching to come out. I’ve got some of those words, but I try not to let them stay in my head for too long.

The best part about being a writer is when you find out that your own words have touched someone else. Knowing our words have meaning keeps us going. And writing more words.

I’ve experienced so many words this year that have given me much to think about, to celebrate and be thankful for. Meaningful words with meaningful people in so many different ways. They set the scene for the storylines of our lives.

And I thank you for reading my words.

Download My 2014 Editorial Calendar!

I probably write every day of my life. It’s my passion. It’s also how I make my living.

The truth is that some days I just don’t know what to write. I may not feel inspired. Or my mind just goes blank.

It happens to a lot of writers. Not knowing what to write. And I hear all the time from entrepreneurs who are trying to get messages out via newsletters or their blog that coming up with good content is just not their focus.

editorial calendar 2014

That’s why I decided to share my very first editorial calendar last year. I’ve always found that looking at each month as a whole helps me develop themes for my writing and to plan ahead for content, whether it’s for my (or a client’s) blog, a newsletter, article, etc.

My 2014 Editorial Calendar is completely updated with many new writing prompts for you to use throughout the year. From wacky holidays to awareness months, I’ll provide you with ideas and resources to use for your blog posts, newsletter articles or whatever else you might be writing. 

As an added bonus, writing relevant and timely posts will also help with better search engine optimization (SEO) for your website or blog. My posts on International Lefthanders Day and International Bacon Day always get great traffic. And World Toilet Day was a big hit this year as well!

If you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, you already got a link to access the 2014 Editorial Calendar. If you’d like to check it out, you can download it for free when you subscribe today. Don’t worry, you can easily unsubscribe at any time if you so choose. I try to keep things simple. I send the newsletter out on the first Friday of each month and include a writing tip, a simple way to give back and the best of the blog from the previous month.

Oh and if you use my 2014 Editorial Calendar for inspiration, please tweet me links to your articles. I just might share them on my blog, newsletter or over my social media channels!

Have you used an editorial calendar before?

Philanthropy Friday: Couch Rebel With a Cause

causepubEach Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

CausePub is a community of storytellers working together to create best-selling books that directly impact specific causes.

It all started about a year and a half ago when Griff Hanning wrote a book about personal finance. At the time, he was struggling with his own finances and, as he noted to me, he had made a few stupid decisions as an entrepreneur.

The only problem with the book was that while there were some good nuggets in it, people weren’t overly excited about it.

What Griff realized from this first failed book attempt was that he’s at least got a few good stories to share. And though not everyone should write a whole book, you can still make a big impact as a storyteller. He then compiled a book of stories about what not to do, called Hey Don’t and started a Kickstarter campaign. That didn’t raise much money.

Hey Don’t was too negative and didn’t communicate well, so Griff put his idea on the backburner.

In August of last year, Griff re-visited his idea of compiling stories for impact and took it to the next level by starting CausePub. He wanted to encourage people to get off the couch and do something. And what better way to do that than to share stories of couch rebels like him? People who live outside of their comfort zone every now and then.

couch rebels

CausePub’s first project is to publish the book Couch Rebels. The best part is that for every book sold, Blood:Water Mission will be able to provide three people with clean water for one year. That’s because a good chunk of the proceeds of the book will go directly to Blood: Water Mission, a nonprofit Griff heard about on the radio and felt immediately compelled to donate. (You can see a breakdown of where the money goes here.)

Griff liked the grassroots type approach Blood:Water Mission takes to tackle the AIDS/HIV and water crises in Africa. He noted they are made up of a bunch of couch rebels. Future book projects will marry a cause and a theme.

Here’s a quick video that describes how CausePub works and how you can be involved with Couch Rebels.

Couch Rebels – A CausePub Book Project from Griff Hanning on Vimeo.

The goal of this CausePub project is to sell 15,000 copies, which means that 45,000 people could be provided with clean water for an entire year. If you’ve read some of my past posts on the importance of clean water and sanitation, you know how huge this would be.

And because I know I’ve got some couch rebels for readers, here’s how you can be involved:

What’s your couch rebel story?

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