I’m just not sure what I got out of it.

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I graduated from college in the early 00’s with only a small amount of student loan debt. The $10,000 I did have was paid off within a year with the modest salary I earned at my first job without living like a frugal hermit.

So it’s not about the money.

I’m just not sure what I got out of the whole experience.

Though there are some highly technical fields that do require advanced training and years of study, most jobs are not in those fields. …

It’s a leap of faith

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Having read thousand (well, at least hundreds) of articles on real estate investment, my husband and I finally made the leap and purchased our first rental property last week.

There are enough headlines about Gen Z investors owning 25+ properties with little or no money down to make it seem easy.

We live in an expensive West Coast city, so local investments were well out of price range. Unless we wanted to get some hard money loans (and a lot of them) or to buy an extreme fixer-upper, we were out of luck.

We spent…

Loving and Hating Wordrunner

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In December of last year, I dutifully set my reading goals for this year on Goodreads. I made a list of the 52 books that would get me there, and I checked off the first few in January.

Then life got in the way. An overwhelmingly busy work schedule. Kid activities restarting. Life.

The year sped along (as they tend to do), and I found out recently how far behind I am (Goodread clearly states how far off your goal you are when you log in — so helpful?).

What should be motivating, now seems daunting.

Kids need to know there’s somewhere to go.

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When I was growing up, my best friend’s house was always open. Whether she was home or not, her parents kept the door unlocked, and we were free to wander in and out as needed.

They did have one rule — if you finished the pot of coffee, you had to make a new one.

But beyond that, we were welcome any time of the day or night. If we were looking for her, the door was open. If we need to talk to a parent that wasn’t our own (because, of…

Conquer the morning.

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I’ve read several books lately lamenting the dwindling attention spans in modern society. It all sounds great on paper : Just turn off your devices! Carve out hours for yourself! Say no to everything that comes along that doesn’t fit with your life’s mission!

It just seems so far from the reality of a working parents with three kids, a job, and a business on the side. Focus feels impossible. Maybe I’m overcommitted (and don’t sleep much) but that’s where I’m at.

I’m frustrated by the smartphone’s grip on my focus and my lack of productive work…

A defense of wasting time.

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When I was little, my mother was constantly telling me that I was unfocused. Not when it came to school, I did just fine there. I could devour books for days on end, but when it came to trying new hobbies, anything was game.

I dabbled in many things.

I played seven instruments — but none of them well. (Bassoon was my mother’s personal favorite — she said it sounded like a cow dying).

I wrote poetry — none of it was good (but that didn’t stop me from sharing it with everyone).

I learned…

You’re holding yourself back.

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There are many things that you need to start doing before you can start writing regularly. But before you can do any of those things, you need to stop doing these things.

Stop waiting for inspiration.

Just start writing. Grab a notebook or open an editor. Just start writing. The first few words are the hardest.

Many books on writing recommend writing morning pages that were originally recommended in The Artist Way. Morning pages consist of three full pages of writing about whatever is on your mind. …

I just can’t anymore.

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I unfollowed my mother on Facebook tonight.

It seemed like an extreme step against an older person who lives 1,200 miles away, but I took that step tonight. I don’t want to see angry posts and conspiracy theories.

I might miss some of the pictures she posts of the grandkids. I might miss a birthday greeting (why doesn’t she call me?) I might miss updates on her friends.

When we talk on the phone, we have drawn clear lines around politics, religion, and global warming (but maybe that falls under the umbrella of politics — though…

Deceptively simple in theory.

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I suck a meditation.

My mind wanders, I get antsy, I generally lack focus and commitment to the practice.

Doing nothing seems too… complicated.

About a year ago, I read about a simplified technique where you sit in meditation until you have counted 50 breathes.

Simple, I thought.

Impossible (for me), I found out. But maybe that’s the reason why it’s worth it.

The Method

I first read about the method on the .

The steps are simple.

  1. Sit in meditation pose.
  2. Breathe in slowly. Hold in the breath for a couple of seconds.
  3. Release the breath.

Breaking it into steps makes it manageable.

Determine the topic. Outline the piece. Replace bullet points with paragraphs. Edit.

It’s that simple to write an article of any length.

Following these steps allows me to write thousands of words each day without ever being terrified of a blank page.

Step 1: Determine your topic.

For me, this means picking the question I’m trying to answer.

For example, this for this article, I’m trying to answer the question: how do I write a lot, every day, without fearing that I will not have anything to say?

Everything can be phrased as a question, even a work…

Allison Fleck

Data analyst and life analyst. Proud maker of mistakes. A big fan of learning lessons the hard way.

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