10 Things I’ve Learned About Life and Writing Since Starting NW Healthy Mama 4

I wanted to loose the last 10 pounds of my baby weight first and I wanted to consistently make it to the gym. I didn’t think I should start a website called “NW Healthy Mama”, until I was ready to be the poster child of a thriving woman. But, I couldn’t let  the idea go. All of the aspects of this site came together so well and the right people looked me in the eyes and bluntly asked me what I was waiting for. I gave up perfection and I leaped.

Breathing in deep, I let the word out about this site just over 4 months ago, and what a lovely adventure it has been. I’ve learned so much and I sense that the journey is just beginning.10 Things I've Learned About Life and Writing

Here’s what I’ve learned about life and writing since starting NW Healthy Mama:

  1. You don’t need to write about everything people suggest and you can’t try to please everyone. One of my weaknesses is that I tend to be too nice and when someone suggests that the website should have a certain feature, I want to accommodate them. I love our readers and I want to keep everyone happy! However, if the idea doesn’t fit the vision, it might be a great thought, but not a good fit. Create for yourself a clear vision about life (or writing) and keep things on your plate (or on your site), that fit with the vision. So many things are good, but not everything is for us.
  2. Constantly remind yourself of who you are and what your purpose is. Since starting NW Healthy Mama, I’ve actually started reading less blogs and being intentional with some hours each day that are strictly off-line. I’ve found that if I’m constantly bombarded with other people’s lives, I tend to forget who I am and I loose my voice. Most of my best posts have been after I’ve spent time unplugged, living freely. Remind yourself that your life is good and that your art should be an original reflection of who you are. To be great, you don’t need to be anyone else, you need to be YOU. Imitation isn’t your best. Unplug and dig into who you are. YOU are amazing.DSC_0252
  3. To create art that stirs hearts alive, your life tank needs to be full. If you’re only allowing yourself to live a little and to feel a little, your words will be diluted. If you’re numbing yourself and you’re not living all of the good and all of the ugly, your art will be very dull. Whether your art is words, photos or paintings, you need to truly allow yourself to live, experiencing all of the pain and goodness. Then you can share those experiences with others. When your LIFE tank is full, you’ll have the overflow you need to create art that stirs hearts alive.
  4. Partner with brands you believe in. It’s fun to honestly be able to say that I personally love all the brands NW Healthy Mama has partnered with. Keep in mind that your word is valuable and so is your time. You want your readers to trust you. Don’t waste yourself collaborating with companies you personally don’t love. This goes back to keeping the vision clear. What is your vision? Does the company fit your vision? If not, just wait….Better opportunities are around the corner.IMG_6929
  5. Be consistent and live and write in the way that works best for you. If you are photographer, I’m guessing  you know your best time of day to edit photos. And if you write, I’m guessing that deep in your heart, you know when you write best.  Stop telling yourself you don’t know your best way to live. You do. You know what food makes me you feel well and you know the routine that helps you thrive. Do more of those things. Wake up early or stay up late. For me, this is going to bed earlier and waking up early to write. My words come alive when the house is quiet and it’s just me and my coffee. 
  6. Cheer-lead for others and be comfortable watching others succeed. Remember when I wrote about being content to be a cheerleader? When I started NW Healthy Mama, the support I received, taught me how powerful it is when women feel comfortable encouraging each other to succeed. We are truly stronger together and if you don’t feel like you can watch another woman do well, don’t think you’ll be successful either. A woman who builds others up will light up a room. Maple Pass Loop3
  7. Recognize you need like-minded women in your life who really “get” your vision. Whether your parenting, starting a new website or going back to college, you need cheerleaders and people in your life who understand your goals. When you come across a rare gem of a person who supports you and challenges you, thank them and hang onto them. Good ideas, plans and dreams are usually just tiny sparks, without some faithful words of encouragement.
  8. People will copy you and it’ll be annoying. Especially in the world of social media, there is a lot of imitation going on.  Your words, your ideas and maybe even your photos will be stolen. It’s going to happen and it’ll be irritating.IMG_2813
  9. Women are lonely, longing for connection and they are also amazing. I’ve read lots of comments and had many in-person conversations and a common thread often runs through. Women are often struggling with isolation. On the flip side, I’ve found that women are incredible! The words you share here and the conversations I’ve had off-line have opened my eyes to how gifted and unique each person is.
  10. Everyone is dealing with something. You are not alone in your struggle. When I wrote about “Anxiety vs. Adventure“, many of you chimed in, letting me know that I’m not the only one who deals with this. Those words of “me too! me too!”, showed me that we’re never really alone in our struggles. There are millions of people in the world.  Someone else out there is dealing with the same thing  as you. When you share your struggles, you give others the freedom to know it’s not just them. 

Thank you all for being part of this community. I’m so grateful for each and every guest post, comment and word of encouragement. We truly live in the best part of the world, with some of the best ladies around! 

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.

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4 thoughts on “10 Things I’ve Learned About Life and Writing Since Starting NW Healthy Mama

  • Lena Voth

    I agree whole heartedly with all of these! I too spend way less time reading blogs now than I used too and also agree that I’m better at figuring out the words in my heart when I am by myself, have been unplugged and not having to multitask- so basically late at night when the rest of the house has gone to sleep. a

    10 encourages me to keep muscling through the post I’m working on.


  • Johanna

    I’m so thankful you took the leap and created this space. I love getting to read it and I love getting to chime in when my crazy life allows. Keep on keeping on, Angela! You encourage and inspire so many women with what you do.