Make Yourself Great | The Art of Asking & Steal Like an Artist

If you’ve been privy to my little section of the internet for a while, you’re familiar with my old blog Who Made You Great, where I talk to people who are great at what they do about who helped them get there. If you’re not familiar, there are some really awesome interviews with people like Christine Edwards, Manager of the Bungie Foundation, D.R.E.S. the BEATnik, underground concierge and host extraordinaire (who you 100% know if you live in Atlanta), and Danni Washington, founder of The Big Blue and You, show host, and mermaid. They all live here on now, although I’m in the process of transferring all of the old interviews over (sit tight!).

As part of this series, I started sharing books, tools, classes and more that we can use to make OURSELVES great, because who doesn’t want that? Any time we can manage to level up and stock our brains with information, I’m all for it.

In this first video edition of Make Yourself Great, I review two books that I finished last week – Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help and Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being a Creative. I loved them both for different reasons. Check out why below!

What books, tools, classes, etc. have you been using to make yourself great(er)? Leave a comment below so I can check them out – if there’s anything I particularly love (or particularly was not a fan of), I’ll share a review!

Thanks friends. Keep chasing greatness.

This is me not writing my book.

You wouldn’t know how much I truly enjoy the craft of writing by how much I put it off. The next 7,000 words – chapters three and four – of my book manuscript are due on Tuesday. My intention was to start on them this past Tuesday. It is now Saturday morning. I have not started.

Instead, I have

  • finished my third time through of watching all seven Gilmore Girls seasons (hey, gotta get ready for A Year in the Life, right? Also, Rory and Michelle Obama!?)
  • found out (again) that the Amazon Prime movie list is the literal worst. But spent a lot of time browsing through anyway.
  • watched Man Up, The Giver, and Everybody’s Fine. Of those, I think Man Up was probably the best one. The Giver was like the book – you have to keep watching/reading to know what happens but it’s actually a kind of boring story (I know, sue me). Everybody’s Fine was DeNiro being type-cast as a gruff guy getting old and softer. Still a decent movie, though
  • done A LOT of laundry. Who knew writing a book would be good for my formerly not-at-all-present regular laundry habits?
  • purposely stayed late at work. If you know me, you know I DO NOT do this. As much as I like my work at JDRF, I never, ever, ever stay late at any 9-5. It’s a boundaries thing for me. Okay, it WAS a boundaries thing for me.
  • tested out new skin care and makeup routines. Straightened my hair. Curled my hair. Straightened my hair again. Deep conditioned my hair. Curled my hair again.
  • called my mom (I’m really bad about calling my mom).
  • went to Target, my fave, just to try on clothes. Again, not me at all. The “just trying on clothes” thing didn’t work. Like my new outfit?:)

Dress from Target

Right, so all said and done, this is me checking in to tell you, purely, that I have not been writing what I’m supposed to be writing. And would legitimately like to be writing, because I enjoy my subject – being an overachiever while living with chronic disease – and I like the process of putting words together. But I wrote this, so there’s that!

… yes I’m going to actually WRITE write now.


Have no idea what I’m talking about when I say ‘spoonie’?

As I develop content for my book, publishing in September 2016, you’re going to keep hearing me refer to this thing called a “spoonie.” Nope, not a trekkie. Not some weird reference to cuddling. It’s a way people with chronic disease describe ourselves, and here’s why.

Christine Miserandino, author over at But You Don’t Look Sick?, stumbled upon this analogy when trying to explain to her friend what it felt like to live with lupus. If you live with chronic disease, or you know someone who does, you should head on over to read her full explanation.

In short, she explained that most people wake up in the morning knowing that they’re going to be able to get done whatever it is they want to do. Even if they’re tired, they’ll power through, rest better that night, and tackle the next day with gusto.

For anyone living with chronic disease, our energy stores are a very limited tank that need to be watched with the utmost care. It just so happened that, as she was explaining this, she was in a diner with access to quite a bit of cutlery. So Christine grabbed some spoons and set off on this way to explain things: Continue reading “Have no idea what I’m talking about when I say ‘spoonie’?”

Make Yourself Great | Books! | Just Mercy

just mercyIn our last interview with Christine Edwards, foundation manager at Bungie, she recommended a book by Bryan Stevenson, an American lawyer who is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

“I love reading books that tell a human story that gives me a different perspective that I might have not otherwise had. I’m reading a book called Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. It’s about a lawyer and his experience representing people who have been wrongly accused, badly represented, or disenfranchised by the justice system. Continue reading “Make Yourself Great | Books! | Just Mercy”

Who made you great, Christine Edwards?

Christine EdwardsChristine
Manager | The Bungie Foundation
Bellevue, WA

“My parents let me follow my wildest whims across the world. It was important that I not let any insecurities or fear of the unknown dictate what I did… On all fronts they’ve been incredibly supportive in their own unique ways. They provided the perfect balance to create the approach I needed for life.”

Christine, what greatness do you help bring to the world?

The Bungie Foundation has a mission to reduce the stress and suffering of children.Bungie itself is a video game company. We’re a team who is very passionate – the thing everyone could get on board with and feel very strong and passionate about was helping kids.

Bungie’s president, who has always been very philanthropic, finally had the chance to create our own non-profit, which was founded in 2010. When we first started the foundation, we didn’t have anyone to run it full time; I’d been running it as a side gig. It wasn’t until last year that we were big enough to dedicate a full time person to the foundation. Continue reading “Who made you great, Christine Edwards?”