Welcome to the “Let’s be Inspired series”, where we get to know our fellow bloggers on WordPress.com. Where we learn about their blogging, book writing, their passion for gardening, photograph and more. The purpose is to be ‘inspired’ by their journey and to learn from them. To be invigorated by their dedication, motivation, and understand how they make it happen. And maybe employ some of their routines and wisdom in our blogging, writing or whatever our passion is.
Today, we speak to Teri Mirikitani, the sixth blogger in the let’s get inspired series.
Where does the inspiration to write come from? Featuring Teri Mirikitani
Teri and I became blogger friends sometime in 2020. I believe it was Teri’s wonderful comments to my blog post that inspired me to check out her blog – JustTeri. I of course fell in love with her blog, it was right up my street – personal development, quotes, simple, clean and profound and useful advice. And a lot of our thoughts about life are quite aligned.
Through the research, for this interview, I got to learn more about Teri.
She is a mum of two teenagers, she has co-written a book and has a B.S. in Psychology and is a Certified Life Coach.
I hope you enjoy this interview, which is more like a chat between two friends, so grab your tea or coffee and enjoy getting inspired by Teri’s blogging journey and more.
When and Why did you start blogging?
I love to write. It comes easily and naturally to me and I praise my high school composition and grammar teachers who masterfully shared their expertise with me. I started blogging in 2016 when I was just beginning my work in life coaching and I wanted to be able to help more than one person at a time. I was limited in time because my kids were still in elementary and junior high.
I blogged when I could without pressuring myself because I didn’t want to dread blogging and I certainly didn’t want that feeling to come through into my writing. So, I blogged when I could without compromising my priorities of family and clients. My work was inconsistent, but I enjoyed it and hoped that shone through. 😊
What is the theme of your blog?
My blog is about personal development. I believe people are more powerful than they realize and deep down they know they have it and are seeking ways to spark it. My goal is to serve others to reconnect with how fabulous they are and how they have the capacity to make their life one of joy and peace.
My goal is to share the ways I connect with my authentic self in thought, action and processing the corresponding emotions in a way that is empowering. I want to share how choosing personal responsibility as my cornerstone has helped me live an authentic life that is peaceful and full of joy for myself and others around me. I want this for others too!
I believe if we reconnect with our values and learn how to choose ways that align with them, not contradict them, or complicate them we reduce the rampant creation of confusion and frustration.
I have a mission statement:
I enjoy writing and having conversations with people about how to reframe their problems or struggles as opportunities to learn how to better process their challenges and act in ways to grow towards their higher potential, live peacefully and prosper.
Where do get the idea for your blog post?
Listening to life. I enjoy having conversations with people and hearing how life is going for them which is why life coaching was a natural progression for me.
I take the lead from what I hear people processing in their lives and seek to help comfort, soothe, or offer possibilities on their journey. If I can help one person feel better or see from a new perspective or new possibilities for their current life situation, it fills me up with joy and hope and I can’t tell you how good that feels.
And that’s how I’ve always approached my blogging. I want to help at least one person feel better or more hopeful or more confident in handling their life challenges.
Do you a lot of research?
I’m a researcher by nature. I’m curious and need to understand the derivative of what interests or challenges me, so I’ve spent most of my adult life reading, mostly non-fiction. Lately, I’ve tried to spend more time reading fiction – to give my brain some entertainment and some rest from constant stimulation and processing information and theories.
As a result, I have an abundance of information to use for my blog, but I generally seek educational or organizational websites if I need to verify information on what I’m writing.
How many draft and rewrites do you do before posting you blog post?
I make endless revisions. I really do enjoy the art of writing and want my final blog to read well. I want my readers to feel lighter and hopeful that they’re sharing a path of many and there are different ways to see and process life’s challenges that they may not have considered before or struggle with. So, I always think there’s a way I can say it better. I want to give my readers a gift for their time reading my post!
Do keep a running list of topics for future blog posts?
I try to have a list of the next few blogs I want to write but never feel obligated to stick to it. While I like my blogs to have a connection and build on each other, I also give myself the freedom to write what may be going on in my life, or the world around me.
Of course, I keep a list of ideas that hit me, and I say, “This would make a good blog!”. This list has grown quite long, and I need to remember to read through them more often. If I’m struggling to get started with a blog, I do check out my list and see if I recorded this particular idea and hope it sparks some idea to explore.
How has your blogging Journey evolved?
It was just me wanting to connect with more people. Through my life coaching work and supporting family and friends, I felt that blogging offered me a vehicle to comfort, encourage and hopefully inspire people to feel better today and work towards a better tomorrow!
Now, I want to be of service to others. I want to use my natural skills, abilities, and compassion to help others feel good about their life and discover ways to do that now.
I’m very passionate about learning and growing and I want to encourage others to be life-long learners not only about the world around them but how they connect and impact their world as well. I believe growth is a life-elixir and we should always intend to grow in some small way every, single, day!
How often do you blog?
When I first started maybe twice a month? It was a busy time with younger kids and all the school, sports, and social activities not to mention starting to do work in life-coaching. My kids have always been my number one priority. I never doubted this and never resented it. They’re the best job I’ve ever had or will have. Being busy with kids I just rolled with it and tried to blog at least once a month. 😊
Do you have a favourite writing /blogging spot?
Before Covid-19 hit, I’d go to Starbucks a lot. It’s hard to get work done in the house. There’s always a temptation to get ahead of my house chores so I’d escape the house to remove any distraction.
I also enjoyed going to The Ringling Museum or other places that were interesting, picturesque, or good ambience like small cafes or parks.
How do you juggle blogging with being a full-time mom and all the activities of your children and husband?
I have a daughter and son.
Some days are easier than others and now that my kids are teens and more independent, I have more time. I was saturated with school activities, sports activities and had very little time for me, let alone my writing but now that my kids have moved into their teen years, I’m taking advantage of their increased independence. I take time while they’re at school to do my writing, knowing when they return home, I’ll want to be “available” to them if they want or need to talk. Plus, any chores I need to do, I can do while they’re home and doing homework or connecting with friends.
When they were younger, they needed me much more often and we ran frantically with sports every day after school and weekends, sometimes in two different places. I had much less time, so I tried to get more work done on the house or run errands while they were at school. This really limited my quiet time for writing.
I admit to being a more creative spirit than a good organizer and task manager. Being a full-time mom first for so many years I became really, really good at effective and efficient managing the unexpected interruptions or surprise changes. Now that I have more time while the kids are at school, I’ve learned to do a better job planning my day based on priorities, not just winging it. I wanted to feel more productive and move through the day with more confidence, not just reacting to what was dumped into my lap.
So, it’s no surprise to say that I also got much better at saying “no”. I love people and hate to say “no” so I would completely complicate and pack my day which left me overwhelmed and exhausted. Boundaries are loving and helpful when delivered gently and with kindness, so I got better at setting them.
Basically, I do the best I can with whatever my current priorities are and just roll with it. My priorities guide my choices and as a result, I’m rarely felt disappointed.
Has the pandemic and everyone being at home made it harder to blog?
When the kids were home full time it was extremely difficult.
Creative work cannot survive interruptions. It just can’t! Not even a simple question. I’ll have had a great train of thought and even a minor interruption pops the idea balloon. BAM! This would make me extremely irritated! LOL
So, I started to practice healthy and kind boundaries. I got up earlier and asked the kids that if I was at my computer desk to write down what they needed from me and ask me on my next break. I try to break every 25 minutes – I also subscribe to the Pomodoro Technique you once blogged about! 😉 It’s was a great improvement!
Still my best work is done while I’m alone and I try to do it when they’re at school or the house is most quiet. First thing in the morning, after my morning journaling or after dinner while kids are doing homework or relaxing.
How much time do you spend reading and commenting on others bloggers post?
I absolutely LOVE exploring other bloggers’ posts. I try to do 3 days of reading other blogs, but I truly want to absorb and comment on the posts and to do so requires a substantial amount of time from me. Depending on my week, it can be quite the challenge.
I find blogs a great source for entertaining, inspiring, educating, informing me. I enjoy the variety of styles and approaches and presentation and I love to support and encourage people.
I enjoy interacting with the blogger and really want to support how their words touched me!
What did you love about blogging?
I love to connect with people and do my best to brighten their day, encourage growth, and support their progress on living their best life. It makes me happy. People are great resources to help each other do life better and I want to help improve life for as many others as I can 😊
We’re all doing our best to enjoy life and connecting with others who may have the same struggles, or provocative ways of handling them helps the journey!
What are your future plans for your blog?
I’d like to improve my content and writing, and I really enjoy interacting with the amazing people who choose to leave a comment, so I hope to encourage others to interact with what I’ve written more often. I love this the most and I really enjoy hearing how my words affected them. Same experience? Different? New ideas in processing life? These comments enlighten my perspective as well!
I plan to continue to blog and hope to do it more often as I gain more time as my children mature. Since it’s not strictly a journaling type of blog as much as an inspirational blog, I set high expectations to deliver more than opinions only, which I do, but offer ideas, tools, and suggestions on how to expand our curiosity, consider new possibilities and find peace here in the now. I am committed to helping others be empowered to continue to learn and grow.
Growth is life! And, life is good!!
Do you have any advice for bloggers starting out or struggling with blogging who might be full-time moms?
Do what feels right for YOU! Write about what interests you, concerns you or brings you joy. As far as a blogging schedule, you know yourself best and how you best operate in how often you write and I don’t think blog length matters. Don’t force it, don’t shackle yourself with expectations that disrupt the balance in your life. It’s all about content and connection with the readers!
You are the creator of your blog content. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to do what everyone else is doing. Just do what feels fun and works for you!
If you’re struggling with content, comment on a book you’re reading, something you saw on social media or TV, heard in church or on the street. The world is an infinitesimal source of blog topics and inspired writing 😉
You have written a book. What is the title of the book? What is it about? Could you give the background of how the book came about and how long it took to write from end to end? Was it published traditionally or self-published – can you explain that journey? How did writing a book impact your blog?
The book is called When’s It My Turn? It’s stories about the struggle for moms, particularly of younger children, take a turn for themselves. It covers the ups and downs of the sacrifice of a woman for her children, family and many times a career. Ultimately, it’s a big hug for all the moms out there doing their best to create a healthy and loving life for their family and it IS worth it.
Incidentally, I was pleased how many women, without children, and men enjoyed the book. I guess in life, there are many different things that occupy our time, energy and focus and we feel like we need to take a turn for ourselves!
The book was birthed from many, many conversations with my two co-authors about the challenges of motherhood and we believed we were not and could not be the only moms feeling this way. Actually, it was a very cathartic experience and only took 6 months from start to end.
We didn’t need to research anything. We were sharing our life experiences and stories with other moms. The writing flowed easily.
Having an amazing writer and editor for co-authors made the process simple and smooth. Christi McGuire, a successful non-fiction editor, edited the collection of stories, Melissa Rixon, who has a BA in English, was not only the writer who polished the stories up but drew the cover art and Christi, being in the publishing business found a graphic artist to format the art. Additionally, Christi formatted the book so that we could self-publish. We used Amazon Kindle for publishing and it’s available for e-book and, also paperback.
The book is about sharing our stories with other moms who may struggle with feeling lost under the responsibilities of motherhood and we didn’t want to shop around or wait to get a published to say “yes’. We could do it on our own and get it into the hands of moms, which was our desire. To offer support, encouragement, and inspiration that everything happens as it should and if we stay true to what we love the most, it’ll all work itself out in the end.
Being self-published had its challenges as we were so busy being moms and working that we couldn’t promote the book like it needed to be. As my time frees up, I hope to promote the book more because I believe it a worthwhile read for all people juggling a load of responsibilities. I believe the book has potential to help many!
Do you plan to write another book? and if yes what genre and would it be a collab or? Please just share a little about your plans.
I have many ideas on how I can help support and encourage others to live their best life. I do have a few ideas for a few books but now is not the time for me to start this project. I’m still quite engaged with my teens and won’t try to do it all right now. I can’t and if I try, everyone around me will suffer. Mostly me.
I do make outlines and play around with adding details and ideas to that outline but as far as writing anything, I’ll hold off until my youngest graduates in 3 years. I will shop around for a publisher to handle its production and marketing because I’d like to reach as many people who may be seeking perspective on my topic and a publisher has the established network to do so.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to write a book in a collab style? What are the lessons learned?
I do suggest having a very close relationship with the co-authors. I can’t believe we would’ve gotten our book done so expeditiously without having such a solid friendship. We were dedicated to meeting our deadlines, kind and honest in our reviews of each-others work and helped each other with any story that needed more “meat” or shined up. It was truly a selfless experience dedicated to connecting with other mothers who sometimes wanted to cry out in frustration, “When’s It My Turn?” We wanted them to know we understood exactly how they felt.
Available for purchase at the following stores:
Are you inspired, motivated?
If you are new to this series here are the links to the other bloggers who have been interviewed.
- Robbie Cheadle was the first blogger to be interviewed in the series you can read her interview here.
- Kamal Roohani was the second blogger interviewed – click here to read.
- Ellen Hawley was the third blogger in the series, click here to read.
- Xenia Tran was the fourth blogger in the series, click here to read her interview.
- Brigid P. Gallagher was the fifth blogger in the series, click here to read her interview.
We are going to take a short break from the Let’s get Inspired series and we will return in Early April 2021 with some more exciting interviews. Do visit again to read the stories of other bloggers interviews.
In the meantime, do comment below what your main takeaways from this interview are, as well as visiting the interviews of the other five bloggers. They have all given something unique to help us all blog better, manage our time smarter and understand out passion.
And don’t forget to visit Teri’s blog– JustTeri
Images: Supplied by Teri, or copied from Teri’s blog. The feature graphic has been created by myself on http://www.canva.com
© 2021 http://www.thoughtsnlifeblog.com and JustTeri.