23 April 2016

On the Benefits of Shutting UP to WRITE!

For those of you who know me, you've probably noticed that once I get excited about something, it's really hard to get me to shut the cuss up.

Not to say that I can't be a good listener (to consult, one must listen, silly pants!), but I just have this enthusiasm for awesomeness. If YOU happen to be awesome - watch out! I'll wanna know more about your face. ;)
I can follow directions. I've shut up; I'm writing.

The beauty of wanting to know more about people is that I find out about more opportunities. So when I asked my husband where all the cool kids in our town were hiding (cos I couldn't find them for the life of me), he told me to check out MeetUp.

Rolling my eyes, I guffawed.... then I got curious.

So I looked for peeps hanging out there. And I swear angels sang when I found the perfect group I never knew I was looking for: Shut Up & WRITE!

Legend has it that SU&W actually started in San Francisco (srsly?! Fuuuuuck...) and grew so much in popularity, that it can be found in cities all around the world! Yeah, not only is it in Tokyo, Japan... it's in Boise, ID.

OH snap, son! I signed up, I got there on time (which is hard to do when you have a 3 months old). It was just me and Julie (the organizer). In traditional SU&W format, we schmoozed for 30 minutes, talking about our books and what we were hoping to work on today - then Julie announced the time and all bets were off. 

Mouth closed for one hour while you wrote next to another human.

A blink of an eye later, she called time and let me know it had been an hour. I had a book outline done with chapter crap already starting to fill out. I wanted more.

"There's no reason you can't stay and finish up. But we're just required to sit for the hour," Julie smiled as she packed up her notes and popped them in her bag. 


I've been going to SU&W for over a month now and have become kinda addicted to it. Every week is a little different, as writers drift in and out, introducing new insight on their artistic processes. I could quite happily listen to stories from these kindred spirits for hours.

In fact, I did last weekend. But that's a story for another time.

Roger and I get Ellie ready as quickly as possible, but sometimes the little guy isn't as ready as he thought he was. So I run behind and get to the meetings right before intros are over. For me, that's like getting to the birthday party and all the cake is gone. :/

But it's still wonderful. I get a chance to focus on something I'm thoughtfully pursuing. Elliott and Roger are rad enough to sit around somewhere for a couple of hours and wait for me. Sometimes, Ellie waits on me, but I don't mind.

It was only yesterday, after going to a book launch party some new friends invited me to, that I realized I might be doing something good by following Roger's advice and going out to meet people. They don't even know each other EXIST yet!

So here's my new summary on MeetUp:

Steph Cortés
A a a collector & connector of awesome humans & artistic resources, I'm writing a nonfiction how-to ebook series on selling your awesomeness online to people who *really* want to give you money (in a way that doesn't feel super gross).
My friend, Andie, called me an "Awesome Human Collector" yesterday and even though it sounds a little serial kill-y, I gotta admit - it fits.

What do you think about this "pitch" for myself? I need feedback from people that know me:

What could I say about myself that would make you WANT to get to know me?

I'm awaiting your response with bated breath... (but I might have to break for snacks.)


(Just sayin'...)

Hugs, trail mix & junk,

- Steph

22 April 2016

I am Steph Cortes & I exist: Coming back from hiatus

geek girls dig big books and they cannot lie
I love big books; I cannot lie. You other writers cannot deny...

If you're here because you have received one of my "crafted" business cards, I'm sorry... but not really.

Besides the whole recently moving from San Francisco, CA to hang out in Boise, ID (a whole other blog post in itself), I've been working on a few things in my life. My biggest focus has been to do what I'm good at for a living instead of doing just what needs to be done in order to survive.

Stuff happened in my life, but then that got handled - so now I can DO ALL THE THINGS!

When I went on (forced) hiatus in 2013, I was not sure if I'd be back to craft it up with all the rad peeps I'd met along the way. I thought I might not be able to live a normal life (health-wise). I thought I wouldn't make it past a lot of obstacles that put me in the place to need an extended break.

But then I took care of myself like I took care of a business and BOOM! Here I am.

I'm not sure Idaho is necessarily "ready for this jelly" (thanks, Beyonce!), but they're probably just gonna have to deal with it, cos here I am... and NOBODY knows me.

For those of you who DO know me (from the SF craft scene, workshops, conferences or books I helped with), you're gonna be STOKED for this blog post. And I heart you something fierce for sticking with me through it all.

For those of you who have only just met me, I'm excited for us both.

Chances are we met at a MeetUp group or a function for the Idaho Writers Guild (I've been to a few). I liked your face or something you said. You laughed at me because I was ridiculously sleep deprived, but also feeling rather ambitious (see note on doing ALL THE THINGS) and I gave you my card.

You know the one... with the janky Post-It note over my old phone number and location. 

I wanna get to know you. We should get to know each other. We should do that soonish.

Talk at me if you feel like it. I genuinely enjoy listening to you. :)

Hearts, words & junk -

- Steph

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