Writing comes naturally to me, but every time I’m published is still nerve-wracking. Did I get the facts right? Did I represent the situation accurately? Even after I publish on this personal blog, there are a lot of entries for which I’ll tweak the wording after a post initially goes live.
I’ve been wanting to write an op-ed ever since Lynn Hicks spoke at the YNPN Non-Con in January, with tips for crafting an opinion piece. The whole idea felt a little bit intimidating, though. I’ve felt passionately enough about bike safety legislation and funding the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust to write to my legislators, but they weren’t the right topic for me to tackle (yet) for the paper.
When I got an e-mail alert from Save the Children Action Network about The Working Families Relief Act, I felt like my story would resonate with a lot of people. I’ve been talking about childcare as a YP retention issue for awhile, and this felt timely and personal. Actually writing this piece took about an hour and a half on Wednesday night. I was feeling pretty confident about it, and then Lynn told me it was going to run in this Sunday’s paper and I kind of wanted to hide under a rock. Turns out writing an op-ed is one thing, but having it published is terrifying.
I haven’t read the online comments – and I don’t think I will – but thankfully there have been some really positive tweets and facebook posts about it. And, it prompted Joe to take a decent photo of me and the kiddos, which only took about 27 tries as we were leaving.
I hope nobody thinks that my writing this means I don’t highly value the work that caregivers provide. We have lucked out majorly, but I’m constantly surprised that a family-centric metro like Des Moines has such a shortage of options, and I really do see it leave my friends scrambling. So many YPs move back to their hometowns as they start growing a family, and as an Iowa transplant, I’d really hate to see the young professionals leave at such a critical point.
It’s always a little thrilling to see freelance pieces released into the world. My latest for DSM is on the DSM Girl Gang, a group I had already been following on Instagram before I was asked to write about them. The founders were a little cagey about describing the group as feminist, but I think it’s definitely all about girl power.
Read the story or view the spread online.
When I interviewed them, I definitely felt some parallels to what it was like launching YNPN Des Moines for the nonprofit sector. The more groups out there facilitating connections and growth, the better!
They have a spring show coming up, too, if you want to meet these ladies in person:
Here are a few thoughts I wrote up about the nature of launching a project for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) of Des Moines blog . We had an amazing turnout (100 people – lots of new faces!) at our Launch Party on Thursday! Check out our Facebook page for photos from the event.
I’m no Olympian, but I imagine (the feeling of launching a project) must be what a diver or gymnast feels in midair, as their body twirls and they try to discern from their swirling surroundings whether or not they’ll land on their feet.
Launching a project is a lot of planning, even more communication and follow-through on plans. It’s pretty simple in theory: Figure out what you’re going to do, let people know you’re doing it and then deliver on that promise. But, in my experience, each stage involves overcoming a dose of fear. Sure, you’ve done your research and it seems like a good idea. You’re enthused! And then the doubt creeps in. What if you’re the only one who’s excited about it? You take the time to cobble together a social media presence, and then wonder if you have what it takes to feed that beast and contribute to the conversation in a way that will make people take note. You have your checklist of to-dos, only to be sidelined by other projects or a case of procrastination, or unanswered calls and e-mails. Get through all three and that’s the takeoff.
And then there’s phase two. To borrow an Iowa cliche: You built it, but will they really come? After all that work, you hope so. But not every gymnast sticks a routine, especially the first time. And if they do show up, is your project sustainable? Can you keep the momentum alive?
Read the rest here: ynpndesmoines.wordpress.com/the-joy-and-terror-of-launching