Who are you and what do you do?

I’ve been too timid and squeamish for most of my life, but I am now working on changing that. I blog at (Don’t Be) Too Timid and Squeamish.

I started out with some silly (but scary) tasks–singing karaoke, riding a mechanical bull–and some classes that intimidated me–salsa dancing, hot yoga, Zumba.

I have recently been pushing myself in different ways to share more of myself through my writing. A new project I am excited about is writing a “Scene from a Memoir” twice a month and inviting other writers to link up.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I keep an idea file on Google docs and revisit it every so often. I battle procrastination, so I sometimes make myself work on a task for a set amount of time, even setting a timer on occasion when things get really scattered. Once I get excited about an idea, though, I get very focused, often to the point of neglecting other things I should be doing. I like to work on new projects early in the morning on weekends when the rest of my family is sleeping.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I recommend the counter-cultural classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. It’s very different from the movie, although I love that too. It opened my eyes (and the eyes of many high school juniors I used to teach it to) about how much America pressures people to conform and how important it is to fight that pressure. While a massive Combine that tries to turn us into machines doesn’t really exist, there are a hundred Nurse Ratcheds around every corner.

What is one piece of advice that you’d like to give?

I’d like to recommend the famous advice from Ralph Waldo Emerson that I used as the inspiration for my blog title: “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” I struggle to follow this advice myself.

What is one idea that you’re going to bring to life in 2012?

I would like to do something more with the memoir pieces I have been publishing on my blog. I am not sure what yet, but I want to do something more ambitious that is related to writing in 2012.

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