Tuesday, August 26, 2008

inhale. exhale.

Thank God the Olympics are over. I feel like the last two weeks were stolen from me. I did not sit outside as much as I would have liked, I did not pay my bills early, I did not return emails, I did not, I did not, I did not...

Thank God the Olympics are over.

Today, I sent in the most recent edits for my book and caught up on my invoicing and bill paying. I write a couple blog entries for clients and packed for a trip to Florida. I went to the library and got some new books and I got the car alignment done at the dealer. The dishes are clean, the house is picked up and I am exhausted. But I got all that done and that is what I should have been doing the last two weeks while I watched the gut wrenching losses and glorious wins, the pride in country, hard work, sacrifice. I got caught up in the human interest sob stories and got sucked in by the 24 hour a day 12 station Olympic coverage. Thankfully, the only thing happening this week on TV is the Democratic Convention, and NPR and CNN.com will catch me up on the salient points in the mornings.

I need my routine too much.

Long distance travel this week to Tampa followed by the September "get back to school" mentality -- looking forward to getting business done and life following a mundane cadence again.

(does it ever do that?)

Meghan Wier
Author Writer Web Consultant

Sunday, August 24, 2008

End of August: Meg Update of Sorts....

It is a beautiful crisp morning here in Indian Land, SC. and I am fortunate to have a few minutes to myself before the chaos of the day begins.

It have been a very busy few weeks and I would like to have more to show for it. School starts for my biggest distraction in a week and a half, and I am happy about that. He and I both are more than ready.

My book edits are coming along. I would like to say that they will be ready to send into the publisher tomorrow morning, but it would take an extreme amount of self-discipline and ability to ignore all other responsibilities today to make that happen. I will devote a couple hours to it this morning and a few this evening and hope that the rest can be tidied up tomorrow and Tuesday.

The end of this week holds a trip to Tampa Bay, FL, which seemingly and amazingly avoided the storm Fay, however, I will be driving through what will probably be quite a bit of soggy parts of the peninsula state. That should prove to be an interesting trip, but certainly one worth completing before the school year starts.

Speaking of school, my good friend Ms. Murray is jumping in head first into a huge undertaking with the start of a new school. The school called "The Carpenter's Workshop" is located in Baxter Village, near Tega Cay and the village of Fort Mill SC, and will be just a kindergarten this year, but expand to 4th grade as the incoming children advance over the next 5 years. It is quite amazing when you think about it. People rarely start their own schools and I wish them the very best of luck. The curriculum is very hand-on and religiously based, with small classroom sizes (10 max I believe). This is a great opportunity for parents who want a private school experience for their child, but at an affordable price. I suppose it is a good alternative to homeschooling, since the teachers are so strongly committed to the success of each individual child, and welcome parent volunteers to assist in bringing each child what they need. If you are interested, click the link above and tell them "Meg sent you" -- I know they have 2-3 kindergarten positions open for the 08-09 school year and they will take kids who are 5 or turn 5 before December 31st--so it is not too late!

Other than that, my BNI group has been wonderful. The masterful Fred Sexton of Mouse and Man is working his magic on my new website design, and the distinguished Kevin Carslisle of Perfect Image has already provided me with many beautiful new business cards. I am very please with this work, and hope to bring referrals in the future. The group is full of geniuses and I am humbled that they accepted my application. Apparently there are few professional blog writers in the area with whom to compete for networking group seats....

Many other interesting things going on, but I promised myself to focus on my edits while I can this morning, so I best be getting to that. Happy almost Labor Day...


Meghan Wier
Author Writer Web Consultant

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Introverted Socializing--in Charlotte

I have been swamped with work, inundated with company, and generally dealing with "stuff" and once again my blog has suffered. In the lull, I got this nice comment which I reposted here:

Hi Meghan. I am an introvert and so is my boyfriend. We would like to
meet other people, but we get overwhelmed by extroverts. We live in Charlotte, too!, and I wondered if you knew any good places to meet like minded souls? --

I thought I would write out my answer in this regular section--answers to comments are sometimes lost in the shuffle, and also I think this is a great one, from which others may benefit.

Rebecca wants to meet other people but, like so many introvert... those extroverted people can be overwhelming. So how do you meet new people? Especially in a place like Charlotte, where so many people a "newcomers."

The answer to where, depends a lot on your lifestyle. If you are single or even married but young and child-less you can usually grab a friend, (or not) and go to a coffee shop and maybe strike up a conversation with someone in line. This sometimes works, sometimes not--but at least there is no strange discomfort because either they leave or sit alone--and it is just coffee - so it is not a big deal. And... there are always new people coming in!

Along the same lines, I know that sometimes groups will meet in the evenings at bookstores for a "game night." People bring old board or card games (Monopoly, UNO, scrabble, chess, etc.) and sit in their little "cafes" or side tables. I am not sure if there is a group here that meets regularly or not - but I always loves this idea. Usually they meet on a Friday or Saturday night--when the outgoing types were out drinking and listening to loud music all squished together on a dance floor. The introverts I know felt like they got to "go out" but they also met new people in a relaxed, laid back place. If there isn't a group like this already - I recommend starting one. I will even see if I can host something like this when I do book signings starting in Oct/Nov.

My next idea is Craigslist. There is a section for "platonic" relationships and I have looked at this a few times. Now, a word of warning: like all "online meeting" be careful. There are definitely people who will misrepresent themselves. But I met one of my very good friends here in Charlotte on Craigslist.

Another great place to meet other introverts is in your neighborhood. Now here it helps to have an extroverted kid on this one--I have to admit. My 4-year-old on a recent walk, took it upon himself to introduce us to a family up the street who where playing. They have two boys near his age and instantly we had commonality...the primary building block for relationship. Now we get together regularly. If you don't have an introverted pre-schooler on hand--I find that an annoyingly extroverted best friend is helpful. They usually make a point of meeting your neighbors before you do, and as long as you aren't overly freaked out--you might as well take advantage of the opening.

If you are a small business owner, or in sales, I recommend a group like BNI. There are groups all over the country, and the agenda lends itself to an introvert's comfort level while exposing them to several new people. The benefits are two-fold since this group is designed to help your business grow, but it also allows you to make many great contacts...and friends.

Other than that, I will sometimes use the "buddy method"--increasing my circle by inviting someone I know to invite a friend over for drinks, or dessert. Sometimes we meet out as well - again at a coffee shop, or a Panera Bread. Easy and casual is the way to go on this.

One last suggestion, especially if you have kids, is to go to Blakeney on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer. They have a free "concert" of sorts with local musicians. The place is always packed, but since it is outside, it isn't overly uncomfortable. This is a good place to bring the kids since you can let them play on the playground or run around in the open grass area. The restaurants there serve wine and beer, you can grab ice cream, or Starbucks. The perfect place to meet people, or hang out with new friends. I know a bunch of plaza's in town do this, but Blakeney is the only one I know of with a little park too.

Those are just a few ideas I have for meeting people for introverts--but the best advice I can give is to keep at it. As adults it gets more difficult to connect and become friends, but the rewards are so worth it. Friendships are profoundly fulfilling--and I wish you all the best of luck.


Meghan Wier
Author Writer Web Consultant