(Undaunted) Army Sign On Bonus

"An object in motion stays in motion," and sometimes I think my life is moving faster than I can keep up with. I'm overwhelmed and I'm exhausted - but in a good way. I'm terrified - but thrilled. I'm ready to fly - but still so afraid of falling.

And yet, I'm a dreamer. I always have been, which is why I'm still dreaming of hitting the NYT bestseller list, why I'm still dreaming of buying my kids their first cars, why I'm still dreaming of a world in which these vacations are possible for me.

But how do I make those things happen? I know, I know - one step at a time. Set goals, accomplish them, set new goals, accomplish those. Bit by bit, moment by moment, day by day. Word by word. Post by post.

Even the greatest empires were built one little bit at a time, and I know mine won't be any different - and that's okay with me. But while I'm on this journey, this journey of writing books and blogs and poems and podcasts, this journey of raising strong young women, this journey of embracing myself and learning to love the inner strength that makes me such a survivor ... I'd love your company.

Last year, my focus word was Warrior. Last year, I focused on that word, focused on living and breathing and being that word. That is, until I fell so deeply and completely in love with another word that I rebranded my entire site, my book publication, and even my social media banners using that new word. I chose a new tagline that featured it, created a new look that embodied it ... and in the months to follow, my entire life took on a new feel as I embraced everything that word meant to me.

Undaunted. Unintimidated at best - courageous enough to go forward anyway at worst. It fit so well with my year-long meditation on my own self as a warrior (especially as I learned to live with the somehow unsurprising shock of my PTSD diagnosis), and it changed the way I look at myself, my life, and my coping mechanisms. It changed my motivation to keep trying, to live up to the word I so connected with, to embrace that word in such a way as to make my readers and followers proud.

From there, it became a battle cry: "I am Undaunted - or at least, I'm striving to be." And then as I began to share it with my readers and friends, it became an entreaty - an encouragement to anyone who found themselves here searching for hope an appeal to you, to "Stay Undaunted."

This year, my focus word was Momentum. Last year saw a little growth in my book sales, a little growth in my Patreon following, a little growth on social media. And yes, I'd like to think there was a little growth in me. I chose momentum this year because I wanted to take last year's growth and build on it, keep it going. I wanted to keep improving my financial situation, keep improving my personal life, keep nurturing healthy friendships. And with all of that, I wanted to keep growing this blog - keep attracting sponsors and partnerships, keep creating new content, keep sharing my story in a way that I hope is helpful, encouraging, empowering.

To keep being the kind of Undaunted Woman that inspires other women (and men!) to live Undaunted lives.

I read an article about how people name their following, labeling their communities. Justin Bieber has his Beliebers, Taylor Swift has her Swifties, and we all know about Beyonce's Bey Hive. So I read that article just because it had popped up in my newsfeed (which is why it isn't linked here, thanks a lot for refreshing when you did, Facebook), but in the days after, I kept asking myself, "What do I have? And perhaps more importantly, what do I want to have?"

I thought about my books, my poems, my blogs, my podcast. My writing in general, with all its themes. Confidence and self-love. Personal growth and development, personal empowerment. Brotherhood among people. Kindness. Compassion. Integrity.

Undauntedness - and it all fit so perfectly with the idea of a Warrior, a valiant fighter, a courageous survivor. And then it clicked.

We're an Army, this little community. An army of warriors who have fought and survived more battles than we care to count, and yet we suit up every day to keep fighting. We arm ourselves with knowledge and wisdom as we raise our families, we train our senses as we protect ourselves and our loved ones, and we often bear both physical and emotional scars - war wounds left over from the challenges of life that haven't always gone our way. We are warriors - thick-skinned and battle-scarred, with bits and pieces that are broken and damaged - but because we are warriors, not only do we get up and keep moving, we also have the heart and compassionate will to drag our comrades along with us.

When I first realized I had PTSD, I felt guilt and shame around that diagnosis. I was never in the military - I was told when I was young that I couldn't serve due to surgical history, scarring, and health problems. I have never been overseas. I have never been near a bomb, never had to kill someone to save myself. I took those thoughts with me to therapy, where I shared them, quietly and with my throat full of emotion, my eyes streaming tears. And I was given freedom that day, when my therapist compared my childhood and subsequent experiences to being at war, to being embattled, imprisoned. Helpless, with no control, forced to do things and survive things that are inhumane, traumatic, and every possible kind of "not okay."

I am a warrior. A survivor. Undaunted.

And if, through my various writing endeavors, I am able to encourage and inspire even one person to stand strong and keep fighting their battles, then I win. I succeed.

So that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to keep writing. Keep sharing. Keep teaching. Keep growing.

I'm going to build this Army of Undaunted Warriors, Private by Private, unifying a community of people with heart to support and encourage and empower each other. We're going to create a movement, one that will slowly but steadily build on itself until the momentum of its own growth carries it for us - and then we're going to make an incredible, undeniable impact on the broken, beaten, battered, bruised, hopeless warriors that need someone to drag them out of their war zone.

Enlist in the Undaunted Army today while it's new, so that you can watch it grow, help it grow. Choose your own rank:

  • UNDAUNTED ARMY PRIVATE: Subscribe to my monthly e-mail list. You'll get an email each month with blog post links, Patreon updates, book news, reviews and recommendations, giveaway opportunities, and more. This is totally free and is a great way to keep updated on the growth and progress of the Undaunted Army.
  • UNDAUNTED ARMY, OFFICER RANKS: Sign up to support the army on Patreon. This is a paid subscription option with multiple payment levels and reward tiers, which you can choose, change, or cancel at any time. Commissioning into the Officer Ranks of the Undaunted Army gives you access to tons of exclusive, advanced material, more entries on all future giveaways, and even some free Undaunted Army Merchandise! Commission levels range from $1 a month for Undaunted Army Private First Class, to $35 a month for Undaunted Army Colonel (the highest available rank), with ranks spaced in $5 increments. Officers in the Army receive the best in updates and access, they have a personal impact on the wellbeing of my family and career, and as the Army grows, these will be the people closest to my side as I begin outreach efforts in the future.

... and in so choosing, you choose both your commitment and your impact potential. Because there are huge things coming. Don't miss out.

If you liked this post, related to it in some way, or know someone who needs to see it, make sure you drop a comment below - I would love your feedback as well as the chance to interact with you! It would also be great if you could share the link to this post with your friends - it helps me get my blog out there, and I love that it brings new exposure to the Undaunted Army and what we hope to accomplish! Be sure you check out my quarterly giveaway page, too - there are several free and easy ways to enter - and members of the Undaunted Army are always eligible for extra entries!

And speaking of the Army, I'd like to personally invite you to take your place among the ranks of those who have fought and survived the battles of life. Addiction, abuse, violence, divorce, parenting, illness, and other traumas are real battles too, and those who suit up to fight every day have a right and an obligation to nurture their own health, well-being, and self-empowerment. But there is strength in numbers, as as a member of the Undaunted Army, you have the hope of knowing that you will never have to fight your battles alone again. Enlist as an Undaunted Army Private for free, or invest in the growing impact of the Army with an Undaunted Army Officer Commission for as little as $1 a month.

However we stay connected, always know that my brand and Undaunted Army itself are solely built on what I write and who I'm writing it for. "Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman" isn't just a slogan or a tagline - it's a purpose and a goal, which is why, whether you're a first time reader or a long-time loyal follower ... from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being here.