04 November 2011

More Wishbone Than Backbone? Guest Post by Jess Witkins

It's still Friday, right? It's late, but it's still Friday. Due to technical difficulties over at The Life List Club headquarters, I'm posting Jess's column in the evening. You can blame me. But I'm thrilled to have Jess as my guest. Before I give Jess the floor let me say that Jess Witkins and I are members of the Life List Club and that you may want to consider joining. The basic qualifications are that you operate a blog and love the craft of writing.

I was over at LLC member, Sonia G. Medeiro's blog earlier today and tried to be inspirational and wrote about embracing your life's journey. Enough from me, I'm turning things over to Jess:

More Wishbone Than Backbone?

Hello Life List Club! Today I want to talk to you about your backbone. You know that knobby thing that runs up and down your spine. Well, if you’re not sure where it’s located, this song might help:

All together now! The hip bone’s connected to the backbone! Ok, you’re right, I didn’t steal Gary’s blog to make you all sing. I do want to talk about backbone though, and more than just that thing your Chiropractor cracks after you work a 10 hour day of holiday retail. Just me? Moving along...

The Life List Club was formed with the goal in mind to support one another in our life list plans. Many of my goals centered around writing, so I’ve been blogging regularly three times a week, learning about the craft and social media by taking courses online, and partnering in critique groups to get feedback on my book. Two classes I’m taking are taught by author and social media expert for writers, Kristen Lamb. In one of her recent lessons she talked about taking initiative towards the goals we want to achieve. For me, that goal is being a writer. Your goal could be meeting new people, traveling somewhere you’ve never been to, trying a new food at least once a week, keeping up with an exercise plan, or watching all 500+ youtube videos of cute kittens doing ridiculous things. It is so good to have goals.

When Kristen talked about starting out in her writing career, she admitted she had a hard time completing her word count goal. Writing for long hours and producing well-written text was a developed skill for her. Before she could be successful, she had to admit she had “more wishbone than backbone.”

The Backbone to See It Through
I think all of us reach a point where we feel we’re doing the best we can, but we wish we were doing more. I know I do almost everyday, but I’m self deprecating and over-analytical, which I say adds to my natural charm. ;) The point is, we do take initiative to make change in our lives, and any goal we try to succeed at requires work. Steps that helped me improve my goal progress are time management, such as focusing my hours at work more so I could leave relatively on time and allow for more writing to happen. I also set realistic goals. If we make a wishbone kinda list, we won’t have the backbone to see it through. Make your goals attainable, while still moving forward. And most importantly, take action! Why are action movies so entertaining? Because things happen!!! It’s called an action plan for a reason. Sure, you could make a dramatic plan; I suggest framing it and sprinkling it with fairy dust then cracking a wishbone for extra good luck. You could make a horror plan, carving out your goal list with a chainsaw, but you might amputate a body part and then you’ve just gone and bled all over your goal list. Ew, gross!

So you see, having a backbone is better than relying on a wishbone. And, you’ve always got one with you, no digging around in a greasy dead bird pulling veins off and pushing itty bitty organs out of the way, washing and drying the thing, ruining your good towel and then waking up your roommate to snap the damn thing necessary! *I’m a visual learner!*

Now tell me, have you let your wishbone take over backbone? What is it you want to accomplish? What do you know about yourself that will help you achieve your goals and what opportunity do you have to move yourself forward more?

Bio:  Jess Witkins claims the title Perseverance Expert.  She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic locations like Italy, Ireland, and Shipshewana, Indiana, and she’s eaten bologna and lived to tell about it!  She deals with it all and writes about it!  Come along on her midwest adventures; Witkins promises to keep it honest and entertaining.  Go ahead, SUBSCRIBE, you know you want to. Follow Jess Witkins on Twitter:  @jesswitkins


  1. Awesome post, Jess! I didn't know what to call it before, but now I know I had a wishbone until a few months ago. But even when we get a backbone and use it, our backbone may still need a realignment now and then. In fact, I'm going through that now. Great tips! Gary, thanks for publishing Jess's post. It was too good to miss.

  2. I apologize for putting up your post so late Jess but we are happy to have you anytime! I enjoyed reading it. I got a kick out of the videos. With your knack for getting things across, you would make a great school teacher. And you are absolutely right, to accomplish a goal, all the wishbones in the world are not enough!

  3. I think I spent the first 20 years of my adulthood being a "wishboner" : ). Dreaming big is GOOD, but not when you get so carried away with it you find little successes discouraging instead of motivating just because they aren't your "whole enchilada." I'm finally learning to keep my dreams big but to break them down into backbone-sized chunks and accept the notion that slow and steady just might win the face.

  4. ummmm ... race, not face. Forgive me Jess and Gary. I'm grieving a Steelers loss today so the brain is only operating at half-speed : )!

  5. I love this! Plus, I'm kind of a sucker for the kitty video. LOL. I'm definitely guilty of having more wishbone. Sigh. I'm learning though. LLC and ROW80 have definitely been teaching me to have more backbone with my goals.

  6. I like this post, you use an excellent metaphor. I think I am more of a backbone than a wishbone myself.

  7. Hey Everyone, sounds like we're all works in progress, and you know what, I say that's ok! As long as we're moving forward, that's what counts. I know I've been guilty for years of having more wishbone, and like you said, Sonia, LLC and WWBC hold me accountable and give me a dose of reality and a backbone adjustment that I need.

    Gary, thanks for hosting me despite last minute changes. Way to go LLC!

    Hope you all keep me posted on your results and progress this fall!

  8. Lol, quirky post with the skeleton:) I notice you write about New Orleans, that's one of my favorite places to write about too! Groovy blog:)


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