In the spirit of a little positivity, I wanted to share with you guys some awesome, incredible blogger friends who have motivated and inspired me in my life with their infectious optimism and wisdom. There are so many blogs about positivity that it can become overwhelming to figure out which ones truly resonate and are truly authentic to the purpose of positive energy. Therefore, it is my goal to help you navigate the massive blog world by highlighting some of my favorite blogger friends once a month. With 7 simple questions, I hope to give you a small preview into their lovely minds by illustrating their positive aura in their work and overall personality. So without further adieu, the second one to shine is Russ Towne.
Russ Towne is one grateful man who truly understands that it is never too late for a new start, a new change, a new talent to emerge from within. In 2010, Russ dove into the unknown world of the arts, showcasing his creativity through songwriting. A self-proclaimed late bloomer with the musical craft, the then 52 year old created A Grateful Man which was originally a blog to showcase his newfound talent. However, as his talent grew, so did his blog. The end result is a website that houses his creative ventures, in not only songwriting but also poetry, fiction and non-fiction and contains reflections of the adventures and mis-adventures of a grateful man. His creations, personal stories, life lessons and positivity uplifts and inspires his dedicated readers, fulfilling the purpose of his blog by reminding us “the greatness and goodness within [ourselves] and others” through the “truth and kindness in [his] writing.”
“I learned I could either exist in fear or live a life of love. When I finally began to choose gratitude and positivity, it became easier to live a life I love.” – Russ Towne
1. When did you start your blog, A Grateful Man, and what inspired you to create it?
I began my blog in July 2010. It was my second blog after a multiple-year run of a blog I’d created to help do-it-yourself investors around the world to learn effective investment strategies I use as a professional wealth manager. I enjoyed writing my first blog but eventually decided that my Clients deserved to get 100% of the benefit of my investing ideas rather than also giving the ideas away for free as I’d done for years via the blog. It was a tough decision because I loved helping many others to successfully invest on their own.
I created “A Grateful Man” when I also got into songwriting. It was a way to showcase my songs and describe my songwriting adventures. It takes quite a while to write a song and get it recorded, so the number of posts in the first year or two of “A Grateful Man” was small. I then began writing poetry, and a bit later children’s stories, and used the blog to present those creations and describe my adventures in those new areas for me. The number of posts increased as my writing projects multiplied. As the number of followers grew, I began writing almost-daily posts on a wide variety of subjects, and sometimes multiple posts per day.
In May of 2013 I began writing children’s books, and several months later, non-fiction books, and self-publishing them. I added those projects and the adventures and misadventures of same to the blog content. To date, I’ve published five children’s books and two non-fiction books. The latter two are focused on positive and often humorous aspects of relationships and life in general.
I used to exist in fear, afraid to share with the world who I was inside. It was as though I’d worn a mask for so long that no one–including myself–knew who the real me was. I was afraid my ideas and creations would be rejected by myself and others. I avoided the potential pain of rejection by hiding what I had to offer to the world, but hiding just brought more pain and frustration to me.I learned I could either exist in fear or live a life of love. When I finally began to choose gratitude and positivity, it became easier to live a life I love. I now look at life as a great opportunity to learn, grow, help others, and enjoy the adventures life offers. To me, it is all about the journey, and success is doing what I love with the people I love who love me.
3. How long has writing been your outlet to express yourself?
I’m grateful for life itself, sufficient health to enjoy it, for living in a place where I can do what I choose with whom I choose, and with those who choose to be with me. I’m grateful for family and friends–the latter includes many fellow bloggers who I’ve come to know and love.5. Have you shared your blog with your family and friends? If so, what do they think about your blog and all the projects attached to it?
Some of my family and friends have seen my blogs. Some like and follow them. Many have other interests and don’t follow my blogs. I’m okay with that. There are many things in this world vying for the time and interests of each of us, so it is natural that any given blog will be of interest to some and not to others.
6. What is one small change you’ve made recently that totally changed your life for the better?
One thing I’m doing differently this year is helping several other writers get published by creating two collections of short stories written by various newer authors, and compiling them into anthologies that I plan to publish this year. One will be fiction and focused on stories involving mystery, thriller, action, and/or suspense, and the other will be non-fiction stories of the inspiring, uplifting, humorous, and positive-slice-of-life varieties. It is fun working with other writers.
7. Has your blog change your perspective for the better? If so, how? Blogging has certainly changed my life for the better in many ways. It helps me to focus on what is important, create new friendships, learn new things about myself and others, get support and nurturing feedback, and share my creations with those who appreciate them.
To learn more about Russ Towne and his compassionate blog, A Grateful Man, click HERE.