how to bog with a limp, blogging, blogger, blogging tips

How to Blog with a Limp: Writing Lessons from Walt Disney

This week I learned something new about the man behind the mouse. Walt Disney–who is a legend for his animation, creativity, and theme-parks–did not have an easy road to success. He did know how to push forward, in spite of his pain. As an adult, Walt proclaimed, “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Walt Disney is a man who led with a limp. He didn’t deny his flaws, try to hide them, or pretend that they didn’t exist. His limp was there for the world to see. Yet, he succeeded anyway! I’m curious what was on Walt’s mind when he spoke about his “kick in the teeth.” It might have been that fact that:

  • Walt dropped out of high school when he was sixteen. He planned to join the army but was rejected because he was underage.
  • Walt was also dyslexic. This may have contributed to his difficulties in school, and the fact that he never graduated from high school.
  • In 1926, Disney studios produced a successful animation series called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, for Universal Pictures. Following the series success, Walt asked for a raise. Instead, Walt was told that he would be receiving a salary reduction. Walt made the difficult decision to walk away from the project. He left the majority of his production staff behind, and because Walt had no rights to the character, he found himself starting over again–a definite kick in the teeth.

How to Blog With a Limp

This week, I find myself blogging with a limp. That is, I am encouraging others, as our family is going through its own challenges. This is nothing new. During my junior year of high school, I attended a private, Christian home-school group. One day, our principal called and asked if I would take a week off from my studies to serve as our school’s sixth-grade camp counselor. Excited about a change of pace, I replied with an eager, “yes.” Our principal stated in a cheery tone, “Then you better pack your bags quick, because the kids are already at camp, waiting for you.”

I had no idea that our principal was asking me to start immediately when I agreed. Yet, I am glad she asked because this became a defining moment in my life. I have served in a helping profession ever since. Thus, I am well acquainted with supporting others while facing challenges myself. This is a common experience for pastors, therapists, and life-coaches. My guess is that most family-life bloggers will also find themselves leading with a limp at some point.

Over the years, I have heard the term wounded healer, used by those in helping professions. It’s another way of describing how leaders continue to help others while being in the midst of their own storms.

If you are blogging with a limp, and find yourself among the crowd of wounded healers, here are some things to keep in mind:

Leading with a Limp is Normal

If you are blogging with a limp, know that you are not alone. Flaws, struggles, and personal challenges are normal. Everyone walks with a limp. Some people are simply better at hiding it than others. However, hiding one’s flaws is an unfortunate position to take. As Walt pointed out, it is our struggles that strengthen us. [Tweet “Often, our most difficult challenges become our greatest strengths.”]

Consider the following:

  • Our weakness make us relate-able. Imperfect people connect best to other imperfect humans.
  • Success in spite of our weaknesses encourages others. When others see that you have pushed through your pain, and succeeded anyways, they are encouraged to follow suit. Everyone hurts, and people need to be reminded that success, in spite of difficulties, is possible.
  • Waiting won’t help. If you wait to help others until your own life is in order, you will have a very sparse blog. Struggles are part of life. They continually come and go. Enjoy life’s pain-free moments, but certainly, don’t wait for these times to encourage others. [Tweet “Sometimes a wounded healer is exactly what people need.”]

Take Action

The best way to blog with a limp is to begin taking action. The first few steps are always the most difficult. Everything gets easier from there. Disney stated, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

Momentum is like a steam-engine. At rest, a small, slanted block, under the front tire, will hold that engine in place. However, moving at full speed, that engine will crash through most any barrier. [Tweet “A great strategy when leading with a limp is to take action, and get momentum on your side.”]

Keep Dreaming

Disney said, “All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” What a powerful quote from a man who never finished high school. You should also know that Walt was awarded honorary degrees from Yale, Harvard, and UCLA! Oh, and the incident with Oswald, The Lucky Rabbit, Disney studios acquired rights to the character in 2006. As it turns out, even after his death, Disney’s dreams are continuing to come true.

How about you? Do you blog with a limp and use your own challenges to encourage others? How do you use to push through your pain, and continue blogging when life gets difficult? I can’t wait to hear from you, and look forward to continuing the discussion in the comments below!

For more writing ideas, be sure to visit our writing resources page. I pull back the curtain and show you all of my favorite writing resources. You can also check out my book Ten Great Ideas for Authors, where you will discover creative writing prompts and strategies to jump-start your author journey. I truly believe you are only one great idea away from writing success!  

Family, Friendship, and Faith Link-Up

This link-up is an excellent place to meet new friends, network, and share your posts. Please feel free to include any family, friendship, and faith related posts. If you have time, please visit some of the other submissions, leave a comment, and make some new connections–after all, this is what teaming-up is all about!

Finally, I’d love it if you would grab a button for your site, or link back to the Family Friendship and Faith Fridays, link-up, in order to make it easy for others to join in!

Coffee Shop Conversations

[Tweet “I’m Teaming-up at the #Family #Friendship and #Faith link-up. Join the Party! “]


Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

24 thoughts on “How to Blog with a Limp: Writing Lessons from Walt Disney”

  1. This really encouraged me this morning. First of all, I am so sorry you and your dear family are walking through a struggle, and I trust Jesus to see you through whatever it is. I know, firsthand, how difficult it can be to plow through continuing to minister, when you, yourself, are dealing with your own trials. I remember hearing a dear minister friend say that he could remember times when he was praying for someone whom he knew was not nearly as sick as he was. Over the past few years blogging, there have been so many, many times when I have felt like giving up and quitting, because the pain in my own heart was so severe. But, God uses those same heartaches to inspire me, and you are absolutely right, people need to see that we are human and flawed and just as vulnerable as anyone and everyone else, and it is posts that are birthed from that kind of anguish that often reach readers the most. I love the thoughts you shared today…I love the part about “wounded healers” and ministering with a limp. I will not forget this. Thank you for sharing what God puts upon your heart and for the weekly link-up.

    1. Thanks Cheryl,
      Jenny and I sure appreciate you keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers. I’m glad you didn’t give up blogging, and have kept pressing forward. Thanks for stopping by, linking-up, and for the words of encouragement 🙂

  2. This is another great post Jed! Thanks for hosting your party!
    I like both of your book covers, but think the one on the right is the best 🙂

    Happy Easter 🙂

  3. Great post and advice Jed. Despite your limp, you have been really moving your work forward in the last several months! In honor of “limps” I am sharing a post I did about some of my favorite blog posts that are limpers because they never got much engagement with readers. They bare not bad posts… they just didn’t connect. Nothing wrong with second chances.

    1. Hey Chad,
      Thanks for stopping by and joining in! I’m grateful for second chances too–both in blogging and in life. Wishing you and your family an incredible Easter weekend!

  4. Hi Jed and Jen,

    I never knew this about Walt before. So interesting! Thanks for sharing and have a blessed Good Friday and Resurrection Day.

    Blessings,
    Tiffiney

  5. So much truth here! Someone once told Rev and me that they appreciated that we didn’t set ourselves apart in ministry . . . that we were “one of us.” They knew we had challenges like everyone else. I like calling it “leading with a limp.” Blessed Easter to you and your family!

  6. Your title caught my attention for sure! This week I am blogging with a limp. I went to a church retreat and ended up immobile, unable to lie down or sit up (top bunks are lovely lol)and was in excruciating pain. An MRI revealed that I have bulging disks in my neck and a pinched nerve causing my right arm and shoulder to be very painful and numb (yep my typing arm!). I’m praying it heals so that I can continue writing. Thank you for your encouragement today!

    1. Valerie:

      So sorry to hear about your pain but I see that the Lord has given you a sense of humor about it! :o) I will be praying for your healing. Feel better.

      Tiffiney

  7. First of all, I hear you! I enjoy your blog a great deal and you are indeed an encourager, but forgive me that I do not often take time to comment and affirm you for what you share. I am now retired, but my entire life was spent in “helping professions” whether teaching a special education class, working as a Christian clinical counselor and marriage and family therapist, or serving on a church staff using my counseling skills and serving as well as an associate pastor. One thing I think I realized at some point is that those who are great encouragers appear to those they encourage as being strong and doing well so many never consider they might need encouragement. Whatever the day’s current challenges are for you, today I am also stopping to pray for you and yours. Have a blessed Easter weekend refreshed by His presence.

  8. I guess we all have limps huh? Those times where it’s harder than others. But, I totally agree there is something about being real and vulnerable that really draws people in so thank you for your honesty!

  9. It is always encouraging to read posts that equip and uplift, helping others along the way. I did not know about Walt Disney’s struggles, but I also find it encouraging to see those who have struggled and were able to rise up strong in spite of them.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  10. I find Walt’s remarks about how adversity strengthened him inspiring. I always like a good story of someone who overcomes obstacles and creates something magical. It is inspiring but also reminds me of what is possible in my own life if I would choose. Each one of us has the potential to do something extraordinary. I wonder if anyone has ever told the story of Walt’s perseverance and prudence. I would think it would be chalked full of lessons.

  11. I always look forward to reading your posts. This one really hit home today. I guess I needed to hear the message. Thanks for sharing on #FridayFrivolity

  12. Yes, we ALL walk with a limp! And, though we often think they will make us unattractive to others, often times it is the limp that attracts people to us.

  13. Hi Jed, hope all is well? Blogging with a limp” I think that’s what I am doing right now. This year blogging hasn’t been so easy. Managing with a post a week on the blog. Big struggle replying and visiting friends too. But I am pressing on. Thanks for your encouragement.
    I think I like the second cover!
    Have a splendid week and regards to Jen.

  14. A close friend told me many years back, “People love to hear us talk others’ successes and our own failures.” This took some real consideration, but I understood what he meant after processing it: if all we ever write/talk about is our successes, people will not be interested. They will hear it as disingenuous or unattainable. Yet if we can become comfortable shining the limelight on the successes of others as well as being honest about our own struggles (particularly, sharing if we can find a way to share them while we are in the middle of them), we inspire others – and ourselves – to keep getting up.

    You began this post by sharing some of Walt Disney’s struggles, and that is inspirational, for sure! But the “ending” is already given away: we all already know that Disney became a success, triumphed over unfairness, saw his dreams come true. So there is a bit of detachment even in the inspiration. However, when we are able to share in the right-now struggles of the not-so-rich-and-famous, we have to do a different kind of empathizing that feels … well, more like “us” and our own lives. We are reminded that there are others out there who are “just like me” and who, perhaps, give us strength and insight into what hope looks like in the midst of trial for those of us who don’t yet know the ending of the story.

    1. Such great points Erik. Right now I am especially enjoying learning from others who are in the midst of the struggles and challenges too. If someone’s life is too smooth, I am cautious and wondering what they are hiding. Or–if their life really is that smooth–I wonder if they will be able to relate.

      Great thoughts on Disney too. I agree. On one hand, knowing that he made it though the storms brings hope. On the other hand, it’s also good to have people we look up to who are in the midst of their own challenges. The irony is that too many people wait for challenges to smooth over before they dive into a leadership role. You make a good point, often the best leaders step-up while they are in the midst of the battle.

      As always, I love your take on this!

  15. I didn’t know this about Walt Disney. His story is a true inspiration. Personally, I have a problem sharing stuff I’m going through right away. Instead, I’d wait till the phase passes before sharing. I guess I’ve got a lesson or two to learn about being vulnerable. It’s a skill I want to learn.

    Thanks for sharing from the heart. I’ve found your website a worthy companion during this phase of my life. I know it’s going to blow away soon. I pray for the Lord’s strength. Reading stories such as this also fuels my faith.

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