About Deborah Drake

Deborah Drake is known by a mantra: Authentic Writing Provokes. A full-time writer and editor and avid blogger, her professional experience spans over 20 years in the fields of journalism, publishing, advertising and design communications, professional development and coaching. She left McCann-Erickson in San Francisco to move to Seattle and join Bozell Worldwide in 1998. After working for several smaller agencies she took the leap into being a free agent in 2007 and has never looked back. She is a passionate wordsmith of short and long writing, engaging SEO copywriting, a Social Media Enthusiast, and a fan of WordPress as the DIY platform it is. Deborah has facilitated a weekly Writers Support Group for two years and founded a community blog that is home to over 800 posts and growing daily. Her writing and editing services include ghostwriting, marketing copywriting, copyediting, and writing/blogging coaching for the DIYer who needs an accountability partner they can creatively brainstorm with. "I believe your WordPress site DESERVES both good design and good copy. They are in a symbiotic relationship: each benefiting the other." Beautiful Design + User-friendly Functionality + Copy that Provokes = A Client Magnet

Your Job Search: Becoming the Ideal Candidate

REPRINTED from Your Professional Profile

Deborah Drake: Authentic Writing & Communications Mentor, Workshop Facilitator and Co-Author of Burn Your Résumé. You Need a Professional Profile™ – (Winning the Inner and Outer Game of Finding Work or New Business)

I believe that Authenticity in communication provokes–every time and always for the better. I believe we all will do better work and be more productive as business owners or team members when we are doing work we personally find meaningful.

I also regard myself the picture of RESILIENCE when it comes to being “let go” or “released” from work I enjoyed and was doing well and with whole heart.

Let’s just say that 20+ years in the publishing/advertising/communication arts field has given me the opportunity to be laid off “due to a lack of work” more than FIVE times! Yes, five times. Never fun to experience BUT each time it got easier for me to regroup and begin my job search. And each position I held be it in publishing, advertising, communication arts, marketing, sales, business development, training, coaching taught me skills that I carried forward with me. I AM the Sum of All I have Ever Done.  (And so are you!)

There came a a point in  my career though, that I took a deep professional and personal inventory and determined it was time for me to launch “Me, Inc.”  for I knew I would Never Fire Myself and I Do Great Work. It’s not that I didn’t want to work for a great company, really contribute and make a difference, AND earn more money year after year BUT the organizations I was part of didn’t seem to see what they had in me and they made business decisions as they had to which impacted me and my family and my future.

For the past five years my business card  has read “Catalyst.” I am told I draw out the buried brilliance in my clients (and groups I lead), that they are so close to they can’t see it (much like the nose on our face which is hard to see if you aren’t in front of a mirror.)

We must be our own best and first advocate and raving fan. How can we expect others to champion us enthusiastically, if we don’t believe in ourselves 100%? It can be done but it is tougher when we doubt ourselves somewhere deep inside.

We never forget our name do we? Imagine having an easy and engaging ability to recall of your professional story? Who would you stop in their tracks then?

Do you understand what you are best suited for and enjoy?

Have you the confidence to speak well of yourself?

Have you the enthusiasm to do so consistently?

To know who you are, what you have accomplished and be able to speak of it with ease and grace and confidence and quiet knowing is POWERFUL MOJO. Don and I are on a Joint Mission to Revolutionize through Revelation the way that people understand themselves, value their experience, honor their professional aspirations and HOW they present themselves “on paper” and “in person” when seeking work and new business.

For more on me visit Authentic Writing Provokes. I can be directly reached at deb @ deborahdrake “dot” com.

I welcome hearing from you. It would be an honor to help you achieve the professional goals you want for yourself.

To Your Confidence, Congruency, & Creativity!

Deborah Drake
Office: 425-223-5335
Cell: 206-250-1855

Is it time for you to create interview-producing Professional Profiles for YOU and your career?

© Your Professional Profile 2012. All rights reserved.

The Tip Sheet from Let’s Demystify the WordPress Dashboard

Stephen and I enjoyed presenting the pilot of the Workshop on Demystifying the WordPress Dashboard. And here is the much awaited tip sheet.

This list represents Let’s Start with Easy to Sustain SEO Attractability that can be easily remembered and maintained from first blog post to last and to every page.

First things first: Creating a User Profile

  1. Keep your bio details relevant and current.  Fill in all fields you can.
  2. As a publicly searchable profile this serves your quest to be found and identified.
  3. Use an Avatar or a Gravatar. And update this too like your bio. A current picture is ALWAYS best.

Must Have Plugins and Functionality (according to Stephen and Deb):

Akismet for filtering Spam
Google Analytics for tracking visitors and what gets attention from them
Google XML Site Map for the spiders to more easily scan your site
SEO Ultimate or All in One SEO
Share Buttons or AddToShareAny  (for Social Media Sharing with ease)
Social Profiles Widget (cool graphics that link to your social media links)
Smart YouTube Pro (if you like inserting videos0
NextGEN Gallery (to organize your photo galleries)

Writing: Creating and Cleaning Up a Blog post

  1. First Write on your topic or theme from your heart and authentically for your human reader
  2. Give it a meaningful title (that may be different from the title in your Meta Title SEO field
  3. Select a category or two (from your list of themes you write on)
  4. Add Tags that can be 2 to 4 word phrases  that “tag” what your post is about.
  5. Use links to create a web of connectivity between your pages/posts and other sites you are siting  (and fill in alt text for the hover text of the hyperlink you insert that opens in a new window.)
  6. Fill in Meta Data in SEO fields (SEO Ultimate or All In One SEO)

SEO: Get your metadata into shape and use it to your best advantage:

  1. Figure out the keywords you most want to target. How might others be searching for you?
  2. Create a metadata master file to keep track of your most important terms.
  3. Fill out all the SEO fields, for each blog post and each page on your site:
  1. Meta Title 60 characters: Branding | Keywords | Title of blog
  2. Description field 140 characters: compelling and uses relevant keywords. Sometimes this field might be called “excerpt” or “what this blog is about” or something else.
  1. Keep refining your metadata as you learn more about your market and how people may be searching for you.

 

It might seem like a boring chore to go back and update your metadata, but I promise you it’s one of the most powerful things you can do to help your blog be found and rise above over time as you write a body of work.

Images are Good for SEO TOO:

  1. Have you named your file with keywords that make sense?
  2. Have you filled in the description?
  3. Is a caption appropriate?

Tools for Backing Up Your Site:

  1. Export content on a regular basis (all posts, pages, comments, tags, categories)
  2. Xcloner the recommended Plugin for Exporting your files and content data

Updating WordPress and Your Plugins:

  1. Backup your content first.
  2. Deactivate all Plugins
  3. Update your WP version from your site or your hosting service (via Simplescript)
  4. Reinstate one Plugin at a time and TEST for working correctly before updating another.
  5. Wait a few weeks for new versions to have “bugs” worked out. No need to be updating EVERY time a new version is issued. This also gives Plugin developers the chance to update their Plugin versions as well.

 

 

 

May 2012 be the year you FINALLY learn to WRITE as Yourself.

When I was nine, I was given a Hallmark Diary. Pink Plaid. Locked with a small brass key. I was sure it was secure BUT then no one was actually interested in my nine year old ramblings (right?)

Fast forward to 14. I am a freshman in Honors English: My new teacher, a new teacher himself, walked in looking fresh from the film set of Dead Poet’s Society and scripted his name with theatrical flourish in yellow chalk on a “green” blackboard….”John Calvin Dotson.”

We were then directed to put away all books, take out a piece of paper, pick up a pen and write…

“What?” said a fellow classmate in a shocked tone.

“Write everything you can, as quickly as you can, that passes through you. No editing. Go. Five minutes.” (No further instructions were given; no one asked a w follow up question.)

And so we tucked in over paper and with pen and wrote as though our lives depended upon it. Time became timeless and five minutes passed quickly. What had we accomplished? We had emptied our heads onto paper, foregoing editing as we wrote, and could focus better for the next forty minutes of class; but something even more important was initiated that day.

Five days a week, all year long, we started class with this writing ritual referred to as a  ”braindump.” We learned (or at least I did) how to align what we were “thinking” with our writing; and that has for me made all the difference.

My natural voice/tone/style has been a part of how I write what I write– for the last 33 years. So writing is “easy” for me. Editing on the other hand can take MANY HOURS.

At age 14, I was introduced to the concept: Writing and Editing are two distinct processes.

It is important to remember this when starting new writing projects. I propose the following as a best process to get to good content as quickly as one can that one can Write first. Write fast. Write when inspired. Let it marinate a “bit.” THEN move into editing and consider using an Editor other than yourself as well. Choose someone who will be diplomatically candid and help make your writing “better” without imposing their voice on you.

I like to think that as a group facilitator and teacher of writing/communication/self-expression, I teach first how to acknowledge the voice within seeking to express itself and then how to refine and edit the final message to be Authentic and Impactful and Effective. And this approach applies to business and marketing writing as well as personal writing.

When Writing is Hollow it is experienced that way. When Writing is Passionate and Enthusiastic it is experienced as such. As much as there is a barrier between you reading this blog post and me writing, I HOPE you feel the conviction I feel for this topic and theme.

***********

It was Spring of 2010. I was sitting in a Sunday service at Unity of Bellevue and the minister then, John MacLean was in his WONDERFUL theatrical style (for he had a TV Entertainment Past!) discussing  the difference between Religion and Spirituality. I can’t recall what he said about Religion at all. I do though remember very distinctly what he offered about Spirituality: “Spirituality Provokes”

Suddenly, I silently gasped and had the thought, “Yes, and Authentic Writing Provokes. That is it!” This is always the mantra that drives the way I mentor and coach and guide writers and business clients to write and market themselves was born.

Yes, I sound like a broken record BUT I sing a song I love to sing over and over.

***********

Two years of Tuesdays with the Writers Support Group for the Reticent Blogger has given birth to other events that keep me engaged creatively, professionally and are the highlights of my week.

The Writers Support Group for the Reticent Blogger (aka Writer)

The Writers Supporting Writers Group

And introducing the newest weekly offering:

Developing an Authentic Voice for Self-Expression: An Ongoing Series

Whether you desire to write and speak well for your business or yourself, I invite you to write and speak with a sense of Authenticity and Enthusiasm. Discovering your growing edges is where the work begins. The Critic would have you delay publishing something that isn’t quite finished or critique what you have published. The Editor would help you refine the message and encourage you to publish your thoughts. These “voices” in us have their roles but prior to getting their feedback, we must let our “Free Expression” loose.

If you aren’t comfortable with full self-expression, avoid writing for yourself or secretly wish you enjoyed writing, I “gently” challenge you to take on learning how to be collaborative with Your True Voice, Your Editor and Your Critic. Great Writing comes of this “dream team” when on the “same page.”

Helping people give their creativity and self-expression “roots and wings” is happily what I also call my work and dharma.

May the Confident Writer and Speaker in You be Released in 2012, Year of the Water Dragon!

Deborah Drake – Authentic Writing Provokes, Writing Mentor/Marketing Coach and Self-Publishing Enthusiast

Seth Godin (demi-god) On Being Remarkable

What might it look like for you to stand out online and offline from the crowd? This is what we are tackling week after week and this will be the theme of the new series starting February 29th. And once again I return to a virtual mentor of mine whose message is always helpful to hear again and again and again. He’s as purple a cow as can be.

Purple Cows Forever

Seth Godin on Standing Out

This TED Talk from 2003 in Monterey, is for me evergreen. Technology mentioned by Seth aside, has changed SO MUCH since Seth gave this talk. He mentions getting on the home page of Google might be important, or these days first on any of the major search engines?  He speaks to the TV Industrial complex as being “dead” but the state of TV seems healthy and has healthy competition among the bevy of cable channels and distribution sources Provided you are a member…( Hulu, Netflix to name the two I access.) I still see ads. Clever. Shorter. And Frequently.

Provocative. Shocking. Different. Can you present your ideas this way, somehow?

Timely. Infused with enthusiasm. With total belief. Can you write and speak to your subject matter Just in Time and full of conviction for it?

One video or post at a time we COULD create a tipping point. One person sharing with another and being a champion or advocate, we will create a tribe that follows us with devotion, opens our newsletters, our specially time emails, BECAUSE they care, BECAUSE we speak of something that matters to them.

And, this is not to say that the random non-sequitur is not appreciated. It is. For it is surprising to a reader expecting another Power Writing Tip to get something different from time to time. As a recipient of many newsletters (for I like research to come to me) I too can fall asleep at the wheel of monitoring marketing activities of admired colleagues. (Truth be I really appreciate the Power Writing Tips! and hence they come first to mind as an example to share. Good form and great content.)

As creature of habit, we like to be soothed with what we like and expect and I propose we appreciate a shake-up every now and then. It reminds us that Change is a Part of Life.

Being Remarkable could appear as us being more transparent than normal, or sharing an extreme viewpoint we are prepared to back up; Something other than towing the line of public opinion.

Being Remarkable to me says that we are saying: “I am comfortable in my own skin. I know first my personal brand and I know when and how I will deviate from the formula.”

Take Significant Relationships (where we work, who we date, who we marry): classically it is suggested they will eventually grow dulled and grey, UNLESS, we shake it up and stay conscious/awake and try new things from time to time to mix up the mix of what works.  Surprises are always revitalizing in life and can be in business.

For example: Let me just say that there has been nothing boring about raising a child from Zero to her current age of 12 (and to think I have 6 more years officially as her “ruling parent” (smile).Parenting is my greatest teacher where it comes to writing, negotiating, marketing and politics and it is a gift I treasure daily (even when I had to restore my balance with another walk!)

If you were to think of your business venture as a relationship you wanted to stay “awake, fun, profitable, productive, enjoyable, interesting ( to you and others) and meaningful (again to you and others)”  WHAT would you be prepared to do? To create? To maintain? To keep fresh and relevant. (Or in otherwords, P.U.R.R.fect)

My mission remains to create enthusiasm for the written word, penned by us, the thinkers of the thoughts and ideas. I’ll do this one person and client at a time knowing when I do remarkable work, the impact I have is amplified. I invite you to learn to do for yourself, the same.

Why? It helps more people all around when we do so.

And if you have already read Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, The Dip or all the other Seth Godin offerings, but not this one yet, go ahead Poke the Box and jump in.

We can’t be reminded to do the key things that are crucial to maintaining awareness where marketing and promotion are concerned. And with all the DIY ways to start up yourself, why not?

A Writing Challenge May Be Just The Ticket.

How does writing every day (or intending to), affect your sense of your creative self, your communication skills, your sense of motivation?

Simply Effective, Small Business Coach, Leona Rehm’s post on December 7th STILL causes a warm electric shiver in me from head to toe! It captured the foundational themes, issues and beliefs that so many reticent writers have.

It is also why the weekly Writers Circle exists: as a face to face meeting for those who can, as the Community Blog space to share and overcome these themes, as a proactive solution for the individual (who may also be a business owner) who wants to enjoy and embrace and excel at writing for themselves confidently!

My mentors include both well-known and not so well known people. Long before I knew of  Julia Cameron or Natalie Goldberg or Brenda Euland and many others I have discovered as an adult, my Writing Self was caused by a contemplative little girl that “had to write to work out concerns” who lived in me.

Then came my 9th grade English Teacher, John Calvin Dotson. He took an interest in me that has never waned. He is a masterful writer of many forms: essays, poems, plays, memoir, biographies of his mentors and more. He is a life time student of langauge itself and storytelling and painting pictures. Best of all he believed in me 100% and told me so, often. Through the years I had him for English, Creative Writing and Speech. After high school he and I stayed in touch and he continued to encourage me.

Who has supported, inspired and encouraged you? (…besides me…that is part of this community?)

The Contributors/Authors of this blog are exquisite in my eyes for a multitude of reasons. I watched and read as “fear and hesitation” left and “creativity and the spirit of spontaneity” entered. I watched writers emerge from cocoons. I heard that writing daily improved moods and Google rankings! I experienced people developing their tone and style and sharing not only who they are and what they did for a livelihood but who they authentically are.

The experiment was about developing the stamina and drive and genuine enthusiasm to write frequently as whole selves: 100 plus words at least five times weekly.

In November 240 posts were published.
WELL over 100,000 words collectively!
And the themes numbered 33 +.
And there was “dialogue” through comments as well as post ideas created from what was published.

In December 153 posts were published.
Again the way we write, 100K words easily.
We stretched ourselves to do a little more than we had the previous month.
We would talk about what was working for us and why.

We are now into January and the posts keep coming. And the writing…well, check it out for yourself.

Creativity CONTINUES to spark creativity. Activity CONTINUES to spark activity. Dialogue CONTINUES to spark deeper dialogue. We think we are on to something. And it is best of all:

Organic.Personal. Authentic. Fun. Playful. Pertinent. Honest. Timely. Golden. Heartfelt. Wisdom. Packaged in Storytelling.

Our (growing) community of writers as a whole stretches YET AGAIN and takes more risks as they feel encouraged and supported.

I keep asking each Tuesday in one form or another, “What exactly are you able to say is different for you now?”

As a writer, I invite you to PAUSE and take inventory about the writing you do:

WHAT specifically is happening for you?
WHAT specifically  is making the difference?
WHAT is your new story about how enjoyable or useful blogging can be?
WHAT lessons have you learned from others?

I look forward to reading each and every comment and response you “choose” to publish for it just may inspire others who find this space and place of a blog!

Write On!

Deborah Drake – Catalyst and Enthusiastic Facilitator
Authentic Writing Provokes 

P.S. Care to join us as we write in community, challenging ourselves? Join us. To RSVP visit Biznik.com or contact me directly if you are not yet a member of Biznik (an awesome community to be a part of) at deb@deborahdrake.com or call me at 425-223-5335.

Cultivating your self-expression in authentic ways is my dharma. I never tire of catalyzing that part of you!

 

It’s about finding TRUE enthusiasm. First yours. Then theirs.

Featured

Are you FABULOUS at what you DO and CARE about but hesitant to boldly express and market yourself? Are you embracing Social Media? Blogging?

Would support and assistance help you follow through on your best ideas?

Offering…

Writing Coaching (Interested in enjoying writing for yourself?)…
Writing Services (Developmental Editing, Ghost Writing, Copyediting)…
Practical Marketing Coaching (Let’s determine what works for you!)…
Extremely Productive Brainstorming (will surprise you)…
Market Research (My favorite hobby!)…
Social Media Marketing Strategy…(It’s always about being relational)

Authentic Work represented by Authentic Writing and Self-Expression is Magnetic.

To schedule a complimentary consultation to determine what would serve you best in the next three months, contact me. It all starts with saying yes to an exploratory conversation.

To your thriving and success as defined by you.

Take a class. Hire a coach. Or both.

Your Authentic Voice for Self-Expression will thank you for it.

Deborah Drake ~ Writer, Catalyst, Champion

deb@deborahdrake.com
425-223-5335

The good ideas that run away OR find me.

Writing is an activity that I personally do as easily as breathing.

And yet, there are those who “dread” the very idea of having to write a thank you note. I often wonder where the resistance to writing comes from each time I hear someone express having it.

And then there are the good ideas that we’ll have that run away like the Gingerbread Boy on a mission not to get caught. One trick to making writing an easier task for business and personal development that I use ALL the time is to be ready catch the idea, the phrase, the brilliant conversation overheard in the moment.

This doesn’t work so well if I am in the shower BUT even that can be worked around with a handy digital recorder.  (Some of my most creative ideas have come while washing my hair. I will admit that. How many can relate?)

The phrase CARPE DIEM comes to mind. Seize the day (or better still the moment.) Is there a napkin in the house?

Saturday mornings I take my tweenager to classes in downtown Seattle as she aspires to be an entertainer and her involvement in Youth Theater is a start. She begs for more training so assuming grades are kept strong and chores are done, we grant her wishes.

Opting to spend an hour or so at a cafe “observing life in action” while she learns Monologue and Improvisational Script Reading is a PERFECT opportunity to carpe diem and observe many a caper of daily life (not my own). At these times, I challenge myself to connect the dots creatively or find insights and wisdom to share with readers or clients.

Take today for example: After parking the car on the street and prepaying for the time as needed, I headed to the cafe that I spend the hour I have to myself.

A favorite writer of mine Doris Lessing, was a fan of sitting in cafes and capturing life around her. Her short stories, rich with emotional detail and human psyche themes, were often based on lives being played out in dialogue around her.

In one short story, she made even a traffic jam at a four way London corner seem like the most human of experiences, as the cars (not their drivers) argued with horn and turn signals and passive-aggressive maneuvers.

The Third Avenue corridor of Seattle is a busy one between the cars, the busses, and the less fortunate citizens of Seattle. Having needed to park a block and a half farther away than usual, I found myself walking in the transitional neighborhood between Belltown proper and Downtown proper. On the corner a block from my final destination, two were locked in an intense “conversation” of sorts.

A tall and overweight woman carrying many bags and dressed in a hodgepodge of winterwear was screaming like a banshee at a smaller and also plump and very weatherworn woman clinging to her rolling walker.

The air was thick enough to cut with a butter knife. It would be necessary to listen to this “monologue” for a good “long” minute as I and another woman had just missed the legal right to walk across tthe street. I know I could have dashed to avoid having to experience this moment of humanity BUT I opted to stay put and say a silent prayer of calm and resolution on behalf of these two beings who struck me as “related.”

I got the distinct impression it was actually a mother yelling at her daughter. The smaller woman seemed younger than the older.I breathed in the suffering I was experiencing outside of me as Tonglen Meditation would have me do, and imagined myself transmuting it into something neutral and accepting and positive.

My eyes caught the eyes of the woman beside me waiting for the light to turn green for legal crossing and we smiled weakly and sympathetically at one another. We said not a word though. And when the light turned green, we both stepped on and moved forward. I was still saying prayers of peace for the pair still locked in a passive-aggressive verbal battle. The young one was muttering she was sorry. The elder was screaming how tolerant and patient she was.

As a mother of a young woman in the making, this mean moment on a cold afternoon struck me as poignant and heartbreaking. It also leaves me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all the health and well-being and comfort in my seemingly simple life and lifestyle.

Not only do I have peace of mind and body, I have a circle of support that seems to grow not shrink. I have a business that is growing doing work I choose. I appreciate all that I have, even the small sadnesses and heartbreaks of romantic love and new business lost from time to time. In truth, the amount of goodness I experience daily outweighs any sadness and disappointment.

A brief walk through a cold city can itself offer me a gift of awareness to appreciate  what is always before me. We really are surrounded by many things to write and reflect upon. The good ideas (not always happy though) find us and want to be shared, when we are willing.

May we take each opportunity to stretch our authentic voices and make a difference.

What’s the Story Morning Glory?

Say it with me people, “I welcome a fresh new writing challenge for January, because my business and I are worth it!”

Our community writing project is working and rather elegantly for some. With each month I see writing from people who are clearly enjoying their process. And I am enjoying you enjoying yourself. “Thank you sir (and madams) may I have some more.”

In November, those who committed, did in fact make valiant efforts to write daily 100 words or more, with the spirit of National Novel Writing Month like a wind beneath our wings.

In December, those of us who continued on opted to continue with daily writing, respond to writing prompts offered, make a point to stretch ourselves and set new and personal goals. How did you do?

Now comes January. Are you feeling even a twinge of resistance? I sure hope not. Truth is when altering behaviors for good, it is only natural to experience resistance that must be addressed.

Speaking for myself, I am missing some voices that we had in November and December who for one reason or another wandered off to ski, or move, or engage in the holidays with a vengeance, deal with life issues, travel some and “sabbaticals” are good when they are restorative. Here is hoping you are feeling restored and ready to take on some new and exciting challenges from yours truly.

Who among us now is ready to entertain this next writing challenge and commit to it with renewed intention? Your mission should you choose to accept it is:

For the month author at minimum four posts that feature you and your business from the perspective of lessons learned not only in this last year but in all the time you have been in business. Incorporate story and sharing of somethings you’ve not  yet shared.

Make these posts good fodder for an article to reprint and post online elsewhere beyond your site.

Get real and stay honest. How much transparency can you manage?

Begin to “imagine as if” your business goals and marketing plan not only exist but can be realized and that fresh content expressing your 2012 and beyond intentions exposes new readers/prospective clients to aspects of you and how you do business.

What goes in the Circle that represents your 2012 Goals/Plans/Intentions? Map it out graphically and start writing those stories.

This is not to say the daily musings and sightings of things odd and inane and down right ridiculous don’t belong in this month’s writing, but let’s intentionally turn our attention to some compelling and vivid writing about our businesses (if we have not already started).

As for the Blog Title, I can feel you all wondering so I will share with you what inspired me.

What’s The Story?

Last night my daughter and I watched a film and I remembering thinking, “I want to see that while it is in the theaters.” Point is I finally saw it Morning Glory (2010) with Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, and Diane Keaton as well as a stellar ensemble cast, quick and clever writing and some very memorable scenes illustrated comically the power of being vulnerable while being authentic and taking risks:

The Storyline

Becky (Rachel McAdams) is a hard-working morning TV show producer, or at least she was until she got fired. Desperate to get a job, she finally gets an interview with Jerry (Jeff Goldblum) – who is desperate to hire a producer for the struggling show “Daybreak”. Becky accepts the job and it proves to be more difficult than even she might be able to handle. She has to fire the sexist co-host, then try to convince egotistical news reporter, Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), to take the job, and then try and get him to actually do the job, properly. And she has to do this while falling for handsome Adam (Patrick Wilson), and trying to save the show from plummeting ratings. Will Becky be able to hold on to her dream job and her sanity?

That Scene I Can’t Forget
Becky is determined to get re-employed and after sending her resume FIVE times to probably everywhere (only in the movies eh?). She gets a call from Daybreak Morning Show’s Executive (Jeff Goldbum) who does a fine job being so Jeff Goldbum as he interviews her. Or rather at her interview, she gets nervous and rattles off way too much cheerful banter BUT at the very point she is about to give up hope that the job could be hers because even the Executive is dissing all aspects of the show: its ratings, its content, it’s budget, its staff etc.  she goes for broke, takes a stand and says, “I think this show needs a producer who BELIEVES in it and I am that person.” His response, some version well that is sad/embarrasing…and thanks for coming in. She storms out of the office only to have an embarrassing and important moment in the elevator with two other key characters. (I’ll let you check out the film and review it yourself from this point)

Have you ever reached that point of caring so much you go for broke and make a fool of yourself with a lot of heart?

Becky Fuller got offered the job before she left the building. She had a wild ride over the next six weeks and like all Hollywood movies after twists and turns and ups and downs, there is a lovely happy ending for all the main characters…Ah, the cinema!

It is her passion, her determination, her belief in her self, her out of the box thinking, her fly by the seat of her pants and survive way of handling crises and overwhelm and humanity that makes her my hero.

Made me glad I came to my own senses and said yest to myself and this business I do for a livelihood. And so I preach “authentic self-expression” in all forms and that is what I am AGAIN talking about.

January is about symbolically starting a Fresh Year, on a Fresh Canvas, keeping the Best of 2011, tossing the Rest, embracing 2012 and marketing and promoting ourselves with vivid vigor, tantalizing transparency and curiosity inspiring content. Weave yourself into your business writing. Weave business into your personal writings, as best you can.

It can not only be done. It can be done WELL. Are you game? If so, ante up and let me know who I get to watch for in the coming month!