Resistance: It really doesn't work

Resistance.

We were really supposed to leave on Friday before 1pm. Noon was the original plan. Portland was a mere three hour drive.

Resistance.

It would be Saturday 10am before that WONDERFUL drive to Portland for a wedding would get started. And the I-5 corridor between Seattle and Portland is simply WORSE than I remember. Four fine hours later…

Surrender.

I was determined though, not to let the drive get in the way of my enjoyment. And despite the “bookends” of traffic coming and going on Saturday and Sunday,  I actually kept my word to myself and only enjoyed the wedding and the time with dear friends.

Still wondering why traffic has to be so bad in the south end beyond Seattle…

And what I do know is true (despite the traffic) that I didn’t resist helped in every way.

So where writing is concerned, writing as yourself, do you? Or do you resist being even a little bit yourself?

Do you ever surrender to writing even for a behind the scenes moment, as you at your most authentic self?

The times we experience resistance are great opportunities to take a deeper look at what we’d really like to be sharing.

And I say there are ways we can say even the most provocative of ideas, in palatable ways.

Resistance and Authenticity. Can’t see then occupying the same space for too long.

What would you say if you knew it was okay to say what was on your heart and mind? About your business? Or about your life and the story you left behind for your family? People get when you are being real.

Why not insert a little more you into your writing?

Kind of like salt in a recipe. Add to the point it really flavors the dish you are creating.

Authentic Writing Provokes: The 2am Ride of Paula Persevere (Revisited)

Albero e Luna by Francesco Marino

NOTE: This piece originates from an email sent to my still growing Writer’s Group for Reticent Bloggers at 3:03am on July 20th because quite frankly,  I was feeling DETERMINED to get the word out before we met again.

Reading it again, today, I giggle at the memory of all the teasing I get for being that nightowl from my most regular group members. Beyond being known as a nightowl, I am thankfully regarded as a good listener, and effective facilitator and that just warms this writing coach’s heart.

What reputation precedes you as the business or personal writer you are?  (I don’t mind for being known as a prolific writer between 12am and 3am on occasion. )

What are you known for  because of the copy on your website or the blog you author or that article, ebook or book you wrote?

Could you anticipate what your five closest peers might say about you? Do you even care?

To a degree I care about how I am perceived. Most importantly I want there to be a “nearly full eclipse” of who I say I am, who I know am and how I am experienced by people. Just like I appreciate online profiles with current photos that allow for immediate “recognition” of the real McCoy when meeting for the first time at a live event.

Be it that I am writing business copy for website updates, articles or a blog post or an email correspondence, or even micro-blogging on Facebook I am always alert to my underlying “voice.” And I have found that being “me” is the easiest way to get communication out in a timely, enthusiastic and meaningful way.

Can I interest you in exploring and developing your authentic written voice for your business or your creative aspirations?  It makes my heart sing to do so. For our Dharma (aka our vocation) seldom feels like work does it?

And about that late night experience that sparked this post…

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At 12:40am or there about, this email was set to go, and Comcast deserted me.

Deserted me…but I am like the Captain of Galaxy Quest… I never/seldom give up and never surrender. And apparently I am willing to use the word never…

Tonight, I had the distinct pleasure of picking up my daughter from the airport, right on time, after her month in Carmel, CA with her grandparents. Her 8-day visit turned into a month when she got the opportunity to be part of the Children’s Experimental Theater group and we all said…what do we do to make this happen. We made it happen and she had a seminal summer experience. Who doesn’t want that any season of the year.

We, the dad, the mom and the kid had a catch up dinner at a nearby Neighborhood Grill and she had the AUDACITY…to ask for a play date after dinner with her best friend, Julia…I so get that she is simply glad to be home…and I would have let her go and play for two hours had it been approved… point is she was clear on what she wanted to be doing next–once she felt again in her element.

Well, I opened up a word doc, committed to write an article on behalf of Positive Daily Affirmations and figured if this email was meant to go tonight (or rather this early morning) I’d have the chance to send it before my head hit the pillow. Never Give Up….Never Surrender…or in other words cross that to do, off the list and sleep well.

Last week we had a wonderful dozen in the circle and surprise, surprise, the themes again were a common chorus.

Well, what do I have to say that people really want to hear from me?

(Hey, there, expert that You actually are with stories that span decades…I care and I am listening. And if I know you personally, I care even more…)

Can you hear/feel/sense the wisdom in this post of a friend of mine (a fantastic human disguised as a fantastic Real Estate Agent by day) that was inspired by a Copyblogger post? So much in so little a post…read on please…Go Casey, Go!

http://caseymuldoon.web864.com/2010/07/16/how-to-create-raving-fans/

I heard the request to start a Biznik Group last week! It’s done…

http://biznik.com/groups/writers-support-group-for-reticent-bloggers

You are invited to use this forum to share posts and ask questions of the resources in this growing community.

Sandy said she planned to start a personal blog.

Susan started writing creation stories for the buddies.

Pete is still committed to creating an editorial calendar.

Diane, I love your posts and your pictures.

Charles, please share those stories you have dozens of and educate by way of your 36 years of wisdom/direct experience.

Darylene, I’m writing articles as fast as I can….and hope I get found…

Blogs are living breathing entities filled with your essence, if you are okay with that. The more real you are the better. Being crafty and clever catches some but being authentic catches more people’s attentions and makes them Raving Fans.

Private blogs allow for R&D without scrutiny (go Sandy!)  And collaborative blogs allow for synergies to emerge between writers.

Favorite links found this week that made me smile long and wide:

Casey’s see above…which leads me to CopyBlogger and to this funny guy with a fabulous promo…

http://johnnybtruant.com/about/

I respect the writer’s with a willingness to really be themselves…what will it take for you to be so?

What makes my heart smile is how I see this group from week to week provide a space for the participants to get enthused and infused and inspired. For those who make it tomorrow…yahoo….for those who cannot…we will miss you.

I fully intend not only to be myself as I write and blog, and make a living doing so…how about you?  And to do so what support do you need?

Ask and you shall receive.

Image: Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Philosophy for Success(ful Writing) from Mahatma Ghandi

Consider…
Your BELIEFS become your THOUGHTS;
Your THOUGHTS become your WORDS;
Your WORDS become your ACTIONS;
Your ACTIONS become your HABITS;
Your HABITS become your VALUES;
Your VALUES become your DESTINY.

Please consider this as a formula for success for your writing as well! To write with these principles in the background, the foreground and in the very ground your writing emerges from.  How could it not provoke a reader to speak up, reach out, make contact, and engage you if so compelled?

The Manifesto

This is a blog devoted to Effective Communication and Authentic Marketing Strategies.

I believe that Authentic Communication provokes readers into action.

Self-expression is something we did as children and for as long as we were not silenced. So now we get to relearn how to write and speak like ourselves.

What stops you from saying what you really want to say? About your professional services, your business, your most important creative aspirations?

I enjoy helping those who desire to write, publish, and market themselves but resist doing so Authentically, Boldly, and Consistently. (ABC’s in my book!)

May you come to the place you look forward to sharing yourself through writing or self-expression through other mediums for pleasure and/or profit.

Blessings

Sean Earley's Perspective: Avoiding the Social Media Overwhelm

Last week a “new kid” on the block showed up at Biznik.  Sean Earley who it turns out is originally from Ohio, most recently lived in Seattle, before moving to Germany.  And he is savvy and friendly and enthusiastic about his newfound community at Biznik, from the way he is posting on forums and commenting. All in the spirit of getting to know his global neighbors.

Love it when people are friendly and curious and smart!

Funny/ironic that he lived in Seattle but only discovered Biznik once in Germany? Is that True Sean?  And now we connect as the fellow Social Media enthusiasts and writers we are? I surrender…and will just be GLAD we connected thanks to the Wonderful World Wide Web and a homegrown Social Network that has members worldwide.

And about this post that I “reprint” (thanks Sean!): I really appreciate the succinct clarity of the suggested logic (from the book Groundswell) for using Social Media as the tool it is. Being strategic and on purpose while being also authentic are core values I live out EVERY TIME I write.

Except for those early morning pages of stream of consciousness that clear the cobwebs from my head…

I second, enthusiastically,  the suggested rationale and process that Sean spotlights. In fact I am curious as to how y’all make the best and the most of time spent within Social Networks? Or do you even begin?

Curious minds await your nickel on this evolving “reality” and be mindful reader, that Social Media Marketing is now part of the mix. Yes, you can put your head in the sand a while longer if you must, but really is that wise?

As it makes sense for your business–Integrate.Integrate. Integrate. In time may you feel about Web 2.0 (aka Social Media Marketing) similarly as you did about email auto responders; which is they are here to stay and just like learning to ride that first bike, there is a learning curve but once confident, we ride the bike, not the other way around.

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Before you make the decision to use any social media platform as a marketing tool, you need to evaluate it first and ask yourself how it best serves a specific purpose, otherwise there is the potential to just waste a lot of valuable time, energy and resources without gauging the results.

How, why and even if you use it can and will directly effect the bottom line.

So, before you go tearing into Twitter, or any social platform for that matter, first ask yourself a few, basic, key questions, make some decisions based on these questions and set some goals.

Basically, “how will this tool or platform help me?”

In order to do so, I suggest following the P.O.S.T acronym (originally put out by Forrester)

POST stands for: People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology.

1. People: Who are the people you want to be targeting and how do you identify them? Who is your demographic and where can you find them?

Is Twitter the best place to find them? Is Facebook? Is linkedIn? Or maybe SprouterBuzz, Etsy, Ning, Xbiz, Foursquare? Or…

Are there other platforms that might be better? Maybe there is a forum based on your niche that would be much more effective instead? Maybe a group? Does this demographic even use social networks?

2. Objectives: What are your objectives and what are you hoping to achieve?

Are you broadcasting a message or researching and gathering information? Are you trying to build a mailing list, or get more traffic to your website? Is it for education, communication, relationship building, or customer service? Is it a tool to generating leads, or to build upon existing leads?

Do you want to use it for input or output? Or both?

3. Strategy: What is your strategy? What is the ultimate goal of your efforts? How will you be using this tool to achieve your objectives?

How much time can you afford to spend with these tools in order to positively effect your ROI? How much time is too much time? Will you be in charge of this process or will you outsource?

4. Technology: Based on your plans, which platform is best suited to serve up these goals?

Once you decide on a platform, do you have a good understanding of how to use it? Are you comfortable using it or do you need training? Do you need tools or additional software?

So to summarize, Social media can be a powerful marketing tool, but it can also be an incredible time suck. Following this basic process and asking yourself some very important key questions first will ultimately define success or failure.

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And after all that is it now time push that publish button? Here is to fun and productive blogging be it micro or otherwise.

About this guest blogger: Sean Earley is a professional designer, online marketing and social media consultant, recently transplanted and currently living in Weisbaden, Germany and thanks to Biznik, For more by Sean visit his blog and comment if you are compelled! I for one appreciate his

Insomnia and Creativity Go Hand in Hand

I do so love a good all nighter!

Reminds me of that time I had to complete a final paper for a college literature course and I got stuck on page five of 20.

I had drafted the first five pages with ease. Weeks before,  I had typed up those first five inspired pages on my trusty Brother (back before computers made it a breeze to edit and rework copy).

So imagine a college Senior, eager to complete this 20 page project and get on with my Life! Sitting at the dining room table (or rather the card table that served as such) I starred hard at the bottom half of the fifth page…blank…uninspired. Simply stuck on where to go from the point I had left off.

My roommate Dan did his best to coax and coach me to relax, let the ideas flow, and just type something but I was a deer in the headlights. But I was determined to sit at that card table, fingers on the keys, and referencing my outline and notes, I prayed for guidance. None came.

So Dan got radical on me. How you ask?

Continue reading “Insomnia and Creativity Go Hand in Hand” »

Krysta Gibson's Perspective: Can Social Media Grow Your Business?

A Note from Deborah:

I believe, I have many things in common with Krysta Gibson, who these days publishes the New Spirit Journal and consults on publishing and businesss and more. And as a happy subscriber to her newsletter, I was struck by this recent “essay” and offering. And thank you Krysta for granting me the go ahead to post to my blog; the place I evangelize about Authentic Writing and My Personal Marketing Manifesto (yes, I have one!)

First and foremost I love Effective Communication that furthers Human Relations. I love reading, writing, speaking, writing, communicating ideas in what ever “language” is your natural form of expression. And I champion people in business and in life confidently expressing themselves be it for their business or their relationships, in the name of having a Purposeful Life Experience, while of this Earth.

Continue reading “Krysta Gibson's Perspective: Can Social Media Grow Your Business?” »

3 Blogging Principles: Simple Yet Important

“Blogs are part of a social network where the generous thrive.” (p. 9 inBlogging Best Practices).

How many social media enthusiasts who say blogging is critical will it take to convince you? For as many bloggers as there are, there are just as many who choose not to participate in blogging or do so haphazardly, at best.

As one who compassionately counsels both clients and friends on all things marketing and the value of integrating social media elements such as blogs, I like what Andy Wibbels and Peter Flaschner, hosts ofBusinessBlogBasics seminars, suggest: “Everybody who is anybody in business is blogging. Shouldn’t you?”

Let us assume that you admit you should be blogging and have established a blog that – once set up with an appealing design and a few bells and whistles – is surprisingly easy to maintain. Now what?

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Who Are You, Anyway?: Showing Up Online

For the past few weeks I’ve been pondering all the reasons it’s good to have so much choice in the world, as well as what makes it challenging. Have you ever stopped to count how many choices of everyday commodities there are? Be it bread or shampoo or a professional service provider?

As a loyal shopper at Trader Joe’s honestly I find just the right amount of variety for myself. Stopping by a larger grocery chain quite frankly can overwhelm me. And I’ve had the same end result of overwhelm when I go shopping online for anything.

Say you are trying to pick for yourself a marketing specialist to support you. And there are just too many great looking options to cull through as you search for possible partners.

How does one choose when a friend’s referral doesn’t come to fruition or you want to do a little of your own footwork to confirm for yourself?

How do you decide who to call and talk to as a next step?

Continue reading “Who Are You, Anyway?: Showing Up Online” »

Social Networking: Am I Still Wasting Time?

I’m about to take a break from expressing my healthy and respectful fascination with Social Networking, media darling that it is. But just tomorrow!

In fact, I realized just how much attention and focus I was giving soaking up all things social media, reading more and more articles and unearthing new blogs to scan, comment upon and digging deep into new divine web finds (as I call them) bookmarked for later examination.

So occasionally I make myself stop and unplug for a day–and it’s challenging; voracious reader that I am.

All the time spent, soaking up unending content, has been affecting my sleep and quite frankly, my productivity. Can you relate? Are you ever a bit obsessed with new shiny objects like me? And in some ways history repeats itself.

Continue reading “Social Networking: Am I Still Wasting Time?” »