Are you loyal to your “practice”?

(Let us be like Cole Porter at his best!)

Saturday evening I ended up staying in. Original plans to visit a friend’s farm were revised, and thankfully the friend and farmer, was graciously understanding.  I do my best to be loyal to the commitments I make and while dates may change, my intentions are ultimately to be loyal to the plans made.

So Saturday evening was now to consist of dinner and a movie at home. Ever seen the movie “De-Lovely” starring Kevin Kline as Cole Porter and Ashley Judd as Linda Lee, his devoted and understanding wife? There is a large and fine cast of characters, the Cole Porter extended family I’ll call it.  The Porters had a long-term and loyal community, or so the film portrays. We should all be so blessed.

I’ve watched this movie many times: You can do that when you own the DVD. And in past viewings I have always admired the music and the vitality of Cole Porter, Kline’s portrayal of him and the retrospective approach to telling his musical story with the help of an Angel played by Jonathon Wright (whom I also LOVE!). This time though there was something different and special that struck me about the film I had not noted before.

There is a scene rather later in the movie wherein Cole Porter is living apart from Linda Lee who has returned to Paris and is taking time to determine what next for herself. Cole has been composing all night long after attending an opening of a new show, sans his muse. Morning comes and he is called to breakfast by a friend and house guest, but he opts to go for a horseback ride before breakfast. He takes a fall off that horse when the horse rears up over a hornets nest and falls on him, crushing both legs badly. In typical Hollywood style, Linda Lee returns promptly and rallies for Cole’s legs with the doctor and then with Cole over getting back to work. (Cross-checking revealed that Hollywood took some creative license in the Cole Porter timeline…imagine that…) But just take the scene at face value for the sake of the theme of this post. Please. And thanks!

Linda is the epitome of loyalty from the moment she binds herself to Cole in marriage, even knowing his idiosyncrasies. She loves all of him with a constancy and always with elegance and good breeding. She exemplifies tender, firm, loyal and love when it comes time to push him to self-reliance. “I can’t work the pedals,” he cries out in pain as she leaves his music room and encourages him to play the piano after bringing him home from the hospital. Outside the closed door to his study, she sobs as quietly as she can, as he shouts for help because he can’t work the pedals. And it would be years before Cole could work the pedals, but Linda Lee’s gentle insistence and support were always in the wings. And in the film, as in real life, Cole Porter would walk again and play again, though with less agility, but that was the least of Linda’s concerns. She wanted him to keep his spirit and reason for getting up each day, in tact.

There were several striking things that stayed with me this time.

1. Cole Porter wrote music that was forever sharing his inner thoughts and alluded to his personal life. And he wrote them as a man in the business of writing music and lyrics and playing for audiences small and large. What occurred in the songs was a reflection of what was going on his life. He was consistent in this way of being and creating music that remains compelling to me. He was masterful technically and also at sharing his heart’s pains and sorrows, couched in humor and tenderness. WHERE ever did you get the idea that YOU and your stories don’t belong in your writing?

2. Cole Porter had a devoted champion in Linda Lee who sometimes acquiesced to his eccentricities and others times put her foot down (though gently) when something needed changing for the overall betterment of his career. She was at times an anchor and others times a rudder, but always a “muse” that supported him in doing what he did best. She kept him focused and supported. And she had quite the network to expose him to. Do you have people on your team who believe in you and also tell you the truth about your writing and communications? Do they speak up? Do you take to heart what they offer? I’m not talking lip service here!

What struck me this time watching a film I enjoy for the music, the acting and the messages, is how AUTHENTIC Cole Porter was as a lyricist and artist and musician. He shared himself pretty much all the time through his songs.

Could you be like Cole Porter at his best in your writing and/or speaking to create connections that stick for the long term one way or another? Here is hoping that you are up to the task of being real in your self-expression to grow your business and client base WHILE also being a kind human being. That is a win-win!

May your writing and business communications always reflect your story, your heart and with as much transparency as is “just right.”

 

Is Your Mission Clear to Those Who Want to Help You?

Is it?

I’ll start the dialogue I hope this post creates with my own attempt to be CLEAR and have a little fun in the process:

“Deborah Drake is on a Creative Writing Mission (be you writing for business or otherwise) : To get you to love doing your own writing and express yourself confidently and with authenticity and whole heart. Writing in this age of “the world being your oyster,” what will it take for you to chase out “for good” the disbelief that you can’t write as yourself and for yourself and attract GREAT readers and clients? Consider this writing coach like an assignment a la Peace Corps…she will teach you how to not only plant that garden and harvest the yield, but craft your own recipes in a cookbook you can then self-publish and market boldly with enthusiasm that lights up a room. Writing is good for the soul, good for business and therapeutic and to be able to authentically self-express who we are, what we do and what we care about in this age is PARAMOUNT. Can you?”

Now here is the challenge for you reader: Add yours in the comments so that we all who read here can see that you want us to understand who you are, what you do, what you seek to cause and what you care about. What will this do for you and us? Make it easier for us to identify opportunities that fit you. Those who know you want to understand how to help and recommend YOU! Trust me on this.

We MUST, MUST, MUST be able to both succinctly, colorfully and effectively express our mission, vision and purpose…okay, so we don’t “need to” to get work done and earn that living, but it makes doing business a whole lot more fun when we attract the clients that choose us because they “get us” even before they might meet us face to face.

Here is one example of some I love…and it’s not quite a brief bio or mission statement but it is in my opinion a home-run….Randal Hart I want my profile to be like yours when mine grows up!

http://biznik.com/members/randal-dehart-pmp-qpa/about

DO try this writing prompt at home and let yourself go. You’ll surprise yourself I bet.

Set a timer for five minutes (yes, all of five minutes and no more initially). Kitchen timer or your mobile phone or what ever timing device is easiest and at hand. Ready, Set, Write…and don’t over think it. That is why we get stuck people! We obstruct the flow of channelled brilliance when we stop and think, “Oh, does that sound good or make sense?”
Write what wants to be written for a change. Trust that it has pearls of wisdom to exploit! Write what comes naturally and then edit it to a piece that is finessed. Or ask a trusted advisor to assist.

The intention is to generate a statement that is bursting with truth and freshness…and I believe you can do just that!  (And help is always at hand when we ask for it.)

Authentic Writing Provokes…Every Time.

Third Level Listening (Writing) is waiting for you to tune in.

I am literally sitting (or pacing about my living room) on a Saturday morning and listening to the current episode of This American Life feeling fully and enthusiastically inspired and validated that  yes, “Authentic Writing Provokes.”

Yes, I am asking you to do more than read this blog post and beyond that devote fifteen to sixty minutes of your valuable time and take in what “authentic self-expression” sounds and feels like. And yes, it is about the stories of our relationships, but isn’t all of life about relating, really?

I have admired what Ira Glass and This American Life and his staff of however how many does for years…years…years…and with today’s show it was reaffirmed AGAIN!

He is always “designing” shows that feature others telling what is and what is true and it lands. It lands in my body in places that make me tingle. Hair on the back of my neck and electricity running from head to toe. A felt sense of “this is true stuff.”

We can choose to intentionally  “place” on our living and breathing “blogs” and websites…a.k.a. our electronic brochures…our digital “canvasses” of sort…language, stories, facts and shared insights that “hopefully” inspire and call our readers into action that really feels good first for them and makes us cheer them on. We are here to serve. We have our chosen channel, our profession. We seek to attract the reader, the comment, the client, and cause a good change.

May you enjoy “listening” and find inspiration in how to apply it to how and what and why you do what you choose to pursue. ( I get that being more transparent may take time.)

First Level Listening is what we hear or read or see. The Facts.

Second Level Listening is what we initially may interpret as being the meaning of what we experience.

Third Level Listening goes beyond what is obvious and is about what is not heard, seen, said and is EQUALLY important…sometimes more so. (Or it is a presence in the background that has meaning.)

That telephone call that interrupted a dramatic moment of disagreement. Could it be a request to rest and stop the drama.

That bird song you heard. What message did it deliver?

That incoming email from a friend in need. What more is it about?

That song that pipes in at the right moment. What is is trying to tell you?

Be open. Cultivate listening in your writing at the first, second and third levels of “listening.”

I know you can. I know you can. I know you can. (Little Engine that Could makes a GREAT Cheerleader!)

Click your heels three times with me now.