Call me Trim Tab. And seek yours.

Are you clear on what a Trimtab is and how you can be one?

The engineer Buckminster Fuller is often cited for his use of trim tabs as a metaphor for leadership and personal empowerment. In the February 1972 issue of Playboy, Fuller said:

Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary—the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab.It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go. So I said, call me Trim Tab.
—Buckminster Fuller
In our efforts to write as ourselves, make an impact on our readers and be effective in business, at the end of the day it is our opportunity to be that “trimtab.”
The first time I ever heard of this small, yet impactful part (be it for airplane or boat) was in 2003. I had met the author of a book on Buckminster Fuller, whose enthusiasm was so real and pure and ongoing (and continues to be.) He knew the philosophy and wisdom of Bucky Fuller like we know our ABCs.
Call me Trimtab.  Try it on for size for yourself if you dare. Imagine you and your writing as being a Trimtab for another.
How do you make yourself a Trimtab? Presuming you are willing, there are a myriad of ways through language and acts of service we can cause the “ripple”  in your readers, your clients, your peers, and those you have yet to meet!
Have you ever read (or overheard) something by someone you didn’t know personally that struck an important chord in you?
What about sharing your best self with intention, with the best hope of being that “little individual” who is at that moment “the trimtab” for the one you know or you don’t.
Apply every best practice you can enthusiastically embrace.
Be real. Be real. Be real.
And know that (or at least I feel) “heart-driven” writing manages to land so elegantly. How can it not?
I so feel like a broken record. And I am okay with it.
Write on…please and with a full heart. Please.

We all need an online presence that is “about us”: Not “stealth”

In an age where you can create an online profile as easily as you can start an email account, it makes sense to me to populate your new profile with some basics–at the very least.

Ideally, your online profile tells a wonderful story about you, making it that much easier for me and others to match-make on your professional behalf.  If I know who you are before you get to my event and my room, I assure you I will create opportunities for you connect with others I know are coming.

The other day I made an introduction to a first time guest, who oversees a blog all about dogs that needs contributors, that she might be interested in knowing the writer/illustrator/artist in our circle, who is also a storyteller, creator of toys and who does custom dog portraits that are very cool! They struck me as a good a match because I knew what each did for their livelihoods. I enjoy connecting people with each other and especially when business grows out of it.

There could be a grand synergy between any two people if each knows what the other is and does and needs.

If you are seeking that next perfect client or a full-time position, doesn’t it make sense to make the effort to share the really good stuff about who you are, what you seek, what you have accomplished and give us a strong picture that is current and lets us spot you quickly at an event we are both attending?

So many seem to initiate an account, barely start a profile, promise themselves to come back to it, and never do. There is a solution to this scenario, but it involves some in depth critical work initially and gentle maintenance thereafter.

As I see it, the key is to develop your full professional profile from the ground up, fill in the stories behind your accomplishments, commit to maintaining it and then get back to working on your business, out in the world. Would you not rather be meeting new contacts online and at events that might know who you are before you get there and seek you out? Or would you just as soon tell the same story over 10+ times to those attending?

If I could ask every member of this community to do but one thing in the next week it would be:

Check your online profile for its “greatness” and a story that reflects who you are. Does it tell your story clearly, engagingly, authentically?

And if you find your canvas is pretty blank (no picture, no summary, no promotion, no involvement in discussions) there is no time like the present to make it happen. And if your profile needs a dust-off and some fresh new content be it your image or logo or links to associations and your contact information, by all means, take that on!

Who will thank you? Who is the winner? I will as one of your community members who looks forward to knowing you should our paths collide online or in person at an event. The future client who can now identify you is another.  And what about the referral partners that are in abundance that you don’t yet know. We all win when community member profiles are current, interesting, multi-dimensional reflections of who we are and what we do and what we seek and offer.

If you need a little guidance on how to go about creating a vibrant profile that showcases you, I can wholeheartedly recommend a book originally written for jobseekers. Résumés that Resume Careers byDon Burrows puts one systematically through a discovery process that yields a great final piece on Brand and Company You. Or you can repurpose your profile content for your website, your blog, or to launch article ideas or seek work if that is your goal. It may take you weeks to complete, but it is worth the sweat equity.

As I see it and experience it, Biznik, in particular, as a community is a stellar example of the hybrid use of online and in-person opportunities to connect and help each other and ourselves.

Are you making it easy for us to do so?

 

Courageous Writing Can Be Learned

Today’s Writers Circle of 20 plus individuals got asked a question by facilitator me that for some seemed almost difficult to answer intuitively and  instinctively (which was okay too).  Everyone though offered up their best answer:

How courageous is your writing presently?

We had a fair number of 7-8’s, a handful of 6’s, some 4’s and even a few 9’s and one 11-12.

What exactly is Courageous Writing on one’s blog (for starters)?

Do you “think” you write courageously?

What might doing so look like?

And if you have yet to,  what would it take for you to do so?

When I was little, really young, writing privately in Hallmark diaries that locked (securely…right?) I was no holds barred. This continues to this day in those journals I don’t “publish.” And then there is what I create and  “publish” on my business site. But there is a bit of me, deep thoughts and all that seep into my business communiques in all forms.

Are you at all comfortable with letting yourself in to your business writing?

And how much is too much? Would you recognize your growing edge?

That “edge” is where what I call courageous writing occurs.

Communicating my competencies beside my vulnerabilities: It is a time to be discerning.

And it can be learned. With support it comes easier.

I invite you to take on being ever more courageous as you share your expertise and share your stories and if you need support it is so close!

 

To blog or not to blog IS always the question

Weekly does my Writer’s Support Group for the Reticent Blogger meet at 1pm on Tuesdays. This gathering has been going on since March of 2010 and weekly many of the same people come to convene and converse about what is in the way of writing right now!

Or perhaps what success there is to report. I appreciate the mix myself.

What began as six charter attendees, is typically always far more than a baker’s dozen and it’s time that is graciously referred to as “Tuesday Group Therapy,” creativity group therapy and a standing appointment with self for at least a dozen regulars, I lovingly call the “Usual Suspects.”

Diane, Susan, Judy, Judy, Bob, Don, Darylene, John, Sue, Karen, Warren, Will, Paul, Steve, Karin, Mark, Mike, Scott and many others return week after week as they are able to both get what they need and give others the support they require.

And then comes the new attendee, the one who is there for the first time, without a blog for their business or self, or perhaps with a blog they have left unattended for too long. They seem aware of their resistance to the idea of self-publishing anything that is not technically accurate and related to the business. They have concerns and questions about this thing called “blogging.” They wonder…

What is a blog and why have one?

Why bother? What is in it for me and my business goals?

How will readers find me?

So what when they do? (What can I do to inspire comments and dialogue?)

Why would anyone read what I have written (says the person especially who doesn’t see themselves as a good writer)?

This marks the moment I smile and sometimes at Susan or Diane or Sue and say, sounds like time for an “Intervention.” They smile back knowing what comes next. There are many examples of people who have been “assisted” by being the spotlighted one for a while. We love it when they take the idea offered and run with it! ( Go on and check out the hyperlinks, you know you want too!)

Imagine arriving for an open writers support circle, unsure of what to expect and leaving with new found understanding of what having a blog as an extension of your business messaging could mean for you? Or knowing what you will name your blog or focus on and orbit the writing around? Or gaining a sense that your story and your voice and your personality are interesting to at least your initial 20+ readers?

Awareness that we would be a welcome voice in the blogosphere sparks interest in some. Some remain tentative and come back for months before ever launching a WordPress site or a Blog through their website. Still others take action right away, inspired by the generous suggestions and directions graciously given by those in the circle who were once in the same shoes.

The Truth as I See It goes like this: blogging as a Guerrilla Marketing strategy is here to stay, makes sense, can be done efficiently, can be fresh, can be evolving and adapting and did I say Makes Good Sense.

First, we must get over our fears–if only long enough to get started. Participant and writing client, Mike Margolies of The Athlete Within and the Mental Game, recently published a series of compelling pieces on that “Fear We Must Overcome” (as often as we need to). Resistance to new things evaporates for me when I understand why I am afraid and what might be beneficial if I got over my fears. It’s liberating to release fears. And it’s helpful to have a Base Camp to return to for support as needed. Who climbs Mt. Rainier solo?

Second, we will need to create some plan if only a light one for ourselves, to track against. I say let it be based on being Congruent with who one is, Consistent with one’s natural rhythms that get pushed from time to time, and grounded in what is rich Content of interest FIRST to us, and thereafter to our future Ideal Clients/Readers.

Third, may it be a process we choose to trust, engage in fully and in time realize, WE ARE HAVING FUN writing and sharing and sparking dialogue–if only within ourselves and hopefully with others. In time we will gain knowledge about ourselves, our business, our clients, our future clients, and all because we engage in communicating Authentically and with Enthusiasm for the sake of inspiring others and contributing to their Awareness and their own quality of life.

To blog or not to blog, may often be the question and I hope for my students and clients that embracing “blogging” and writing to authentically self-express our interests, creativity and areas of focus and expertise is ultimately what is the chosen path. I read a lot of blogs and comment on many. I get GREAT ideas from what others write and share. I connect people to each other who I feel need to know of each other.

To begin is what it takes. To begin with an end in mind is even better. When you need help getting going, I hope you ask for it. And if you want community, I have a great place for you to find it.

Tuesdays, 1pm. Does it have your name on it?

Must Love Dogs…or Cute Kids…or Both?

“Kids and puppies go viral.” So says one dear writer friend of mine who keeps her finger on the pulse of what goes mercurial within Social Networks.

Is this true?

What other emotional elements trigger your compassion and enthusiasm to pay it forward?

And is it “fair” and authentic to travel on the coat tails of puppies, kittens and cute kids?

Of course, as a writer of the authentic, I strive to share my head and heart and HOPE that people resonate with my offering. As for adding bonus features and accessories such as timely news, and heart touching stories, I am all for it, if it really ties to my thought, my post, my message BUT I draw the line at adding extras that don’t belong.

Have you ever noticed how the original intention of writing shines through? At least it does for me. Perhaps I am at better at reading between the lines, because I read with the intent to do just that. I do this like second nature after all the years. And I tune into what messages clearly come through for me.

Please don’t sell out. Be Real. First with yourself. Then with others. It will work.

What’s the bottom line for me and what I strive to co-create with you?

Authentic Writing Provokes.

A Writing Coach's Credo

As a Writing Coach and Catalyst, I use each interaction I have with you to leave you feeling supported, to instill confidence and ultimately help you accomplish your writing goals. With gentle candor and honesty and compassion, in tandem with my self-confidence and writing experience I will earn your trust and establish rapport, so that critique and suggestions are given in a positive and insightful way that will be “heartfelt”, “heard/read” and understood.

I believe, what is “understood” can be integrated more rapidly than what is “resisted” or confusing. I first and always check in to find out how YOU (all of YOU) is feeling and what pressures or deadlines you may be operating under. Acknowledgement of what is going on is key; it naturally reduces tension and creates an environment where work can be done productively and confidence can be cultivated.

I believe effective communication to be a learned skill that can be cultivated at every age.

And some people seem naturally better at certain skills, but REMEMBER, initially we all were taught spelling, basic grammar and the guidelines for effective communication (and hopefully by a kind teacher or two).

It is the years of enthusiastic practice and commitment that have made me a better writer and a more intuitive writing coach.

It is my intention to convey in a gentle and direct way to you, I see you as capable, resourceful and creative. My hope would be that this as the foundation for our dialogue alleviates some of the stress or frustration of “writer’s block” or a deadline you are up against. And if you do not consider yourself a strong writer, I would suggest with heartfelt sincerity that a strong writer resides within you and to welcome that in or welcome it back in.

And if, for example, you asserted that spelling was not your strength, I would ask what resources did you rely upon when writing and editing: A dictionary, thesaurus, an easy guide to grammar? Love Spellcheck and Celebrate its existence in Word! Bookmark your favorite online resources! And let’s agree to one last proofread or one by a trusted editor in a friend or spouse? I will always offer resources and share best practices of my own also.

The idea of a constructive critique in my mind begins with asking what does one think they have already done well and what is good? And then we add to that list what I as the writing coach see is strong and effective. And next ask what needs improving and what concerns you? With awareness, you can only become a better writer.

I believe focusing on the positives present will allow for learning to occur more easily in areas that need refinement. A confident writer, who trusts they have the basics in place, and has an editing practice to catch the last typos and grammar issues may take more risks and stretch themselves creatively—and have more fun writing in the process. There will be more natural energy to do so.

The coaching model as a means to improve writing skills will inspire more natural enthusiasm for assignments and everyday writing, I believe.

Here is the theory that I agree with entirely:

What is my idea and my choice, on my timeline, is a set of actions I will be far more committed to and follow through on consistently and with more passion and enthusiasm. I will push myself and hold myself accountable. THIS HOLDS TRUE FOR YOU AS WELL.

I am here for you to instill confidence and inspire commitment to best practices for improving writing for business or pleasure.

As the avid writer that I am, I truly look forward to supporting you and the writing you wish to do. Thank you for the opportunity to partner with you as you create great writing designed by you.

A Short Ode To Spring's Latest Attempt To Arrive

I am the next bloom on the cherry tree about to burst wide open, the next new leaf about to unfold its green self, and the song about to erupt from the robin red breasted and boldly singing to source of its Gratitude.

May your writing this coming week erupt from that place in you that believes wholeheartedly in what you are doing and being in the world.

There are people in need of you and your offerings. They simply need know what your offer is.

My offer is to assist you get comfortable with being perhaps more forthcoming and transparent about who you are, what you are up to, what you are a resource for and authentically expressing yourself so that the people who want and need you, have an easier time finding you.

All “writing rules” aside, what would you add to your writing body of work?

Be Impeccable with Your Words

For the past month, the Sunday morning talks at the Unity service I attend have centered around
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and it has continuously struck me that applying the simplicity of the Four Agreements to one’s writing is a natural extension of living them in one’s daily life.

Specifically the Four Agreements are:

Be Impeccable With Your Word.
Don’t Take Anything Personally.
Don’t Make Assumptions.
Always Do Your Best.

And there is also a Fifth to consider:

Challenge Your Assumptions.

Over the course of the next five or so entries, be prepared to (hopefully) be inspired to apply these sublimely simple suggestions to your writing, AND see how challenging it might also be.

And, if you take on the experiment of writing with these in mind, I suggest your writing will be alive and prompt more reader interaction, comments and you’ll experience deeper satisfaction as you write from your truest voice of the moment.

Are you game?