What Do You #ChooseToChallenge?

Yesterday I listened to a podcast where Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen were sharing the stories behind their chosen careers. While their upbringings were markedly different, each considered themselves an outsider who had a valuable message to share – but lacked a voice. Politics and music {respectively} gave them a platform for self-expression. Springsteen recalled, “I needed to find a way to speak, and to be heard.”

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge,” and I choose to challenge a woman’s right to give voice.

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Love Letters

When I was packing for my move last June, I found them in the hall closet. A small stack of letters, written on gray parchment. Tied with a piece of red ribbon and kept in a small cedar box for over 40 years.

Love letters. From the first man who stole my heart.

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Nothing Beats a Thank You Note

‘Tis the season when we focus on gratitude. And nothing says “I totally appreciated that” like sending a handwritten note.

Okay – maybe diamonds or a big wad of cash would be more impressive. But when it comes to heartfelt and sincere, a simple thank you note takes the cake. It’s classy. It sends a powerful message about what you value {kindness, generosity, manners.} And it makes the recipient feel special. Really special.

So why don’t we actually do it?

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Confusing i.e. and e.g. is More Common Than You Think

Confusing “i.e.” and “e.g.” is rumored to be one of the most common mistakes writers make. It certainly is tricky for me!

Both abbreviations are derived from Latin words, which always complicates matters. So I’m going to keep things as simple as possible:

  • i.e. stands for “id est,” which essentially means “in other words.”
  • e.g. is the abbreviation for “exempli gratia” or “for example” in English.

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Wordsmith Wednesday: The 3 There’s

Now more than ever, it matters what words you choose to share your brand story. Wordsmith Wednesday is a space for people who love words & creating content that is a joy to read. I’ll be sharing my favorite tips & tricks – and hope you’ll share yours!

The 3 There’s

I’m starting with they’re, their, and there because I’ve been noticing misspellings cropping up lately in people’s emails and social posts. The confusion between these three words probably happens because they sound exactly alike, but they have entirely different meanings (for my fellow geeks out there, these words are called homophones.)

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Who Are You Talking To?

“For better or worse, a writer is working all the time.” Robert Bruce

I would argue that this premise isn’t 100% true – at least among the writers I hang out with. But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend it is.

If writers are writing all the time, it would be safe to assume that they steer clear of the common pitfalls ordinary folks experience when they put pen to paper {so to speak.}

Again – I beg to differ. Read more

Everything Interesting is 90% Boring

In an interview with Krista Tippett for The On Being Project, author Elizabeth Gilbert said, “Everything that’s interesting is 90% boring.”

She was talking about how “creative” jobs may seem glamorous, but the work is actually tedious. Lately I’ve been feeling that way about blog writing.

I love what I do for a living and have no shortage of ideas to write about. But sometimes the process of turning even the most exciting idea into marketing content can be a total buzzkill.

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Tell Us How You Really Feel

“It’s bold to own your voice.” – Jamie Ridler

“But I can’t say that, can I?”

Of all the questions clients ask, this one’s my favorite. Why? Because it means they know what they want to say about themselves and their businesses. They just need help getting the message out there.

Opening our hearts to the world often feels risky.

It takes courage to be who we are. To say what we think and feel without worrying that we’re going too far. Revealing too much. Shining a light on our weaknesses.

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3 Ways to Put More “Heart” in Your Marketing

As women entrepreneurs and business owners, we can sometimes get in our own way. We’re afraid to say too much. Get too real. Or we think there’s some magic book of marketing rules that dictates what we can say and how we can say it.

But here’s the thing: In today’s noisy marketing space, having an honest and heartfelt voice – and using it consistently – is imperative if you want to differentiate your business from everyone else’s. And truly engage with your audience. Read more

Take 5

I’m not embarrassed to admit it – I’m just plain exhausted.

The end of 2019 seemed like a mad race to the finish. And the thought of setting goals, the pressure to plan something befitting the dawn of a new decade – even choosing my word for the year (a process I normally relish) – feels a bit daunting.

If all the overly-enthusiastic social posts and “get in gear for 2020” emails make you want to pull the covers over your head, here’s a thought: Let’s just take five.  Read more