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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Is Anyone Reading What You’re Writing?

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Anonymous

I wrote this before the COVID-19 s**t storm hit, and have struggled with whether to revise or toss it. Who needs more crap to sift through when we’re focused on staying afloat?

But one of the ways I cope with anxiety is by being productive. So I’m posting it – not just to have something to do, but because it’s {sort of} relevant.

Now more than ever, the content we write has to be readable.

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Give the Gift of Authenticity

“At its heart, a compelling brand story is a kind of gift that gives your audience a way to connect with you as one person to another.” Ann Handley

Just in time for the holiday shopping blitz, the WSJ reported at least a third of the online reviews for major retailers are phony.

In my neighborhood, inflatables sprouted on front lawns like weeds. Faux reindeer mixed with twirling snow globes and outsized Woodys or Charlie Browns. Read more

Grateful Heart

Grateful Heart

Lately I’ve been bemoaning the fact that I haven’t posted to this blog in months. Many months.

A minimum of once a month. That was the plan.

My last post is dated April 9. You do the math.

I’ve had a boatload of excuses: I was hiking in Peru, needed to catch up with my book club reading, was busy writing in other people’s voices. The water heater blew. Cat ate my homework. Read more

Write Less. {Really!}

Easy HardThe most important thing I learned at the Gotham Writer’s Workshop was how to write less and tell a better story.

I was an aspiring short story writer. Adam Sexton was a published author and a brilliant teacher. Each week he would review my drafts and, sentence by sentence, strip away every extraneous word.

I’m not going to lie – it was gut wrenching to read his critiques. But I fell in love with the spare, sensual voice that emerged from the space he helped me create. Each image was more evocative, each sentence more powerful. Read more

The HeART of Blogging

Donna Gould Open Heart Creative 2As chief storyteller for Open Heart Creative, I just assumed I’d host a blog.

After all, blogging has its roots in storytelling. And a good blog post is a lot like a good short story: it’s entertaining and thought provoking and fairly economical in getting to the point.

Right?

Well, maybe not. Read more