Muse: The Blog

Befriending the Gargoyle of Destruction

He lies deep within.
Cold-blooded.
Reptilian.
A predator.
(Or so it seemed.)

He’s been with me for ages.
Taunting. Clawing. Whispering,
“You haven’t suffered enough yet.
Kill. Die. I hate you.”

Unlike other unfriendly voices within, he scared me too much to pour him that cuppa.
I knew he’d take me over.
Harm friends.
Mame for the maniacal fun of it.

But finally, we arrived at an impasse.
And I gathered every last drop of courage and asked him,
“Who are you? What do you do? What do you want?”

It took a moment to get a response.
For he is from a time before words.
Ancient as cells. Primordial as teeth. Read More…

What’s Your Blogging “Win Condition”?


Lola* was distraught.

She had just completed a 3-week writing challenge and successfully cranked out a blog a day for her new biz. But her pride took a nosedive when she shared her drafts with a high-level marketing consultant. His response was … less than glowing:

  • These don’t establish you as a leading expert in your field.
  • Your blog is too much about you, not enough about the reader.
  • Your writing isn’t high-quality enough to promote your services.

Ouch!

Lola was crushed. When we spoke several weeks later, she confided in me: I haven’t written a word, since.

Now, Lola’s consultant wasn’t entirely wrong. Her blogs did need work. And his feedback was given with the most loving of intentions: he genuinely wants her to succeed. But his suggestions, however smart, did more harm than good.

Not only did Awesome Consultant’s suggestions bruise Lola’s ego, they pointed to a deeper problem: she didn’t know why she was blogging, in the first place. Worse, yet? Neither did her consultant. Read More…

Phenomenal Woman: A Tribute to Maya Angelou

Curved Diagonals by YanivG, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  YanivG 

My chubby, wobbly thighs carried me to the stage.

They were preceded by my frizzy hair and goody-two-shoes reputation. All I could feel, though, were that desert in my mouth, that sickly butterfly soup churning in my stomach, and the eyes of the entire school upon me. But that day, something greater than all this propelled me forward.

I stepped up to the microphone, knowing the words I was about to say came not from me but from a wellspring of truth somewhere deep in the earth, vast as the cosmos. I had practiced them for weeks, letting them sink into my soul. The words I was about to say had been carried along the backs of woman after woman after woman: a lineage of suffering and pride, hard-won wisdom and effortless grace.

The words I was about to recite were “Phenomenal Woman” by the great poetess, Maya Angelou. Today, she died. But on that day in my sixth grade, Read More…

9 Interview Tips From My First Time

Photo by niseag03 /CC BY-ND 2.0

Photo by niseag03 /CC BY-ND 2.0

I knew this day would come, as an online entrepreneur.  I fantasized about it.  I dreaded it.  I journaled and doodled and dreamt up names for it.

My First Interview.  Even as a writer, I couldn’t hide behind my pen (or Google Docs) forever.  (And why would I want to?!)

Here it is, friends!  In all its imperfect, heartfelt, sexy, savvy glory: my first interview!

Bridging Authenticity and Persuasion.  Click here to hear the interview.  Hear, hear! 

Listen to the full interview to hear me discuss copywriting for soulful ‘preneurs with my dear friend (and go-to expert on all things entrepreneurial, techno-babble, and Tibetan), Ryan Oelke.

We get serious, smart, and a tad silly about stuff very close to my heart.  Namely: the importance of keeping your web copy authentic. 

I’m convinced that being 100% you is the only way to write truly persuasive web copy.  Hear my professional whys and practical hows — all clarified and guided by the entrepreneurial epicure himself, Mr. Ryan Oelke.

And like salmon with Oregon pinot noir … like Chopin with a rose-petaled bubble bath … a perfect pairing to accompany my interview debut …

9 Interview Tips from My First Time.

1. Do it with someone you love.  I wouldn’t have my first time with anyone else. Read More…

Melancholic Gratitude:There’s a Word for That

Portland Japanese Garden

Alone at my writing desk on Thanksgiving Eve, a subtler, somewhat sadder kind of gratitude has crept in like a sacred fog. Confronted by the bombastic exuberance of #gratitude! posts buzzing in my Facebook newsfeed, I’m should-ing myself to feel a livelier, louder sense of abundance.

Yet there’s beauty here, too.

In this soft, tender-aching kind of love, a richer — perhaps darker, perhaps deeper — kind of gratitude expands my heart and de-cobwebs my mind.

Not surprisingly, there’s a word for that.

I recall this passage in Jane Hirshfield’s stunning collection of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry:

Read More…