Honor the Backstory

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo. Edits by the grace of Canva.

Social media aficionados, bloggers, consultants, CEO’s and outlaws: we’ve all got a backstory. It may not make our A roll on Instagram, but it’s there. Oh, it’s there. It’s there in the years it took to build our businesses and relationships. It’s there in the disappointing rejections, hard lessons and isolating days behind a computer wearing pajamas while Tweeting fitness memes from a camera library. Haven’t been to the gym in eight months.

I’m not documenting this to tease out your confession.* That’s none of my biznitch. I’m sharing this to keep myself honest. Here’s what I’m not:

I have no prejudices against any of the above. Those are fields I don’t get paid for. Though Animal Spirit Magazine is a brilliant idea. Should that ever launch, I call dibs on intellectual property**. And I’m not making fun. I’ve worked with talented life coaches and found value in their offerings. Before I digress beyond repair…

“Don’t try to be something you’re not. And resist pretending that A Roll is the only way to live.”
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..what I’m trying to say is this: know the value of what you bring to your colleagues, clients and collaborations. Don’t try to be something you’re not. And resist pretending that A Roll is the only way to live. Learning from mistakes is one of the greatest benefits of entrepreneurship. I once said this to a friend on Instagram: Constantly leading with your A Roll makes you seem like an A Hole. And my subsequent advice:

“Constantly leading with your A Roll makes you seem like an A Hole.”
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The backstory is so gold. Take it from Clients From Hell. Sooooo…good.

Now that I’ve put my ass in front of my elbow (what even?), does this mean I must blog about the backstory? Fine. Fine. Stay tuned.

 “The backstory is so gold.”
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*Bold-faced lie. I want your confession
**Not kidding

What’s your backstory, morning glory? Share it here in the comments, on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest

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Say Less, Do More

Photo: Death to the Stock Photo.

The motto of our newsletter is “Say less, do more.” When I received my latest delivery of free photographs from Death to the Stock Photo along with Paul Jarvis‘s writing prompt on making space for creativity, I reflected on my winter morning experiences. These days, I’m stepping into the snowy East Coast climate, sometime pre-dawn, and the world is blanketed with white. White covers the ground and the trees and even the sky. I’m promising myself I’ll remember the true melody of non-existent harmony, lost in the steady hum of a singular note. I’m not talking about the occasional crow that inserts himself into the scene, not in body but in his beckoning to another bird that I also cannot see. And I’m not talking about the sound of my own thread-like breath that does show up in a thin stream like the magic of mist over an early-Spring lake. There is no green here, not yet (though I know and you know it’s coming). I’m talking about the one true sound that emanates from pure nothingness, the hollow reverberation that can lead to enlightenment or a trip down crazy lane if force fed through solitary confinement. The writers of the world do this to themselves. Lock away in cabins with no contact. It’s okay. They always seem to come back better off than when they left. I’m certain that’s because even the most standoffish are given time enough to come down from their heights and share stares through a window pane, though certainly nothing more divisive than that. Perhaps even eating out of a hand. Feathers are friendly when given the chance.

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“The motto of our newsletter is “Say less, do more.”

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“…stepping into the snowy East Coast climate…the world is blanketed with white.”

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“…remember the true melody of non-existent harmony, lost in the steady hum of a singular note.”

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“The writers of the world do this to themselves. Lock away in cabins with no contact.”

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“Feathers are friendly when given the chance.”

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Photo credit: Compfight

There’s a farmhouse en route from one meaningful location to another. Near dusk, there will be a woman in her showroom kitchen, a full bowl of lemons on the middle island. Impossible, I’ll consider. Impossible to have such picturesque fruit day in, day out. But no, every time. Regardless of 30 mph around the 15 mph curve, the bowl of lemons is topped off like the cameras are coming, and the skin is perfect. How do I know? I know because even in the hint of a later-setting sun (each day the sun sets just a bit later, you know, no matter it’s February and everything hurts) I can see how effortlessly she claims her space. And who, in that position, would not keep a perfect bowl of lemons to float one hand over while drying the other on a slender hip. If ever I were to be invited (and I will not), how would I get to that room? Thirst off the bat? Choking on crumbs from a make-believe meal? Or, I’ve been watching for a year. Let me see those lemons. Each so-called solution is an intrusion. Utter falsehoods, aside from the lemons. Though what if? What if there are small brown spots and too-softs under the pretties, just like my bowl. What if the meal is never perfect and the hour he walks in the door is dangerously close to the shadow on the wall. Worse yet, what if everything is indeed perfect and all I can do is go home.

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“I can see how effortlessly she claims her space.”

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“Thirst off the bat? Choking on crumbs from a make-believe meal?”

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“Worse yet, what if everything is indeed perfect and all I can do is go home.”

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Custom Made For Brooklyn


This gallery contains 2 photos.

Silver winter nights are custom made for Brooklyn. Bits of metal in the air and the blue light has no edges. Tiny remnants of pine hide out somewhere between unused snow and glimpses of star. Urgency and all-the-time-in-the-world marks the … Continue reading

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My Pseudo Writing Sabbatical, or, Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Image courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo

It’s been one year since I’ve stopped by my own stomping ground to gain ground on my blogging. Perhaps you didn’t notice the cupboard was bare. A good hostess still leaves snacks out, but* I’ve been the good kind of busy. The working hard, securing new clients, co-launcing new businesses, completing trainings, honing new skills, documenting adventures, making new friends kind of busy. Do I get a hallway pass?

There will be two camps.

Ode to Camp Unforgiving: I appreciate the hard line drawn. If I were a better man, I’d have drawn it myself. I’ll reiterate that I don’t live right. Why bother with the if’s, but’s and whoops’s. It would have been simple to set aside a few minutes each morning and send word from me to you. Recording my lessons these last 365 days in business and life might have made for a reliable if not interesting read. Aren’t you like me? Don’t you sometimes find it difficult to write unless you make it a habit? If not daily, then regular at least? And what if you’re not so sure there’s value to share when the timer goes off?  Hapless musings to satisfy a self-imposed deadline. Yuck for all involved. Then again. Practice makes closer to perfect. The more you write, I’ve heard it said, the faster the good ideas flow. I’m down with that. I’m working on it. Be patient with me. No, don’t. I’ll get my act together and make you proud.

Ode to Camp Forgiving: That’s what I’m talking about. A little lightness. Fewer restrictions, fresh air, sunshine and time spent away from the screen is equally important as communicating the two-dimensional way. Magic has been happening whether I’m touting it or not. I haven’t had the time to write**, because I’ve been so busy doing all the things I promise to do for prospective and current clients and collaborators. Besides, since writing is ingrained in me, I can bust it out anytime.*** You knew I’d get back in the saddle someday. No hard feelings. We have plenty of time to catch up.

What’s left to do except share a peace offering and deflect the awkward attention I’ve drawn to myself by wearing the hat of Most Noble Content Curator. Look, these guys are doing well:

You Are Not So Smart

Brain Pickings


Creative Rehab

The Grommet


Bonus track: ProBlogger analyzes posting frequencies with a round-up of bloggers and why their style–frequent or not–works for them and their audience.

There. Are we even?

Procrastinators and writing wizards, share your comments below, on Facebook or on Instagram and name the super blog I forgot to mention.

*excuse ** hogwash ***be very, very careful

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