These Good People

I will tell you of these good people

A scroll of courtesy on their tongues

Neatly wrapped in rainbows

And angel’s wings

The finest hello

And thank you

And good morning, please

We are telecommunicators

In front of computer screens

With scripts

And sayings

And clichés

That ring sunshine

Like a glass of sweet summer breeze

Trapped in cold winter bottles

Set free

But hurricanes do happen

And thunderstorms will sometimes fall into your lap

You may one day trip over someone’s mistake

Find typos in their smile

Cracks in their armor

Leaks in their wine-skins

And I promise you that these people

Will backspace their lines

Tighten up their scripts

2nd draft their good mornings

Because the sun didn’t shine on you today

One mistake

One mishap

One earthquake

And I promise you

That they will pick out their courtesy from your face

Peel back the savior

Their “how are you?” left in your smile

Pull back the Hero once carved into their chest

That moment they cared more about you

Than they cared about self

But one mistake

And they’ll drop their cape

At the foot of your tragedy

I promise you

That the levees of trust

Will break

And Crack

And leak with suspicion

From the pores of their skins

You’ll smell the stench

Of give up

On their breaths

The sour taste of newborn behind their ears

The fabricated persona

Tattooed on top their tongues

I warn you

Whilst bathing in the wake of your passion

Whilst being kissed by white paper

Do not forget

That these people are not your friends

And will turn their backs

When you need them most

Because in the age of technology

Most people’s thoughts are not theirs

And their courtesies are pre-written

Hearts plagiarized

A routine kindness

From so called good people

Who forgot to mention that angels

Are not always good

So paper wings will just have to do

A standard hello

Like the signature on an email

And they have convinced themselves

That this

Is

Love

How to Personalize Your Posts (Without Telling Your Business)

how-to-personalize-your-post

If you’re like me, you’ve wondered how to be as genuine as possible in writing online but without being too personal. I understand some people are extremely open but I’m not. Telling my personal business is not something I do in real life, let alone online. However, to relate to people does require some level of openness. How does one balance this? Here’re some things I’ve tried doing on this blog to help you to relate to me personally without being too detailed:

  1. Talk to Us, Not at Us

You are not my fans and this is not a stage. We hear it over and over again the importance of writing in a conversational manner. This means to approach your blog as if the people reading (that’s us) are actually sitting right across from your breakfast table sipping coffee or maybe sitting on the couch laughing and you’re having a conversation. This is recommended because it makes your posts read more genuine than the business-like tone (unless your post is strictly business-like). I’d recommend this for your email lists as well.

  1. Share Experiences / Admit Mistakes

This really helps us to remember that you’re not a robot programmed to schedule posts. We’ve all been through things in our life that has provided us with much to share. I’m sure many of us are over twenty-one and have tons of stories and life lessons to give. There’s no such thing as being “qualified” to give advice. No one has walked your shoes so no one can tell the stories or share the wisdom that you share. It’s like writing. While we can certainly share information, resources, and tips, why you write is a separate matter. No one can define this for you. It’s a different journey in and of itself. In any event, sharing experiences certainly gives your blog a more personal feel to it. With this comes admitting to your mistakes. It will take lots of courage to admit to a mistake you made in private let alone in public but this can be balanced with what you are learning from that mistake to create a nice personal touch. In this way, you’re not just whining but offering something of value to your blog without over doing it. It also showcases humility.

  1. Show Emotion

I’ve found that some of my best posts are the ones where I am showing emotion. This isn’t to say that I’m writing you tears or cursing someone out. That’s extra. Showing emotion just means that you are being real. Even the strongest person is going to get frustrated sometimes or hurt or experience doubt. It doesn’t make you weak or unfaithful, it just makes you real. It’s OK to use your blog to vent a little bit. Not to the point where you’re out of control but just enough to show vulnerability. Again, this isn’t weakness, its realness. We struggle every day and hiding that struggle only makes you look like a phony. No, you do not have it all together and even if you do some days are not going to be easy. Readers can relate to this kind of stuff and it helps to build a stronger bond with us. You never know who is reading your blog and gaining from your strength.

  1. Family Photos / Updates

No, I’m not talking about why your sister in law’s baby cousin Tracy slept with your best friend. That’s telling you and someone else’ business. I’m just talking about a little family update now and again. (Maybe you just got married for instance) Posting family photos or giving family updates is a great way to connect with readers. Again, it’s a personal thing but not over the top. Maybe you just had an anniversary, bought a house, or took a family trip. What was it like? Did you enjoy yourself? This makes readers feel closer to you and as a result, closer to your blog.

  1. Personality

This seems obvious but it really can pass us by as we settle into our blog niches and routines (I don’t really do the niche thing. I blog about whatever moves me). Your personality is your character and not many people showcase their character in their post but this is a nice personal touch without going all out. Even in business type posts, it’s OK to implement some persona. Are you funny? Sarcastic? Serious? These attributes should come across in your writing because it’s you. It helps readers get to know you in a very personal but not too personal way. By very personal I mean that people understand what you like and what you don’t like. They know what makes you upset and what makes you laugh. They get to know you because who you are  will shine through your writing.

  1. News Articles and Third Party Links

They say 90% of communication is non-verbal. This means that most of who you are do not come through in your words but in your actions (i.e. actions speak louder than words). When you share content from others, even news, you are showing a part of yourself. If you pay attention, you can discern the persona or the thoughts of bloggers who rarely blog about how they are feeling because you can see them in the third party information that they share. I can see it in your quotes, your re-blogs, and your links. You may not say much, but I see you. I see you in your actions. I feel when you are in disagreement because the contention is dripping from your energy. I can feel your nose turned up into the air and almost see your head shake. I know because I can smell the aura on your breath and not even the best perfume, cologne, or craftily arranged words will hide it.

  1. Music

What is more personal than music? If actions show your true self, then music is a mirror. The inspiration behind my Throwback Thursday Jams is my attempt at showing another side of myself on this blog other than writing. It is my way of opening up. Not to the extent that I’m talking too much, but just enough for you to get to know me a little more. If you’re still not sure how to be more personal, talking about the kind of music you like or any kind of art is a great way to connect with others.

I can probably think of so many other ways in which we can get personal in our blog post (sharing recipes is another one) without telling our business but I’d like to hear your thoughts as well so I’ll stop here. To be clear, when I say personal I’m not talking about personal in the sense that we tend to think of it. I’m not saying to gossip about your neighbor or tell us that your nephew is homeless. I’m not saying to “sneak diss” someone you didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to approach personally, and I’m not talking about posting about how your rent was due but your husband or wife couldn’t pay the bill. By personal, I just mean to incorporate a dash of persona, a pinch of emotion, and a sprinkle of humility in each post. Let us know that you’re real.

Character

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters.”

– Orson F. Whitney

Personify Your Posts

eggs-with-personality

I actually wrote this post last night, though I did not have the time to post it. As the night welcomed us into another day, the sun lowering itself deeper into the bowels of the skies and the moon resurrecting into a position perfect enough to shine its light on the Earth, I was encouraged to write a post for you to ponder. As the brisk winds happily leap at the opportunity to shine now that fall is upon us, ripping through the air and causing us to turn up the heat and crawl underneath the covers, I want to remind you to personify your posts. 

When I blog, I try to notice what attracts me to other blogs. I understand part of the process is not just to push the publish button but to notice my behavior as a reader as well so that it may assist me in my own blogging endeavors. For instance, I’ve heard somewhere (don’t ask me where) that if you pay attention to how you purchase books or even read them, this can help you to sell them. As a reader, you know what attracts people and what doesn’t. So one thing in particular that draws me to other blogs are the ones that are written by people who indeed appear to be just that—people. Bloggers whose content is not so author or blogger expert certified that they lose sight of that personal connection.  Sometimes we can get lost in all the technical glitches, all of the electrical waves that make up the World Wide Web and we forget that our readership is made up of flesh and blood. They are people with lives outside of the internet and have a wide range of experience and expertise.

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When you share your experiences combined with your characteristics and therefore a human persona, it makes others interested in what you have to say. Your point of view can make them laugh, cry, and maybe even irritated or angry but it’s yours to exemplify. Whatever the message, if it builds upon a human foundation, I think it can help us to become better bloggers because our audience can participate with us. They can grow with us and actually become part of the process. This I have decided to embark on myself actually, to try to engage my readers more so that they feel part of the blog which means taking part in my life not that of the computer. It does not require you get too personal, but it requires you to get personal enough. You don’t have to air your dirty laundry, but you do have to be able to relate to people on some level no matter what the goal is for your blog. It is not to compromise who you are as an individual, but to step outside of your comfort zone and actually write for a readership because there are actually people reading your blog.

So make us feel like you really are that crazy friend down the street, or that know-it-all around the corner. We don’t have to agree with your perspective, but do you have one? Do we know that underneath all those blog posts there’s someone over there named Bob. He has five children that run him crazy and a nagging wife. Or maybe you’re a 23 year old named Tanya with a college professor who spits when he talks. Yea, gross us out, make us laugh, cause a discussion that makes us tear at each others throats, (or hug each others throats) but keep it real. Keep it truth. Most of all, share some of your experiences while striving to reach your blogging goals; show us why we should care.

A personality has to do with individual differences among people in behavior patterns, cognition and emotion. So attempt not to simply push a book or an agenda. Even while spreading truth you must be a fisherman of men. Meaning that you must strive to reach people where they are. Sure you may be in a good place now but you wasn’t always here. Perhaps you can share with us how you got here. What made you want to blog? How is blogging effecting your writing style? Life? Are you married? Do you have children? What’s new in your life right now? I mean, besides your new book and the fact that your a totally awesome blogger? Personify your posts so that we get to know a little bit more about the human behind the keyboard.

Please Do Not Be This Person

lol…so true. I love all the bullet points.

Fill Your Own Glass


People watching is one of my favorite pastimes.  It is interesting to observe human behavior, especially when the subjects are not aware they are “under surveillance”.  How a person treats others is a good indicator of his true character.  There are people out there who make great role models, and then there are certain types you do not want to emulate.  In short, these are the people you do not want to act like.

Do not be the person people feel compelled to apologize after.  It is not fun to trail behind you mouthing, “I’m so sorry!” to waitstaff and retail personnel after you have sliced them open with your criticisms and complaints.  Do not be a human wrecking ball, leaving a pile of hurt feelings in your wake.  If you have trouble with this, try counting to ten in between the time a thought enters your brain and the…

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The Faceless Internet

turtleneck_by_faceless_monster-d5l2jwlIf I could go back in time to visit my great great great grandmother, she’d probably not believe me if I told her about this world; if I told her about the people walking around with no face. Except they do not exactly walk either. They glide instead on finger toes and eyeballs. Here skin meets electricity and together they blend their energies into the production of a being; a something with a name and a picture for a face. My grandmother would probably ask the obvious, “How do we know that’s truly them?”

“Well, Granny that’s the point, we don’t.”

These are faceless internet people. They create careers out of dot-coms, and download personalities they think will fit the World Wide Web. The most courageous, most bold beings I’ve ever seen behind Photoshopped Gravatars and surrogate heads. You see the Internets a place where flies are dragons and little blind mice are soldiers. Be who you wanna be and say what you will because no one will ever discover your venom to be nothing more than a glass spine. They don’t really have mouths anyway. Just faceless internet people walking around on keyboards with their fingers, pretending to be people.