[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] I will be heard

travel writingI will be heard…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – I will be heard… or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Your light…

Are you on fire? Do you burn with passion about your life? Do you have a slight flicker when it comes to living life to the fullest and sharing your gifts? Is it a smoldering ember of frustration which lacks spark or the fuel to create a true flame?

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.

Margaret Fuller

As a woman deeply involved and connected to the world in the midst of family, friends, and your community, you are the light for your journey…and theirs.

As a business owner, or entrepreneur who is passionate about their business and industry, you are the light for your business…for those you serve…for those you labor with.

Writing is an amazing tool to share your light.

Do you hesitate to write because you have no idea what to say or who would listen?

I believe you have an incredible story to tell. You are the only one who can create the whole story from all the bits and pieces to tell it. The story of who you are, why you are doing what you do, how you are the solution for your clients, and what gifts you bring to the world. Your audience waiting to hear it. They are longing to hear it!

Not convinced? Please reread the quote above. You have knowledge others are looking for…share it with them. When you share your expertise with your clients and customers, you offer more than information. It is a spark igniting their imagination. They learn not only about your products and services, they learn about you. You establish trust and credibility and invite them to follow you. Sharing what you have to offer to your readers in stories, quotes and commentary on what’s happening in the world, as well as your industry, helps them understand you and validates your position. It helps those you are meant to serve to find you.

I help reluctant writers find the words to connect with their readers…ideally to transform readers into clients and customers. I am confident you have the light within you to create a clear message so they may find you.  

Ready to truly allow the light in you to shine brightly? Let’s talk about how you can Live a Life Unleashed. Sign up for a complimentary call today.

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] They keep moving the line

travel writingThey keep moving the line…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – They keep moving the line… or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

Just Somebody I Used to Know…

 

s.p.u.n.k with Writer Unleashed

You know how you can have the radio playing in the background and never “tune in” to all the chatter. Suddenly, your ears hone in on a phrase, and you can’t get it out of your head. Well, that’s exactly what has happened to me with a song by an Australian artist. The simplicity of the intro notes invite you in, and the lyrics keep you engaged. The Belgian-Australian musician, Gotye, sings about a past lover, and the nature of love, but I find myself envisioning looking in the mirror and singing to my reflection.

The image I see resembles somebody that I used to know with glimpses of a brand new me emerging.

Do you ever feel like that?

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?

I look at my reflection, and I ask:

Where did the little girl go with her Toni perm curls framing her shy little smile?

Where did the fiercely independent young woman go who could have been a stand-in for Marlo Thomas’ “That Girl” TV character with her perky attitude and brunette flip?

Where did the PTA mom go who volunteered for everything from baking cupcakes to writing the booklet for the fundraising auction and racked up more miles than a Daytona 500 driver as a stay-at-home mom?

Oh, she’s still here. She’s just somebody I used to know who is reinventing herself.

Yes, strange as it may sound from someone who is receiving AARP solicitations, I am reinventing myself.  I’m reinventing on a daily basis. It’s downright exhausting at times! And it is so exhilarating!

After two breast cancer episodes, two unsuccessful start-up companies, and moving halfway across this continent for gainful employment, I’ve acquired some coping skills to help me in my healing process as well as diffusing my stress level. Whether we are aware of the slow erosion or not, stress takes it’s toll on us on a daily basis. Tapping into my creativity is the way I keep my stress level down. Writing in my journal, playing with beads or paper crafts, and giving myself permission to explore new ways to create…create my own happily ever after.

When I look in the mirror, I see somebody I used to know…and so much more.

I see that same twinkle in my eye of the mischievous child. I see the same grin of the perky young woman embarking on her career as a secretary. I see fingers grasping a pen or flying over a keyboard with words tumbling over each other everywhere, and hear an inquisitive voice asking insightful questions culminating in an amazing body of work.

MaryEKnippel.headshotI’m am no longer the child, young adult, nor the young mother I once was. I see an articulate, compassionate, curious, playful, creative and wise soul. I cherish my past, but I’m even more excited about my future because it is full of wonder and possibility.

When I look in the mirror, I see somebody I want to know.

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?
 
I understand what it’s like not to recognize yourself in the mirror because everyone else in your life crowds out your own reflection. That is the reason I encourage you to pick up a journal and create a sanctuary for yourself within the pages. Writing offers you ways to reconnect with the person you want to see in the mirror. Hop over to my Facebook Page and comment on what sanctuary means to you.
 
 photo credit:  EAOverland, LilyDongPhotography

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] I’m willing to

travel writingI’m willing to…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – I’m willing to… or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

An Internal Audit

taxes (1)Hearing the word audit, my thoughts turn to the April 15 deadline and the number crunching for the Internal Revenue Service. No, the Internal Audit I’m asking you to consider is all about the resources we deplete to the state of exhaustion and have such a difficult time replenishing. Don’t know what I’m talking about?

Do you ever skip breakfast and substitute a giant cup of coffee or tea, along with a bagel or jelly doughnut?

Do you ever grab a candy bar for lunch? Do you ever skip lunch and inhale the contents of your refrigerator standing up when you get home from work?

Do you ever feel as if you could sleep the entire weekend because you are exhausted from the stress of the week?

Now, do you have an image of the “resources” I’m talking about?

Your personal Internal Audit involves a notebook, a pen, and you sitting quietly for 15 minutes to answer the question: How do I build up my resources? Or, what is my plan to nurture myself to avoid depleting my valuable internal resources?

Make a plan right now to decide what you will do when faced with life’s challenges – because we all know that despite our best plans, sometimes we have to go to Plan B or just punt – so figure out what you want to do BEFORE facing those challenges.

  1. Have a quick breakfast option handy for those get-out-the-door-fast days such as a baggie of mixed nuts, or protein shake/bar.
  2. Make your lunch for the next day while you are putting away dinner leftovers, and in the morning all you have to do is grab and go.  
  3. Choose one night a week to go to bed at 9 p.m. Soak in the tub, read a book for pleasure, or catch up on those magazines that have been piling up next to your bed.

Photo credit:  Canva.com

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] Hometown girl…

travel writingHometown girl…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – Hometown girl… or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Are you listening?

March is International Listening Awareness Month.  Take a few minutes today to close your eyes and open your ears. Listen for the sounds that disappear when you are automatically going through your day.

Did you know that we derive 55% of a message’s meaning from the speaker’s facial expressions, 38% from how she says the message and only 7% from the actual words spoken?

What do you hear?

Machinery? Music? Sirens?

Voices? Sighs?

Whispers and longing?

  • We listen to people at a rate of 125-250 words per minute, but think at 1,000-3,000 words per minute.*
  • Less than 2 percent of people have had any formal education on how to listen.*
  • Images go into your long term memory, while words live in your short term memory. We can only retain seven bits of information at a time…which is why we have 7 digit phone numbers.*

Listening is the foundation to understanding, digesting, then acting or reacting to situations. The perspective to decide if a comment is a complaint or a compliment, a criticism or a solid suggestion for improvement…listening beyond assumptions.

In business or personal relationships we want to be listened to…validated…cared for…and heard.

“Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.” – Margaret J. Wheatley – author

Who listens to you?

What and who do you hear?

*statistics resource GetInFrontCommunications

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Friday Five-Minute Writing Prompt] Sprouting ideas…

travel writingSprouting ideas…

Friday five-minute writing prompt

Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use their computer. If that is your preferred method to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.

If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – Sprouting ideas… or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.

Photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Time to laugh and learn…

 

erma bombeckIt’s National Humorists are Artists Month. I consider Erma Bombeck to be one of the world’s most beloved humorists, of course, and also my first writing teacher.

When I was the Humor Editor for the Adams Tiger Tales, I modeled my writing after her style of taking ordinary life and shining a light to find the humor in what could be actually breaking our hearts. Erma’s philosophy was, “if you can laugh about it, you can learn to live with it.” A philosophy which continues to influence my writing as it has evolved from covering the student council meetings, to parent-child negotiations, breast cancer stories, cross-country moves and numerous job changes.

Erma combined wit and wisdom and bridged the generation gap so that parents and teens identified with her material. I never realized until sitting down to write this essay how much I had in common with her. During college, our guidance counselors encouraged us to forget about journalism and pursue a secretarial career. As a 30-year-old college freshman, my advisor already knew I’d quit a 10-year  secretarial career to pursue my dream of a diploma from the School of Journalism. He steered me to the Mass Communication track instead of Journalism because he didn’t think I could handle the reporter’s curriculum.

Little did he know I’d spend the next 30 years as a reporter specializing in personal profiles for magazines, newspapers and on-line venues.

I love my life!

Everyone needs and deserves encouragement to follow their dreams. When your dream is to be a writer, you dig deep inside you for the extra boost to move forward. Having your guidance counselor tell you to look for another line of work is not a vote of confidence. But, Erma and I found encouragement from caring professors who recognized our talents and gave us what we needed to continue writing. They said those magic words:  “you can write.”

Now, I’m saying them to you:  “Yes, you can write!”

  Hop over to my Facebook page and share with us where find the humor in it and let us in on the laugh!

 

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