To Love, Not to Hold

Again, in honor of National Poetry Month, a poem:

To Love, But Not Hold

You’ve been given to me
To love, but not hold
You’re mine,
But can never be mine
You’re a part of my soul,
So much, you’re never know
I lose myself
I n everything
You do
Can’t you see how I long,
Long to be near you?
You’re on my mind
Every moment, every second
All of the time
So if I have to, I’ll wait
I’ll wait as long as it takes
I’ve waited longer for lesser things
For you’ve been given to me
To love, but not hold
And you’re all that I want,
All I’ll ever need

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Sharing Is Always Good, Right?

So I thought I’d share an excerpt from the book I just finished. I know, not exactly the type of content you might be looking for , but then again, we do learn from the writing of others.

Ambition

Ambition — a strong desire for achievement, fame, or power

What It Is

Ambition has always been that which drives individuals forward. It’s what motivates us as a society to achieve more than our ancestors. The relentless pursuit of excellence, wealth, fame, power, whatever your desire may be, is not, in and of itself, a bad thing, right? However, when ambition takes total control of your life, to the point that you no longer care who you step on to get what you want, you may need to stop and ask yourself, “Have I crossed the line?” Yeah, I think the chances are pretty good that you have.

Be ambitious. Chase after your dreams and see them through. Be strong and persevere when others tell you that what you want is nothing more than a pipe dream. No one ever achieved great success, saw dreams come true, by giving up. But be careful in your pursuits; like everything else in life, carrying your ambition forward is a balancing act between achievement at all cost and giving in, giving up. To that end, neither extreme will ever serve you well.

Now go out and be ambitious; chase your dreams and make them come true.

Writing Under an Assumed Identity

Recently I was asked about this whole pen name thing. “Hey allyah, what’s up with this whole pen name thing?” There’s no big mystery behind it. I’m not in some witness protection program. And I’m not on some celebrity-like star trip. It’s a simple matter of making a name for myself on my own terms.

Here’s the thing. A couple of years ago, when I started to freelance, I decided to google myself just to see what would turn up on my writing. I wasn’t expecting much as I hadn’t published that much yet; I didn’t expect what I found. Not only were there more than 250 people with the same name as me, there were at least four other professional writers showing up all over the place in addition to a journalist. WTF? It’s not as though I have that common of a name.

My dilemma: 1) I didn’t want to be confused with any of them: what if their writing sucked? 2) I didn’t have the time to read all of their stuff to see if it was any good: if I did happen to get “accidentally” confused with any of them and they were good, it could be in my favor. This was proving to be exhausting and more work than it was worth.

So the easiest thing to do was what writers have done for eons: create a pen name and start all over. I googled my new name and discovered to my delight that no one is published under it but me … and hopefully it will stay that way. Let the rock star attitude begin!

Writing in the Vein of Love

You’ve written the perfect sales pitch. You’ve wowed them with a motivational speech that had them on their feet at the annual company meeting, then turned right around and knocked them off their feet with sensational web copy that drove in the business. You’re a rock star. And now you’ve got to write … about love. Not quite business as usual.

But, hey, you’re a professional, right? Up for any challenge? So here’s the deal. Writing is writing, and writing about love is all but a little different. You need to change your style, find your voice, and focus on a love interest, which, if you think about it, might actually be a little more fun than writing about how to pitch some tired company product to the masses.

And a final word of advice: find a thesaurus. There are plenty available online. Really comes in handy when you are struggling to find the right words.

Writers as a Bit on the Crazy Side

You tell me. Are writers a bit on the crazy side? I think you almost have to be to have that many voices inside one head, all with different opinions, each vying for your attention to get their voice on the page. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. I mean, how else can one writer create such different styles of copy without either 1) stealing it, 2) having some underling write it, or 3) getting a fairy godmother deliver it daily.

No, it’s the cast of characters that take shape inside our heads and land as ink on a page. Different voices. Different styles. And you don’t have to be Hemingway to do that.

“At the End of the Day” It’s Not Only Empty, It’s Done to Death

As a talented writer, you have the creative drive to craft your message in a way that is easily understood. What you don’t have is an innate quality to follow the herd and write like everyone else.

When you have something to say, you don’t need to rely on trivial phrases such as “at the end of the day” to make your point. You’re a professional. You know what you want to say. You make your point with real content, get your message across, and move on well before “the end of the day” ever gets here. Otherwise, you’ve already lost your audience’s attention.

Copy that relies on filler doesn’t say anything. Meaningless phrases could just as easily be stripped away from your copy and you wouldn’t even notice; so what does that tell you? And yes, these phrases are everywhere. And that’s the other problem. Not only are the words empty, they are done to death. Trust me, your audience is tired of hearing them, so just don’t use them. Ever.

Here’s a list of some of the more common useless phrases used to fill in the gaps. Check it out and see if you recognize any of them. If you do, remove them from your writing arsenal immediately and don’t let them sneak their way back in ever again:

At the end of the day
That being said
It is what it is
Think(ing) outside of the box
Tabled for later
I personally
Run it up the flagpole
Fairly unique
At this moment in time
With all due respect
Shouldn’t of (and that’s just grammatically incorrect, too!)
It’s not rocket science
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link