Brené Brown’s Inspiring Message to Writers, Designers and Creatives Around the World

If you ever struggle with the fear of putting yourself or your work out there in the world, you’d be well-served to invest 22 minutes watching this video. It’s a keynote address from Dr. Brené Brown speaking to creative professional at a 99U conference.

In this video, she offers several gems of wisdom for folks like us, including my favorite Theodore Roosevelt quote about critics, courage and perseverance. If you don’t have 22 minutes to spare, here’s her message in a nutshell:

“If you’re going to show up and be seen, there is only one guarantee, and that is, you will get your ass kicked … That’s the only certainty you have. If you’re going to go in the arena and spend any time in there whatsoever, especially if you’ve committed to creating in your life, you will get your ass kicked …

“Yea, it’s so scary to show up. It feels dangerous to be seen. It’s terrifying. But it’s not as scary, dangerous or terrifying as getting to the end of our lives and thinking, what if I would’ve shown up? What would’ve been different?”

10 Brilliant Examples of How to Open Your Blog Post With a Bang

“The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead. And if the second sentence doesn’t induce him to continue to the third sentence, it’s equally dead. Of such a progression of sentences, each tugging the reader forward until … safely hooked, a writer constructs that fateful unit: the lead.”

— William Zinsser, On Writing Well

With respect, I must disagree with Mr. Zinsser. We all know the most important part of any article is the title. Without a compelling title, your reader won’t even get to the first sentence. After the title, however, the first few sentences of your article are certainly the most important part.

Journalists call this critical, introductory section the “lede,” and when properly executed, it’s the bridge that carries your reader from an attention-grabbing headline to the body of your blog post. If you want to get it right, try one of these 10 clever ways to open your next blog post with a bang.

10 Inspirational Quotes About Writing and Living a Creative Life

From Writing FAST by Jeff Bollow

“And the reason you hate writing so much is because you start analyzing your work before you’re done pouring it onto the page. Your Left-brain won’t let your Right-brain do it’s job … Your Right-brain gets the words on the page. The Left-brain makes them sing.”

From Escaping Into the Open by Elizabeth Berg:

“There are people who have never studied writing who are capable of being writers. I know this because I am an example. I was a part-time registered nurse, a wife, and a mother when I began publishing. I’d taken no classes, had no experience, no knowledge of the publishing world, no agent, no contacts … Take the risk to let all that is in you, out. Escape into the open.”

How 750Words.com Reinvigorated My Morning Pages Writing Practice

For nearly a year, I’ve been doing Morning Pages, the daily writing practice originated by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way.

Basically, your task with Morning Pages is to write 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness writing each day, first thing in the morning. If you’d like more info about the how’s and why’s of Morning Pages, download Julia’s PDF here.

Until recently, I wrote my Morning Pages longhand. You know, with pen and paper. I’d pour myself a hot cup of coffee or tea, sit down at the dining room table, and write in the early-morning silence. It was a sweet little morning ritual that I enjoyed for most of 2010.

About two months ago, my enjoyment started to fade. Mainly because the light over my dining room table casts the shadow of my hand onto the paper as I write, and it bothers my eyes. I didn’t notice the shadow initially, but lately, it’s become a huge distraction. So much so that it’s turned my sweet little morning ritual into a frustrating chore.

Fortunately, I discovered 750 Words, billed as “the online, future-ified, fun-ified translation of Morning Pages.” Why 750 words? Because in the writing world, 250 words is the standard number of words per page (multiplied by 3 pages equals 750).