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?”

Annie Dillard on Living With Intention

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order — willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.”

From The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard

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

10 Brilliant Examples of How to Open Your Next 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.