Archive of ‘writing workshop’ category

Love in an Elevator…errr Pitch.

As many of you know, I’m a copywriter. Which means, of course, I sell ideas. And those ideas? Are only good if you can clearly describe them in a sentence or two – fast enough to be sold during an elevator ride.

Oh, the elevator pitch. Many well-loved ideas have died a fast, though not painless, death because of my inability to describe them quickly enough. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at it. In fact, in my professional life, I try not to present any concept before I give it the elevator test.

But my blog?

My blog has never been subjected to that particular test. So when people ask me what I blog about, I hem and haw and give them a muddled answer. “Well, I blog about my baby and my family, but I’m not a true mommy blogger, because that’s not all I talk about. I post videos and write comedy sketches, and write about work…” By this point, most folks get a glazed look in their eyes and I give up.

This lack of focus is probably why publishers and PR folks aren’t exactly clamoring for my attention.

So today I spent some time thinking about it. I even took a ride in the elevator at work, looking for inspiration (which is especially dumb, considering I work on the second floor of a two story building).

I came up with a few ideas:

“A cranky copywriter turned mommy writes to keep her sanity.”

“A blog all about life, love and the pursuit of advertising.”

“The adventures of a clueless new mom struggling to navigate motherhood, wife-hood and person-hood.”

I think it’s a little bit of all those things.

There are days when I scream my frustrations out into the blogoverse.

And others when I think out loud about the kind of role model I want to be for my daughter.

There have been times when I’ve talked about my own struggles with depression.

And posts where I’ve just been plain silly.

I’ve forced you all to read along as I indulge my inner sketch comedy writer

And begged you all for advice.

I’ve lived my life out loud, in public. I’ve gotten to know myself a little better and made friends with a lot of incredible women. My blog? It’s me. The virtual incarnation of Amber Page the writer. Of Red the drama queen. Of Amber the mama, the wife, the daughter, the sister and the friend.

Amber Page Writes is about all the sides of me. And I? Am not that different from hundreds of thousands of other women out there. So, therefore, Amber Page Writes is about all of us ladies struggling to figure out what life’s all about.

Who knows. Maybe together we’ll get somewhere. You think?

This was written as part of Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop. The assignment? Write an elevator pitch for your blog. Now head over to Mama Kat’s and read all the other bloggy wonderfulness.

Writer's Workshop: A Snapshot of My Life.

This week, Mama Kat asked us to give the us of five years ago a snapshot of our current lives. Here’s my take on it.

Five years ago, I was living in a drafty townhouse in Cincinnati, slogging through slushy puddles as icy rain poured down from the sky to a job, which, although I’d only started four months before, was already beginning to seem like a Huge Mistake.

My house in Michigan still hadn’t sold. My 401k money was almost gone. My husband, who had just joined me there, had found a job, but it was in retail, meaning he was gone most nights and weekends. I was alone, lonely and feeling sorry for myself.

I was desperate for hope, but positive that I was deserving of none.

So if the Me of Now had appeared before the Me of Then and told her that in five years I’d be living a life that made me happy, she would have scoffed at me. She would have asked me if I was smoking something. Then, rolling her eyes, she would have asked for proof.

So I’d have to pull out a whole wad of pictures. Not just one, because the Me of Then? She knew about Photoshop.

First I’d have to show her my house. Not to brag, but because that girl was living in a place so small, her dresser only fit in the living room. Her kitchen had about three inches of counter space. Her bathroom was so tiny, she could pee while washing her hair. And her yard? Was about six feet wide.

So to show her that five years later she’d have a house with both a living room and a family room, three whole toilets (you have never known desperation until there are two people in a house with diarrhea and only one toilet), a fireplace and even a walk-in closet, would have rocked her world.

Then I’d have to show her some video clips of the office. One of her cackling with an art director over an assignment (back then, her partner made her want to stab things). Another of the Great Toilet Paper Discussion. And a third of a client actually praising her work.

By this time, she’d be smiling a little, but still skeptical. So I’d pull out the Big Guns. The Secret Weapon. The Pictures of Tori.

I’d show her a picture of her scrunched up, screaming face when she was freshly hatched.

I’d show her the pictures of her first smile. The first time she stuck out her tongue. The first time she sat up. Of Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Of her sleeping with her daddy and pulling her mommy’s hair. By the time I showed her this one:

She’d be grinning from ear to ear, hope restored once more. And my job? Would be done.

Now head on over to Mama Kat’s and check out the other entries!

It Ain't Easy Being Green.

For the first half, heck, three quarters of my life, my motto was something like “blend in at all costs.” I wanted desperately to fit in. To be a cool kid, a social butterfly…a rock star.

So I tried.

I bought the right brands of clothes. Used the right words. Drank what everybody else was drinking. Did my very best to become one of the Borg people.

I really did try.

But you know what?  It didn’t work. I am none of those things. I am a square peg in a sea of round holes. A redhead in a world that prefers blondes. To put it bluntly, I am a geek (your first clue? I know what the Borg are).

So I decided to change my motto. These days, it’s pretty simple: Be yourself. Or at least try.

It’s remarkably freeing, that motto.

It’s allowed me to start wearing the clothes I love for the first time since I was a kid. Things like swingy polka dot dresses on warm summer days. Skirts and tights instead of jeans on comfy Saturday afternoons. Mismatched socks (when forced to wear socks), because, well, why not?

It’s made it possible to finally admit that, all things considered, I’d much rather stay at home and read a book than hit the bars. After all, the action between the covers of a book? Is generally much more exciting than anything that happens while crammed shoulder-to-shoulder with stinky strangers in a club.

It’s even helped me accept my wallflower status. Because let’s face it. Some of us aren’t meant to be the life of the party. Besides, if there weren’t a few of us hanging back watching the action, there would be no audience for those who need one. And then what would they do?

It’s not easy being green. But it’s a heck of a lot easier than trying to change your spots.

This post was written as part of this week’s Writing Workshop over at Mama Kat’s. The prompt I chose, in case you haven’t guessed yet, is 2.) What is one of your life mottoes? There’s lots of other brilliant writers taking part this (and every) week, so head on over there and check it out.

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