what’s more interesting, writing to you about:
a) “why i’m happy today on valentine’s” vs.
b) “why i broke down crying yesterday” (which should not be a big deal, but in our culture it seems to be)
well, i know the answer, because bad news is written all over the front pages of our newspapers…
so – there’s more than one reason why ‘bad news’ and suffering draws our attention more than good news, but here’s the one point i want to make about it for you…
most writers, especially business writers, write primarily “to look good” or “get results”. fewer write “from the heart” with passion and belief at the same time. i’ve done both, and i can feel the difference.
i’ll bet you can too, as a reader.
and just sharing “bad news” or a sob story isn’t writing from the heart. it’s easy to find internet marketers who write out the sob story as a way to manipulate emotions…to get results.
it’s easy, with deadlines and responsibilities, to rush ahead and write from the brain what a piece “should” say. it can be harder to slow down and write from the heart, to tap into something you feel strongly about and get into the brain of the reader to do your best to inspire them, to inspire you.
(it’s not just writing – it could be speaking, video, whatever – any kind of communication or creation).
if you’re writing from the heart to say, inspire others to deal with teenage depression or abuse of some kind – aren’t you hoping to get “results”? that people look differently at themselves and make different choices?
so: when you’re writing and feel like sharing something embarrassing or personal, don’t ignore it as irrelevant or embarrassing! find a way to include it in a way that is helpful to your reader. and watch out for the “i don’t want pity” excuse. so write about the struggle to inspire, not for pity! easy.
you’re not sharing ‘bad news’ just to get attention, you’re sharing part of what is REALLY going on with you to be honest and connect with your readers/viewers.
anyway, why the crying yesterday: i’ve barely had any full nights of sleepin six months, taking care of baby Rose at night (who wakes up every 1-3 hours)… then we had a small fire in an unattended pot on Sunday, which filled the whole house with burned plastic toxic smoke, dealing with that mess and moving the family of 10+ into a hotel for a couple of days (ugh!)… a kid was sick… and jess is so pregnant she’s about to deliver any day or week… plus a long list of business and family (taxes, schools, healthcare, etc etc)… and i could go on…
the fire and related shit to deal with, on top of everything else, and being exhausted, was overwhelming at that moment, and i just broke down in a release. there wasn’t anything to ‘fix’ except letting it come up and pass, shaking it off and gearing up again for the hotel move that evening.
anyway, if you ever look at me – or ANYONE else, whoever your idol is, Elon Musk, Steward Butterfield… – and think “wow they have it all figured out”. hell no. no entrepreneur or parent does. every day is a new adventure… and the bigger the business or family, the more true this can be.
ok, so why i’m happy today on Valentine’s: i could write a much longer list, but let’s just pick two: watching our kids play together is magical, AND i get to go out alone with Jess tonight for an all-too-brief date!
[assuming she doesn’t go into labor beforehand.]
have a great Valentine’s Day, even if you hate it. at least it’s an excuse to eat chocolate, right?
ps: here’s a picture of a bunch of the kids climbing a super-cool tree at the LA Arboretum. if you live in SoCal, it’s an amazing place:
and Darcy, our Princess of Ultimate Cuteness: