ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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A Dead Simple Way to Write a Creative Bio (Without Crying) (Or Wall Punching) (Awkward, You Guys)

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

Most people dread introducing themselves in general, but ask someone to introduce themselves in writing, and you’ve just added another unwelcome layer of pressure: Now you’ve got to WRITE WELL ON TOP OF IT.

And, you know, say witty things. That you’re committing to paper. While being judged by everyone who reads it. Because isn’t that what reading really is? A bunch of strangers JUDGING YOU. So how do you do it in a way that:

a) Doesn’t sound braggy and arrogant
b) While still getting your credibility across
c) And make you seem interesting
d) As people fall madly in fucking love with you?

It’s a tall task for even the most creative of writers. Which is why sometimes, forgetting about trying to be creative, and simply going back to the basics, can SAVE LIVES. (Or at least your liver, because now you won’t be driven to drink.) (As often.) (On Mondays.)

So what should you do? Write what you know about yourself to be true.

Instead of the standard, “I’m Jane Doe, and I work in __________—nice to meet you!” try writing something like one of my students did in her bio—which definitely made her the most relatable and interesting person on the block.

I know that I can deadlift 255lbs, but any sort of cardio makes me feel like my lungs are gonna collapse…eeeeevery time.

I know that if —er, when—a Justin Beiber song comes on, I will absolutely be singing along. It’s like a disease; I can’t help myself. (Beiber Fever! Ha! Okay, sorry, that was bad. See?? It’s incurable.)

I know that I am incapable of picking a favorite book (because books are sacred and you can’t JUST PICK ONE on a general basis alone—you have decide based on stuff like which has the best villain or the most swoonworthy guy, which made you ugly-cry the hardest, the one with the fiercest heroine, the one that best embodies your ‪#‎squadgoals‬, and the one that’s soooo achingly good but didn’t end the way you wanted it to and made you pace angrily in your bathroom at 2:37am shouting profanities and wishing you could junk-punch the author for being so cruel).

I know that my husband is one of the nerdiest, most analytical people I know, which makes me want to simultaneously jump his bones and strangle him. (The former usually wins out, as is evidenced by our three kids…..you know, just so you’re not worried).

I know I freaking rock the color cobalt (especially when I wear it with black and white – and, of course – heels).

I know I am undoubtedly, completely, cannot-think-about-it-or-I’ll-ugly-cry TERRIFIED of sinkholes. SINKHOLES. (I mean, come ON, PEOPLE. THINK ABOUT IT. It could happen to any one of us THIS VERY MOMENT. Okay….. *takes deep breath* Okay. I’m calm.)

I know that Breaking Bad is the best show EVER (….bitch). And I know the reason I love it so much is because I’ve got a little bit of both Walter White and Jesse in me. (Fact: everyone does).

I know that when I first found Ash’s site and bought her stuff, I straight up sobbed as I read through the entire thing because I just kept thinking, “There really IS someone else like me out there. She actually gets it.”

I know that I was meant for something big. Like, BIG-big. Not like, be-the-next-Miley-Cyrus-Big (yeah – no thanks). I mean Martin-Luther-Big (you know, the monk guy with the hammer that pissed off the Catholic church). Or Mother-Teresa-Big (not the fame; the “killing it for a greater good” IMPACT). The thought actually suffocates me on an almost hourly basis. Not because I’m afraid – well, yeah, I’m scared shitless, but it’s not the thought of DOING something that scares me, it’s the thought of NOT doing it. I just don’t know exaaaactly what “it” is yet – but I also know I’ll figure it out. (I have a sneaking suspicion it falls under the whistleblower/hellraiser category.)

I know that my biggest fear – the thing that breaks me out in a cold sweat at night and won’t get out my brain when all I want to do is sleep – is not fulfilling my own potential.

I KNOW that my eyebrows are gonna grow to the floor in the time it takes me to go down and read everything that’s already been posted by the rest of you in this group (but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna do it anyway – eyebrows be damned).

And, finally? I know that I do a lot of ugly crying, apparently. (That’s one I didn’t actually know until this very moment when I read back over all of this).

And after reading this, you haven’t read someone’s bio; you’ve read a tiny little piece of their heart. And that is what connects people to others: not their pretenses, but their willingness to place those pretenses aside.

Because we don’t want to read about your accomplishments. We want to read about what it’s like being the human who accomplished. And that means that writing a bio isn’t about writing; it’s about knowing who you really are, and simply telling us.

May 31

2013

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There’s a lot of horse shit going around the internet these days about “writing from the heart” and eliciting emotion in your readers/audience/customers/landlords. Okay, so not landlords. And you get it. You know it’s important. Because nobody wants to buy from a faceless mime. But what you don’t know is how to actually do it. […]

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2015

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You know what makes for brilliant writing? Not what you say, but the way you say it. The execution. The way you jockey your message onto a page. There are 354 different ways to tell any story. (Exact figure, give or take a few thousand or so.) You can start at the beginning, or you […]

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Jan 20

2015

Clear vs Clever Copywriting is a Big, Fat, Bloated Myth (And a Scapegoat for Subpar Writers)

Jan 20, 2015

I’m a very dirty writer. Not Fifty Shades of Grey dirty, but dirty in the way that I put sentences, thoughts, ideas together. My process is wild. Sexy. Free. Undomesticated. And while I wish the reason were because I’m just such a clay-faced, crochet-bra-top-wearing, sun-worshipping bohemian soul (I am laughably not), rather, it’s because I […]

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Jan 11

2013

How to Sell Anything In One Paragraph Or Less

Jan 11, 2013

What if I told you I could sell anything in one paragraph or less? (Stop glancing skeptically at the screen. I can see up your nose.) You know what kind of paragraph I’m talking about–the sorely neglected, overlooked and undervalued product description. *cue tambourine and this song* Product descriptions have the power to make or […]

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Feb 15

2013

25 Words That Will Make You Seem Bland, Useless, Stale, Dime-a-Dozen, Washed-Up and Otherwise Uninteresting, Unimportant and Not Worth Paying Attention To

Feb 15, 2013

If you want to stand out, feel fresh, appear interesting and get noticed… …then you’ve got to use language that stands out, feels fresh, is interesting and gets noticed. This is common sense, but of course, it’s easier said than done. It’s tempting to use the first words that come to your mind, but usually? Those […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

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Aug 4

2012

How to Make The World Give a Shit About You

Aug 4, 2012

::  When I first started having sex, I worried I wouldn’t be sexy enough–and that I’d be a sore disappointment. ::  When I worked in advertising sales, the first time I ever had to do a nation-wide cold-calling contest…I was so wracked with nerves, I sat at my desk shaking, sipping vodka from a thermos. […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

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Jun 28

2016

How to Be Interesting As Hell On Paper

Jun 28, 2016

Agency. It was one of the first things my book editor said to me. “These parts need more agency.” And I obviously said: Like the CIA? And she said: Shoot me. And I said: Is that a CIA joke? So while furiously drinking wine and researching this new writing foe—agency—I had been delighted to discover […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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