ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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A Wee Little Heart-to-Heart on The Fear of Being TOO. MUCH.

In: Finding Your Voice

You know how I know when someone's lying to themselves? *chomps peanut*

The way they write.

I can tell a lot about about a person by the way they write—myself included. I know there are people who are all, “But wait, WHAT ABOUT GENUINELY BAD WRITERS?” to which I say, yes, I know, they are absolute monsters, but also that—this has nothing to do with being a good writer or a bad writer, and everything to do with the person you choose to be on the page.

Unlike the way we show up in the real world, which comes with a shit ton of awkward accidents—the way you walk, the color of that one glory-filled chin hair that just keeps on comin' back for more—the way we show up on the page is much more deliberate. Every word is a conscious choice. So, who are you choosing to be? And more importantly, why?

+ Are you reserved with your own opinions, unconvinced that you are good enough to have them?

+ Is there a flatness in your voice—an even-keeled, cadaver-like quality—fearful of being TOO MUCH?

+ Do you hide behind platitudes, soothed by the safety of certainty and nodding heads?

+ Do you resist drawing attention to yourself, hoping not to be challenged or have to engage?

+ Can you still delight in the pleasure of having ideas without the constant burden of judging yourself for them?

+ And are you constantly shrinking, shrinking, shrinking some more, trying to conceal your YOUNESS? Your flaws? The part of you that is not one bit put-together at. fucking. all. (Haiiiii, 95% of what makes up a human life.)

There is just so much restraint.
We're bound by the throat.
There's such a fear of TOO MUCHNESS everywhere.

You know how I know when someone's lying to themselves? When their words feel like a straight jacket on the page.

Most people assume that when you show up authentically in your real life, it translates onto the page, but I've found the opposite to be true. The more you choose to be yourself on the page, the more you will find yourself being able to in real life. It's a practice. A mirror. A way of thinking your way through who you really are and what you really believe and then letting that self-understanding inform the person you become.

Because we're always becoming, you know.

And maybe this is how we write ourselves home.

Jul 31

2014

Anytime You Question Yourself, Promise Yourself Better Answers.

Jul 31, 2014

You ever do that thing where you’re about to start that business, write that book, ask for that advance, release that product, pitch that service, or maybe just tell your boyfriend you want to try anal…and then you hesitate? Flinch? Get nervous? Worried? Scared that the response is going to be something like, “WHAT ARE […]

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Oct 29

2015

“I don’t feel confident in my work.”

Oct 29, 2015

Are you squinting your eyes at the screen trying to decide if this describes you or not? (Of course you are, you’re probably reading this on an iPhone the size of my elbow.) It’s kind of an ugly characterization—nobody wants to admit to feeling less than confident in what you’re doing. And yet, I’ve got […]

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Nov 11

2010

You (Still) Don’t Need a Job.

Nov 11, 2010

MYTH: You think to yourself:  “You are no Chris Guillebeau; you should just go find a job.” –Fear expressed from an actual reader email If you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking you aren’t interesting enough, not smart enough, not savvy enough, not fill-in-the-blank enough, you’re, first, wrong, and second, ignorant of the way the […]

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Dec 28

2012

Forget Your Manners.

Dec 28, 2012

It’s polite to: …fulfill your obligations. …answer them back right away. …nod in agreement. …go with the flow. …do as you’re asked. …drink because they are. …take their call. …give your undivided attention. …fill the silence. …and always be there when they need you. Then again, no one’s ever done anything remarkable by always being […]

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May 27

2017

The Anti-Trump Bar: The Way You Stand Out is By Standing UP

May 27, 2017

There’s an AWESOME new creative cocktail lounge in New York City called Coup. All of the profits are being donated to organizations being threatened or defunded by the current administration. Tips are donated, too. Guest bartenders are flying in from all over the world, no charge, to donate their services. And guess what? There are lines […]

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Feb 10

2016

Nice Brands Finish Last

Feb 10, 2016

[x_blockquote type=”center”]I take it as an insult when somebody calls me The N Word: Nice.[/x_blockquote] Out of 100,000 adjectives in the English language, if the best you can come up with is nice, then I’m doing something wrong. It’s like spending Thanksgiving Day ripping out gizzards and mashing actual potatoes, only to be told that […]

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Dec 31

2010

Resolutions Are For Chumps. I Choose Revolution.

Dec 31, 2010

All the things you think you need this year, you don’t. You do not need more determination.  You do not need more discipline.  And you certainly do not need more diligence. Are you kidding me? You are a Westerner–you’ve got plenty of that.  Why else have you gotten up every single day and begrudgingly gone […]

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Aug 25

2017

The Competition Doesn’t Have Sh*t On You

Aug 25, 2017

There’s never been a person who went to school for accounting and said: BUT WAIT, I CAN’T BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DOINGGGGG THATTTTTTTTTTT. There are plenty of people out there doing exactly what you want to do—times eleventy thousand. “But there are already so many writers / designers / candlestick makers” […]

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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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