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Be Selective With Your Energy. In Fact, Be Downright Arrogant.

In: Productive Mother

I've stopped checking my emails every day.

Before that, I shut down my Behind Closed Doors program.

And this past Saturday night out with the girls?

I drank…sparkling water.

Yet, I can confidently confirm that I am not pregnant, suicidal, dying of cancer (at the moment, anyway) or just having such great sex that I can't be bothered. (Again, at the moment.)

So why the drastic changes?

Well for one…

…vodka was making my neck appear larger in real life–not just in the side view mirrors in the car. This is a problem when you actually have to look at yourself.

Exhibit A.

But second–and more importantly…

…because I've always been acutely aware that the moment something starts feeling like work–and not like an adventure–is the moment it's my responsibility to change it. Not because I don't like to work hard, but because there's a difference between work that feels like it, and work that doesn't.

And when I started TMFproject years back, the idea was to bathe myself silly in the latter. Because, after all, isn't that the point of running a business where you make the rules?

It's about keeping things fresh and exciting; challenging and engaging. It's about making sure I'm always giving my best–and never getting complacent when it comes to my art.

So I've been taking some time to do some thinking, as of late.

To determine where my efforts are best served, and how I can knock it out of the ballpark to wrap 2012. And not knock it out of the park in the same sense as last year, hitting my goal of $97,000 with this blog, for example, but in a way that feels good, too. Satisfying. Fulfilling. In a way that brings out my best work. My best art. My best everything.

You could say I've been going through a really neat transformation, in a way.

One that keeps encouraging me, more and more, to remember to live my life outside of the computer screen–and not just in it. One that keeps reminding me to live–and not just talk about life. And one that keeps relentlessly jabbing me with a hot poker, hissing at me to prune back any of the activities that aren't contributing to my greater quality of life–and my greater work.

It's about being selective with your energy.

Because while you might have some extra time–you won't always have the extra head space.

There have been plenty of times when I'll have a few spare hours, but can't wrap my brain around a project because it's busy whirling around 30,000 other things. And that's the moment when you start experiencing diminishing returns–you keep working harder to keep up with everything you've got to do, and yet, the quality of the work you're putting out suffers. And you didn't start this so you could run around like a maniac, doing sub-par work you feel guilty about; you started this to have a higher quality of life, doing work that makes you glow like a pregnant woman who just moisturized her face with 3/4s a vat of Vaseline.

Head space is important. Without it, you can't truly create at the level you want. Just ask J-Money Fields, who recently published a post on a similar topic.

So the rest of the year?

Dedicated to getting some.

Not ass. Head space.

I fully expect to release The Middle Finger Project–The Book by the end of the year, and you better believe I'm giving it everything my little writer fingers have got.

This is the work that doesn't feel like work.

And I have high fucking expectations.

You didn't think I'd stop drinking vodka just for the sake of my neck, do you?

That'd just be vain.

And we all know a girl with black and white photos of herself plastered all over her website is anything but.

The Middle Finger Project. Not Your Grandmother's Blog.

Jul 31


Be Selective With Your Energy. In Fact, Be Downright Arrogant.

Jul 31, 2012

I’ve stopped checking my emails every day. Before that, I shut down my Behind Closed Doors program. And this past Saturday night out with the girls? I drank…sparkling water. Yet, I can confidently confirm that I am not pregnant, suicidal, dying of cancer (at the moment, anyway) or just having such great sex that I […]

In: Productive Mother


Jun 18


Feeling Overwhelmed (And Who Friggin’ Isn’t?): Ask Yourself This Three-Word Question

Jun 18, 2019

There are loadssss of questions I ask myself during the day. Things like, “Where have all the cowboys gone?” and “How awkward was my hello to the neighbor just now?!” And “I’ve eaten two salads in a row—AM I SKINNY YET?” But those are just the kinds of questions you ask yourself when you’re a […]

In: Productive Mother


Aug 7


The Answer To: “Where Do You Get The TIME?!?!”

Aug 7, 2015

Me: I’m writing a book! People: Where do you get the TIME? Me: Every morning! People: WHERE DO YOU GET THE TIIIIIMMEEEEEEE?! Me: It’s in my schedule. Every morning, from 5am to 8am. People: But I could never cooooommmmmiiiiiittttttt to thaaaaatttttttt. Me: So what do you do when you have a client that needs something, […]

In: Productive Mother


May 30


How to Be the Most Productive Motherfauxer in the Room

May 30, 2017

When I first started working for myself, I was like: OH HEY I HAVE ALL THESE HOURS! LOOK AT THEM IN ALL THEIR GLOWY DELIGHT! If the idea was to “be booked,” then great—I would be motherfauxing booked. (Get it? It’s the faux fuck, and it’s coming to a screen near you.) The surprise, of […]

In: Productive Mother


Jan 3


Feel Guilty Anytime You’re Not “Being Productive”?

Jan 3, 2014

I wrote today’s tip earlier today about copywriting. It was pretty fucking good, actually. I might have even made a joke about ham. But then I stalled. I hated the tip. The tip was useful, for sure. The tip was original, most definitely. And the tip was something that some people might have even printed […]

In: Productive Mother


Oct 12


We Are Overthinking EVERYTHING

Oct 12, 2017

We’ve all got these really exhausting mental scripts we tell ourselves. For example, earlier today I was telling myself I was going to exercise, but then I told myself that, well, maybe notttttt, because I had something heavy for lunccchhhh, so I probably wouldn’t have the energggggy, and then it’d be harder than usuaaaal, and […]

In: Productive Mother


Jul 2


Turns Out, You *Can’t* Do it All—So How Do You Pick?

Jul 2, 2015

You know who’s funny? People who try to do everything. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship with time. Contrary to popular opinion, time is not always there for you when you need it. Yet, then you are all cute, telling yourself you’ll just “fit it in”—whatever “it” might be that day. Why does everyone think they’ll fit it in? […]

In: Productive Mother


Mar 11


You’re always going to have fifty million things to do—PLUS that asshole’s bar mitzvah.

Mar 11, 2015

There’s a lot of pressure these days to be perfect. (Says the girl carrying thirty extra pounds and a dysfunctional pouty face.) As someone who used to be very all-or-nothing, over the years I’ve had to make some major peace with the fact that all-or-nothing is a gigantic, sweaty faced fool’s errand. :: How many times have you thought about […]

In: Productive Mother


Dec 11


Million Things To Do? Prioritize by ROI. (And Then Get a Life.)

Dec 11, 2014

So if you’re anything like me (which obviously you are or else you wouldn’t be reading this blog and/or wishing for those last 10 pounds to magically fall off), you’ve constantly got a never-ending stream of STUFF TO DO. When you run a business, that never-ending stream sextuples in size, and you begin to feel […]

In: Productive Mother


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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