There are two options: Make your own rules, or make your own grave.

IN: Creating, Creativity, Success

Google can’t save you. Here is a short but compelling list of things Google is good for: Figuring out how the hell to poach a wet, floppy fish Ordering purple pimp costumes to wear to dinner at your in-law’s Frantically searching the correct pronunciation of the word “GIF”—before saying it out loud at your client meeting in 5 minutes And here are things Google cannot help you with, ever: Originality Creativity Discip Practice Experience Trial Error Finding your own fucking

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To the Woman With the Fake Smile: Stop It, You Fucking Pigeon

IN: Creating, Creativity, Life, Success

Can we all just stop, already? Stop apologizing. Stop saying sorry. Stop shrinking into some small little ball-less version of yourself—you know, so you don’t make all the other ball-less twats feel uncomfortable. Or risk offending somebody. Or do something controversial. Or doing all of that and then totally screwing it up and feeling stupid. God forbid. I’m sick and tired of it. I’m sick of seeing you hesitate. Second guess yourself constantly. Smile weakly. FUCKING WILT. You’re wilting away

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How to Be Interesting As Hell On Paper

IN: Creating, Creativity, Writing

Agency. It was one of the first things my bo editor said to me. “These parts need agency.” And I obviously said: Like the CIA? And she said: Shoot me. And I said: Is that a CIA je? So while furiously drinking wine and researching this new writing foe—agency—I had been ighted to discover that this wasn’t some kind of polite euphemism to tell me that I was an absolute shit writer. But, it was a problem. Because lacking

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

IN: Business 101, Creativity, Writing

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. Great. This is sounding promising than ever, isn’t it? That was one of

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Do Something Brilliant With Your One Little Speck

IN: Branding, Business 101, Creativity, Selling, Success

You ever have a hate relationship with an acronym? Take YOLO, for example. Are you as ambivalent about it as I am? Like, ay, in theory “you only live once” is true (two points), it’s an effective argument for engaging in questionable behavior of any kind (five points), it’s a built-in retort when your husband wants to know who ate all the sweet potato fries (seven gazillion points), AND it labels you as someone who may actually know how

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How to Stop Writing With a Stick Up Your Ass

IN: Creativity, Marketing, Writing

One of the things I get asked about forty hundred times a day (besides whether or not I know there’s a hair sprouting from my chin) is this: Because apparently I’m known for walking the between mental inspiration and mental institution—as every writer worth their weight should. But here’s what I hear every time someone asks me that question: “I’m not as boring a boob as I seem, but from all those years in corporate America / Catholic school /

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Headspace Is Like a Goddamn Unicorn

IN: Creativity, Productivity, Success

Headspace. Even though it feels about as mythical as a goddamn unicorn, it’s a thing. I know most of us would feel comfortable using a keyboard full of hypodermic needles than, you know, actually rela, but in my experience over the last decade running my own business, there are few things I find essential. You are not a machine. You are not a slave. And you certainly didn’t start a business so you could sit inside a dimly lit room

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Better to Be a Mouse With a Backbone, Than a Lion With No Spine: On Writing Voice

IN: Creativity, Writing

  You know when you sit down to write and your brain sort of feels kind of…constipated? (A ightful image, if I do say so myself.) Then you finally manage to put a sentence on the screen, but then you backspace over the “fuck”—because if you say “fuck,” no one will take you seriously—but then you retype the same word, wondering if you were to use such a word, whether it would come across as self-assured and bold, or lowball and crass?

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Big Things Don’t Happen in Big Ways

IN: Confidence, Creativity, Success

. That dot is where you are. ——–>           . This dot is where you want to be. (Which makes me sound like a woman named Bonnie with big hair in a cheesy 1985 Visa commercial, but alas, I’m just a woman named Ash with big hair in 2015.) People have been talking about how to “reach your goals” for a realllllllllllllllllllllllllllly long time. Which is a worthwhile discussion, of course, because we all know that

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A Meditation on Shit Talkers

IN: Creativity, Pet Peeves

I got mad yesterday—like ear steaming, red hot, high-pitched, erratic kind of yelling mad. And, you know, I don’t get mad often. I’m generally very level-headed, very calm. Unless, of course, I’m drinking wine, in which case, “level-headed” might not be the best choice of words. Just ask the guy who filed a bogus chargeback on his credit card recently. I don’t play games. LET’S DO THIS, SON. But yesterday I got mad for a different reason—nary a fermented grape in sight. It

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