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Why Screaming Won’t Get You Heard.

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

You know when you're in a group of people…

…and you start telling a story, and that one jerkoff starts talking over you, hollering at the waitress mid-sentence, or answering the phone, or by turning to say something to somebody else, and then all of the sudden you don't really know if you're suppose to keep telling the story, or pause and wait to tell the story, orrrrrrrrr ???

So in a blind social anxiety panic you don't pause to wait because you know if you wait .278 seconds longer, SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING TO BARGE RIGHT INTO THE STORYTELLING SPOTLIGHT, and your great story about the time you set your armpits on fire will blow away like an orphan in the night, so you keep telling the story that wasn't really even a great story to begin with, because now it's not about the story at all, but about VALIDATING YOURSELF AS A HUMAN BEING.

Fortunately there's always that one person who leans in with wide eyes like, “Don't worry, I'm listening.” Even though you both know nobody's really listening and you're both embarrassed by that fact, AND the fact that you're still talking, except now you're talking purely out of principle, and thanks to Hollywood's balding set of manners, you're forced to jump up and down begging to be heard like an ADHD third grader with a brand new My Little Pony backpack yelling, “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!”

Well friends, this is how the internet works.

There's always going to be somebody talking over you, and you're always going to feel like you have to beg to get heard. And when that happens, I want you to keep this in mind:

There's a critical difference between the third grader
in leopard print jumping up and down to get heard,


the woman in white who commands
the whole room merely by existing.  

That difference is poise. Elegance, self-assuredness, presence, and cool conviction. 

And the way you become the woman (or man?) in white?

Has nothing to do with who you are—

—but how you are.

Perception is everything.

And online, in a medium made up largely of words, every single one that you choose is telling a story.

Words are never just words.

Copy is never just “some copy.”

Just consider the difference between:

“Thank you for choosing us to work with you”


“Thank you for asking us to work with you.”

The difference is only one word. But in that one word? Lies a world of difference.

The former represents the third grader jumping up and down to get chosen.

The latter represents the woman in white who isn't worried about getting chosen, but choosing.

And in an online world of noisy tweets/emails/status updates/promotions/ads and yelling, the person who's got enough poise to act like they should be heard—

—is the one who does.

Dec 14


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In: Creative Writing for the Internet


Jan 30


Why Screaming Won’t Get You Heard.

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You know when you’re in a group of people… …and you start telling a story, and that one jerkoff starts talking over you, hollering at the waitress mid-sentence, or answering the phone, or by turning to say something to somebody else, and then all of the sudden you don’t really know if you’re suppose to […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet


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When your idea isn’t clear, you know what you do? Cover it up with blabber. Adjectives. Flowery words that try to compensate for the fact that you don’t actually know what you’re talking about (yetttt). But good ideas stand on their own. If you’re having trouble writing about it, your writing may not be the […]

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Poets & Killers Get Rich

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There are two groups of people: Poets & killers. The poets are running around with their heart placed firmly on their sleeve, hoping that if they do authentic work, it’ll sell itself. The killers, on the other hand, are running around selling everything, none of which is actually authentic, nor genuine, nor useful. (We call […]

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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

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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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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 […]

In: Creative Writing for the Internet, Online Marketing


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How to Be Interesting As Hell On Paper

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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


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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