“The pen is mightier than the sword”
~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Have you ever struggled to communicate? Do you find getting your point across with the written word to be difficult? Why do some people seem to have a knack for writing while others always have a hard time?
Maybe you’ve doubted your ability to write clearly. Perhaps you think that your line of work doesn’t require decent writing. It could be that you’ve even arranged things so that you don’t have to do much writing to get by. Some people have more fear of the written word than they do of public speaking, and that’s saying a lot.
But the fact is, being able to communicate with words on paper or on a screen is essential. You may never need to write the great American novel, or put together a prize-winning screenplay, but regardless of whether you’re trying to build a practice, grow a business, or simply be a stellar employee, having your own effective way with words will serve you well.
People often tell me that I’m a good writer, and I appreciate the kudos and encouragement. I’d like to set the record straight however, it didn’t always come easy, and most of talent has been learned along the way. Let me reassure you that you can develop your own style, and give you some tips on how to create your own voice. When I think back on all of the various things I’ve learned a few simple pointers stand out.
When you work with me as a one-on-one coaching client I’m usually helping you build your audience and expand your reach. I teach about the fundamentals of masculine vs. feminine business models. I help you understand that sales is about influence, while marketing is the art of storytelling, (and the importance of not confusing the two). Much of what I teach is about writing, and the basics of being an effective and engaging wordsmith.
Probably the best writing advice that I ever learned came from a book called “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser. In it he says something to the effect of “Write like you talk, not how you write.” In my years of editing articles for up and coming writers, it’s the first thing I would notice. Reading through some impossibly overworked prose I would have to tell the person there’s no way on earth you would talk this way.
The simplest way to avoid the trap of impossible prose is to simply get in the habit of reading your writing out loud. To a friend if you’re brave enough, but even by yourself will make a huge difference. If it feels forced, makes you stumble over words and phrasing, or otherwise isn’t easy, then back to the drawing board. When it rolls off your tongue and flows with ease, you’ll know that your voice is coming through.
Another thing to watch out for is what I call the “I” to “You” ratio. How many times have you read something obviously meant to persuade ‘you’ of something, while the writer bores you to tears with ‘I’, ‘I’, and more ‘I’? Of course it depends on the context and type of material, but in most cases, (especially audience building newsletters and marketing messages) people would prefer that you talk directly to them instead of going on about yourself.
There’s tons more tips and tricks out there to help you write better, these are just the tip of the iceberg. The important thing for you to remember is that it’s not rocket science, and anyone can become a better writer with a little practice, (and some expert help!). Whether it’s a 140 character tweet or a 140 page thesis, you’ve got the power of words in your hands to make a difference.
Much love and happy writing till next week!
Dance First Spotlight: Ecstatic Awakening Dance
Teacher Training with Rebecca Hanscombe and Zoë Mason!
TThis week’s Dance First member spotlight shines on a pair of dynamic leaders in the UK who are offering an exciting training in Ecstatic Dance facilitation. Rebecca Hanscombe and Zoë Mason, leaders of the School of Ecstatic Movement and hosts of the Wild Chocolate Club have created a unique teacher training in the art of Ecstatic Awakening Dance.
Both of these leaders have extensive backgrounds in conscious dance and ecstatic movement, with roots in the UK electronic dance movement of the early 90’s, much like my years as a central figure in the Bay Area’s rave era. The Wild Chocolate Club is their regular event and public laboratory for ecstatic dance.
Bringing the essence of transformational movement and shamanic healing forward into the modern milieu requires considerable talent and dedication. Ecstatic Awakening Dance is designed with a five-step sequence flowing through warm-up, shake, energy dance, grounding & heart meditation.
The training itself is a great example of what I refer to as the “feminine business model.” By that I mean the art of creating an expanded container where participants are held in a loving field of energy for an extended period of time. The Ecstatic Awakening Dance training lasts for a full nine months, intentionally mirroring the human gestation period. Twice-monthly online trainings are anchored with a fully inclusive 6-day residential immersion at the six-month point at Ragmans Farm, a permaculture retreat near Gloucester.
With nine months to dive deep into a dynamic magnetic container, you’ll discover much more than just the art of facilitation, Zoë and Rebecca guide you through a personal process of growth and transformation as well.
Here’s what alumni Grace Dares has to say about it:
“Ecstatic Awakening Dance teacher training was so much more than I expected. I not only learnt the skills and gained the confidence to teach this powerful method, but I also went on a journey of personal transformation.
The course is dynamic and packed full of theoretical knowledge and practical exercises. It teaches you how to create a safe and encouraging space for others to take a journey of self-exploration and self-expression through the power of movement, breath and meditation. There is so much that can be said about the benefits of the method, but what touched me most was its invitation to me to be free to dance my own dance, to feel liberated from the constraints of rules and to instead embrace the possibility of moving freely and boldly.
Rebecca is a brilliant teacher. She is honest, passionate and deeply committed to the growth of her students. I felt very supported by her and by her amazing assistant, Zoë, throughout the whole training.
It was wonderful to connect with other brilliant women on the course and to form loving and nurturing relationships with them. I returned home feeling more grounded, empowered, and sensually awakened.
I can’t recommend the Ecstatic Awakening Dance teacher training enough. Thank you so much!”
Learn more about this unique offering and reach out to Rebecca or Zoë to get a personal introduction to the work. Find out how well you resonate with this training and become the first to offer Ecstatic Awakening Dance in your part of the world.
Thank you so much Rebecca and Zoë! I’m really enthused about your work and am so happy and grateful to welcome you as members to the Dance First Association! We’re at your service and eager to help you spread the word to our community around the world!