Blogging is Eating My Brain….

January 19, 2011

Okay, so I made the commitment to write a post a day on my blog and made it all the way to day 15 before disaster struck. What happened to this aspiring writer so thrilled with the challenge?

I found myself spending the weekend at a huge author/book club event, in a room surrounded by over 70 intensely talented individuals who have passionately lived the lives they write about and have been through hell and back to get published. I looked inward and saw… a fraud.

Who am I to think I have anything to say and would actually know how to say it? What have I done that merits my time to write it and the time of readers who may happen upon it?

What am I doing here?

Backing up… I have to admit that I absolutely love to read. And anyone who really loves to read knows that deep down in the places we do not share… we would love to write as well. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to read a well-written story… except perhaps the secret desire to have written it.

Recently, I have fallen head over heals in love with a white-haired, bon vivant Irishman by the name of Pat Conroy. Sure, I have read his incredible work in the past but it was not “true love” until I met him and listened to him present the past two years at the book club event know as Girlfriend Weekend.

He is a funny, funny man. He also has a very dark side that you discover when reading his novels. When asked how can he be this totally charming individual on stage while at the same time write about the deeply disturbing subjects of his books, he said, “I have found family a very difficult thing to live through, and my books reflect that.” Even off the cuff, he was profound.

Above all, this man can write. He turns the simplest phrases into magic where every sight, sound and smell leaps off the pages for his readers. Every sentence he writes is fluid, colorful and amazing. Last night, I literally devoured his beautiful cookbook in one sitting… pardon the pun. Ask yourself, when was the last time a cookbook made you cry and hungry at the same time?

Why on earth would I even attempt to continue to speak much less write after that? What could I possibly offer after coming in contact with such talent? Do I get back in the blogger’s saddle and ride again or do I wallow in my own self-inflicted feelings of ineptitude?

I guess in writing today… I have made my decision.


Social Media… ignore at your own risk!

September 9, 2009

I had the pleasure today to address an esteemed group of custom builders, members of the Greater Houston Builder’s Association and the subject today was Social Media and Marketing. Marketing for this group has always been very traditional. It is hard to imagine my being able to impress upon them the need to jump into The Groundswell… but I did and they were so interested that we have been asked to come back again to go deeper into this subject.

One of the things I spoke about is that I am the target market for a custom home buyer in Houston. I am a married Female of an age from 35 to 55 (not saying on which range I approach), dual income, heavy saver/investor, empty nester, etc. That said, I asked the audience how they were marketing to reach me with their message. And believe me, it is the woman making the decision here. What man in his right mind would look at his “paid off” home, low taxes, fully landscaped lawn, etc and say to his wife, “Honey, I think we should move…” Yeah, that is not happening.

So how are traditional marketers trying to reach “me”?

How about Print advertisements such as Houston Chronicle and magazines? No, this does not work because I download my Chonicle daily onto my Kindle DX (as well as magazines and books) and I do this for control, ease – only highlights and main articles and no advertising.

Radio? Well, no again… I listen to my iPod and Satelite Radio has effectively allowed listeners to have control over their music and again, avoid ads.

How about TV? Nope… other than the one news channel I watch live… anything else is recorded for later and again, ads are deleted.

So what is my message here? I am a pretty normal gal and not really all that techie but I am what I term “the hidden consumer”. I am hidden in the Groundswell and only respond to those seeking to reach me in my natural habitat.

So what is the lesson here? What worked yesterday, may not work today; and what will work today, most likely will not work tomorrow. Jump in the Social Media Pool… the water is warm and inviting.