Actual chimp from actual diary.
* * *
You probably know why I was bored, right?
Let's re-examine the evidence:
Exhibit A: The smiling sun graphic on the cover, suggesting light and joy.
Exhibit B: The lock, meant to trap my words inside. The key, meant to keep everyone else out.
I was bored because exhibits A & B are in violent disagreement.
Words need light to thrive.
Joy in writing comes only from unlocking
your words and sharing them with others.
For me, anyway.
And for a lot of us who write to
understand ourselves. To shed a little light. To connect with others. To feel less lonely and alone.
To feel less like the kind of freak whose first impulse it to pop off the head of a Barbie to hide a tiny key.
Joy in writing comes only from unlocking your words and sharing them with others.
There was no joy because there was no others.
* * *
"Stories are like
one person saying to another, 'This is how it feels to me. Can you understand what I'm saying? Does it also feel this way to you?'" —Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day) (h/t Jay Acunzo)
In Everybody Writes, I talk a lot about writing to one person—whether you are writing a landing page, a newsletter, or a B2B email drip campaign (LOL). I've talked about finding your Doris many, many, many times—in blog posts, on stages.
I can't shut up about all that because it's the most important thing I've learned as a writer: Write to one person.
Eight-year-old me was bored because there was no one
person in DIARY. There was no audience. There was no one to write to. No Doris.
how it feels to me. Does it also feel this way to you?
* * *
I found DIARY years later, still locked.
To break into it, I procured a pair of wire cutters off the dark web and hired an offshore hacker.
I used an ordinary pair of kitchen shears to snip the cardstock hinge connecting the two sides of the lock. (A hinge made of paper. Weaker security than the PASSWORD
Rereading DIARY again now, I noticed all the things we just talked about... the early hope. The bored 8-year-old. The chimp photos which now make me LOL because what was that about...?
But now I notice something else for the first time:
Exhibit C: The "O.K.?" at the end of my first entry. That "I want to be a writter. O.K?"
You could view the questioning "O.K.?" as a need for validation. A lifelong gaping pit in need of affirmation backfill that what I want to do is right and
So... stereotypically girlish. Such youngest child energy (me)... always needing reassurance.
could also view it another way: Not seeking permission... but asking for a response.
Praying for it, willing that someone, somewhere—maybe you?—is reading this, right now.
And maybe you understand what I mean. Maybe you feel it, too. Maybe I'm less alone. Maybe we all are.
"This is how it feels to me. Can you understand what I'm saying? Does it also feel this way to you?"
* * *
Thanksgiving week here in the US. And so this is all my letter of gratitude to you. For being here with me. For reading. For caring. For understanding. For being on the other end. It matters.
Happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate. Thank you for being here.
Or said another way...
I appreciate you. O.K.?
Green Bean Casserole: Content Marketing Genius. Before green bean casserole was a Thanksgiving mainstay, it was content marketing genius. (Includes the crazy ROI of this dish.)
17 Things Your Email Newsletter Needs Right Now
Why is everyone so into Taylor Swift?
Related: Are you on Threads? Let's connect there.
DEPARTMENT OF SHENANIGANS
Eavesdropping in the AI break room. (h/t Irina Leoni)
📅 Nov 29: Webinar
Days. I'm BACK for the 4th or 5th (?) year with my pals at TwentyThree to dig into trends in content marketing. Cost: $0.
📅 Dec 7: Content Summit with PlayPlay. I'll be talking about brand storytelling. Cost: Also $0.