Book recommendations that will teach you about writing and being an Actual Person™ in business and as a writer.
Weekly email archives and occasional extra words that don't have a home anywhere else on my site.
Some mornings are just… 👩🍳😘🤌
You wake up energized, owning the right side of the bed. The coffee-to-plant-based-creamer ratio is ideal. Your to-do list is already prepped, pen at the ready to cross off the ripest of low-hanging fruit.
The NYT Spelling Bee instantly presents its pangram to you. You make a beeline to Genius.
And some mornings, you Roy Kent at the alarm clock, don’t have enough creamer to cut through the sludge, and become one with the couch and NPR livestream — until your client in London shows up in your Zoom room an hour early.
Only she’s not early. The Internet lied to you about time zones, and you’re late.
Guess which morning I had today?
I don’t wanna talk about it.
Thank God for the imported bagels that infused everything in my suitcase with «essence d’everything» and leftovers from the $60 worth of post-travel Thai food I ordered last night when I returned from a weekend in New York.
If that first call was my mental Matterhorn on a Tuesday that was serving major Monday face…
What happened next was my Everest.
Weeks ago, the wonderful Julia Block Pearson invited me to be on her Marketing in the Wild podcast.
March 17 Paige did not check in with April 4 Paige about this interview.
But April 4 Paige, ever the stoic, hopped on that crosstown Struggle Bus and did it anyway.
We talked about bro marketing and infusing our content with empathy and making customers feel seen and how in the hell you create a brand voice you can practically, consistently apply.
She also clued me into a book that piqued my interest.
An Amazon reviewer gave a great Cliff’s Notes on Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins:
Mark Schaefer explains that consumers are rebelling against marketing. First, it was the end of lies. Then, the end of secrets. Now, it’s the end of control.
- Customers want to control what they see, hear, and experience.
- Customers want to be in control of their data.
- Customers want their brands to reflect their values, not the other way around.
It’s already downloaded to my Kindle, ready for me to forget about like I do every other business book I buy, if I’m being honest.
I’ve gotta hear what this overeducated white man has to say about something I’ve already believed for years!
REAL TALK THOUGH I am going to read it. Maybe.
Can I give you a few more reading recommendations?
These are books whose spines I have actually cracked, that have taught me about writing and being an Actual Person™ in business and as a writer.
Bonus: They’re all by women who I admire to the point of blind rage.
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (bookshop.org)
“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”
All hail the Shitty First Draft and everything after it.
So let it be written; so let it be done.
Brené Brown’s Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience (bookshop.org)
“Stressed and overwhelmed remind me of two restaurant terms that my team and I often use today: ‘in the weeds’ and ‘blown’. … Stressed is being in the weeds. Overwhelmed is being blown.”
Use your words — and know which ones to use and when.
Our vulnerability queen, slayer of shame.
Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes: Your New and Improved Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content (bookshop.org)
“Pull your audience into what you’re crafting. Make sure they see themselves in it. Don’t hold back. Don’t expect them to connect the dots.”
The word of our lord.
Luvvie Ajayi’s I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual (bookshop.org)
“Toddlers are couthless. LORD. They are so couth-deficient. They’ll tell you ‘those shoes look like my nightmares’ without a second thought because your feelings don’t matter to them.”
This is just a masterclass in creating a whole world with your brand voice.
I wanna live in the Luvvieverse.
Words Matter book club, anybody? (Or just treat yourself a personal pan pizza when you finish one, Book It!–style.)
P.S. My not-to-be-shared advance galley of Laura Belgray’s Tough Titties: On Living Your Best Life When You’re the F-Ing Worst arrived over the weekend.
I do not exaggerate when I say I am ecstatic to be on her pre-release hype squad. I’m a Talking Shrimp stan, with the credit card receipts to prove it 🥵, and you should definitely preorder the book, out June 13.
Hello, beach reading with a vaguely naughty title!
P.P.S. Thought you’d never ask! Of course I’ll share the link to Julia’s podcast when it’s live.
In the meantime,you can listen to Jena and me wax rhapsodic about marrying copy and design on our 2022 episode of StoryBrand’s Marketing Made Simple pod.
F-S: Reserved for rest