Online Writing: Do You

| April 23, 2011

5th AveWith the kids on spring break, my daughter and I (along with her best friend and her best friend’s mom) took a trip to the city. I call it “The City” because I’m a born and raised Bronx gal. We call Manhattan, “The City.” If you’re a New Yorker, the city needs no further defining.

Where is This Leading?

Okay, you know eventually, this will get around to writing, but humor me for a bit. It has been quite some time since I visited the city. I lived and worked there all my life and when I moved out, I enjoyed the peace, quiet and serene life in the Hudson Valley. No longer did I have to take 2 hour long train rides from the Hudson Valley to downtown NY. No longer did I have to worry about child day care, Metro North schedules or subways.

After 9/11 happened and my husband made it out alive (he worked in 2 World Trade Center), we had not spent much time at all in the city. Ok, my hubby and son (the eternal Knick fans), did go to a Knick game or two, but that was pretty much the extent of our city trips.

Fear of the Unknown

Because we had not spent time in the city, my kids (especially my daughter) developed a skewed and unrealistic idea of the city. The movies, news and other kids painted a horrible picture of what New York City was all about. So, when we decided to take the trip in, she was nervous and Grand Centralhad trepidations. Her nervousness quickly dissipated after we walked out of the train and into Grand Central terminal. She now wants to move to and live in the city (guess I’ll be making more frequent trips).

Beat of a Different Drummer

I tend to dance to the beat of a different drummer. I attribute much of that to my NYC upbringing. If you have ever walked down any street in NY, you’ll find all types of folks. There are the fashion mavens (who wear shoes with heels that are entirely too high to run for a bus, subway or even a cab) and there are the artistic types wearing their own style of clothing. You’ll find the business suits, hip hop types and then folks like me who find things that are comfortable (whether fashionable or not) to cover their nudity.

While in the city, my daughter purchased a pair of sunglasses (among other things). She wore her sun glasses with pride until her best friend pointed out that she had a clear “UV” sticker on one of the lenses. At that point in time, she took off the glasses and refused to wear them because she felt embarrassed (oh how quickly teenagers get embarrassed).

I put my arm around her shoulder and said, “Take a look around you. Does anyone care? Look at what folks are wearing.” I told her take her glasses out of her bag, put them on, UV sticker and all, stand tall and walk proudly down the street. Work that UV sticker, girl! She ended up removing the sticker (go figure). 🙂

Glasses with StickerBack to Online Writing

Writing online is much like walking down the streets of Manhattan. You can try to be like the fashion models, the business people, the artsy folks, the hip hop crew or you can find your own style and do you. There are a few online rules to doing you, but once you understand them, you can do you with reckless abandon.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I tried to follow what the gurus told me to do, but it just didn’t feel right in my soul. Instead I took the basics (SEO, basic writing skills and keyword search) and decided to find my own way. In future posts I’ll go into further detail about a few of my new (post panda) online successes. I’ll also discuss my failures.

Lesson Learned:

You can take the girl out of the city, but you can never take the city out of the girl. In other words, celebrate your roots. They are what makes you you. Your “you-ness” is what will make your writing and/or blog unique and successful. I know for a fact that I’ve bucked the system a time or two, but it all worked out in the end.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certain rules that you need to follow, but after the basics…do you.

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Category: Motivation

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (7)

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  1. Bill Swan says:

    At first I thought you forgot to finish the headline 🙂

    Then I read it and realized it was one of your great reality checks you drop in with now and then.
    Bill Swan recently posted…The Key Free Marketing Tactic for Content WritersMy Profile

  2. kidgas says:

    Felicia,
    Thanks for sharing something about yourself. It is nice to get to know more about you.

    I have only been to NYC twice. Once as an infant (so I don’t remember a thing) and once in the winter of 1999 for a conference. Even though I was there only about 36 hours, I managed to make it to the top of the World Trade Center at night to the observation deck. What a view. I cried when they fell. Someday, I will go back.
    kidgas recently posted…April Worst Month for 2010 and 2011My Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Kidgas, there’s no place like NYC. Visiting the city is like getting a shot in the arm of pure energy. My friend and I debated about which is better, touring the country in a luxury RV or having a luxury apartment in the city. And the debate continues…

      About a month or so ago I came across a quote that I added to my favorite phrases list. It said “Live your essence, not your image.” I find sometimes when folks learn too much about a person, they then start to interact with the image and not so much the essence.

      NJFM is part of my essence and you guys probably know a lot more about me than folks I meet and talk to every day. They get caught up in the image (or lack there of) and never bother with the essence. Just as I’ve learned so much about my readers from their comments and how they respond to things I’ve written here.

      OK, time for me to get a cup of coffee. My brain isn’t really ready for essence conversations yet. 🙂

  3. Mandy says:

    Felicia, you are so wise and once again you have spoken the wisdom that I needed to hear. (Do you have my home bugged?) Life likes to beat the “You” out of us all and send us running around car shopping, haggling with insurance adjusters, scratching the way to top of mounds of dishes and laundry (oops, is that only me?) like we are only chickens scrabbling and pecking for the feed.

    May I also add don’t forget the You when all life seems to be an endless list of high-priority tasks? Those purposeful moments of simply You is the essence of life. Take the time to write or exercise or whatever you do even if the world raises an eyebrow because there is “work” to be done. God’s been trying to teach me that lesson for years. The slower the student I am the louder He gets.

    Happy Easter!

    • Felicia says:

      Mandy, I love your comment. It’s the perfect addition to my post. I especially love your line “God’s been trying to teach me that lesson for years. The slower the student I am the louder He gets. ” I’m officially borrowing that phrase.

      We all have to remind ourselves to do “you.” Although, I’m finding that the older I get, the easier it is to do me. Too many people complain about getting older, but I’m loving it. Aging brings a certain freedom that we’re too scared to enjoy when we’re younger.

      Enjoy your Easter and don’t forget to “do you.” 🙂

  4. Prerna says:

    Totally agree with you, Felicia. The reason I love writing online is because it lets me be me. Not like my previous life of corporate training, where I had to fit the company image and branding.Gosh!

    And I’m glad you’re you, here on NJFM, as well. Thank you!
    Prerna recently posted…Moms in Business – An Interview with Rebecca Rabson- founder of Smart Seat Chair ProtectorMy Profile