words without end – or – on the obfuscation of our digital language

There is a trend on the net today with which I’m rapidly approaching my boiling point.

Everywhere I go: words.

While there is much beautiful writing, many transformational stories, and an abundance of powerful thought, there is also a deep cavern of meaningless words on the internet. Words modifying words strung together with other words.

Glittery sparkles of fresh fun words.

See what I mean?

I can read a whole blog post or ebook and not know what was said. The words sound pretty – they fit a niche or target a market – but they don’t mean anything.

When I see words coupled in unusual ways, I drill down to understand what deeper meaning the author is trying to expose by using words in that way. This likely stems from my ever so brief introduction to deconstructionism.

Deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a text, but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself. Its apparently-solid ground is no rock, but thin air.
— J. Hillis Miller

Layering words, creating relationships between them, and generally making writing “prettier” doesn’t aid in others understanding you. It obfuscates your meaning.

Do you know what your meaning is?

Do you know what your trying to say?

Or are you applying word after word to your digital page in order to try to understand yourself better?

Strip down. Get bare. What do you really want to say?

I don’t mean this to be a lesson in writing; I am hardly qualified to teach.

I do, however, mean this to be a lesson in getting real with what you really want to say to the world. We talk often about finding our “authentic selves” but talk little about our “authentic message.”

You are what you think. You are also what you say.
Natalie Sisson

We get clearer about how we want to be in the world without getting clearer on how we want to engage the world.

We don’t exist as solitary beings. Even authentic ones. We exist as people in relationship to others – and our words are a very big way we understand those relationships.

To be clear, direct, and always mindful of our deeper meaning in language is one way to strengthen those relationships and better understand who we are.

Use beautiful, powerful words – but consider them carefully.

Some of my favorite wordsmiths – those with deep meaning & winsome words – are Kelly Diels | Alexandra Franzen | Elizabeth Howard | Kristen Tennant.

{ image by soukup }

on being bilingual :: and some great press!

on being bilingual :: and some great press!


I’ve been lining up some great media mentions for the last few weeks. Luckily, they all came right as I’m making the final push for my ecourse, Between the Lines. Actually, they all came… today!

Each mention is thoroughly unique from the others, in each, I try to speak the language of the audience I’m writing to. 

All my life, I have desperately wanted to speak another language. I’ve always felt a bit trapped by English and a very self-conscious of the fact that, to travel abroad, I’m relying on others to have learned English. But, it’s just not something I’m good at. Memorizing – oh sure, I can do that with the best of them. But putting vocabulary into sentences and computing what others are saying… well, it throws me for a loop!

But, when it comes to communicating on the net, I consider myself bilingual – probably multilingual – and I think that is one of the great reasons for my success. I think I’m a pretty good web designer but I have a great ability to translate tech language to people in the creative community. Here are the three languages I’m speaking today:

  • Interview on Carmen Torbus’s blog – Here I’m speaking the language of the creative community. My goal is to explain my own inspirational process and bring inspiration to others. I won’t lie, I love this language – it comes from the heart and gets people moving & doing. What’s better than that?
  • Guest post on Problogger: Wow! What a thrill! This blog is literally read by millions of aspiring bloggers around the world. So that’s who I’m talking to — people who are trying to build a business around their own little spot on the net. Not all tech people, but definitely not a touchy-feely audience. My goal was to communicate the benefits of creating an “experiential blog” to people who are used to cut and dry, informative posts. Did I succeed?
  • My (l)earning story on the DailyWorth – Wow – this was a hard one to write. I let DW founder, Amanda Steinberg, know that I had quadrupled my earnings in just a few months and she was dying to publish the story. Yikes! Here my goal was to present my transformation and earning evolution to a group of women who are hungry for empowerment. In fact, this story sits nicely between Carmen’s interview and my Problogger post: it needed to be inspirational but at the same time lay out my story in a succinct, informative way. You be the judge!

If you’re coming from one of these mentions, thank you! This particular blog is written in many different languages, as the mood strikes. Sometimes it’s a family blog, other times I’m writing for entrepreneurs, and still more times I’m stepping on a soapbox – the thread tying it all together is telling the story of my business. I love the variety and I hope you do too!