A Writing Lesson using Doors…

A fun way to Write is to assign Human Characteristics to Inanimate Objects such as Doors.. It’s no secret that I love architectural elements. I take photographs of fences, railings, windows, shutters, windowboxes and more…especially Doors. Though this Writing Lesson may focus on doors, the technique applies to any inanimate object of your choice.

Take this first block of doors… that White Tool Shed, she’s a hard worker, down to earth with an unexpected flair for the dramatic with that blue door. The Hidden Door on a side street strikes me as a shy, private one- though hoping to be found, she secretly longs to stand out. That impressive Pediment in Constitution Hall, speaks of confident authority- yet one who probably wears sensible shoes. In contrast, there’s the humble thrifty landowner who probably caught paint on sale and didn’t give a whit about that showy color! Don’t you know that’s true!

In this block, there’s the introverted nature lover who obviously enjoys quiet and solitude. Bermed in, yet that blue Door is ready to welcome a friend or two. Now, the pretty Door with a Vine is a cheerful soul, a generous gardener who offers rustic dinner parties after holding a cooking class. Don’t you love her already? Oh my, that amazing Ornate Exterior has amassed a fortune, is also home to a fashionista. She’s a not-so-subtle standout with impeccable taste. The humble rustic door is concerned with protecting house and home- how do I know this? Well, it belonged to pioneer Kit Carson!

I had to include at least one window, a warm, open, happy personality, who allows us to see just the right amount of her humble home. as she breezes easily through her life.

Of course, the opening image is a Sanctuary Door- welcome, wise and strong. It’s as if She knows, at some point in our lives, we’re all going to need a discreet Listener. You know? I love them all- beautiful, unique as a fingerprint- serving their own purpose- big or small. Still. If I had to choose, it would be that white tool shed with the blue door. Why? I’ve decided that she’s actually a ‘Work in Progress’. Yes, I definitely relate to that! Which one would you choose? And, if you’d like to give it a try, assign human characteristics to an inanimate object like a Door.

Love y’all, Brenda

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Waiting in the Wings…

Have you ever felt like you’re ‘Waiting in the Wings’ ? At every age and stage, even when starting something new…there’s that Waiting in the Wings state of mind. Cambridge Dictionary describes it like this:’ If someone is waiting in the wings, they are not yet active or important, but are ready or likely to be soon..’

You may have practiced and prepared. You may have the perfect costume or background for your performance and yet there’s that waiting time.

You may have the prettiest or the most photogenic scene set up and yet, you mind tells you that there’s always someone better than you are. Did you know there’s a physical reaction to waiting in the wings? There is. When you’re in that area where activity on the stage can be observed yet the audience cannot see you- a place where performers stand just before it’s time to enter the stage to perform… we might call this physical reaction- Butterflies. A sensation which is a blend of anxiety, anticipation and excitement all bundled together.

You may be standing ready to undertake a new role. make an entrance or be brought to public attention. Yet, those butterflies are creating fear, they might make you want to give up…

Hang up Your Dancing Shoes altogether.

How do I know this? Because I’ve had those feelings before, okay- many times before. You have butterflies because you are afraid. You have butterflies because you’ve got a bad case of comparisonitis. You have butterflies because you Care.

When you start something new, even if you don’t have all the answers, you aren’t ‘perfect’ or you think someone is better than you are. Am I right? Well, here’s the key- lean on your preparation and your experience. Then trust your Instincts and Believe that you will Rise to the Occasion.

What you have to give is You, and that’s a very special Gift. There’s no one else exactly like You. When the Director of Life give you the cue… Come on out onto the Stage. You’ll be Unforgettable.

I’m thankful for so many who generously Take to the Stage. Ready to be available. Waiting to help. Prepared to do Something. Willing to share their Gifts. We need you.

Love y’all, Brenda

Resilience…

Resilience

Resilience. The struggle to survive. I’ve learned more about the struggles of life in a garden than almost anywhere else. Observing plants teaches me about the will to live in the most unlikely places. Plants teach us about adaptation, self confidence and seizing opportunities where we can find them. What might have worked before, doesn’t always show up. The support you always had, isn’t there, the truth may be, they’re struggling too. That’s a chance to follow survival instincts. Plants know this.

Some seek Light to grow and bloom. Others flourish in dappled and damp shade and manage to be Pretty in the process. Some simply find a way. Often in the worst of conditions, a plant will sprout leaf and bloom- up through an iron railing, a cracked sidewalk or graveled garden path; a fallen log, a scorching sandy beach- even the mighty oak learns to soar above the forest floor.

Exuberance, enthusiasm, even enjoyment of living is right underfoot. Being forced in a jar or peeking through a picket fence. Or drawing life out of itself like those sweet muscari bulbs, why? Because sometimes- you just have to draw strength from within yourself- right? It’s that inexplicable urge to survive, maybe a zest for living- a joy just to be alive… spoken without words. Look close and you’ll hear these things and more.

No matter how small, it seems to me, there’s not just a the will to live despite circumstances or even survival techniques… there’s some inner workings I don’t quite understand. I only know these little survivors speak to me of purposeful filled living. Add in the will to live.

A fern sprout, a cluster of mushrooms, tiny bulbs in a jar- a dandelion or two. Wood violets, beach flowers, a crazy Iris craning her neck through a picket fence turning her face to the sun.

Even a leafy weed and most springing up from a rocky place- oh yes… they teach me so many lessons and more…

Resilience is what keeps us going. Finding light or enlightenment. Absorbing moisture, putting down deeper roots or pulling from your inner strength. A willingness to grow. Nature is where we find beauty, strength, nourishment and salve. After the year we’ve had, I hope your Resilience has shown up. Here’s to a zest for living, getting going and growing again!

Love y’all, Brenda

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The Power of Visual Marketing…

Visual Marketing. I’ve been working on a project about the impact Images and Colors have on readers and more important on Marketing your goods or services. I don’t usually go straight to statistics, yet this time- the Stats are powerful. Did you know folks only recall 18-20% of what they Read? Followed by a whopping 600% recall of what they See! That’s the impact of Visual Marketing. If you have something to sell? Over 300% will make a purchase when Visual Images are combined with compelling Information when compared to Text only.

Okay, sit down a minute, take a sip of coffee., and listen up! We think we know these things yet, considering today’s world of Advertising and Online Sales. I personally believe those statistics are why Instagram is such a powerful platform for product or service based businesses. On that platform over 75% are more likely to read Content that’s combined with Images that evoke emotions. You know, I get it- We’re so busy following our dreams, we forget the boring things that make those dreams come true. Why? Because it takes time coming up with fresh content and compelling images.

Images that symbolize the Doorway to the Opportunity to present and sell your products or services. Or show someone their Potential. Tell someone what and why you’ve created your art, your online shop, your coaching services.

Whew that’s a lot of Math. And not just math, astonishing Information! So, I’ll make this short, so you can get maximum information with minimal effort. I’m almost finished with a 6 page list of My Favorite Styling Materials, Props and Images- I’ll let you know when it’s ready. Still.

Listen to this: There are certain images that Stop the Scroll, make you want to read what the content says. My top 4, (though certainly not all!) are contained in this post. If you’re a photographer, shoot these anytime you find them. If you’re not? Find compelling images like these. Free Stock Image sites abound. Start building a stable of Images you can build Content around. Images that evoke nostalgia, curiosity, calm and compelling. You have to decide what emotion you want to create. The images don’t even have to be related to your brand or product directly. Advertising Agencies have used this principle for years. You can do what the big brands do, with color, images and great content.

Love y’all, Brenda

P.S. If you haven’t guessed by now- A bicycle creates nostalgia and movement. A cup or a whole stack of cups is a proven image to project warmth and comfort. Eggs always represent Potential, even comfort for food bloggers. A Door or two! Even a bit scuffed, is always perceived as Opportunity. That’s why they’ll always make my top 4 images. And, just an FYI- you can blend stock Images with your own images, like I’ve done here. 3 are Stock Images and one is mine- I’ll let you guess which one!

9 Principles of Design…

I developed 9 Principles of Design that work for me. They all work hard for you, especially with Visual Marketing.  My Mimi was a florist and my mother dabbled in art and interior design. With that background  and some good training while working in retail, these elements were always present and I hope will serve you well.

  1. Light is always going to be the first principle. It’s that shimmering glimmer of you, the energy that makes you and your designs sparkle.
  2. Color  Which colors you choose tells me a whole lot about You.  Vibrant or calm. Passionate or serene. You see what I mean, that bright house with vibrant flowers says something…it’s hard to believe dreary folks live there!
  3. Texture. Don’t get me started on Texture…it’s been said by fine artists and designers to be one of their favorite ways to add warmth, patina and age.
  4. Mood. Mood has to be there- whether it’s a moody Angel or a whimsical sketch. Mood sets that stage without one written word.
  5. Perspective. Whether it’s peering through a window or painting a landscape- good perspective is a must have! That view is charming to me…
  6. Balance. Ahh, balance. Ok, those cookies aren’t perfectly balanced, yet they’re a good example of balance, color, light, texture and mood. I’ll admit to being so happy I ate quite a few.
  7. Shape. I could say- Shape and Form– because they are always pleasing to the eye. Beautifully shaped Eggs, rounded nest- all in the boundary of a square- yes, it pleases my eye.
  8. Time. A sense of Time needs to be part of design. Something is either bright and new or has the patina of age- history if you will. A blend in your designs is what I seek in a well designed marketing plan. It’s a blend of timelessness- daylight or nightfall- yes, give almost anything Time and it looks good.
  9. Negative Space. Though certainly not last in importance- negative space is an oft neglected art. Did you know in Retail Stores- you can always predict the Value and Price by whether things are jammed and jumbled in (low priced) and then there are high end goods which take up more real estate on a display wall or case (yes, high end- higher price). Space is the easiest upgrade- a big clean out makes a room spacious. Adding Negative Space into your displays, your social media grids, your art, writing and more…uplevels all you do!

Love y’all, Brenda

P.S. Happy Easter! and… If you need help with writing content for April, or could use a few tips- our Free April Planning Guide is there for you! Just email me at brenda@brenda-wyatt.com