In August 2010 Arielle Ford interviewed me for her HuffPo blog, where she explored the topic of Social Media changing the way we write. The premise being: the shorthanded way we communicate on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and even USA Today impacts the way readers prefer to get information—aka short, punchy, and concentrated.

I shared that the community appeal of social networking has produced another by-product—an increased demand for humor. As we become less formal in the way we share info, so too should our writing style. And the best way to do that? Funny it up, people!

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me about making your writing more engaging and, well, funnier, you know my #1 piece of advice: READ MARTHA BECK! I tell all of my clients to study this woman’s work. Her comic timing, evidenced in her monthly O column and bestselling books, is masterful. An example I give is something she wrote for the Oprah magazine about mastering technology—easily a dry subject. “At this point,” she writes, “I should mention I have the computer skills of a hamster. So in 2006, I asked a computer scientist client to teach me to build a Web site. During the following months, my brain felt like a raisin on fire as I tried to fathom HTML, JavaScript, encryption software, and so on. It was like learning Swahili… In Turkish.”

Are you kidding me? A hamster working at a keyboard? A raisin on fire? How great are those visuals? If you get a chance, read in that same article about how Martha forced herself to achieve “minimal computer competency,” whereby she lost all muscle tone except in her mouse-clicking finger, and at one point became “so deeply geeky” that she broke her eyeglasses and used packing-tape to secure the lenses onto her face.

Who thinks of this stuff? Martha.

If you read her work with any regularity, you know that nearly everything she thinks up (or at least shares with her peeps) is that good—creative, fresh, and a bit whacko (and I mean that as a compliment). Last month a friend I adore was accused of being a narcissist. I didn’t think so, but hey, what do I know—I’ve fallen in love with a few over the years, so I can’t be trusted to assess anyone’s mental health. Lucky for me, Martha’s blog that day happened to include an “is-she-or-isn’t-she” kind of narcissist quiz and lo and behold—nope. My friend, it turns out, is doing just fine. I was so relieved I picked up my toy poodle and did a spastic version of the tango… in Turkish (okay, never mind).

Needless to say, I’m a fan. Not a total goober fan—Martha and I have shared a few wonderful two-way conversations (versus the kind where I’m a blathering idiot/psychophant). We share a besty, as a matter of fact, too, and years ago Ms. Beck helped me brainstorm an environmental column I was working on. Not too shabby.

But here’s where all this Martha worship pertains to you. Despite being ridiculously funny, she’s also the wisest woman I know. About things even more important than raisins, HTML, or people who can’t get their noses out of the mirror. She’s a leading expert on finding your calling—you know, your right work and place in the world. In the kind of way that sticks. Makes sense. Feels just so. Because it’s real.

She’s teaming up with 2 other incredibly wise women (one of whom is a rockin’ proposal client—Amy Ahlers) for a free call tomorrow (Wed. Oct. 10th) on just that—finding your calling. I’ve found mine (at least I think so… unless I’m totally out of touch, er… mentally ill), but I’m still jumping on the call because there could be something more that wants to be added to this book-lovin’ empire I’m building and I’m always jazzed to discover it. Plus, I never want to be the last to know about something hot!

Wanna tune in tomorrow together? Get signed up here (they’ll send you a link if you miss the actual call).

And, if you haven’t read Martha’s latest book, here’s the link.

Like everything she does, it’s fab.




P.S. In a matter of hours, I’m releasing the details on my first co-ed retreat (yes, with boys!) at my home in Lake Arrowhead. So sign up for Martha + Amy + Lissa, leave me a comment about any funny lines or hilarious authors that inspire you, and then keep an eye out for the Lake Arrowhead details coming shortly!

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