Break the Writing Rules :: Confessions of a Dirty Blonde

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Confessions of a Dirty Blonde, wherein we meet. I’ll be in your inbox twice a month from here forward. Why?

To deliver the goods, naturally.

And for you to understand me and my language, we need a dinner date. But only if you want style, writing and editing tips.

I play with language, disrupt and restructure it until it fits back together. I use shocking words, making you feel like you’ve never read a combination so charged by someone so blonde and innocent-looking. I don’t feel bad for using sentence fragments. And I love a good conjunction at the beginning of a sentence and a powerful preposition at the end.

Try explaining my habits to a classroom full of kids learning formal grammar (which, by the way, leaves little room for creativity). “Capo,” they said, “why can’t I start my sentence with ‘but’?”

But they could, and I was dumbfounded because I felt I couldn’t teach the lesson without pissing off the state-standard-gods. Or parents. So I taught eight years of generation Y, feeling too dishonest for anyone’s good.

Obviously there IS a time and place for playing with language.

That’s why I’m here instead of my cinder block classroom.

When I say readers lose focus after a fifteen word sentence, you count and cut. Why? Because you want this.

You think long and hard about writing, about honing your craft and hooking your readers. I see you, you sexy thing.

How do we create the best writing? By digging under the surface. Finding the roots of our problems and passions. Extracting the bad and feeding the good. We practice. We learn. We grow. But you have to get a little dirty first.

I only learned this when I listened to myself and my editor, who told me I could write whatever the fuck I wanted at any time. Once I gave myself permission to break rules without apology, I finally finished talking about a career change and walked my terrified-yet-elated ass right out of the school building.

“Capo,” some student said, “are you insinuating teaching is a hoax?”

Not entirely. But I was a hoax. Any of you who have been around this site for more than five minutes know the truth is most important when you want readers to hear your voice. I was a good teacher. But I’m a great editor.

And I can’t wait to get to know you, because – well – you’re why I’m here, talking about the best parts of the English language instead of grading finals. And that makes you really fucking awesome.

Got writing questions for Lindsay? Email Confessions of a Dirty Blonde goes out every other Thursday.

9 things you can do now to stop f*cking up your business

A guest post by Desiree Wolfe

And yeah, if you are out to make money with your skills, it is a business. This includes writing.

1. Thirty minutes is not a long time. Marathon marketing is exhausting and I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t fucking work. You’ll never want to do it and you won’t be consistent. Spending four hours marketing yourself is useless. And it doesn’t make up for the last week of not posting a single thing. It makes you look like am inconsistent douche-tool. Keep your social media and blogging to less than thirty minutes to stay on top of things without feeling overwhelmed.

2. Automate it. Did you know that 80 percent of your marketing materials don’t have to be original? Follow the 80 percent shared content and 20 percent original content rule and you’ll save yourself a shitload of time trying to come up with content to write. Set up an account with Hootsuite or Sendible and automate retweets and hashtags. Create autoresponders that handle emails to your list. Get some Google Alerts sent to your inbox. Shit is just waiting for you to share it.

3. Sometimes less shit means more shit. Not every marketing piece has to be fucking brilliant. If you aren’t feeling it, keep it simple. Just do it.

4. You don’t have to UNFUCK all of your marketing at once. Pick a platform you like and work it like Julia Roberts on the streets of Hollywood.

5. Take a fucking break. Put down the phone. Shut off Facebook. Don’t check your email. Being ON for 24 hours leads to burnout and that shit sucks.

6. A little effort now will save you time later. Create a marketing plan so you aren’t fumbling for content when it’s time to make shit. Schedule an editorial calendar so you have future topic ideas. You don’t have to create every blog post from here ‘til fucking Christmas. Just brainstorm some topics and titles.

7. You can’t UNFUCK those around you. You can only UNFUCK your own strategies. Don’t worry about other authors or writers, or designers or poets. They are not you. Worry about your own damn self.

8. Stop making excuses. Read this one over and over. Read it every time you come up with an excuse not to go to a networking meeting. Don’t lie to yourself about skipping that blog post. And for fuck’s sake, it’s not okay that your website looks like shit. There’s help for that, no matter how broke you are. Excuses will get you nowhere.

9. Get off your ass. Marketing your business is not an inbound sales job. Readers and buyers aren’t going to flock to you. You have to make shit happen. Pick up the phone; hit the streets and the local bookshops, reader’s clubs and groups. Introduce yourself and stop hiding in the back of the room like a bad 80s movie Goth girl. You’re better than that. You’re a Goddamn Author for crying out loud. Be proud of that shit.

P.S. You know why there are only nine tips? Because fuck 10. Break the rules. Be Awesome. Be You.

P.P.S. There’s no “right” way to build your business. If something works, then do it. The key is to be consistent and be active. Don’t spend all this time working on business when you should be working in your business.


DesireeAbout Desiree

Desiree Wolfe is the founder of Desiree Marketing, which turns screwed entrepreneurs and authors into awesome moneymakers through marketing and public relations movements. Desiree’s mission is to give people the motivation and tools they need to get themselves to the next level. Profanity rocks and makes it all more entertaining. Desiree is also the creator of Mama Owned Business – teaching Mompreneurs how to build an “on-purpose” business. For real life marketing tips and advice, head over to