What can you give me for Christmas?

bonanza gift Having worked my way through various careers (i.e., advertising copywriting, TV writing, acting, graphic design), it's become clear to me what I am not (copywriter, screen/TV writer, actor, designer).

And, having spent a fair amount of time now writing (on this here bloggity-blog, among other places) and speaking (at my Toastmasters club, although I'm happy to come and talk to your group, if you like), it's also become pretty damned clear to me what I should be doing next.

There's just one problem. For someone who's spent her entire adult life in one form of communications or another, I have a surprising inability to articulate what the hell it is I have to say and what the hell use it is to other people.

Okay, see? That's two problems. Start talking about myself, and I get all bollixed up.

I realize this is my issue to grapple with, and grapple, I do. I have also enlisted grappling assistance from my marketing coach and my shrink, who, upon hearing my egregious ineptitude at self-summary, immediately volunteered herself for grappling duty.

But I would like to enlist your help as well, dear reader. After all, you, those of you who actually come back here and read these little stories and essays and illuminata on nerdery, most likely have a better handle on why you return than I.

Also, I have found that the odd email that comes in over the transom or the random comment left on a particular post is often more illuminating than hours of cogitation or reflection or self-help exercises. Really. You guys are beyond awesome as a mirror. And the answers that have started coming in since I started focusing on this and asking out loud for help have, well, already been helpful. It's just time to ratchet things up a notch, I think.

I don't expect a fully articulated brand statement; I don't really have any expectations, other than this might be an interesting experiment. But, because 'tis the season and because you are doing me a solid and also probably because, as my exasperated shrink says, I have the LOWEST sense of entitlement of anyone she's ever treated, I will do this: for every helpful comment (or email, if you'd prefer not to be public) that I receive by this December 25th, I will donate $1 US to Habitat for Humanity, up to a total of $1,000. I don't really expect 1,000 comments and/or emails, although that would be great, but hey, it's a great organization and if I'm getting huge blessings, I'd like to pay it forward in an immediately tangible way.

Of course, I hope you know that my ultimate goal is to take the information and help make the world a better place. It's dorky, I know, but my mission statement (this, I have) is to be a joyful conduit of truth, beauty and love. I'll keep doing it at ground level, no matter what; I've just had a nagging (and growing) feeling these past few years that I should be doing a better job of putting myself out there.

If you're a genius whiz-bang marketing type and you can sum me up in a genius-whiz-bang mission statement, that's awesome. If you just tell me why you like reading the blog, or the newsletter, or the acting column, or the design column, or my emails, or any other of my writing, that's awesome, too. You can also...

  • tell me what your favorite post is (and hopefully, why)
  • tell me how you describe this blog to other people (if, if fact, you do this)
  • tell me when you think I'm "on" and/or when you think I'm "off"
  • tell me which posts best sum up "communicatrix"
  • tell me what the hell a communicatrix is
  • tell me (your idea here)

And if I get no comments or emails, well, that's fine, too. This is a process, and an evolving one, and what's supposed to happen will, in its own time. Hell, I'll probably give a bunch of money to Habitat anyway because I really dig them and Jimmy Carter is one of my personal heroes.

But I just thought I'd ask. Again. Out loud.

If nothing else, it's one step out of the hole of anti-entitlement.

xxx c

UPDATE (1/1/08): Another 8 or 10 replies came in via email since the last comment, bringing the tally up to $45. I'm rounding up to $50, and heading over to H4H right now. Thank you, everyone, for playing! And if you've come to this late, but still want to contribute, email me: I'll keep the offer open up to $500 in calendar year 2008!

Image by wallyg via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.