Learning to Shine Your Talents

Photo by Paula L. High

A writer writes.
This seems like a fairly obvious declaration unless the said writer is also an editor of other people’s writing. Then, things can become a bit complicated.

Yes, a writer does write. Ideally, they do this by writing their own work. But they can also use their talents by rewording and reorganizing work for their clients–helping their clientele shine their talents into the world.

I’ve seen it with other people too–in their lines of work. A photographer photographs, but sometimes never gets around to displaying their favorite work.

Another example…  Continue reading “Learning to Shine Your Talents”

3 Writing Tips to Improve How You’re Perceived

Neglecting This Pre-Flight Check Might Prevent Your Writing from Landing Properly

Doug Lenberg inflates his balloon (after a thorough pre-flight check). Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, 2013. ~Photo by Paula High-Young.

Your Pre-flight Check is Always Important

In flying, the pre-flight check is mandatory. I suppose this piloting concept naturally crept into my writing as well.

Before I hit the send or publish button, I always put my writing and correspondence through what I call my Writing Pre-flight Check.

1979, Norm’s Pre-flight. Photo by Gil Davis, 1979.

Whether you’re composing emails to clients, blog posts, articles, or you’re mailing cards and letters to family or friends, there are a few quick things you should always do to optimize how your communications sound. Ideally, you want to come across as intelligent, credible, and thoughtful — maybe even humorous. 

It’s too easy to inadvertently trip up. So here are three quick Writing Pre-flight Check tips to help you come across the way you intended.

1.)  ALWAYS, always proof-read your content before sending or publishing. Check your spelling and tone — how you are coming across. Proof-read everything. You don’t get another chance to make the right impression.

2.)  Reading it out loud to yourself before sending or publishing can be a great help. As I read, sometimes I find something I’m unsure of. I find using editing software apps, such as “Grammarly,” can be particularly helpful in smoothing out such issues. There is a free version available, and it can make you look good and maybe even save your reputation.

3.)   And if it’s something super important, step away from it for a little while after you’ve finished writing it–but before sending. Take a break, do something else. Then come back to it a little later (an hour, a few hours, or a day) and do the proof-reading and reading aloud (perhaps a second pass). Sometimes things feel and sound different to us after we give it a little space and time to “steep.”

These are my absolute musts no matter what I’m writing. Okay, maybe I do dash-off text messages a bit too quickly for this. And that damned autocorrect will get me so many times. At least those sometimes give us something to chuckle about.

Give these a try and tell me what you think.

Thanks for visiting. Hope to see you here again soon.
Be Well,

Paula High-Young is a freelance holistic health and personal development copywriter in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. She’s also fluent in holistic wellness coaching, herbal medicinals, Reiki, and essential oils. You can find her website at HolisticWellnessWriters.com and connect with her on LinkedIn, at Holistic Wellness Writers on Facebook, and sometimes on Twitter. You can also find her on Flickr.

Secret Formatting Tool Helps Keep Your Writing Looking Sharp!

Hello again. Thanks for visiting.
I know–not a sexy title for a blog post, but I’ll bet you’re curious!

Writing is the Fun Part, But Then. . .
I see it all the time. People coming up with ideas, writing their hearts out–composing an article or a book, or another writing project. But then they start looking back at it. Things are. . . not matched up. “How did this header end up so big, while that looks like–is that a different. . . Font? Holy smokes!” Eeeks!

Designed by luis_molinero / Freepik

Then there’s this “little matter” of organizing all that Table of Contents stuff, getting it lined up, and. . . Oh, cr@p! The page numbers? Do the page numbers match the real contents? And what if you have to cut or add a paragraph or two? Or a page, or two? Then what? How the hell do you. . . realign. . . (muffled shriek)

Normally, I see writers “fix” these things manually with hard returns, extra spaces, tabs, and other nightmarish extraneous-coding hidden elements. If you only knew about all the extra hidden coding which gets inserted into documents because of hard returns and tabbing-over. Oh, my word! What a mess these actions make of your manuscript, and they have to be fixed before it can be submitted for printing. But I digress. extraneous hidden coding is a subject for another post.

The crazy uneven font sizes and styles, random bold or italics, and the hit or miss occasionally-centered heading here, and other left-justified headings over there. The sometimes bolded, sometimes not sub-heads are all only a few of the issues writers unknowingly stumble into and editors encounter. Have you ever had to rearrange your order of chapters? O.M.G.! It can be a headache to resolve.

How can you avoid these kinds of frustration? Or wait–Are we all doomed to hours of weeding through this part of the editing phase and just. . . figuring it out?  Hint: I have a secret weapon I use to simplify this stuff. . . and I’ll share in a couple of minutes. Continue reading “Secret Formatting Tool Helps Keep Your Writing Looking Sharp!”

Spinning Head, Spinning Plates…

Greetings again.

From Dreamstime.com

I keep working toward more consistent posting here. But it’s been tough. Maybe you can relate? I frequently find myself pulled in so many different directions; it’s hard to stay on target. It can feel like my head is spinning.

I think it’s mostly about balance, but we can lose track… and, if we lose balance, everything can crash. Self-care is an essential part of this balancing act we call Life.

For the past few months, I’ve pushed myself hard. Work–writing and editing for clients AND my own writing projects, learning new business applications, admin stuff, travel, work-retreats, reclaiming my office from disarray, trying to keep up with the household chores, and oh, yea–taking care of myself

Have you heard about this awful strain of flu that’s been going around this winter? Maybe you or a family member or friend has dealt with it? It’s bad, right? Take care of yourselves out there. 

Just in this last week of January 2018, at last–I’m recovering from the nasty, relentless flu-bug. Ugh! It seems mine ran a similar course, as many folks I’ve heard about. I battled it for three weeks. Now the realization dawns on me, I unwittingly let myself get run-down. Not getting enough quality rest, ultimately put me behind for a bit. It cost me the time I could have been editing, writing or cleaning my office. I lost sight of balance. My advice: Don’t lose sight of balance in your life.

Among my many business tasks of late–I’m learning things like MailChimp, how to build my list, and using LeadPages–but it can be confusing. I’m not sure yet how to bring them together, or how best to utilize them for my business. Have you experienced this–trying to figure it out and not knowing if you’re doing it right? There’s a lot to take in, right? Head-spinning, I tell you. I’ve also learned it’s Ok to ask for help. Again–balance! And I have a clever friend…  Continue reading “Spinning Head, Spinning Plates…”

A Cover Girl

Hi, and thanks for visiting.
Today, since a few people have asked, I’ll tell you a little about how I got into writing, and how–for a long time–it didn’t look likely I’d ever earn a living with it. I’ll also tell you what changed the path for me and how an invitation for a written interview led to a couple of articles–featuring me. I even made the cover of one magazine. And I’ll explain why mentors made a huge difference in helping launch this dream. Ready? Let’s dive in.

For Love or Money? 

I’ve been writing for a long time. It’s always been something I enjoy. I started journaling in my Girl Scout “diary” when I was about 11 years old. I have no idea whatever happened to it. Maybe in the depths of a dusty, old box, in my garage?

It almost feels like yesterday–and then also a lifetime ago. The diary was approximately 4″ x 5″ and maybe an inch & a half thick. It was hard-cover, white vinyl with a green Girl Scout emblem on the cover and it had a little “brass” lock on it. It sported white pages with green lines on both sides of the page. Did you ever keep a diary or journal? It can be interesting to go back and reread them. 

Choosing A Direction
I loved to write, even back then. In high school and college, I tested into “honors” English classes. 
When trying to decide on a direction for college, I was drawn to writing and photography, but always heard (about both), “Except as a journalist, you can’t make a living at it.” I wasn’t sure if I genuinely believed it. But I understood it tended to be a lean living IF you could squeak one out at all. Continue reading “A Cover Girl”


Welcome to Holistic Wellness Writers

I’m Paula, writer-editor and writing/communications coach. Believe it or not, it’s all connected. It’s all a part of how you come across to your potential clients.

Whether you are writing a book, writing a blog, doing speaking engagements, meeting new potential clients, building the platform for your book, or merely working on your everyday forms of reaching out to attract clients– it’s all about how you come across.

Making the Best Impression You Can Make

You only have a few seconds to make an impression– somewhere between, “Oh– I want to keep reading this.” and “Oops, I’m in the wrong place.” or even, “Whoa, this is crap, I’m outta here.”

And most of the time, you won’t have an opportunity for “do-overs” to make a better impression. Once you’ve lost a reader (a/k/a– potential client), they may well be lost forever–even if you could have helped them. They’re gone. We all need to take care of how we present.

A Case in Point, & Why I’m Here

As administrative support personnel over a few decades, I spent years writing and editing for bosses. I could often see what they couldn’t. I’ve also been a writer at heart since I was a  kid. Maybe it’s why I finally chose to focus my university degree on Communications.

But as I was earning my Holistic Health Coach certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN®), my path began to reveal itself to me.

At IIN®, I participated in several student discussion groups. I loved hearing the various views on holistic health from my many classmates. We shared a lot of engaging conversations. Sometimes the energy was electric. I’d found my “tribe.” We all shared a great respect for one another as well.

Later, several of them tried their hand at blogging– thinking it was simple enough. A few seemed to be naturals. But others came back, fretting about how they thought nobody was taking them seriously or they couldn’t seem to get readers to stay. I frequently went in search of their posts. What I discovered surprised me, but I learned something.

Many people are fine with dashing off a bunch of words and thoughts, popping them into a few paragraphs, and a blog post. They call it good. But is it? Even if they’re great thoughts, can you expect people to tune in each week for more if it’s not well composed?

But the real question–the one which matters most:
What impressions are your readers taking in?

If reading something they proudly posted left us wondering how they could sound so smart in discussions and yet, in writing come across so. . . woefully lacking finesse–  Leaving us thinking:
Why would I believe anything they said, based on what they wrote here?

It won’t win over clients. Even if we know, you’re credible and just don’t come across as well in writing.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it. Let’s just say often their writing needed some reworking to shine their true brilliance.

It’s Not Your Fault! 
This is a new era of instant information– and frankly, information overload. Information is everywhere. Attention spans are shrinking. You don’t have much time to pique your reader’s interest and keep them engaged. Most folks weren’t taught how to do it, and it can be tricky.

Holistic Practitioners, like all entrepreneurs, are busy.  Right? You know you need to engage with your potential clients, but you feel short on time. How can you pull off the “Great Client Attraction Caper?”

I can help.

In the coming weeks and months, I’ll gradually explain the various reasons why it’s so important to come across as intelligently, wisely, credibly, and polished as possible.

You can do all that and still let your unique personality shine through– as a matter of fact, it’s essential. I can help you find the right combination to help you shine out into the world– to your potential clients, and finally, to your Ideal Clients.

So please stick with me as I build here. You’re going to want to see what I have to offer you.
More to come soon. . .

In the meantime, Be Well & Shine on.