Whether or not you've read Amy Poehler's Yes, Please, I'm here to either provide a refresher and new context for it, or an enticing proposition to go out there on the inter-webs and order yourself a print or digital copy (I highly recommend the audiobook version, btw, as Poehler herself narrates, along with some celebrity guest readers like Seth Meyers and Kathleen Turner). I wanted to like this book, but ended up completely loving it, being fully absorbed in it and designating it as my main mission in life until I finished it (and then went back in and re-read it again!).
It wasn't necessarily the subject of the book and Poehler herself that I was so captivated by, but rather the elements that she brought forth in her writing, coupled with the more macro applications of her catchphrases and topics.
Just as I did with my feature on #GIRLBOSS, I of course see a direct correlation to the world of fashion blogging. I'm thrilled to share with you what I found to be some of the most poignant and witty on-point Poehler-isms from the book that I dug into a bit deeper to bring to the IFB community. Please read on below for my major takeaways from Yes, Please:
Assertive, Powerful, Concise
Let's start at the beginning and dissect what the title “Yes, Please” means. In the quote above, Poehler addresses the multifaceted interpretation that saying “yes, please,” can illicit, and shares what she thinks it means. The phrase is at once assertive, powerful, concise, and a bit polite, a response and request, as Poehler says. In the online space, these are all of the things that we need to be; our words and images speak for us, and we need to make the most of them to grab (and keep) attention, succinctly get our point across, and be inviting and hospitable to our reader. We create our own worlds, our own environments in the online space, and exuding these characteristics can help build success in this arena.
“Good for You, Not for Me”
I chose not to even paraphrase this straightforward gem of a quote, as Poehler gives examples of applying it to both life and career choices across several chapters in her book. From a blogging perspective, I dub this as the most important lesson to be excerpted from the book, since as bloggers, it's so easy, in fact, way too easy, to compare who we are and what we have to other bloggers and blogs. We are all individuals and bring incredible and varied things to the table, so to be able to discern that and have the ability to recognize that there isn't a one size fits all philosophy to blogging and success, the better we will all become at what we do best.
Love, and I Mean REALLY Love, Your Blog's Content
“Creativity is connected to your passion, the light inside you that drives you, that joy that comes when you do something you love, that small voice that tells you “I like this! Do this again! You are good at it, keep going!” This is the juicy stuff that lubricates our lives and helps us feel less alone in the world.”
Fashion blogging can require a major commitment, and its lifeline is certainly creativity and passion. If you love fashion blogging, it won't feel as much of a chore, and more like working toward a larger goal that you enjoy doing. Granted, you don't have to be smitten with every single aspect of running a blog, but the true guts of your site, the part that makes your blog unique (i.e. the content), should win your confidence and express your raison d'être when it comes to blogging. In a world where the market is becoming saturated, as more and more fashion blogs surface and it's become easier than ever to create and run a decent looking blog, relish in the fact that yours will stand out due to your clearly detectable passion for it, that comes across to readers in your words and images.
Writing Isn't Easy, so Don't Beat Yourself Up Over it
“Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea…The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great, but usually not. ”
Writing may come more naturally to some than others, but overall, Poehler speaks the truth when it comes to how much of a challenge it can be to write, write well, and write often. As bloggers, there is a certain expectation for writing, and frequency of posting that can be relatively unattainable, and at the very least, suck some of the fun out of being a blogger. For me personally, when life happens and I can't write posts as often as I like, the guilt of not writing and the anxiety of the pile of items I need to write about accumulating can be quite overwhelming. When I'm free from the daily responsibilities and restrictions, and can focus on one, leisurely post at a time, it feels much better.
What I took away from this quote in a fashion blogging context is not to be so hard on yourself when it comes to writing, editing, and publishing your posts. We all have other things going on in our lives that can detract from writing and take up a solid chunk of space in our minds, so we should be kinder to ourselves if a writer's block occurs, feelings of being uninspired surface, or we just don't have the time or energy to get to writing. Inspiration can strike at any time, and come from the most unlikely of sources, so keep your eyes and ears open, and remain hopeful.
Would you like to add anything to the conversation on Yes, Please, and its comparison to fashion blogging?