1. We care about whether or not we have clickable headlines. See above.  The mantra for building a following seems to start with great content, move on to clickable headlines and finish with sharable graphics. For years I have focused on the content. Every once in a while I put up a shitty list (ahem) and those get shared. Yet the posts where I leave a little bit of myself on the page are beloved only by my mother.
  2. We let our vegetables rot in the fridge. Even the local, organic, expensive life changing vegetables become black sludge if we ignore them long enough. I’ve found an easy fix for this. Next time you pull out the dripping bag stay with it over the sink, give yourself a soothing “aged organics” spa treatment by rubbing the slime on your hands. Lean in and inhale deeply for a slow count of three. Then exhale. Next time you will get those veggies into the compost before they rot. Or perhaps not bring them home at all. That would be the most efficient choice.
  3. We yell at our children to stop yelling. The volume in the house is increasing. Sometimes with excitement but more often of course they are fighting over screen time. Or seating. Or who owns the green pen. Or really anything at all. For a while we can breathe through the noise. Until finally the only thing left to do is to scream as loudly as they are. What do we scream? “STOP SCREAMING.” Now that is an effective message. Almost as useful as telling someone who is anxious to “relaaaaax.” How not to yell? Leave the house. Kick them out of the house. Get really really good headphones. Which you can buy easily. Isn’t paying for a solution better than thinking of one yourself?
  4. We ruin perfectly good words. I think of Pop Warner and that horrible catchy cheer “Be aggressive B-E aggressive.” Be Authentic. B-E authentic. Authenticity isn’t a writing style. It isn’t something we need cheerleading to find. Except in advertising where we might replace lies with truths (Volvos- they are boxy but they are good) we already are authentic. We are already ourselves. We can’t be anyone else. That is authentic. Also annoying… modifying unique (the most unique) it is binary. One of a kind or not. Using notorious as a synonym for famous. Other than the Notorious BIG people who are notorious have done something BAD. Authenticity requires nothing new. Unique stands alone. Notorious is being famous for being bad, not bad ass. 
  5. We do stuff that is bad for us, and avoid stuff that is good for us. Things we do do: inhale Lays potato chips, play candy crush, watch the Bachelorette, gossip, and covet Teslas.  Things we don’t do: go running, eat our veggies, meditate, read the canon, watch silent films, feel grateful for what we have. The fix? A desert island with native Kale and the complete set of these.
  6. We start theoretically short correspondence by telling everyone how short the correspondence will be. “Just a quick note to say…” As the reader of the “quick” note I shouldn’t know how to decrease the word count before I have gotten to the content. To fix this don’t write that.

You might not appreciate the post, but at least appreciate that I left off the animated gifs. I hear they increase traffic as well. But I have to stay authentic.

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Darth Vader shares the screen with Grumpy Cat

“Most shared image on the internet”

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.