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Whoops! Apologies for the frequent emails. This one went out on a Friday by accident.

All future Substack Office Parties will be on the second Tuesday of the month! (Apologies for any confusion.)

_

GO TO IT! MINGLE! ENJOY!

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Jul 5Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

I'm new to the Growth CoHort, How do we join the office parties?

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You should get an email each time.

Here’s for today! https://www.writersatwork.net/p/write-better-headlines/comments

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Jul 5Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Thanks for doing this - I've already met some great writers!

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I'm so glad. That's what it's here for!

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Jul 7Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Wait, do we still do office hours?? 😲

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No, that’s why we have Office Parties. Substack no longer does general Office Hours.

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Hi, I’ve recently changed my direction on Substack, waving goodbye to Instagram and focussing purely on Substack by creating a digital magazine, showcasing the content I’d normally share on Instagram, here as a weekly post/blog.

My next post (due on Friday) is titled: Embracing the beauty of wood: 8 visuals to help transform your home.

I’ve selected 8 inspirational images and plan to write a small piece on each image to inspire readers on using wood in their home.

It may not be to everyone’s liking, however I’m enjoying sharing content they resonates with my followers (if only small), and not to just please an algorithm.

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Hi Sonya. I'm no good at headlines at all but we're asked to help three people so I'll try. This sounds like an interesting topic and I envisage some beautiful images. I might be tempted to shorten the main headline though. Perhaps something like EMBRACE WOOD or THE BEAUTY OF WOOD, using your words but taking one or two out. I don't know if that's useful or not.

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Oh thank you Laura for sharing your thoughts 😊

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Topic: ADULTHOOD LEARNING

This is a post about learning something new / picking up a new skill beyond the years that are traditionally thought as "easy to learn".

Headline idea: Can "old dogs" learn new tricks?

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Hi Juan,

I like your headline idea. If I were to layer in the name of your blog, the word "supercharged" evokes a more declarative version. Such as getting to the nuance of not just "can?" but "how?" and then not just "how?" but "how?" in the way that honors the "supercharged" aspect of your intentions.

Examples:

- The Fastest Way for Old Dogs to Learn New Tricks

- Why Old Dogs Must Learn New Tricks

- Old Dogs Mastering New Skills

I realize these versions are leaning into extremity. Perhaps you mean something different with the word "supercharge" that will temper or make them more appropriate for your context. Hope this sparks some creative fire for you!

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Hey Matthew, thanks for your feedback.

That does give me some good ideas.

And I appreciate the examples you provided along with the idea. 🙏

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LOOKING AT OUR CREATIVE WORK AS A PROCESS OF INNER GROWTH. I love studying the process of things, especially the ways in which our outer world reflects our inner world. This post is about understanding how our creative work reflects an inner call toward greater understanding of ourselves. My working headline is THE HIDDEN TRUTH IN YOUR CREATIVE LIFE. I'd appreciate any feedback you may have, and I look forward to meeting other writers. :)

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Hi Emily,

This topic resonates with me. I like your working headline.

Wonder if there's something to call out the reflective nature you are pointing to, like:

- How Our Creative Work Reflects an Inner Call (as you wrote ; )

- The Artist & the Two-Way Mirror

- Creative Work as a Mirror for Self-Knowing

Hope this gives you something to reflect on!

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Hi Matthew, thank you so much for taking the time to offer these great suggestions...especially 'The Artist & the Two-Way Mirror' I'll definitely take your ideas into consideration as I work this out. Thanks again!

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MY EXPERIENCE IN DOING WHAT SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TALk ME OUT OF DOING

My newsletter is targeted to people aged 50+ who are thriving, excited about life -or really want to be and looking for inspiration. Many of us have friends and family that are not as cool as we are and will lay out all the reasons not to even dream about doing something new, challenging - I call them the “What-Iffing” people, or “Iffers” in short.

My working headline is : “How To Tune Out “Iffing” People And Pursue Your Dreams.”

Thanks for any ideas- maybe I need to make it “How I…My Dreams” …? Headlines have always challenged me- and they are SO important in this info-drenched online writing world .

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Hi Sally,

Love your intentions with this piece. I'd recommend saving the made up word (What-Iffing or Iffers) for within the post. When I read them, they don't evoke enough for me to "get it" -- and in that confusion I move on.

Here are some headline ideas for you:

- Keeping the Gen X Dream Alive in the Face of Doubters

- The Golden Age of Dreaming While Others Have Given Up

- The Dream You Must Follow & the Grain of Salt (i.e. taking the iffers' messages with a grain of salt)

Hope this helps!

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Thanks for your input - don’t forget about all of us Boomers in my audience that still have dreams to fulfill, too!

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Thanks for sharing, Sarah! I am going to subscribe to you soon. Just sorting out a few other priorities first.

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WRITING WITH IED's

As I walk the through the story, I plant IED's (Intuitive emotional detectors)...some readers don't know until the trigger blows ?

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Headline: Manipulation is a Shopping Cart

Blurb: In the post, I talk about what is manipulation, the manipulation tactics, and how to use it for your own good.

(I did compare manipulation to a shopping cart. Thus the headline!)

Give me your thoughts!

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Manipulation is always a negative thing, when it comes to people. I would rather use persuasion or convincement.

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I agree. To me, an article about manipulation would be a word of warning, how not to be manipulated by someone. But since you are including how to use it yourself, to use that word would indicate to me that you are teaching someone to be ruthless and selfish. Persuasion seems more positive. Another option would be to talk about the difference between manipulation and persuasion and then go into how to be persuasive.

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Topic: HOTEL QUARANTINE

Summary: In my piece titled, "THE QUIET/BANGED UP ABROAD, I reflect on the bizarre experience that was hotel quarantine, four years on from the pandemic. On my seventh day of solitary confinement, I had a little wobble. It felt like the walls were closing in, and I struggled to breathe. A typical reaction, perhaps, but nevertheless, it took me unawares...

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I'm not sure what "The Quiet/Banged Up Abroad" means, and it doesn't evoke hotel quarantine to me. What about something like, "Cruel and Unusual: My experience with hotel quarantine felt like solitary confinement."

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RISE AND SHOUT, MALFUNCTIONS ARE OUT

Errant fireworks at BYU's July 4 Stadium Of Fire celebration injure several in the stands, on the field

[This is part of my weekly Utah sports news dump called Humpday that arrives every Tuesday evening]

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topic: WRITER'S BLOCK — THE MYRIAD CIRCUMSTANCES THAT SET IT OFF

We are two friends, a memoirist and a neuropsychiatrist, who are exploring the deep, private experience of writing, illuminated by new insights from brain science and psychology. This coming post is part of a series on a new way of understanding writer's block. Last week, we examined blocks whose source is a mystery to the writer. This week, we explore blocks whose source is at least suspected: second-novel syndrome, loss of inspiration, the hostile internal critic... The fundamental problem at the heart of all these blocks, we argue, is the same!

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This topic and your creds are fascinating. Not sure if your topic is also your headline, but if it is, the word “myriad” bumps me. It sounds too academic, which makes me think it’ll be a dry read. Maybe something more conversational like: What Turns Writer’s Block On and How To Shut It Off.

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Flipping the Switch on Writers Block. Getting to the Heart Of Writers Block. The Many Manifestations of Writers Block: And the Single Cause Behind Them. Writers Block: The Great Pretender. Writers Block Isn't a Block at All. Five Types of Writers Block and The Secret Cause Lurking Behind Them.

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TOPIC: CREATING MORE CAPACITY TO CARE FOR TEENS WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES

Summary: Reflecting on how I am reducing my work hours to care for my teen with health challenges, how I've done that in the past in health crises, and how hard it's been for me and other parents I know to juggle our teens with health challenges alongside work/ family/ community obligations. We need to give ourselves permission to say no and set boundaries when we are caregivers.

Possible headline: When You Need to Say No: Creating Capacity for Parents

OR When You Need More Capacity: Parenting Teens with Health Challenges

Thanks in advance!

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What about How to CARE FOR TEENS WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES?

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Is it about monitoring one’s capacity? Which includes energy…

Parenting Teens with Health Challenges: Got Capacity?

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Good point, Christine - thank you!

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What about "Time" instead of "Capacity"? Time is more specific, capacity can mean a few things.

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Thanks Hein - I think it is about time but maybe more than that - energy, brain space, focus....

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SELF-CARE: REST and PRODUCTIVITY

Headline: Stop Should-ing on Yourself

Blurb: Many of us struggle with the ability to truly rest when we have time off. We find ourselves feeling guilty because we “should” be doing something else. We can learn to truly rest by disentangling ourselves from the idea that everything we do needs to be productive.

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I love this topic. I think the phrase "stop shoulding on yourself" has been overused to the point where it's becoming cliché. I'm not saying not to include it in the piece, but I think a more original title would be stronger. Maybe something about listening to your body, or paying attention to what your body says it needs.

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I like this headline by itself, and knowing the context of the post is something I think will resonate with most of us that have difficulty "turning off" that part of our brains that makes us always be doing something.

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Thank you for this input, Juan!

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I like the title and the idea of your post! It is very similar to what I focus on in my publication 😊 I'm checking it out 😂

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Lovely! Looking forward to following along with what you’re doing ❤️

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I think a lot of readers will relate to this. My therapist said, “Don’t should all over yourself.” That makes a catchy headline.

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i like that!

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I like your topic! I wonder if you could make the headline a little more unusual/ more of a hook. Something like "Care For Yourself by Producing Less" or "Rest v. Producitvity: The tension of Self-Care" ??

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Thank you!

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ON KINGS AND ELDERICH HORRORS

Talking about how the meaning of kingship was much more about the bare fact of the king existing, and his presence serving to stabilize the world in a metaphysical sense, much less than in a political sense. Kings essentially hold the banner of order so the things that go bump in the night don't take over, so much so that even Athens and Rome, when kicking out their monarchies, kept around a magistrate with the title of "king" to perform the religious rites.

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Fascinating topic, Peter!

Can you say more about the way you see the reader integrating the knowledge/perspective you will share? Is this about readers simply appreciating (i.e. spotting and celebrating) the need for king energy in the world? Or in themselves? Or something else?

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Thanks Matthew! I’m more informative than anything else. Just sharing cool ideas, and what people take away is their concern.

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SELF-BLAME vs. TAKING PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY

Current title:

Am I the Victim? Or the Villain? Why self-blame and self-as-victim are two sides of the same coin

Topic: The practice of taking radical responsibility/accountability has been life-changing for me. But when shit hit the fan this past while, I realized I'd flipped too far towards the other extreme - blaming myself for everything. Both defaults share a similar energetic and are two sides of the same pattern.

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You could condense it a bit: "Victim and Villian: Two sides of the same coin

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Oh, really like that, Gillian. Thank you!

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What about naming it : radical responsibility changed my life

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Thanks, Kendall. It touches on that aspect, but actually turns it on its head (as described above).

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I love this topic as I self-blame a lot and think if everyone were responsible for their actions this world would be amazing.

I think your title is too long. It sounds like it would be the blurb. Maybe have fun with the title, use a Grateful Dead song title: Am I The Victim Or The Crime?

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Thanks for your feedback, Marta!

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Love this topic! I'm sure you'll have some great insights into this. I totally understand this challenge myself. Are you going to reference the drama triangle by Karpman?

But I think self-as-victim is insider language that might not be clear to many readers.Also the title is a little long. What about something like, "Am I the Victim or the Villain? How Blame and Shame are related." or "Victim or Villain? How We Create Internal Drama." or "How Our Internal Drama Drives Us Crazy." I'm not sure I'm hitting the nail on the head but some ideas!

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Thanks, Serena! I'll consider those ideas! I really like "How blame and shame are related."

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I’m excited to read what you end up posting! Feel free to tag me in a note to remind me to restack it!

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HUNTING THE WILD INDIGO

In remote Timor-Leste I go out with a group trying to revive the local traditional dye culture. We are trying to buy the indigo from an enormous field of it growing wild. None of the people there have any idea of its value

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Reviving A Dyeing Culture. I'm not sure about the subtitle; it's the pun that came to me.

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Oh that is a good pun! Thank you for that

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GOALS

Title: Setting Flexible Goals

Blurb: Living with big dreams means setting small goals, and being flexible to accommodate the unexpected.

Substack: @Living with Big Dreams

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The Goal Flex: Start small to leave space for the unexpected

Leaving Space for the Unexpected: Why flexible goals are more achievable than rigid ones

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How To Flex Your Goals 💪

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What a great topic idea. The title doesn’t immediately tell me what the post will be. Possibly:

-learn to set flexible goals in [x] steps

-learn to set flexible goals in order to [important point]

-something you’ve learned by being able to “accommodate the unexpected”

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Thanks you! That’s excellent feedback!

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SLOW DOWN AND LOVE YOUR BODY

To truly appreciate the miracle that is your body, you gotta drop down to the speed of awareness and give that inner whisper room to emerge.

Use the feminine superpower of slowing down and appreciating your food, your body, and your life to help you call in the transformation your soul knows is possible.

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The Speed of Awareness: Slowing down to call in transformation

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Becoming your own body whisperer

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Lovely idea! What about Quiet Down to Know Your Body? Just because it's a little less common and maybe the first step is knowing our body before loving it?

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Ok I'm confused. Don't use AI, but then the linked article is all about how to use ChatGPT to optimize your headline. Huh? 🤔 Can someone clarify?

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DATING APP TIPS FOR OPEN RELATIONSHIPS

Summary: A list of 5 of the most important tips and etiquette for couples looking to connect with a third or other couples on dating apps, including a bonus red flag at the end.

Headline: #HOTCOUPLESUMMER: Top 5 Dating App Tips for Couples

Subtitle: The Do's and Don'ts for Swiping as a Curious Couple

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Twosome to Threesome to Foursome: Dating App Tips for Poly Curious Couples. Opening the Relationship: Dating App Tips for Poly Curious Couples. Swinging Online: (same subtitle)

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Love "Twosome to Moresome" :)

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I like that twist on it! And it makes it clearer what it's about.

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Hi, Ally. I'm probably not "in the know" about this niche and what language folks use, but seeing your proposed headline, I wouldn't immediately understand what the article is about. Could you put something in the title about Open Relationships and Couples? I think that would capture the attention of folks who are already "in the know," but also folks completely outside of the niche (boosting how many people click on the post). Just a thought!

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Great note! Thanks!

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DOCTORS (SPECIFICALLY CARDIOLOGISTS AND CARDIAC SURGEONS)

I’m in the middle of a series on my ABC’s of survival, from when my miracle baby and our family survived a year of hospitalizations and 2 open-heart surgeries. I started Substack as a way to honor my baby in utero who doctors thoughts may not make it to term… and to keep my faith alive and keep surviving myself. This series highlights all kinds of things that kept me going through this process, in the form of ABC’s because I have two babies ;). I love headlines but haven’t found a fun and grabbing way to headline each piece other than name what the letter will stand for… the creativity comes in the piece but want to grab people who may not have an idea what I’m talking about… our cardiologist especially will be the focus here as well as my baby’s surgeons. Their determination and enthusiasm kept me alive when my own heart could have stopped in this process.

Thanks in advance !

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It sounds as though you have wonderful material to work with, but focusing might help to make it clearer with the reader. Forcing yourself to get the description of your newsletter into only one or two sentences might help you to get a clearer of it yourself.

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Recurring main title suggestion:

The ABC's of the NICU: LETTER and MEANING

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Thanks so much, Ally! That’s a good idea. :) I should probably clarify that we had a NICU stay but then three hospitalizations over the course of a year after that. So it would be the ABC’s of a year of hospital life or something to that effect …

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Open to all ideas! Thanks friends!

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TITLE : Forgive me

SUBTITLE: For I do not forgive

TOPIC : separating healing from forgiveness (based on advice that to heal you must first forgive) - and then picking apart forgiveness from trust and accountability - can you ever truly forgive someone if they break your trust and never acknowledge what they did - and continue to be untrustworthy? Can you still heal or are you shackled by this unforgiving weight?

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I like the first phrase in the topic as a title: "Separating Healing from Forgiveness" and then a subtitle along the lines of, "To heal you must forgive--is that true?"

What I like to teach--and what I have experienced--is that you/I can forgive someone and never want to see them again. We can forgive someone and still need to set boundaries on the frequency and duration of our interaction with them. If we interact at all, that is.

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I really like “to heal you must forgive - is that true?”

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Thank you!

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Thank you so much! The article is an exploration of why I *don't* forgive, or at least in the context of my particular circumstance with my (abusive) ex husband - so I question whether forgiveness for past trauma is necessary to heal fully, especially when that person continues to cause harm and distress (we have a child together so I can't walk way from him)... I've come to the conclusion that for me, forgiveness is largely dependent on the person taking accountability for their actions and changing their behaviours accordingly. If they do neither then that is not conducive to true forgiveness. I argue that forgiveness is not necessary to move on, some acts are truly unforgivable, but that doesn't mean you can't heal and move on. It's been a really interesting exercise and my thoughts on the matter have shifted lots throughout writing it, it's been a real interrogation of my own beliefs! Thank you for your comments, much appreciated, I think you're right to include separating the forgiveness vs healing comment too, perhaps I'll bump up my sub into the main one and add a note re: needing to forgive to heal as the sub... Thank you!

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Jul 7Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

I know we are supposed to be giving you headline suggestions, but I am having trouble helping with a headline when I feel like I can offer something more helpful with regard to the topic itself. Take what you like and leave the rest.

You say:

"I've come to the conclusion that for me, forgiveness is largely dependent on the person taking accountability for their actions and changing their behaviours accordingly. If they do neither then that is not conducive to true forgiveness."

My suggestion is that you redefine forgiveness for yourself so that you can benefit from all of the relief and freedom it can offer you. I don't agree that your definition is true forgiveness. I believe true forgiveness lies with and is about the forgiver, not the forgiven. I define forgiveness as something I do for me. Most importantly, there is no expectation regarding the other person's behavior, remorse, owning it, making amends to me, etc. Their accountability or lack of it is irrelevant to forgiveness, even though I might really want it. I have no control over any of those things, so why would I hinge something so healing for me onto someone else's behavior?

There's a Buddhist koan that throwing a hot coal at someone burns the hand of the person holding it. Forgiveness is the other side of that coin. I can forgive someone by holding the understanding that they don't have enough tools to behave better. Maybe they have trauma going back to their early lives that wasn't their fault. Perhaps they were abused and came to mistrust the world or be so damaged that all they are capable of is cruelty. I can forgive that without ever letting that person into my life again or liking the person. And that forgiveness takes a weight off my shoulders because I'm no longer waiting around for the apology that will never come because they are incapable of it.

My two cents. I hope it might be helpful.

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Jul 7Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, forgiveness is such a personal thing isn't it! And funnily enough, when I worked more on the article last night I came to the realisation that perhaps yes forgiveness DOES need to happen, but not necessarily towards the offender, and perhaps instead towards yourself. It is impossible for me to forgive my offender because he continues to cause me and our son harm on a daily/weekly basis, and that is because he refuses to be accountable for his actions and to change his behaviour. So I HAVE to move on and heal without forgiving him. Otherwise I will be stuck in this hell scape forever. For me, forgiving someone is essentially saying "it's ok, I know what you did was wrong but let's move on", so when you're stuck with someone who keeps repeating the damaging behaviour, you cannot do that. See what I'm saying? But healing etc still MUST happen if you want to move forward in your life - which is why I disagree that forgiveness is inseparable from healing. It's obviously a very sensitive and personal topic which will vary with various definitions of the term, but also personal experiences attached to that which will vary hugely in severity and personal impact and just generally are endlessly varied. Very interesting and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, thank you!

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Love this title and sub!

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Thank you!

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SHOULD I PUT MY KID IN THERAPY?: On the Professionalisation of Care

I speak to parents and remind them of their power to parent despite their kids sometimes serious crises. "Outsourcing your shoulder to a therapist’s in a moment of adolescent angst may mean losing a precious moment for closeness to be built with your teen." On the other hand I'm not anti-therapy. Just anti doubting ourselves as our kids best bet... Does this make sense?

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I love this as a subtitle: "Outsourcing your shoulder to a therapist’s in a moment of adolescent angst might cost you a precious moment of closeness with your teen." Brilliant. I took the liberty of a minor edit.

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Title Suggestion:

Outsourcing Parenting: Does My Kid Really Need Therapy?

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It’s coming across a little antagonistic for me in regards to therapy in the title and there is already so much stigma with therapy and healing. Maybe 🤔- When it is time for you to let go and let your child go to therapy or when teens need therapy or my child really needs therapy- what next?

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Nice title Ally. I like that.

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Oooh I want to connect with you more, Adrienne! I’m a licensed therapist and have mainly worked with kids and teens for years… love this topic and perspective. Kind of like the question you raised as your title, it grabbed me…

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Oh interesting to hear Julie - I was hoping the title wouldn't ostracise therapists and the good work they're doing so I'm glad it hans't done that for you! I've actually published this last night now so feel free to have a read and share your thoughts.

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FRIDA KAHLO

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera spent 2 years in the US shortly after they married. This is Part 3 of my Frida Kahlo as Icon series and delves into heading to NYC and Detroit where Rivera painted murals for captains of industry, and Frida 'simply and divinely painted.' Tentative: Frida and Diego's Cross-Country Journey—Fame, Art and Controversy. Thanks for the assist!!

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Jul 7Liked by Sarah Fay | Writers at Work

Simply and Divinely: Frida develops her talents in the shadow of Diego's mural controversy

Art and Industry: While Diego's US murals ignite capitalist fury, Frida quietly steps into her genius

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Frida Kahlo simply and divinely painted: going cross-country with Diego

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Thank you!!

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Title Suggestion

Frida Kahlo: Simply and Divinely

Frida Kahlo: Icon - Cross Country Coupledom + Controversy

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I like using "icon" in the title. One of the amazing things about Kahlo was her focused effort to make herself into an icon -- something so common today but not when she did it. On her trip with Rivera she attracted more interest than he did. I wonder how he tolerated that, he was such an ego maniac! Frida Kahlo -- a Self-Made Icon, on the Road with Diego.

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Thanks Ally—like the coupledom one a lot!

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I'm currently writing a piece on belonging, not fitting in and how this is actually a positive place to live from so the headline is something like this:

BELONGING, JOY OF NOT FITTING IN

Still working on a subtitle...

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Title Suggestions:

Belonging Nowhere, Joyful Everywhere

Ill Fitted, Well Lived: The Art of Not Belonging

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SILK ROAD IN KYRGYZSTAN

In 2021 I spent 3 months in Kyrgyzstan, and in this post, I will talk about a day trip that I did visiting some archaeological sites about the Silk Road, what I saw, what I learned, my experience and some pictures.

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Sounds interesting, Flavio. Wonder how today’s Silk Road is compared to the one of yesteryear.

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Flavio, I love your pics that you've posed in "Kyrgyzstan, abandoned." Here's one for your new post:

"Silk Road Trip"

"Off-Road on the Silk Road"

"The Silk Road, Off-Road"

I don't know . . . but I really like your out-of-the way experiences.

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Silk Off Roading? Could that be a thing? I would do it!

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LOVE that idea! "Going Off Road on The Silk Road"

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2ND PERSON STORY OF SOMEONE CONTINUING A CYCLE (OR GOING BACK TO) DRINKING ON THE 4TH OF JULY; PLUS HOPE FOR AN ALTERNATIVE

First 2/3 of the post recounts a fictitious day my reader had on the 4th at a pool party (inspired by real-life past events), which includes a lot of boozing and ending up pretty banged up by the end of the night. This person wants to stop drinking, but has used alcohol as a vehicle of "connection" in the past. Last 1/3 is offering a really obvious answer, but with a lot of empathy: stop drinking or don't drink today.

Working headline: "Finding Real Freedom on the 4th of July"

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"Inalienable Rites"

"How truth becomes self-evident"

"A sad pursuit of happiness"

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Thank you. Bonus points for big founding father energy!

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My Stack is called Quiet Zeal and it’s about navigating life as a highly sensitive person. My latest post is called THE HIGHLIGHTS AND MISHAPS OF MY UNEXPECTED SOLO RETREAT. My husband and I planned a getaway but he got sick and I went by myself. Part one is Day 1. I’ll probably do one more part to cover the other 3 days. Thinking of calling part 2 - MORE HIGHLIGHTS.... any other suggestions. Should they be similar or different? Thanks all. Party on!

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This is probably way off, Carol, but something like I went on a solo retreat and almost came back unsolo. Something with a little intrigue.

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Thanks Geoff. Here’s the link:

https://quietzeal.substack.com/p/the-highlights-and-mishaps-of-my

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deletedJul 6
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Thanks Debi. It’s funny, but that was one of the lines I added in at the last minute. The way things often work.

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"A Too-Personal Retreat"

"Isn't 'Retreat' a Military Maneuver?"

"A Merely Tactical Retreat"

"A Retreat Beats a Rout"

"A Retreat or a Rout?"

"How Do You Beat Retreat?"

Carol, I guess it depends on some of the content of your highlights and mishaps. As you can see, I had fun with the military aspect of the word "retreat."

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Thanks Bryce, for your ideas. I was thinking more along the lines of a meditative rather than military experience.

https://quietzeal.substack.com/p/the-highlights-and-mishaps-of-my

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My Substack is called “Partly There,” because it refers to the different “parts” of myself (a little nod to IFS therapy), but I’m wondering about ways to tie in other things, and if I should include PARTS in those areas. For instance: PIGGYBACK PICTURE BOOK PARTS (I’m a children’s book author and writing teacher) or just leave it without the word “parts.” !!! Never mind. PARTY instead of parts. But what for adding my Poetry? PARTLY POETRY? Hmm. That way I can put in other things too I suppose. Geez. I should be deleting all this and sitting with the deep feeling of gratitude I have for this prompt! I’ve fiddled with this in my brain for so long and in a couple of minutes I’m so much closer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Maybe "Parts Poetry Party"?

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THE END OF CAVITIES: YOUR NATURAL ORAL HEALTH ROUTINE

Practical easy steps to improving oral health naturally and some facts about microbiome + myth busting!

I write about slow living and natural health. It seems timely to do a pragmatic post and I am debating keeping it short and sweet or longer with ALL the science… thoughts?

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You nailed it. I def wanna read this one!

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Love this. The title pulled me in. You hooked me immediately. End of Cavities! I’ll follow you anywhere after that.

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Thanks! Do you have a preference on short or long form, ..text only, audio or video?

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What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stranger

Love this! Add a subtitle maybe but I’d click!

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Wow. I must not have been clear. My intention is to refute what you just said and show how the 12 steps fully empowers and ends in agency and voice, contrary to some common projections and opinions. 😁

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A REFLECTION ON THE VISION OF YOURSELF FROM A YOUNGER TIME--HOW YOU HIT/MISS THE MARK, CHANGE GOALS, SUFFER/HEAL/GROW THROUGH IT AND MOVE ALONG

"The Wonderer" is the tentative title. I tend to write in a stream of conscious way with minor editing (because I'm lazy, y'all, not hip) and simpler titles make sense to me given the writing is a bit abstract. I think it's also a nod to music/lyrical poetry that often have oddly juxtaposed titles. I'm not sure if this invites people in though. Maybe something more descriptive or palatable?

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i like the wonderer or wonderings

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I’m a wonderer too, but I’m not sure if you’re mostly going to be talking about yourself here, especially when you’re using YOU in your description. I’m guessing the posts might be about yourself and you’re wondering how universal the concepts might be? You as the wonderer pulls me in. I would love to read it from a first person point of you. Which could also include talking directly in second person POV in sections that are set up that way. Stream of consciousness isn’t lazy. Overly organized pieces can be predictable and boring. Never rereading or editing, however, can definitely be boring. You got this, and I’m ready to read it.

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I actually like the headline “The Wonderer! But, depending on your audience, you might play with a well-known saying like “mirror, mirror” (for the reflection of self!) or, toy with “Meeting of the ‘Mes’” or “I meet myself here,” orrrrr use a line from the piece itself as the title? Hopefully that’s a little helpful!

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A Backward Glance at My Younger Self

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DEEPEN YOUR FRIENDSHIPS WITH A TV CLUB

I"ve been part of a TV Club -- a monthly get together with a group of friends where we eat some food and watch one or two episodes of a tv show -- for years now. It's an amazing, extremely low stakes way to stay in touch with friends you otherwise wouldn't see very often. I want to recommend it to others

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Sounds fun! And if it takes off, you can use guest posts!

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I don’t have a great headline, but I think a play on a well-known show would work well here!! “The One Where I Write About TV Clubs” (bc everyone’s so into Friends these last few years, lol) or something?!

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I HAVE NO IDEA. Hehe. I post on Wednesdays and am still thinking about my next topic. Maybe about the time when hubby and I found out we were having twins 27 years ago. Or I might post my next comedy video. Thx Sarah for hosting. I love the crudite.

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I kinda like I HAVE NO IDEA! 😎😂

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If you do the twins idea, maybe something specific and weird about having kids that most people wouldn't know about... Either something twins-pregnancy related or something very specific about parenting two children at the same time. Sorry, I don't have twins, so I don't know what that would be, but I'm curious!

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...would probably need more story to really dig in but TWO offers lots of room to play...like the song It Takes Two by Rob Base "It Takes Two To Make a Thing Go Right"...make right, wrong?...if you were leaning into I HAVE NO IDEA maybe a subtitle "I have it! No idea! I have it!"...Two Twinfinity & Beyond...have fun!

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Haha. Awesome too or two. Thx!🙏

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Twins and other four letter words would be my headline had I been in similar shoes. Lol

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That’s awesome!!! I will link to your stack if I use this. Thx!

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Yours to keep us laughing CK.

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JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD!

A screed at product service marketers who, owing to the ever lowering cost of using email and voice mail, have taken to over-communicating to the point of anger and distraction. IE- I count 4 voice mails from a vendor to "check in on your ideas about our service". I have a similar half dozen from my health care insurance company suggesting wellness tips I did not ask for. It used to at least cost printing and a stamp for companies to do this. Now, since it is free, the only protection from customers abandoning them based on useless over-communication is customer's belief that the next vendor they try will do the same thing. This is especially an issue with service companies that market to consumers.

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I always keep that phrase in mind when I think about adding more to my life. So if you have a post on that topic, I’ll be there!

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...get even more playful and specific?...I DON'T NEED YOUR WELLNESS WELLS FARGO!......QUIT TELLING ME TO FLOSS DENTAL.COM...MY MIND IS OK CALM APP MARKETING TEAM...DEAR HEALTH CARE MARKETER PLEASE SHUT UP...maybe try not all caps too?...Dear ALL STATE, you ALL SUCK...Good Morning STATE FARM, please SHUT UP...have fun!

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COTTONWOOD TREES

Headline: Cottonwood Trees: Nightmare or Unexpected Treasure?

Subtitle: How I learned to love my neighbor's nightmare tree.

The post is about why cottonwood trees are actually amazing for both ecosystems and humans, even if they're a bit of a mess in an urban setting.

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I don't live near cottonwood trees, so I don't know why they would be a nightmare, so maybe something specific about that? This is terrible, but something like -- "Cottonwood seeds are so annoying, but it's all wroth it for their amazing flowers". That then gives more specifics to the reader, espeically if they're not familiar with the cottonwood.

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They’re hard to miss when seeding, and beautiful.

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PEOPLE ARE STUPID

...i go into detail on why people are stupid, why am i stupid as an example of people, and the hopefulness of stupidity...

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"Stupid is as stupid does"

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How about: We're Stupid, But There's Hope.

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...the only problem is i am more like...what if i hope we are stupid...calling my therapist...

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"The hopefulness of stupidity" caught my attention.

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I like the hopefulness of stupidity... Wondering if you can put a little more info into it so I have a better sense of where you're going with it. "The hopefulness of stupidity -- how people's dumb moves usually spring from kindness" or whatever you're going for...

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...thank you...i was hoping to go bare jones and be/say as stupid as i see/feel but maybe that is too stupid...appreciate you...

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Love this. People can be stupid.

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...so stupid...sometimes i am so so so stupid...thank you!...

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I subscribed. Love humor and humor in truth.

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THE POWER OF YOUR OWN SPIRIT

The topic is based on a book by Bernie Siegel MD called Love, Medicine and Miracles.

It presents the scientific evidence of love to transcend medicine and create miracles.

It’s about the transformative power of love, depth and connection to promote healing.❤️‍🩹

I’m not crazy about my title - it’s too trite but that’s the concept.

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Love this topic. What about the title, Love Does Heal and the byline— there’s scientific proof.

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I really like that!

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TOPIC: BLOCKING FOR BLISS

I want to write something about how blocking people on social media can help your mental health and that it's often seen as an insult when actually it's just preserving a safe space for yourself in a place where everything is so public. Why do we often feel guilty about blobking someone. Or hurt if weve been blocked? Why do we feel entitled to open access to each other on social media which is ridiculous when you really think about it.

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IT’S OK TO BLOCK, MUTE, AND RESTRICT

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How about: I Block for Bliss. (playing off the bumper sticker idea from CK, below)

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Love that, thank you

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Great title. Would make for a terrific t shirt or bumper sticker.

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These are interesting questions. I've thought about this a fair amount because I have been a political blogger active on social media for 15+ years. Personally I prefer muting to blocking but that's mainly because I don't want to give people the satisfaction of knowing I blocked them. But I certainly don't think anyone should feel guilty about blocking.

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HOW A PRAYER AND A FOREST SAVED MY LIFE

A TRUE STORY OF PREMINITION, PARANORMAL AND SURVIVAL

A true story of when I had a dream about a forest, a premonition (nervous about the shuttle), and was in a serious accident. I was a passenger on a shuttle and was sitting at the site of impact. The highway was shut down in both directions, several people were sent to the hospital via air vac and ambulance- the EMT's name was Forest. There's a lot of spiritual, metaphysical aspects and miracles that will be revealed in the essay. Thank you, I appreciate your input.

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This really caught my attention I might just switch things around to

HOW A FOREST AND A PRAYER SAVED MY LIFE

The true story of premonition, paranormal and survival.

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i like Paranormal Survival

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Interesting, Kendall. Wondering if that is what happened, actually. I may add your idea in a section of the essay that explains this, Thank you, I will mention your newsletter, too. I really appreciate everyone's input. It feels supportive. Thank you, all!

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Yes, that's great- thank you, Rebecca, and will mention your newsletter, too! Cheers!

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Thanks! - Looking forward to reading it!

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Thank you, I am a bit shy about sharing personal things and traumas, so, this is a "big step" for me. Part of being an artist-writer is to grow...and possibly help someone, too. This essay may be not be in next Wednesday, it depends on how things flow.

A question: in my shock, after the accident, I took a photo. It is in my old computer, which happens to be in another State, due to a move and a loooong remodel project. Does it matter to you if I have photo, news clip and article on the accident or not? I will do my best to find them, but that will take a while...

Thank you for taking the time to answer this, too.

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It wouldn’t matter to me about the article/photo - as a reader I don’t need proof of your experience - I trust the words. I sometimes choose a photo for my own writings but normally it is symbolic rather than literal. Sharing our more personal stories can be really challenging, but I know for me my writing voice got stronger when I did. Good luck!!

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Thank you, Rebecca. I appreciate your thoughts on this. Cheers to you!

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I’m not sure of the vibe you want to give. Is it like a miracle? Maybe something kitschy or Hallmarky like A Christmas (insert theme) Miracle? Miracle on (Name the Highway).

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ha- good question, Mary Ann, probably not Hallmarky, although my mom loves those shows, and I sat next to two of the actors and enjoyed chatting with them while on a plane for a couple of hours. : ) The vibe may be more of healing, overcoming, and maybe even trust in Something Greater than Ourselves...Miracle on I-10 Highway.

I need some of your tea!

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if you're wanting to shorten your subject line, i might make it:

subject line (what ppl see in their inbox): "How a prayer and a forest saved my life"

then, sub-headline: A true story of a dream, a premonition, and a serious car accident

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Hi, Joy, yes, that is what I meant when I shared the title and subtitle. I will edit so it is clear. Thank you.

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CAN A COUNTER FEMINIST MOVEMENT SAVE OUR SOCIETY?

A look at what it means to be a woman, biblical notions of womanhood, women and their role in society.

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I want to read this based on your headline!!! If you’re not entirely happy with the title, maybe… I don’t know if it’s sacreligious, or not at all the ~vibe~ you’re going for, but maybe something like “God Save the Feminist” and a subtitle that’s specific, like what you said about Biblical notions of womanhood? No matter what it’s called, I do want to read this piece!

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I hope people will read all perspectives, including this one. So important to respect all perspectives.

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Topic: 30-MIN ROASTED EGGPLANT, CHERRY TOMATO, AND MOZZARELLA PASTA SALAD RECIPE

for my Weeknight Pasta from Italy Substack, recipes that Italians actually make during the week! Header and sub header brainstorms below.

Pasta Salad Even My Italian MIL Loved

- Made me feel like I deserved a Major Award

30-min Pasta Salad Even My Italian MIL Loved

- Savory roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes and melty mozzarella

Pasta Salad Even My Italian MIL Loved

- Just wait til you taste it

Pasta Salad Is Not Really A Thing in Italy

- But it’s damn good so let’s make it anyway

30- min Pasta Salad Even My Italian MIL Loved

- Made me feel like I deserved an award

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Your mother in law sounds like an Italian version of "Mikey" (if you remember those commercials) :D

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Hey Mikey! He likes it! 😉

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Lolly, sounds delicious. How to go to Italy without leaving the kitchen

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Love that, Geoff! I’m going to save it for a future post. This one is my least traditional. Thank you!!

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Riffing on Geoff's "How to go to Italy without leaving the kitchen"

and subtitle: "The Recipe that Won a Mother In Law's Approval"

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Oh I like that combo a lot Robin!! Thank you! It deepens the curiousity to trigger a click for certain

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You're welcome, Lolly! I'll read your post for sure, and I occasionally share recipes that I create. By the way, I love Italy! I studied art and design there and met Duran Duran's manager who invited me to Roger Taylor's birthday party. Nice to "meet" you! I would love a mention of Wildlands and I will mention Weeknight Pasta from Italy! Sound "yummy" to you?? (I'm a poet-writer and enjoy word play, too) Cheers, Bella! ; )

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Topic: A BRIEF UNDERSTANDING OF FLOW AS IT RELATES TO PARENTS AND KIDS. The current headline is Becoming the Noodle: What childhood can teach us about finding flow and living our best lives. This essay will probably be the one I choose for my first Substack post ever. It looks at my own experiences of flow as a child and how those experiences can drive passions as an adult. My Substack is a teaching Substack that shows parents how to help their kids reach their highest potential by learning HOW to learn and master flow.

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Hi Laura! I actually like this title. Maybe the headline can be Becoming the Noodle, and byline What childhood can teach us about finding flow and living our best lives. Maybe you already meant it this way, but I think Becoming the Noodle can stand alone and grab people, so they don’t miss it with the other words :). I would read this!

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Yes, that's exactly the headline and subtitle I was thinking about! Thank you!

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Subtitle not byline :)

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River image comes up (childhood as "source"/mouth of the river), I know it's not "noodle" specific. "Returning to the Source: Finding Flow In An Unlikely Location"

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I like this! I think I'll keep that one for another post! Thank you!!

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"IT'S A TWO WAY STREET, DARLING"

Subtitle -- When your wife doesn't want to own her sh*t, what can you do?

It's a piece for men about "Relational Accountability" -- how we take full ownership in relationships without invalidating our partner and what to do when they don't want to reciprocate.

Debating about how much to play with the gender double standards men experience -- "Men need to be held accountable and better allies to women. Not the other way around." Responding to that ... It's touchy subject -- but it's real for many men who pull their weight and more and then get shamed for not doing enough.

Let's see what suggestions this evokes here! 🤞

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If I were a subscriber, here's what would get my attn:

Subject line: When your spouse doesn't want to be accountable

Subtitle: It's a two-street, baby. Understanding relational accountability can help you navigate a lack of reciprocity.

why: just seeing "it's a two-way street, baby" isn't really specific enough to get me to open the email, as it's a phrase that can apply to so many scenarios.

also, ditched "wife" to be more inclusive -- accountability is an issue among gay couples, too.

good luck!

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I agree with this advice.

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MELATONIN SPECIFICS. This is part three of a series on melatonin. Part 1 was all about our natural secretion of melatonin. Part 2 was on the actions melatonin has for sleep, circadian rhythms and at the cellular level. This new article is about the considerations if you want to try melatonin supplements. It will go into dose, form, timing, source, etc. My community is people who want a good night's rest to power their life, using natural approaches.

Current title: Want to Try Melatonin? Essential Considerations to Get it Right

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I am very interested to read these! We just returned to Italy after 3 weeks on CDT and for some reason, this time is difficult and I’ve been considering melatonin. How about,

‘Melatonin: How to Get it Right’ or ‘Taking Melatonin the Right Way’ with a subheading of

‘Dose, Form, and Timing considerations you need to know ’

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Title: "How to Use Melatonin and Get a Good Night's Sleep"

Subtitle: "A Complete Guide to Health Benefits of Melatonin"

Catherine, good topic and I look forward to reading your post.

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I like these!

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Thank you, Kendall! Me, too! ; ) Glad I can help!

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