POBS CONTRIBUTION POST GUIDELINES

Our vision is to cultivate a tribe of therapists (that'd be you) who collaborate to create a resource base for individuals, couples and professionals who want to bring more meaning, curiosity, connection, and play into modern intimate relationships. When we say “intimate” it's a shorthand for saying we dive deep into opening up the difficult discussions, especially the ones involving shame. We openly talk about things others aren't talking about like the messy parts of sex, sexuality, sex roles, parenthood, trauma, loss, the list can go on…

And we know that our personal relationships are always influenced by what is happening in our society. Our goal is not to take sides in a political debate, but to talk openly about what it means to live, love, and heal in a time that feels very uncertain for many people. Often, we feel a tension between our everyday personal and professional concerns and the headlines that describe suffering and conflict. There are no easy answers, but we know silence isn’t the right response. We invite you to write into how the events of the day affect you, your clients and the people you love. The goal is to build bridges across divides - divides within each of us, divides between individuals, and divides within communities.

It’s in these messy, sticky, conversations that we dive into the depth of our humanity. And by sharing our stories, we help our clients and readers and peers to do the same.

That said, when it comes to deciding how much is too much to share, we always look to Brené Brown’s rule: “Share what is vulnerable, not what is intimate.” Dive deep into intimate territory, help the reader look more closely at the mess of life. But understand that you do not need to share the intimate details of your own life here (see more below).

Process

  • Sign up here for one of twelve 2017 guest post spots
  • As a potential guest blogger you will send us a draft that feels pretty ready (like 75% there). Please create a Google doc and share with us at practiceofbeingseen@gmail.com.
  • Rebecca will review for general Connectfulness themes and decide if it’s a fit for the blog. If it's a fit then, Marisa will begin the detailed editorial process. She’ll return it to you with suggestions and revisions.
  • You'll then be ask to return a final publication-ready version to us. (If punctuation is not your friend, please enlist a friend to help!) 
  • Note: we reserve the right to tell you that the post still isn’t ready to publish, but we won't be able to offer further detailed edits and  suggestions at that point. You have the option to keep working on it and call in help from other group members and then resubmit your new version for review. Or, you can book a private consultation with either or both of us to help you get to publish ready.

 

When you sign up to be a Connectfulness contributor, you’re entering into an agreement - and so are we

Please understand that we take the editing and publication process seriously. It takes Marisa a minimum of an hour to review and comment on most first drafts. We’re dedicated to making your message clear and your story compelling and we’re also on a mission to provide high quality content on our site.

Ideally, we move from initial submission to publication within four weeks:

Start of Week 1

You submit your first draft (that you’ve lovingly worked on to get to “it seems pretty close”)

Start of Week 2 (or sooner)

We respond with comments and edits.

Start of Week 3 (or sooner)

You return what you consider a final draft.

End of Week 3

If we accept the final draft, we create images, publish the piece, and promote it in our newsletter and on social media. You also link to the post in an email to your list and share across your social media platform throughout the next weeks.

 

Our Style

Storytelling is key

Stories connect with readers in a way that pure information and theory do not, so we strive to include a strong element of storytelling in every post.

Wait, you say you’re not really a storyteller? Yes you are, friend. At its most basic, a story that connects is one that changes the reader in some small way.

Still not so sure? Marisa’s Storytelling Triangle class will help you. 

Include a Personal Element

Most likely, your story will be personal. The reader will be invited to see how you changed your thinking or your behavior or how you overcame some kind of adversity. When it comes to deciding how much is too much to share, again, we always look to Brené Brown’s rule: “I only share when I have no unmet needs I am trying to fill.” 

Brené makes sure that she has fully explored every story she presents to her audience. Her ability to heal and remain “wholehearted” do not depend on how her listeners react to what she shares.

Every detail you share has a purpose - to make a connection and to teach the reader something about what it means to be human. We’re not “getting personal” for the heck of it - we are using personal experience to explore problems and present solution.

 

Make the Reader the Hero

Here’s what makes a personal story into a “strong” story - ultimately, it’s about the reader. Your ideal reader needs to see her own dreams and fears as well as her own problems and potential solutions in what you share. When she reads your strong story she’ll feel like you’re telling her story. 

A simple way to transition from “my story” to “your story” is to move from using “I” to using “you” and speaking directly to the reader.

 

Approximate Word Count: We’ll aim to publish 750 words, but that is just a guideline. If you feel like you have to write more, do so and we will help you cut it. If you feel like the idea can’t stretch that far we’ll either celebrate “brevity is beautiful” or help you explore your idea further.

 

Resources

For an example of a story that works, have a look at Rebecca’s post about what a bee sting taught her

Robyn d’Angelo’s guest post does a nice job of switching from “I” to “you” and also walks a beautiful line between vulnerable and intimate.

For more about how to balance your role as the storyteller with the needs of the audience and the flow of the story, check out Marisa’s work with the story triangle

For more about how to tell a story that connects, check out Marisa’s ebook on the subject (there’s a lot of information in the email series that follows too).

 

How to submit:

Send your almost there draft via Google Doc to us at practiceofbeingseen@gmail.com.