Tuesday, July 15, 2008

To Leave Or Not To Leave (An Impact), Is That The Question?

To Leave Or Not To Leave (An Impact), Is That The Question?

I have been having a most fascinating extended conversation with a few of my "Deep Thinking," philosophically oriented friends about the whole "ethical / moral / spiritual" ramifications of leaving any sort of noticeable, detectable impact on the world, once we are officially done doing our time and have finished passing through this particular physical manifestation amidst our Pilgrim's Progress?

One side says that we are to be as thoughtful, considerate, conscientious, careful and graceful as humanly possible to ensure that, just like when you go camping or hiking in nature, you end the experience by meticulously "policing" the area to ensure that you left behind absolutely no evidence that you were ever there.

Now I'm an ex Cub Scout - Boy Scout and was raised by my parents to be a very devout nature enthusiast and protector of the realm, so I quite instinctively totally understand and agree with this theory, at least as far as it applies to our effects on nature when sojourning out into the pure and pristine beauty of the woods and wilderness.

The other side seems to say something well along the lines of: "Every individual that comes to planet earth should do everything in their power to make sure that they leave something behind for their posterity." We owe it to this wondrous opportunity to even exist in this time and place to gift the world with something of positive value for the future inhabitants when we leave,, be that information, literature, art, music, stories, film, buildings, statues, whatever."

I think that's a very powerful and positive point of view. I am ever so grateful for those who went before me and left behind a trail of insightful books, inspirational poetry, engaging art, reflective and stimulating music, and lots and lots of time tested, valuable information on how to do everything from build a boat and grow tomatoes, to how to write the perfect press release or compelling website copy.

Is it the natural, inherent, "bridge-building" peace-maker in me that sees that these two concepts are not really at odds with one another at all, but in fact work in a perfect symbiotic cooperative manner with one another?

My view on this is that one can simply apply both strategies to one's life and not only be very happy, satisfied, popular and well liked, but at the very same time, avoid a bunch of additional bad karma / sin / negative energy or whatever you call it in your personal cosmological world view or spiritual path, predilection or predisposition.

I say, always consistently strive to make as powerfully positive an impact and impression on the rest of the world as possible, while being equally conscientious to avoid leaving even the slightest / lightest parcel of negativity or damage behind for others to have to carefully maneuver around and effectively side-track without stepping in it.

That seems to be the path that works best for me, what are your thoughts and insights on the subject?

Larry ;-)

"On Words And Up Words"

Larry L. Nichols

Words are my paints - Minds are my canvases.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

About Me, Larry L. Nichols ...

About Me, Larry L. Nichols:

Basically I'm what you would call a "WORD GUY!"

Ever since I was a little kid, my friends and neighbors referred to me as "Word Wizard."

I was the guy all the other kids would turn to when they wanted to try to figure out a way to successfully convince "Joe" to come outside and play football with them when he was already in his pajamas and cozy on the sofa, watching TV and drinking hot cocoa and eating cinnamon buns.
I was the official envoy and negotiator relied on to go find whether or not Susie still liked Bobby or engineer a mutually gratifying solution to effectively ensure that Brain didn't end up beating the tar out of Jeff after school.

I was the journalist for the school newspaper who was always recruited to go sit and negotiate with the Principal whenever there was a common complaint or clear observation of "unfairness" discovered within the current set of school rules.

Compelling Communication: The effective expression and understanding of ideas, concepts, stories, feelings and beliefs, bringing about the desired reaction and response, was my natural, instinctive gift, highest priority, innate ability and absolute driving passion in life.

Other little kids grew up playing with balls, cars, dolls, toy guns, easy bake ovens, G.I. Joes, Barbies, etc., I grew a voracious reader and writer, playing instead with Words, Sentences, Paragraphs and Pages.

I did the whole predictable school journalism / advanced literature / creative writing thing all throughout school and college and then equally predictably, went to work as for a newspaper writing columns, articles and advertising.

My newspaper career eventually lead to my being recruited to come write for magazines, newsletters, and direct mail, then, after some time, move into the fields of radio and television.
Then something utterly amazing happened.

Some people got together and went about their way, creating this weird, little technological idea exchange experiment that they liked to call the "internet."

Suddenly all of my long time corporate, media, publishing and entrepreneurial contacts and associates were calling me up and telling me that they have opened up a whole new infinite universe in the www. (wild wacky web.) and they needed an experienced, compelling writer to help them figure out how this thing works.

The adventurous explorer within me couldn't resist the exciting challenge.

You see, as it turns out , effective "Web Copy" is very, very different from what a college professor is looking to find carefully laid on a mid term or final exam literature, journalism or creative writing term paper.

People read websites and blogs quite differently than they read books and magazines. It's a completely different reading process and therefore a completely different writing process.
It's something that I have found absolutely fun and fascinating to experiment with, read about, study, research and compare notes and "war stories" with some of the most proficiently polished and prolific promotional & publicity professionals, those well respected and relied upon Internet Marketing Gurus, figuring out precisely what works and what doesn't.

That eventually lead to my being offered the most amazing opportunity to come combine all of the previously "separate" aspects of my early career as a writer and go to work as a corporate and celebrity "Ghost-Writer."

This truly was the greatest and most all-encompassing learning experience of a lifetime and I will forever be grateful and appreciative of the many people who made those many happy and productive years possible.

Over an extended period of time, however; I did eventually grow tired of having to continuously deal with the numerous intricacies and complexities of corporate political and celebrity psychological maneuvering.

Life in that dimension can often be spent doing a lot of "tip toeing" around the proverbial "eggshells and land-mines" of the massive egos and equally notable insecurities that run rampant and unchecked within these two particular industries.

Now I'm much happier, working with everyday people like you & I, using my special brand of creativity, insights & years of successful experience, helping nice people like YOU, build up & enjoy their very own, uniquely personal dreams, passions, companies & lives.

Life is once again fun and exciting as I couldn't be happier, working with a bunch of enthusiastically excited, small to medium sized business entrepreneurs with heads and hearts full of dreams needing exactly the right WORDS necessary to be manifest into tangible reality.
In my mind, that's what it's all about!

Thanks for visiting!

I look forward to discussing your upcoming project with you!

Larry ;-)

"On Words And Up Words"

Larry L. Nichols

Words are my paints - Minds are my canvases.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Is It Better To "Stick To Plans" Or "Adapt To Change?"

Is It Better To "Stick To Plans" Or "Adapt To Change?"

Perhaps it’s nothing more than the predictable “Red Herring” politics. Maybe its just another typical “straw man” issue, disingenuously set up, only to be aggressively knocked down by the same side that originally hoisted the matter in the first place.

But when you grow up in a society that basically has only 2 major political parties to choose from, you tend to hear that “Flip-Flop” word thrown around by both sides of the isle pretty much non-stop!

Question: Is it always better to meticulously adhere strictly to the preconceived plan no matter what changes occur in the surrounding circumstances?

Equally significant, is it truly a sign of being weak, impetuous, flaky and without any moral or principaled compass to be willing to observe significant alterations occurring all around and therefore decide to alter or even completely abandon the original charted course that was designed previous to arrival of the newest, latest data and facts?

These important questions apply just as significantly when you are discussing the world of business, as they do in a debate held within the field of politics.

Seems to me, too many people are being falsely accused of “Flip-flopping” or “waffling,” from their original stated strategies or business plan, when in fact, all they are doing, is perceptively taking the latest data regarding the ever changing factors that are occurring all around them and altering their map based on the latest lay-out of circumstantial reality.

These wise folk are in no way “Flip-flopping” or “waffling,” from their original stated strategies or business plan. All they are doing, is perceptively taking in and deciphering the latest data regarding the ever changing factors that are occurring all around them and then appropriately altering their map based on the latest lay-out of circumstantial reality.

If I know precisely where it is that I want to arrive and I confidently map out the surest, safest, fasted course to my destination and set sail, only to discover halfway through my journey, that the tides have suddenly severely changed, the winds have altered dramatically and there is a giant “perfect storm” raging directly ahead, am I automatically considered a flaky weakling if I change my course?

Would it truly be a sign of strength, honor, experience, power, and decisive commitment to ignore the new information and continue to sail my ship and all it’s crew, passengers and bounty directly into the swelling gales because “that course” is exactly the one I said I was going to take when I left 23 days ago?

The truth is, a smart Captain, a successful Captain, a much respected and trusted Captain that has lived to sail 1,000 journeys is the one who is willing, if need be and the circumstances call for it, continuously “alter the coarse,” specifically to ensure that everyone arrives safely to their charted destination.

The path might dramatically change over the trip, but still, the eventual outcome is precisely the exact one that was planned for before the ship ever left dock.

The fact is “NOT” being willing to alter your tack in order to effectively compensate for the continuously changing conditions that befall you while you are out there making your way across the raging seas, is actually a sure fire way of eventually ending up completely off coarse or shipwrecked, crashed out on the heartless jagged rocks, with no sign of salvation in sight.

If the Titanic could have altered it’s pre-set course when icebergs were first observed directly in the ships predetermined path, it would have ended up successfully pulling into port, precisely where it was hoping to end up, with a bunch of very happy, satisfied and probably “return” customers.

Instead, the inability to change coarse in time when the danger was first discovered directly in the middle of the so called “unsinkable ship’s” pre-ordained path is exactly what kept them from successfully reaching their intended objective, and the outcome was death, destruction and not a single satisfied “return” customer coming back for more.

Altering the original path most certainly does not equal a disregard for the original plan. It actually serves to ensure that the mission is successfully, safely, securely and satisfyingly accomplished. Wouldn’t you agree?

What do you think on this matter?

I enthusiastically await your comments and ideas!

Yours Sincerely,


“On Words And Up Words”

Larry L. Nichols

Words are my paints - Minds are my canvases.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What Exactly Is A Ghost Writer?

What Exactly Is A Ghost Writer?

The answer that you get to that question really depends a lot on who you are asking.

A happily enthusiastic CEO of a well known publishing house once referred to me as "the invisible, all-knowing, unsung hero, carefully well hidden behind the velvet curtain, giving an audible and readable voice to the functionally mute celebrities that the world so desperately wants to hear from!"

That sounds pretty darned good to me. I must admit, I really do like that little explanation, but believe me, some opinions aren't anywhere near that respectful or positive.

I once read a scathing comment by another professional writer, actually a journalist, who judgingly referred to "Ghost Writers" as "those insecure little "chicken sh*ts" that hide away in the shadows, collecting an occasional token crumb that falls from the table of the famous people who amass riches and popularity from their "ventriloquist" like writings that are sadly and unwittingly perceived by a "duped" society to be the actual spoken words of mere lifeless, wooden dummies."

Ouch!!!! I gotta tell ya the truth, I really don't like that quote all that very much at all, but hey, its how some people see things, so I owe it to you to honestly bring you both sides of the story.
You see, in reality, both opinions are actually correct in their own way and in the vast majority of the cases, the truth generally id found somewhere in the middle of those two overly energized, polar extremes.

A "Ghost Writer" is a specialist who is somehow able to completely set his or her own unique, personal style, genre and voice aside in order to be effectively capable to "write" in the place of, and as if one actually, truly "IS," some famous celebrity, interesting individual or popular person.
For example, let's say that there is a popular musical artist, movie actor, TV star or sports hero who has the "FAME" and "HOT FACTOR" necessary to sell a lot of books, but writing is simply not their forte or one of their "special gifts."

Do you think this person or their management wants to allow this awesome opportunity to cash in with a best seller book, simply slip through their fingers simply because "Ms. Movie Star or Mr. Sports Champion" isn't really very good at turning a clever or memorable phrase, telling a hypnotically mesmerizing story or composing compelling comments for their captivating chronicles?

The answer to that question is a big, definitive NO!

The solution to the problem: "Where's Waldo" ... or in my case, "Where's Larry?"

Why me?

Is it because I'm the greatest writer in the entire history of the known universe?

Gosh, I wish that were true, but I promise you, just spend a few hours in my library and allow me to introduce you to Hemingway, Shakespeare, Huxley, Shelley, Vonnegut, Poe, Woolf, Asimov, Twain, Serling, Blume, Wilde, Burroughs, Austen, Orwell, Tolkien, Faulkner, Dickens, Woolf, Bradbury, Joyce, just to name and I am certain that such an outrageously outlandish idea will be forever tossed from your consciousness for as long as you shall live!

No, ... I may be really, really good, but that's "Really, Really Good" with two "O's," not just one.
Yes, it's true that you need to be a really good writer to be able to successfully take on any possible combination of personality traits, ethnic heritages, ages, origins, life styles, locales, even genders, but that's not the most important quality and characteristic that celebrities, their management and the publishing houses are all desperately looking for.

Yes, the ability to be highly empathetic and to be able to tune in on and become the thoughts, beliefs, character, voice of this person, while simultaneously being sure to completely clear out one's own personal points of view and ways of thinking, talking and being, is a very important factor. While considered an extremely rare ability, that, in fact, is getting harder and harder to find every day, it's still nowhere near being the main issue at hand when it comes to determining why I get the call.

So what is it?

Give up? OK, I'll tell you.

It's all about TRUST and LOYALTY!

That's something that you can't buy and something that you can't just create out of thin air. It takes years and years of absolute, 100% uncompromising ethical, moral and loyal behavior, always being true to the client and never telling a "SOUL" who you are working for and as.

Being a trusted and relied upon "Ghost Writer" is an experience very much like being part of a "Top Secret" government project, with not merely signed legal documentation regulating what can and cannot be said to who, personal, human to human, sworn oaths of loyalty and allegiance to your client and the project, that will never be compromised, even 20 years after the work is finished and published.

If I am contracted to ghost write a book, article, song, poem, short story, screen play, website or a speech as "someone else" and am not just legally bound but sworn to secrecy about that project, I ca NEVER, EVER tell anyone about it, not my family, not my best friend, "NOT ANYBODY!"

That's why I'm called in, because while I am perfectly free to let you know with a sense of pride and appreciation that i have been blessed with the honor and privilege to write for such companies as: Toyota, McDonald's, Chevrolet, Salem Communications, Mazda, Burger King, etc., I cannot and will not ever tell anyone who I have "ghost written" for, ever.

That's why they call. They know in absolute comfort and confidence that in over 30 years, I've never told a single soul even the tiniest speck of information about any of my "Ghost Writing " projects, and I never will. They trust and believe with absolute certainty that "my lips are sealed," even when I one day lay there in my death bed, no one will ever, ever know a thing about it my work as a Ghost Writer!

That's what a REAL "Ghost Writer" is!

Any questions?

Just kidding! (LOL)

Larry ;-)

"On Words And Up Words"

Larry L. Nichols

Words are my paints - Minds are my canvases.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Of Course, Not Just "ANY" Words, But "UP" Words!

Yes, it's true, I really do "LOVE" words!

There is nothing as thoroughly satisfying, interesting and worthy of my time than simply working, ... dare I say it, ... "playing" with words!

Always seeking to find the perfectly precise, new, original word combinations to create the very terms and phrases that will effectively present my client's unique and specific message in such a way that is simultaneously, clear, clever, comfortable, concise, complete, creative and of course, compelling.

Only the RIGHT words, in the proper combination and order, can be thoroughly relied upon to create the exact response from the reader / listener that is desired.

So obviously, when it comes to doing what it is that I do best, developing the most efficient way to express your unique message directly to your niche', targeted audience, not all words are equal.

That's where "UP" words come into play. Have you ever experienced a speech that just totally knocks your socks off? A speech so inspirationally motivating and hope inducing, that you simply cannot help but be internally touched, awakened, driven by the power of the message?

Do you think that those awe inspiring, action driving words were purely tossed together randomly by chance, or do you think that maybe someone like me spent 2, maybe 3 days preparing that 15 to 30 minutes of pure, electrifyingly exciting enthusiasm?

How was it done?

It was accomplished with the careful, skillful application and utilization of "UP" words, that when read or spoken in proper combinations and order, create that breath taking sense of wonder and uplifting intensity that can woo crowds, command attention and drive reignited and impassioned souls to the farthest reaches of their ability in order to successfully reach for the stars.

All because someone took the time to align the words in a particular sequence, like a secret, mystical formula, intentionally designed to create what might appear to be a completely abrupt and spontaneous outcome or outbreak of action, but in actuality, all quite carefully planned for by the writer possibly even MONTHS before the words were ever released on the public to effectively do their amazing magic.

Could so many huge, successful companies consistently plan on spending literal millions of dollars daily on advertising campaigns, if they weren't absolutely certain, well in advance, that their copy writer is fully capable of predictably creating precisely the exact response necessary when the commercials are finally released to be broadcast to their specific, niche' targeted audience?

What if you had the opportunity to apply the very same expert strategies that the "Fortune 500" companies use regularly to grow and expand, on your own small to medium sized business or organization?

Would that be something worth seriously considering when seeking some way to somehow help level the playing field while competing with the corporate mega-giants for the very same customers, whose limited, spendable income might more dramatically effect the health of YOUR bottom line, as compared to the bottom line of the those companies that have the money to go out and buy 3 or 4 of those 30 second "Super Bowl" spots?

Is it worth spending a couple minutes discussing your upcoming projects?

Only you can decide what the answer to that question is!

I look forward to you comments and questions!

"On Words And Up Words"

Larry ;-)

"On Words And Up Words"

Larry L. Nichols

Words are my paints - Minds are my canvases.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Who Is Larry L. Nichols?

"Who is Larry L. Nichols?"

Great question, thanks for asking.

Lets' see, how can I wrap 3 decades of loyal "word wielding" into a single blog post?
OK, how about this?

For the past several years, I've spent the vast majority of my time serving as a corporate / celebrity "ghost writer." In this capacity, I was blessed with the most amazing opportunities to learn and apply numerous vital and highly significant truths about business, marketing & even more importantly, about PEOPLE and precisely what "makes them tick!"

I'm forever grateful for those years spent rubbing elbows with so many well respected, admired, renowned and established "Movers & Shakers" such as Toyota, McDonald's, Chevrolet, Burger King, Mazda & Salem Communications, just to name a few.

Under the constant constraints of covertly caustic, confrontational corporate consciousness and conglomerate compartmentalization, I developed my skills of applying and conceiving a palatable plethora of powerfully productive, proven, practical and profitable principals.

Yes, for those of you paying attention, the art of absurd alliteration ad-nauseum seems to be practice that for some reason has become highly valued and much sought out in the current world of "modern, multi-media marketing management" (OMG, he isn't going to stop, is he?) but one I am quite happy to now "holster" and use sparingly within reason and taste, now that I have returned to the REAL world! ;-)

And that my friend is what this is all about, my deep desire to return to the REAL world, helping REAL people develop REAL solutions to the REAL problems they daily encounter while pursuing their dreams, running their own, personal small to medium sized business and trying to balance that out with living a happy, satisfying life in the process.

Now I'm here, having fun, making friends & developing some awesome, long-term, trusted business relationships, working shoulder to shoulder with a nice collection of interesting and enjoyable"Independent Entrepreneurs," seeking a little guidance through the confusing & treacherous "Quicksands & Quagmires" of online business growth, expansion and promotion.
Are you someone who is looking for some help with a custom designed marketing message that's comfortable, creative, clear, concise & cleverly compelling?

Let's Talk!

"On Words And Up Words"

Larry L. Nichols

Words are my paints - Minds are my canvases.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why "On Words And Up Words?"

It's a fair question and one that most definitely deserves to be openly, honestly and sincerely addressed "DAY ONE" of this blog's existence.

First of all, "On Words And Up Words" because whether or not we are all actually, consciously aware of it or if the truth is simply a frail and faint whisper barely detected somewhere in the center of our subconscious mind, we all know that "TEXT' speaks louder than "Context!"

Whether your chosen media is radio, television, print, the internet, audio, video or a magnificently masterful "mass media mix' of all of the above plus more, when it comes to effectively, precisely and successfully communicating our uniquely, distinct, originally specific, personal message to the rest of the .www (wild wacky world), "Content Is STILL King!"

Deep down inside, we all inherently know that no one really cares about the fancy "shmancy" packaging, increasingly mind-deadening spiffs, frenetically flashing and annoyingly animated graphics and all the cool, state of the art audio clips of silly stereo sounds bouncing at us through our speakers.

What people really, truly are interested in, what they sincerely care about and will continue to remember about you for a long, long time, are your WORDS.

Yep, that's the facts Jack and Jackie, after all these amazing, space age innovations in modern technology, its still "YOUR MESSAGE" that counts!

So what about all the magical, mystical mechanisms created to make our websites, sales pages, even our blogs sparkle and bedazzle the human eye and ear with all kinds of seductively alluring, trivial distractions and sensually stimulating "Sleight Of Hand" misdirection?

Well, does all the additional sensory over-loading, hyper-dosing actually help you to clearly, concisely, completely and compellingly get your precise message across to your specifically chosen, niche targeted audience, leading them to actually take whatever desired action you are spending your valuable time, energy, creativity and effort hoping to see accomplished?

What about you?

In your busy, hectic business and life schedule, do you have the extra time to wait for the "mind-blowing" laser light displays, dancing, singing, wiggling graphics and wild and crazy audio files to load onto the page that you're hoping contains the important information that you are looking to find as quickly and easily as humanly possible.

Are you seeking pertinent facts, informative data and vital information to help make your LIFE or Business better / easier, or are you just haplessly blazing around the internet looking for mutating shapes and colors displayed on an extremely complex collection of alternating, tapestry-like backgrounds to the cacophonous sound of a metal, rock and crystal waterfall of iconic wonder?

Would "YOUR" life be simpler, better and more satisfying if you could just easily and quickly find exactly what you need and then get right back to living life again?

Or are all the superfluous "special effects" and fancy designs worth spending the additional time doing whatever it is that you need to do before we you can go do what you actually really want to do?

Only "YOU" know the answer to that question!

What do YOU think?

Please let us all know, we look forward to your comments.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing some time and energy with us.

"On Words And Up Words"

Larry L. Nichols
"Words are my paints - Minds are my canvases."