Friday, November 27, 2020

Writing to Beat the Pandemic Holiday Blues

Holidays can bring on the blues, as we miss loved ones no longer with us. This is especially so for those who have lost family members or friends to COVID-19. And my heart goes out to you, as I am no stranger to loss. Then, there's the daunted expectations, when others don't show up, or act the way we want, or buy the right gift.

This year brings the added challenge of isolation, as we attempt to celebrate apart from one another. After the Zoom sessions are over (and believe me, they are great mood lifters), how can we cope with feelings of doom and gloom as we move forward to a (hopefully) brighter 2021?

I believe that writing is a great remedy and a way to find solace this time of year, or actually at any time. As a professional writer, I have writing projects I'm working on for clients, in addition to my novel writing endeavor. Both of these activities help me forget about the virus, if only for a short while. I get in the "zone" and the next time I look up, it's hours later!

You can do the same by writing in a journal, composing a letter or email to a friend you haven't seen in awhile, or something cool I've heard of lately...take the perspective of being 100 years old, and write advice to your "younger self." Besides being cathartic experiences, you will be surprised how uplifting it can be to get your thoughts down on paper (rather, into the computer).

Finally, try writing your goals for the coming year. This is more than casually making new year's resolutions that more often than not are forgotten. It means coming up with measurable actions and steps you can take to accomplish specific, attainable goals. Then refer back to your list in the months ahead. Things may change, and goals may be adapted, but the written word makes it more real.

Happy Holidays! and

Happy Writing!

Your writing partner,


Monday, October 12, 2020

Building Blocks of Success: Quality & Integrity

In good times and bad, the basic building blocks of quality and integrity pay off immensely. It behooves all of us to apply these key factors that both drive new business and help ensure repeat business. As the economy starts to recover, it will be those individuals and companies that can be counted on for their commitment to quality and integrity, who will survive and get to bid on new projects.

High quality products and services

When you commit to delivering a high-quality product or service. you are promising your customers that no matter what, you will not skimp on quality. Even in the face of low budgets and quick turnaround times, you make it a top priority to maintain the highest quality practices that meet industry standards and/or customer requirements.

In my writing business, for example, I am known for consistently providing world-class marketing materials for Fortune 500 companies. Due to my years of experience, I can hit the ground running and meet deadlines, while staying within budget constraints. Because I write quickly, without sacrificing quality, my clients come back again and again to get dependable results and save money. 

An integrity mindset

Simply put, integrity is saying what you'll do, and then doing what you say. Also known as "walking the talk." By adopting this mindset, you are promising to listen to your customers' needs, I mean really listen, and follow through with meeting those needs. Nothing less will do when you are serious about having integrity.

In my writing business, for example, I strive to get it right, or as close to right as possible, the first time. That shows I paid attention and care about hitting the target, with the desired tone and content, for the intended audience and purpose. I cannot tell you how many times I've been called in to make things right after time and money was wasted because the mark was missed simply due to a lack of understanding.

What do you promise your clients?

It's never too late to up your quality and integrity game. This is the ideal time to do so, as you prepare for the future return to business. Whether that means business as usual, or a "new normal,"  these same key factors will impact your successful outcome. So, start now by making promises to customers, bosses, and co-workers that you stand for quality and integrity in all that you do.

Let me know how I can help.
Deborah Long

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Are You Selling Yourself?

If you're not using the COVID-19 "downtime" to sell yourself, or your products/services, it's a missed opportunity. Smart companies are using this time to re-write their website content to increase SEO and grow market share, and savvy individuals are similarly re-writing their resumes/LinkedIn profiles in case their jobs don't pan out post-pandemic. 

It's kind of like cleaning out your closet. No one wants to do the heavy lifting, even though the outcome will make life easier. That's why professional closet organizers and places like Ikea and The Container Store are so popular. They take some of the hassle out of the de-cluttering chore...from planning to execution.

So, if you're not inclined to sell yourself or don't know the first thing about marketing, why not hire a professional writer to help figure it out? There, I'm selling myself via this very blog post. It's easier than you might think!

From years of experience working with small to large (Fortune 500 ) companies, I've boiled it down to a three-step process: 1) Review what you've got, 2) Talk about where you want to go, and 3) Make it happen.

Don't wait to start selling! Contact me to discuss your writing needs today (832-868-6100, or

Friday, June 19, 2020

Preserve Your Legacy: Write a Memoir

Memoirs ensure you will be remembered how you want to be thought of by generations to come. It's an ideal way to document family history, people and events that will inform the future with lessons learned, wisdom gained...or just to tell some good stories for reminiscence sake. 

Last year, I completed a memoir writing project in collaboration with an elderly gentleman. He had a book signing party last Father's Day, when he proudly handed out a copy to his close family members, each inscribed with a personalized message. He also sent out approximately 300 hard copies to everyone he knew. It was a great accomplishment, as the book was written over a period of years in his 90s. I was struck how he was able to remember so many details, down to full names of childhood friends. The narrative (which reads like a biographical novel) tells a powerful story of his business empire building, his World War II adventures, his romances, his offspring, and his charitable giving back to the community. It also contains a family tree, several photos to accompany the text throughout, and a photo gallery at the end. No stone left unturned. 

When he passed away this week at 98-1/2, the memoir was in demand by extended family and friends. An electronic version was created for easy distribution. It served as a handy reference to the person who presided over his memorial service. And it will live on to educate his great grandchildren about a life well lived by their ancestor against all odds during his time on earth. It was indeed a privilege to work with this man as his biographer, and friend. I honestly believe he kept on living to see the book published.

Contact me if you or someone you know wants to work with me on a memoir (832-868-6100, or It takes time to plan and execute, so let's get started!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Re-Create Yourself

As the world is changing on so many fronts, businesses and individuals find the need to re-create themselves. We must all get ready for a new reality as we return to work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest, where human rights are front and center, along with life-threatening health concerns.

I'm seeing start-ups emerge to meet the needs of the moment, including contact-free products and services ranging from the food industry to medical testing. There are also new safety measures being employed, in the fitness world, for example, where reservations are now needed to maintain sparse distancing. And in dentists' offices where the air is being purified by ionized filtration. It's a time to think out of the box and look for innovative ways to operate, as we seek to regain trust and protect the safety of everyone. This can involve redesigning the physical workplace, instituting a deep cleaning program, or staying in the remote, work-from-home mode indefinitely...if not forever!

We are all impacted in one way or another. But rather than seeing the glass half empty, it's an opportunity to see it as half full. By choosing to be optimistic, we have a chance to start anew, with a clean slate. This is a climate for imaginative ideas to thrive, for experimentation that disrupts the status quo to be tried, fearlessly. It's actually quite exciting to envision a new world of working together, yet apart, as we support each other's success.

For some, this may require rebuilding from recent destruction that took hold in many cities. For others, it means modifying what structures still exist and seeking different ways to configure things even better than before. So, I suggest letting go of old concepts to envision a future that is cleaner, safer, and more inclusive. Let's all be mindful of each other as we step into a realm where anything is possible!

I'm here to help you re-create your brand, including website content, to communicate new business endeavors. I'm also actively helping people re-create themselves as they search for jobs and need a powerful resume to compete. Contact me to collaborate on promoting the next iteration of yourself or your company.

Mobile: 832-868-6100 (Pacific time zone)

Best wishes,

Monday, May 18, 2020

Write That Book -- NOW

Who hasn't ever thought of writing a book? I agree with the premise that we all have a book inside of us. And what better time to get those thoughts down on paper...

In the Writing Group I formed early in the pademic, fellow writers are seizing the opportunity to make progress with the books that were previously just thoughts mulling around in their head and waiting to be expressed in a coherent manner. We have been supporting each other to develop plot, characters, and dialog that are taking shape more and more each time we meet. Whether writing a straight-up novel, mystery, children's book, non-fiction, or memoir, it's a challenge to engage the reader and keep it going, chapter after chapter. Having another writer's perspective and feedback is valuable, as it can be all too easy to give up due to your own uncertainty or lack of confidence. Afterall, baring your soul by telling a story to millions of strangers can be intimidating. Personally, I was quite surprised to find that my group members are actually enjoying my storytelling. That gives me the needed courage to soldier on.

I urge you to spread your wings and start writing, on your own or in a group forum setting, to see if it's for you. While getting something widely published is an admiral goal, sometimes writing just for yourself, your family, or circle of friends is enough satisfaction. And these days, it doesn't even have to be a full-blown book; there is blog writing, for example, or more casual social media posts, that are great outlets for getting your ideas out there. During COVID-19, people are also using diaries as a vehicle to document thisextraordinary time and write down their thoughts (or even dreams) for the benefit of catharsis. 

So, find your niche and start writing...NOW!


P.S. Let me know if you'd like information on starting a Writer's Group, or if you want help editing your book (

Friday, April 17, 2020

Networking is Alive and Well

In recent years, networking has become an important tool for many of us striving to survive in the competitive workforce. The current Covid-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges when it comes to holding down a job and looking for a new one due to furloughs and layoffs. This isolating environment has especially impacted how we network, from a distance.

As we all struggle to take care of loved ones who may become ill, maintain physical distancing, spray down food, wash clothes in hot water, and keep up with hard-to-obtain supplies of PPEplus home schooling and any work-from-home responsibilitiesno wonder this new reality leaves us exhausted at the end of the day.

However, this is not the time to take a break from networking. If you belong to a professional group that meets via Zoom (or similar), jump in and join the conversation. People will understand if you’re wearing sweats and multi-tasking in your kitchen. Yup, that’s part of our cultural change right now. Even if it’s a quick email or text to check in with people in your existing circle, this is the moment when it matters to simply stay in touch. It will pay off when things finally do return to some semblance of normalcy, making it easier to approach them for employment or sales later on.

Personally, I have been hearing from colleagues with whom I worked in the past (5 years ago and longer), as they reached out through LinkedIn to see how I am doing. Likewise, I have done the same…even taking the opportunity to rebuild bridges where needed. I like to think we will come out of this a better country, a better world, with better relationships.

So, who can you contact today? I urge you to do so…

Stay safe & be well,

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Resume Facelift

If there was ever a good time to give your resume a face lift, it's now!

I just got my first resume writing request in the time of the pandemic, and I expect it won't be the last. Whether you are on furlough, expect to go on furlough soon (reading those tea leaves or the handwriting on the wall), or have been laid off because of no doubt have time to focus on your resume while at home on quarantine. Yeah, I know. It's kind of like doing taxes -- nobody wants to go there; and wouldn't it be best to hire someone to handle it for you?!!

I'm offering to be that someone, as resumes are actually one of my specialties. Due to financial constraints, I need to make money like everyone else, but I totally get that hard times is exactly what's driving this need for help. So, I am discounting my resume writing fee for the next few months, with a sliding scale depending on what you can comfortably afford.

Simply send me an email at to start the process, including a few timeframes for us to connect via phone (keeping in mind I live on the West coast). I promise to take the pain out of this often dreaded process.

Be well and safe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Great Time to Write

During the Corona virus pandemic, many of us find ourselves sequestered at home alone. What a perfect opportunity to work on writing projects you've been putting off. You might take some time to write that novel you always wanted to get down on paper, a blog article to promote your business once things get back to normal, a new website (or fresh content) to update your brand, and even an old-fashioned, hand-written letter or thank you note you've been meaning to send. There's no end to what you can write about when you stop to think. I recently formed a writing group that did not yet meet in person, when "social distancing" precluded our first session. But we did not let that stop us--instead, we regrouped to meet virtually and modified our format a bit to fit the online modality. We won't have that personal touch of gathering in each others' homes to eat, drink, and read what we've written. However, life goes on in a new shape and form that's actually more creative, as we make it up as we go. The human spirit is really quite wonderful and seeks to survive, no matter what the circumstances. So keep creating, and be well.

I'm available to support your writing efforts via phone (832-868-6100) or email (

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Writing SPE Papers - A New Niche

I used to decline clients who wanted me to write, or polish, technical papers for submission to the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). It was like a weird blind spot, because I work on all other types of technical documents, including white papers and editorial articles for technical journals. This was just a place I did not dare to tread. Was I good enough? Could I handle the formatting? And what about all those references? I guess you could say, I was intimidated (FYI, as a New Yorker, that's rarely the case). It was one thing to teach graduate engineering students at the University of Houston all the mechanics to write such papers, and a totally different experience to actually produce one!

Believing in my own proven philosophy that "good writers can write about anything," I recently took the plunge. Luckily, there was some content already available, but it was not in what I would call "readable" shape. With an audience made up of so many readers that speak English as a second language, it's essential to break down sentences into digestible chunks. The SPE guidelines are even calling for shorter sentences that are easier to understand. A trend I think we can all applaud.

So, I took a deep breath and treated this job like any other...wrapped my brain around the complex topic, so I could explain it in plain English...and went into the zone, where all the magic happens for a writer. With only one round of edits, I'm happy to report that both my client and their customer were very pleased with the results.

Going forward, I will gladly accept SPE paper writing assignments and feel confident it is a new viable niche for me. Calling all engineers: bring it on!!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


We all love a good story! And it doesn't have to be in the form of a full-length book, or movie for that matter. At the end of the day, all of our blog posts and every piece of marketing collateral tell a story. So, it's the role of the copywriter to convey as a compelling a story as possible. Regardless of how dry or technical the product may be, there is an interesting story to be revealed and a creative angle to be found...if you dig deep enough. That's my job, as I see it, to find what's unique and cool about any item I am hired to help promote, and then go for it! Extoll its value, how it improves a process or everyday life, why it saves money and time compared to the competition, and finally, the pitch for taking action and making the purchase. I love what I do, and I now realize why -- I fall in love with the story as it unfolds through research, interviews, and insights I get along the way. Is this really work? Of course it is, but having fun doing your work makes it rewarding on many levels. The best part being when people love your story, too!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2020


I chose this lovely blog layout following a truly inspiring visit to The Getty museum exhibit of Manet's later years. Going to such events feeds my soul with a much needed "shot" of culture, a perfect brief getaway from everyday work and life. Add to this the LA Opera and concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and you have a perfect formula for enlightened experiences to delight the senses. All of this serves to stimulate my creativity for writing on every sort of topic imaginable.

My New Blog

I have been blogging for my clients over the past five years. But, aside from my own company website,, I never ventured out into the wider blog sphere. Then, I found myself applying for a new freelance writing position and, Voila, a blogspot was required! So, here I am. This has motivated me to keep it going... Stay tuned to more posts in the near future as I share my musings about writing and editing and whatever.