Confession: my obsession with writing personal ads for things that no one would ever write a personal ad for is spinning slightly out of control.

First I wrote a personal ad for my ideal home… which is how I came to live at Hoppy House. Hoppy House! I love Hoppy House. Plus it has blueberry bushes.

Then Kelly wrote a personal ad for a copywriting assistant… and I ran it for her here and that ended up completely transforming her business.

But then lately I’ve been writing really, really little ones and not putting them up on the blog. Not even telling anyone about them. And here’s the weird part. It’s still working.

I don’t get it.

But I also don’t really care because hey, look at that, it’s working.

And so I’m writing personal ads.

That’s how I found a really great dentist who is smart and sensitive and caring and considerate (all the qualities I asked for).

And a dermatologist who is sensible and down to earth.

And a great space for teaching workshops.

And it’s not just me.

My clients and students and Kitchen Table participants are knocking me over with the way they are finding what they need while using this extremely unlikely and “soft” technique.

Houses. Jobs. Relationships.

But also smaller things… like a home for a puppy. Or a good book to read on the plane.

So I’ve decided to start writing itty-bitty personal ads for things I need and want that aren’t big, crazy things to ask for.

Just to see if the process of finding them can be made that much easier.

A tiny personal ad for hangers.

I am a person without a lot of stuff. I don’t have a car. I don’t have a desk. I have two pairs of shoes.

So simple living suits me. And at the same time, I somehow don’t have enough hangers in my closet.

Here’s what I want:

Sturdy clothes hangers, made of wood or metal. Some of them should have clips for hanging skirts on them.

Here’s how I want to get them:

I am more than happy to pay for them. I just don’t want to have to go look for them.

And I prefer used to new, to not have to be part of that endless cycle of more crap being created.

Ways they could come to me:

  • A friend or neighbor could want to give them away.
  • Someone might see an ad on Craig’s List or Freecycle and tell me about it.
  • I could happen upon them somehow. (This makes me think of Mr. Micawber and his waiting for something “to turn up”!)
  • Any other possibility. I’m willing to be surprised.

My commitment.

I will treat these hangers well. I will appreciate them. They will be loved.

A tiny personal ad for a place to donate old clothing.

Again, I don’t have a lot. But some of it is stuff that no longer needs to be with me.

I’ve gone through my closet and asked “Is this something that the Pirate Queen or one of her consorts would be happy wearing?”

And now I have a bag of stuff that isn’t. And it would like a good home.

Here’s what I want:

I want to know where to take this bag of clothing, without having to do a bunch of time-consuming research, or calling everyone I know to ask.

Here’s how I want to receive the thing I want:

  • Someone reading this could leave a comment here with a useful suggestion.
  • The next time I’m hanging out with a friend, I just remember to ask and they have the exact right answer.
  • I type my question into a search engine and the first thing that comes up is perfect.
  • The right answer just comes to me.
  • Any other possibility. I’m willing to be surprised.

My commitment.

I will take this bag of clothing to the right place once I find it. I will give these things joyfully and appreciate the new space in my life.

And … I’m out of personal ads for now.

But I’m sure I’ll think of other things I want to ask for.

I really like the clarity that asking gives me. I like the ritual of it.

And I like the idea that a personal ad doesn’t always have to be for some big life-changing thing.

That it can be tiny and hopeful and personal.

That’s what I’m going for.

And since I’m already asking …

I am going to also try asking today for what I would like to receive in the comments, and that way, if you feel like leaving one, you’ll be part of this experiment too. 🙂

Here’s what I want:

  • Stories of things you’ve asked for. Or are asking for. Or would like to ask for.
  • Helpful thoughts and ideas you have about the two things that I have asked for here.
  • Ways that you’re thinking about this concept and how it could be applied to interesting things … or questions you have about it and how to apply it.

What I would rather not have:

  • Theories about why it works.
  • To be judged or psychoanalyzed.

My commitment.

I am committed to giving time and thought to everything that people say, and I will interact with their ideas compassionately and honestly.

What I’m noticing.

How weird/hard it is to just say what I want.

Really interesting.

That’s it!

p.s. Thanks for doing this with me. I really appreciate it.

The Fluent Self