"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Guest Post***The Roar Series** Amy Parmenter

As Pen and Prosper invites women to share success stories, we are reminded of the ‘brilliance’ of Helen Reddy’s hit song ‘I Am Woman Hear Me Roar’. Great tune and perhaps an appropriate call to action in its day but I, for one, think Helen Reddy got it wrong. As a woman, I don’t want to roar. I want to purr.

Let’s look at the definitions.

A roar is loud, intimidating and often used as an expression of ‘distress or rage.’ While a roaring lioness may be captivating to watch from afar, would you dare approach?

A purr on the other hand is the ultimate expression of satisfaction. The dictionary defines a purring cat as ‘content or pleased’. As exciting as a roar might sound, wouldn’t you prefer to listen to the lioness purr?

A year ago I was roaring. Roaring about everything and everybody.

- Though I had landed a dream job, I was unhappy in my work. ROAR!!!
- In order to be with my husband, I had to move away from family and friends. ROAR!!
- I lost a sweet, kind brother who had a difficult life and a tragic death. ROAR!!

I could go on, but roaring is exhausting. It’s exhausting to listen to and it’s exhausting to do.

No doubt you could be ‘known’ for your roar, but being known for something and being respected for it are two different things. Think of the people you respect. Do they roar?

So, one year later I am purring. I am purring so loud that I can barely hear others roar. In fact, I think I noticed some roarers stop to hear me purr – which of course only made me purr more.

Do you roar or purr?

If you are roaring, then the greatest thing you can do for yourself is to figure out what makes you purr.

For me, it’s been writing. And, I have to tell you, I’m shocked. Really. I’ve never thought of myself as a writer. I’ve been a daughter, a sister, a friend, an entrepreneur, and an award-winning reporter – but I never realized I was a writer - until I started to blog.

One of the goals of blogging is to make money, and I’m sure I will. But, in my opinion, the greatest measure of success – blogging or otherwise - is self-satisfaction, because so few are able to achieve it.

We live in a day and age where ‘success’ may come sooner to those who roar. So, everybody starts roaring and nobody is heard. Bloggers, writers and other artists are often encouraged to ‘find your voice’ - but roaring makes you lose your voice.

“Oh yes I am wise but it's wisdom born of pain. Yes, I've paid the price but look how much I gained. I am strong. I am invincible….”

I am woman. Hear me purr.

Amy Parmenter is a blogger (ParmFarm.com) and a longtime radio and television reporter. In addition to her blog, Amy currently works for NBC in Connecticut and KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia. Not only has she enjoyed success in the media, Amy brings to her work a broad range of experience in other fields as well.

During her early years at KYW, Amy was offered an opportunity to host a CBS radio talk show - and did so for more than two years. But ultimately, Amy says, she returned to her first love, once again delivering the news rather than just talking about it.

Prior to joining the news business, Amy spent several years running her own business, a successful clothing manufacturing company that sold to virtually every upscale store in the country. She has also enjoyed success in venture capital, playing matchmaker between entrepreneurs and investors.

Amy attended Temple University where she graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Sports Medicine. She now lives in the greater Hartford area with her husband and together they enjoy golfing, biking and all Connecticut has to offer!

See more of Amy Parmenter’s work at: www.parmfarm.com.

Pen and Prosper welcomes your comments on this post. Do you roar or purr? Is being a "strong" woman an asset or a liability for business or relational success today? What are your thoughts?


  1. I love this. My question is why/how did you go from roar to purr?

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 1, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    This is a great guest post, Missed Periods. I totally agree!:-)

    And sometimes, (may I add) that as women, we might find it necessary to both "roar" and "purr" depending upon the circumstances.

    Thanks for writing. Amy will get back to questions posed here later, I'm sure. :-)

  3. Missed periods!! Such a great question! The answer for me, truly, has been the ParmFarm, my blog. But, as I said in the post, each person needs to figure out what it is that makes them purr...and I think being 'creative', in some manner, is key. Creative thinking, creative writing, performing, gardening, whatever...I have been surprised to discover that, for me, it's been writing but I think the first step in getting from one place to another is just being conscious of the fact that you WANT to. Stay tuned... as I am writing a book about making just that kind of transition!! In the meantime, just really try to zero in on what you can do - creatively - that makes you purr. And keep me posted!!! Amy

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 2, 2010 at 6:41 AM

    I was thinking about your question this morning, too--Missed Periods. I think it should be said that sometimes it's not just a matter of "what we do" that allows us to "purr," sometimes it's "where we're at" in our place in life as well.

    Especially in our earlier years, we mistakenly confuse being strong with being combative.

    We think that we have to "roar" to be recognized and respected, both in relationships and at work. As we get a bit older and gain more wisdom we realize that this is not always the case.

  5. I can't wait to hear what Amy has to say next. She seems to approach worn out topics from a totally unique perspective that shifts ideas off their former center and opens up new ideas. I love her concept of purring versus roaring. This idea strikes me as a maritial art's concept of greeting force with no resistance. Thank you Amy for sharing your ideas.

  6. Ginger! Thanks so much. Always such support. Much, much appreciated.

  7. I am between roars and purrs. I roar when people and things piss me off, but like you, blogging seems to calm everything.

    Also, working in and on my purpose are pieces of heaven on earth for me. To know that I am doing and go where God would have me to do and go sometimes silences me into listening.

    I guess I'm going through extremes these days, but for the most part my life is full of peace. So, I'm purring, baby!

  8. Marcie! I am sorry to have missed your comment previously! Sometimes, I admit, roaring is the only way to get heard...but purring sure feels better! Thx for the comment and my apologies for taking so long to find it!