Life Without Exclamation Marks

If you had to write the story of your life and the title of the story was called “My Life” – how many exclamation marks would be appropriate to put at the end?  One, two, none?

I have recently started taking a writing course. One may think I should have started doing this prior to writing my book – but better late than never! Anyway … during the last course, the instructor (a very successful political journalist) made the following statement… “and never, ever use exclamation marks. I hate them, they should be abolished.”
He continued by saying our words should be powerful enough to not need exclamation marks.
Oh my, slap my hand and put me in the corner. I am the queen of exclamation marks.*
* means where I would have put one.
I left the class certain I would create writing so powerful that the pesky exclamation mark would not be needed in my world any longer.
It was a long day.
I backspaced and deleted many times.  I cut back from two “!!” to one “!” – I rewrote.
Life just wasn’t the same for 24 hours. I missed my exclamation marks.
How about you?  Are you living your life with exclamatoin marks or not. Are you bored? Are you in a rut? Are you tired of following alllll the rules alllll the time?  Are you being true to who you really are?
I’m an exclamation mark kind of girl, that’s not only what I do, it’s who I am. Maybe I can cut down a tad, but give them up – never!
Usually I like rules, but in this case the rule may have been an appropriate fit for that political journalist, but not for me.  What rules in your world need to be tweaked for you?
How many exclamation marks would you put on the end of the title of your story, “My Life”?
What is a “!” in your life?
  • Trying a new activity.
  • Wearing something different.
  • Stepping on stage.
  • Speaking up.
  • Standing up for yourself or a cause.
  • Going first.
  • Not saying everything you are thinking.
  • Failing.
  • Scaring yourself silly.
  • Not caring what someone else might think.
Exclamation marks – metaphorically speaking, make life (and you) more interesting, more fun and often more comical. Life (and you) will be less boring, less monotonous and less tedious with an exclamation mark added here and there.
There has never a better time than right now to add “!”.
This month, I encourage you to do at least one thing that will add one “!” to your life.  I would love to know what you did!
If you need some inspiration check out the next Motivational Mondays  in
Winnipeg on June 24 (tickets are always sold out, so get them now if you want to come!)
or visit to an event near you (or start one!)

Stephanie Staples is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success and an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker. She empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.  You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at


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