Linda Ellis, Author, Poet, Speaker - Author of "The Dash"

Linda Ellis, Author, Poet, Speaker - Author of "The Dash"

Linda Ellis, The Dash Author


Cyberbullying Story...

About Linda Ellis & The Dash


My Background

I started writing poems as a child, a talent inherited from my Irish grandmother. I grew up in Florida and then lived in New York for several years. However, my southern roots kept calling me home so I settled in Georgia where I now live with my family and a menagerie of pets. I spent years working in the corporate world, but after my poems were first shared on a syndicated radio program in 1994, an alternative career began to emerge and I soon came to the realization that my true passion was in creative writing.


Read my blog at:  lindaellis.typepad.com

My Background

I started writing poems as a child, a talent inherited from my Irish grandmother. I grew up in Florida and then lived in New York for several years. However, my southern roots kept calling me home so I settled in Georgia where I now live with my family and a menagerie of pets. I spent years working in the corporate world, but after my poems were first shared on a syndicated radio program in 1994, an alternative career began to emerge and I soon came to the realization that my true passion was in creative writing.


Read my blog at:  lindaellis.typepad.com

The Dash Story

While it still amazes me, a simple poem I wrote one afternoon in 1996 forever changed my life. It all began when I faxed a copy of this poem to a syndicated radio show in Atlanta. The host of this popular show read it on the air. Little did I know how much my life would change from that day forward. Thirty-six lines that have touched millions! Titled simply — The Dash — these 36 lines have touched millions of lives and have literally taken on a life of their own by traveling all over the world. I call it uncomplicated poetry in a complicated world, which became a slogan to describe my inspirational writings and my company, Linda’s Lyrics. People are always asking me what, in particular, inspired me to write this poem. I believe it was a combination of things in my life at the time. It was during a period when I was working for the top executives of a very large and successful corporation. It was a strict company with a tense working environment. I began to notice how the priorities in many lives there had become, what I considered, misaligned. It seemed to me there were far too many worrying far too much about that which was inconsequential in the scope of life. They were putting more emphasis on making a living than making a life. Also, resonating in the back of my mind were the words from a letter which had been previously routed around the office. It had been written by the wife of an employee who was aware that she was dying. I was so moved by that letter that I saved a copy of it and continue to live by her words: “Regrets? I have a few. Too much worrying about finding the right husband and having children, being on time, being late and so on. It didn’t matter. It all works out and it would have worked out without the worries and the tears. If I would have known then what I know now. But I did and so do you. We’re all going to die. Stop worrying and start loving and living." Her words stuck with me. Her letter made me stop and think. This is it. This is all we get. Words that have changed attitudes and the direction of  livesI remember where I was when I first truly realized the significance of the piece that I had written. I was on a business trip in Minnesota, alone in a hotel room. I received an emotional email thanking me for sharing the message of The Dash from a student who had recently heard it as part of a memorial gathering for the Columbine High School students. I sat on the bed and cried. Several years later, I found myself engulfed in the thoughts and feelings created by my own words as I listened to them read aloud, for what seemed like the very first time, at the funeral of my father … my best friend. I wrote this closing exactly one year from that day and never had the words of the poem meant more to me. The Dash has truly affected millions. I may not be able to change the world with these words, but I have certainly been able to influence a portion of it. The poem’s words have convinced mothers to spend more time with their children, fathers to spend more time at home, and reunited long-lost loved ones. The words have changed attitudes, and changed the direction of lives. They have, in their own way, made a difference. I know writing The Dash has changed my life. I hope reading it in some way, may change yours.


See "The Dash" inspirational products at:  shop.lindaellis.net


Live Your Dash,


​- Linda Ellis

The Dash Story

While it still amazes me, a simple poem I wrote one afternoon in 1996 forever changed my life. It all began when I faxed a copy of this poem to a syndicated radio show in Atlanta. The host of this popular show read it on the air. Little did I know how much my life would change from that day forward. Thirty-six lines that have touched millions! Titled simply — The Dash — these 36 lines have touched millions of lives and have literally taken on a life of their own by traveling all over the world. I call it uncomplicated poetry in a complicated world, which became a slogan to describe my inspirational writings and my company, Linda’s Lyrics. People are always asking me what, in particular, inspired me to write this poem. I believe it was a combination of things in my life at the time. It was during a period when I was working for the top executives of a very large and successful corporation. It was a strict company with a tense working environment. I began to notice how the priorities in many lives there had become, what I considered, misaligned. It seemed to me there were far too many worrying far too much about that which was inconsequential in the scope of life. They were putting more emphasis on making a living than making a life. Also, resonating in the back of my mind were the words from a letter which had been previously routed around the office. It had been written by the wife of an employee who was aware that she was dying. I was so moved by that letter that I saved a copy of it and continue to live by her words: “Regrets? I have a few. Too much worrying about finding the right husband and having children, being on time, being late and so on. It didn’t matter. It all works out and it would have worked out without the worries and the tears. If I would have known then what I know now. But I did and so do you. We’re all going to die. Stop worrying and start loving and living." Her words stuck with me. Her letter made me stop and think. This is it. This is all we get. Words that have changed attitudes and the direction of  livesI remember where I was when I first truly realized the significance of the piece that I had written. I was on a business trip in Minnesota, alone in a hotel room. I received an emotional email thanking me for sharing the message of The Dash from a student who had recently heard it as part of a memorial gathering for the Columbine High School students. I sat on the bed and cried. Several years later, I found myself engulfed in the thoughts and feelings created by my own words as I listened to them read aloud, for what seemed like the very first time, at the funeral of my father … my best friend. I wrote this closing exactly one year from that day and never had the words of the poem meant more to me. The Dash has truly affected millions. I may not be able to change the world with these words, but I have certainly been able to influence a portion of it. The poem’s words have convinced mothers to spend more time with their children, fathers to spend more time at home, and reunited long-lost loved ones. The words have changed attitudes, and changed the direction of lives. They have, in their own way, made a difference. I know writing The Dash has changed my life. I hope reading it in some way, may change yours.


See "The Dash" inspirational products at:  shop.lindaellis.net


Live Your Dash,


​- Linda Ellis

Inspiring You...Inspires Me!

When I began sharing my writings many years ago, I started receiving responses from those whose hearts and lives had been touched by my words in some way.  Each email, letter or voice mail commanded my complete attention.  I would read them again and again, and I didn't realize until later how much those words from others fueled my desire to continue writing.  The realization of how those responses sustained and inspired me unfolded as the "deals" began to be made and my passion for creative writing became the victim of a "hostile takeover" from the dollar signs of profit.

Many years ago when I'd entered into a particular publishing contract, the publisher decided they wanted to own and operate my web site(s) as well.  Naivety  being my only excuse in hindsight, I agreed.  Oh, they didn't do it maliciously, they paid me handsomely every month.  However, I soon began to realize, there was something missing...something I needed...a void that could not be filled with cash.  It was communication.  Communication to, and more importantly from those for whom I write.  My words had indeed been out there inspiring people, but I needed to know it.  I needed to hear it.  I needed to feel it.  I learned that receiving feedback and knowing I was touching lives was my true payment, not the checks. For two years, I went without hearing from those who were reading and being inspired by my thoughts and ideas, which I now recognize as my true payment for writing.  I also went without creating, went without writing, went without inspiring or being inspired during the time I'd been denied that connection.  My creative fire had literally gone out because the fuel it needed to burn had disappeared.  Upon renewal time for that website deal, I opted out of the agreement.  I wanted...no...I needed to have that contact and communication, to know what I was doing was actually making a difference, in order to continue my inspirational writing.

Now, I know it's a business to the publishers and they produce a product and sales are their main focus.  Therefore, they kept all of that email, every letter and every phone message because each represented a sale, both current and future.  Distribution and mailing lists were built for their company and have grown tremendously since with those initial contact names as their foundation.  But, what they (and I) had failed to realize was that every one of those pieces of communication and correspondence meant so much more to me than just a sale.  

This realization was also played out perfectly when I received a Facebook post from an older woman a few months ago.  She had gone to the bookstore to purchase my new book the SAME DAY it was released.  She said she was so excited when the salesperson handed my book to her, she hugged him! Reading her words literally made my heart smile.  Coincidentally, I had received a royalty check the same day I'd read her note.  The notion hit me even harder as I held the check in my hand and read her words, simultaneously.  That check, though it represented my livelihood, would never be the reason I write.  In my latest book, Live Your Dash, I wrote:  "I believe if an author or poet writes with the intent to profit, rather than to inspire, the result is transparent to the critical eye of the reader, which can discern words derived not from sincerity, nor from the heart, but from desperate, empty pockets."

And I have indeed received a large amount of email, letters and calls over the years regarding my writing.  I can honestly say I've read every word of every one of them.  Initially, had I known they were to keep coming over the years, I would have begun saving them all to be bound in a wonderful keepsake for myself.  I may not have had time to respond to each, but if someone uses time from his/her "dash" to write to me about how my words have touched a life or a heart, I will take the time  from my "dash" to read what they've sent.  No matter how big my business grows, I intend to honor that practice.  I do it, not only out of respect for those who contact me, but out of my own personal desire to know...know that my words are reaching people...know that there are people out there who "get" what I'm trying my best to convey, and are inspired.

So, if you are ever inclined to write, but think (as many have written) that I'll never see or read what you send, you're wrong.  As long as I am able, I will read each and every letter or email I receive, because not only are they very special to me, but they directly inspire me to write more. I've said this often, but I'll say it again:  Inspiring YOU, Inspires ME!

Inspiring You...Inspires Me!

When I began sharing my writings many years ago, I started receiving responses from those whose hearts and lives had been touched by my words in some way.  Each email, letter or voice mail commanded my complete attention.  I would read them again and again, and I didn't realize until later how much those words from others fueled my desire to continue writing.  The realization of how those responses sustained and inspired me unfolded as the "deals" began to be made and my passion for creative writing became the victim of a "hostile takeover" from the dollar signs of profit.

Many years ago when I'd entered into a particular publishing contract, the publisher decided they wanted to own and operate my web site(s) as well.  Naivety  being my only excuse in hindsight, I agreed.  Oh, they didn't do it maliciously, they paid me handsomely every month.  However, I soon began to realize, there was something missing...something I needed...a void that could not be filled with cash.  It was communication.  Communication to, and more importantly from those for whom I write.  My words had indeed been out there inspiring people, but I needed to know it.  I needed to hear it.  I needed to feel it.  I learned that receiving feedback and knowing I was touching lives was my true payment, not the checks. For two years, I went without hearing from those who were reading and being inspired by my thoughts and ideas, which I now recognize as my true payment for writing.  I also went without creating, went without writing, went without inspiring or being inspired during the time I'd been denied that connection.  My creative fire had literally gone out because the fuel it needed to burn had disappeared.  Upon renewal time for that website deal, I opted out of the agreement.  I wanted...no...I needed to have that contact and communication, to know what I was doing was actually making a difference, in order to continue my inspirational writing.

Now, I know it's a business to the publishers and they produce a product and sales are their main focus.  Therefore, they kept all of that email, every letter and every phone message because each represented a sale, both current and future.  Distribution and mailing lists were built for their company and have grown tremendously since with those initial contact names as their foundation.  But, what they (and I) had failed to realize was that every one of those pieces of communication and correspondence meant so much more to me than just a sale.  

This realization was also played out perfectly when I received a Facebook post from an older woman a few months ago.  She had gone to the bookstore to purchase my new book the SAME DAY it was released.  She said she was so excited when the salesperson handed my book to her, she hugged him! Reading her words literally made my heart smile.  Coincidentally, I had received a royalty check the same day I'd read her note.  The notion hit me even harder as I held the check in my hand and read her words, simultaneously.  That check, though it represented my livelihood, would never be the reason I write.  In my latest book, Live Your Dash, I wrote:  "I believe if an author or poet writes with the intent to profit, rather than to inspire, the result is transparent to the critical eye of the reader, which can discern words derived not from sincerity, nor from the heart, but from desperate, empty pockets."

And I have indeed received a large amount of email, letters and calls over the years regarding my writing.  I can honestly say I've read every word of every one of them.  Initially, had I known they were to keep coming over the years, I would have begun saving them all to be bound in a wonderful keepsake for myself.  I may not have had time to respond to each, but if someone uses time from his/her "dash" to write to me about how my words have touched a life or a heart, I will take the time  from my "dash" to read what they've sent.  No matter how big my business grows, I intend to honor that practice.  I do it, not only out of respect for those who contact me, but out of my own personal desire to know...know that my words are reaching people...know that there are people out there who "get" what I'm trying my best to convey, and are inspired.

So, if you are ever inclined to write, but think (as many have written) that I'll never see or read what you send, you're wrong.  As long as I am able, I will read each and every letter or email I receive, because not only are they very special to me, but they directly inspire me to write more. I've said this often, but I'll say it again:  Inspiring YOU, Inspires ME!

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Linda Ellis, Author, Poet, Speaker

2146 Roswell Road, 108-124, Marietta, GA 30062, US

404 860-1037