Writers and Privacy: Knowing the Unknowable

Writers, like other artists, seek an audience, and sometimes the audience responds. A successful author gives interviews and biographies are written, but what in the end can we really know, even in the age of social media? I have had two run-ins with biography by accident, and they have only deepened the mystery for me. Continue reading

Advertisements
Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Fear of Writing White Papers: Is It Justified?

In talking to technical writing friends and colleagues over the years, I was struck by an admission that always amazed me. I kept meeting competent tech writers who confided to me that they would never attempt to write a white paper. Why, I wondered, since they have probably been writing pieces that are very much like white papers their entire lives. Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Detail and the Writer

While working for a client the other day, I was struck by how manipulating detail is often critical to writing (and client relations) success. A related question is whether the ability to deal with detail is innate or learned, and how a copywriter’s manipulation of detail often leads down the rabbit hole. Continue reading

Posted in Survival Skills, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Four Marketing Questions You Must Ask First

Whether you are writing a brochure or a newsletter or a website, there are four key questions you need to ask to help you organize your marketing message. Some of these seem obvious, but my experience with a variety of clients is that often no one asks them directly or answers them in enough detail. Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Steps to Producing an External Company Newsletter Efficiently

Nothing focuses the mind like starvation, and that’s exactly what happened in a marcom department where I once worked. For a variety of reasons, the business was failing, and we were slowly starved of resources via layoffs. About halfway through this agonizing decline, we had to come up with a way to continue to produce a monthly company newsletter with almost no staff. The techniques we developed in desperation can help you produce a newsletter efficiently, whether your company is new, mature and awash in cash, or slowly going down the drain.

Continue reading

Posted in Survival Skills, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Good Reasons Writers Stay in Dead-End Business Jobs

I have a talented, experienced writer-friend who looks like she is in a dead-end job, but she is having a difficult time moving on. Layoffs have been occurring every quarter, the company stock price is trending down, and no one has gotten a raise or a bonus in years. Is she crazy? With her situation in mind, I’d like to talk about five very good reasons why a writer (or any employee) might stay in a job, in good times or bad. You should be aware of these very good reasons why you might be hesitating to leave an obviously bad situation.

Continue reading

Posted in Survival Skills, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Three Long-Term Employment Strategies for Business Writers

Today I will describe three things a writer should do to survive in business if they have a full-time job. The object is to contribute to the success of the company and become a valued employee while keeping your sanity and a reasonable amount of free time (especially if you want to do other types of writing after hours). Yes, many workplaces are grim these days, but a lot of people are still finding challenges and having fun.

Continue reading

Posted in Survival Skills, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment