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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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