Monday, July 29, 2013

Don't Write Like That Guy

I think good writing should communicate, not call attention to the ultra-stiff and serious way it communicates. Apparently, that's not how everyone thinks.

Want an example? Here:
Collaborate closely with multiple cross-functional leaders to establish and ensure new communication campaigns and programs are aimed at reaching defined metrics and Key Performance Indicators.  
^ This is from a job description. Can I do that? Yes - I can, I have, and I will - if you pay me enough.  

Sorry; I don't make this stuff up. It's real and it's everywhere. While I highly recommend that you don't write like this, I also suggest pretending that someone did make it up, just to make you laugh. And then, laugh. It's good for you.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Glamorous Freelance Life by My Evil Twin

"It must be nice to work at home."

Said with a mixture of envy, doubt (you don't work much, do you?) and sarcasm (OH IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE DOING on Facebook and Twitter all day?) if you're a fulltime freelancer, or even a fulltime freelancer with a part-time "real" job, you've probably heard it six hundred times.

Yep. It's nice to work at home.[term]=bang%20head%20on%20keyboard&filters[primary]=images&filters[secondary]=videos&sort=1&o=4
Courtesy of eaziecheeze,
And sometimes it's nice to fight snark with snark. I try to refrain, really I do, but... not today. Have you met my evil twin?

For what it's worth, she offers a few thoughts on the cushy freelance writing life, below. By the way, if you ever hear me pop off something along these lines to an unsuspecting person who gives me that look and a syrupy, "Oh, it must be nice to work at home," it wasn't me. It was her.

1. Yeah, being my own collections department is awesome. Whining so totally suits me.
2. Ditto for handling my own procurement, office equipment maintenance and repair.
3. Nothin' like those "business lunches." (A.K.A. eating from the bag of shredded cheese over my keyboard at 3pm, again.)
4. Those constant endorsements from community groups really rock. Especially ones that begin, "We thought you'd be the perfect person for this because of your schedule, you know, since you're available all the time."
5. What happens in my office...stays in my office. Well OK I'll dish.  Just last night I got all hot and bothered... wrestling with a printer jam at 11pm.
6. Convenient? I'll say. It's like I never leave the office!
7. You know how it's fun to have Superbowl office pools, donuts at the office or a laugh with a coworker? I don't.

I think my evil twin's point is, the grass is almost always greener. I guess my point is, while freelancing or contracting from home may look like a cushy job, it's a job. So if I seem a little snarly when you drop by my house your day off, it's because I'm at the office.

Design Taxi recently ran an article offering solutions to many of my complaints. Maybe I'll get around to reading it when the boss gets off my back.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Write, please, for the Sound-Sex of It

Thank you Stephen Fry (via @rolliewillams ) for loving words enough to make (and share) a 6-plus minute video even a videophobe like me can love.

While Fry and many others have built a reputation on the stern-English-teacher sort of language admonitions it's not because we/they hate the errant use of words. It's because we/they love language. Because it communicates, punctuates, invigorates, and to do so sometimes it must innovate. Itself.

So there.

Write on, modern language-screwups, write on.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Newspapers ARE Content, Stupid

I actually lose sleep over the "death of newspapers" trend, and admit my perspective is skewed by that.

I find it ironic that NYT, Washington Post, and some other distinguished dinosaurs are apparently leading the way in developing a new media industry called "content marketing."

Weren't newspapers the original "content" industry? and can this new iteration of "content" save the news?

God I hope so.