Archive for March, 2010
There are two kinds of entrepreneurs: Craftsmen and Opportunists. Picture the first type bent over a workbench or keyboard perfecting whatever. This one figures that the excellence of their product is enough to keep the work coming in.
The other type of entrepreneur has a pair or binoculars, a periscope (that can look around corners) or some other kind of optic or diagnostic tool. This type is looking for…well, opportunities. Potentially lucrative gaps in the supply chain where the competition is thin or thinner.
I’m a little of both types. As a freelance writer, I had better be crafting something of high quality for which there’s a profitable market or I cannot sustain what I do.
That’s what I do. It’s not, however, what I’m selling. (more…)
Her honesty may come naturally. Or, it may be a result of the work she’s done on herself. Years of therapy, she says.
At least some of that therapy and other work has brought together Grafton, a fabulously successful and hard-working fiction author, and Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology. Their relationship was apparent in a 1999 interview on which I recently stumbled.
Here’s the excerpt which addresses writer’s block…and its roots in the Shadow nature Dr. Jung described…and which each of us has. The interviewer asks, “You mentioned a little bit about writer’s block. How do you get around it?” (more…)
It’s not always just narcissism. Nevertheless, a lot of the things clients (again, particularly my lawyer clients) give me to edit is all about “our firm,” “me,” “we” or some other first-person variation.
It may be that it’s just easier for some of us write that way. And sometimes, what we write sounds as though it was in response to a question such as, “What nanotechnology patent work have you done recently?”
It just naturally comes out as “We represented so-and-so doing such-and-such.” (more…)
If they’re attorneys (a lot of them are), they tend to be VERY linear thinkers. They believe the most important thought or item in the list ought to go first, with whatever follows coming more or less in descending order.
While they didn’t sign up for the lecture, I give it to them anyway. It goes something like this:
I say, “Not all readers are as linear as you are. Whether it’s a list, an article or magazine, studies suggest that people are likely to skip around. They MIGHT even begin at the bottom.” Once this heresy has soaked in for a moment, I offer them the science behind that kind of graze-as-you-go reading behavior. (more…)
First, a little background. Writing articles is one of the best ways professional service providers can Get Found. (HINT: I’m doing that right now. Duh.) It’s also a great way to credentialize yourself as someone who knows something about something — and can put together at least a couple of coherent thoughts worth publishing.
Nevertheless, the lawyers with whom I’ve worked over the years have often resisted my invitations to write. Sometimes it was because they’re rather be doing something else. Usually something billable. (more…)
I caught myself thinking about the history of food the other day. About what food tells us about ourselves. Not so much nutritionally, but sociologically.
While I’m just guessing, it wouldn’t surprise me, for example, to learn that the ability to serve imported coffee or tea to your house guests in 18th-century Kentucky, my homeland, said a lot about your status way back then. Out on the western frontier, you did whatever you could do to demonstrate your hegemony over the wilderness — whether it was by putting a Georgian mantle over your fireplace, Pekoe in your teacup, silk around your neck or some pepper on your taters. (more…)