A lot of the work I do these days, as the almost-sole-proprietor of GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company is not the work I thought I would be doing when I entered the business, way back when the earth was more than a few degrees cooler.
And a lot of that work reminds me of when my daughters were living at home and would ask me to read one of their essays on the French Revolution or The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.
I'd read their essays and I almost always have the same response. "You are smart. You don't have to try to sound smart."
But today, when I get documents prepared by either other agencies or client marketing people, I often feel the same way.
It seems to me that people are writing according to a non-existent set-of-rules that they believe will impress people. They are writing to sound a certain way and appear a certain way, not to communicate in an impactful way.
I am forced to make shit unshitty.
It's 81-percent of my job now.
Even many of the manifestos I am forced to watch--the ones I see from Agency Spy or on people's Linked In (they're seldom, if ever, on TV) fall prey to this ossified rule-following. Worse, the "about" sections of from just about every agency website seem to be more cookie-cutter than even cookie cutters. (Hey, agency leaders--I'll rewrite your website. Call me. And pay me upfront.)
I am all for rules, semantic or otherwise.
But I'm only for them when they help you, not when they limit or hurt us.
I reject writing that says things like:
"We solve problems that create value for our clients."
"We believe in action-oriented individuals who help our measured attainment of our goals."
"We need curious and humble people who embrace the challenge to continually improve themselves and our clients. We need to continually remeasure, reassess and reset our objects in an intellectually honest discussion."
It happens fairly often that I get a note or a phone call from someone who remarks about how prolific I am. They ask if I have some sort of secret, or if I have a cast of small chimps banging away at the dozen or so Smith-Corona typewriters I keep in my basement for the day when we are struck down by Russian/Chinese/Iranian/North Korean/Israeli/ or NSA-derived Cybergeddon.
I've thought about it, too.
And I have a simple answer.
I am almost 65 years old. At last, I have confidence in who I am, in how I think, and how I speak. At last, I have the confidence to write as me. Not someone else.
Not too many years ago, I wrote to a friend who had just lost her job. She was dealing with about 71 crises of confidence at once. I have the note somewhere. It was good.
Don't be afraid to be you.
No one is more you than you.
It's what you're best at.
This is my post for today.