Lightbulb moments

April 26th, 2018   •   no comments   

Light bulbs mean different things to different people. To some, they represent a moment of inspiration; to others, a waste of energy.

As a writer I can see both sides.

Light bulbs burn out and frequently need to be replaced. But don’t they fend off the dark, illuminate our work and help us to see more clearly?

They’re also the source of a great many jokes. Here are a few of my favourites about writers.

Q: How many writers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Just one, but the light bulb has to endure a series of conflicts and challenges before it finally changes.

This one is a classic, although the punchline is ironically predictable.

Q: How many writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: One, and they like to give it a good twist at the end.

I can especially relate to this one:

Q: How many writers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: But why do we have to CHANGE it?

It speaks to me not only because it can be painful to change but because asking the difficult questions is important. And that is something writers can be replied upon to do.

Are you waiting for a light bulb moment?

Why not cut to the chase?

Hire a writer: we’ve got plenty of bright ideas!

 

The power of words #2

April 4th, 2018   •   no comments   

Words are the most powerful drug - KiplingWhich means they must be used wisely, at the right dose, and targeted to your audience. Helping you inject the most powerful words into your communications is what a good writer does best.

The power of one

January 20th, 2017   •   no comments   
The power of one

When you work as a freelance writer, you quickly learn the secrets of flying solo.

At first it can be daunting. Let’s face it: there are things you give up when you go out on your own. Like being part of a team, having colleagues to cover your back, not to mention the perks of full-time employment – the comfort of knowing you will be paid at the end of the month.

Then there are the amazing upsides. There’s the satisfaction of bringing real value to a client who chooses you for their project. The focus and perspective you are able to provide while sitting on the outside. The opportunity to learn about different clients and connect with their culture. All while enjoying freedom from team meetings, office politics, and the ability to pick and choose who you go to lunch with.

Independence doesn’t come without its challenges. When you are accountable only to yourself, there are no excuses. And there are plenty of objectives. First and foremost, find work. Get it done. Get paid. read more

Getting out of survival mode

July 16th, 2015   •   no comments   

Every time you turn around these days it seems that someone is offering advice — how to make your life better, find purpose, accomplish your goals. This article offers a simple approach to actually making it happen. And it works! I can personally vouch for the efficacy of everything on this list, with the possible exception of the cold shower. But after all, 7 out of 8 ain’t bad, right?

8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M.

How cats won the internet

February 10th, 2015   •   no comments   
How cats won the internet

And what they can teach us about content marketing.

When it comes to grabbing attention online, we are all competing with cats. That is a fact that you are entitled to find offensive – but it’s a reality of the world wide web. Cats are the consummate content marketers. They manage to steal attention away from topics far more worthy of our time. They can upstage even the most sophisticated marketing launch. So how do they do it?

Here are 5 things about content we can learn from cats.

  1. Cats are entertaining
    Those feisty felines offer a click that rarely disappoints. You will never be bored by a cat. Either you will get to see them taken down a peg or two, or you will be forced to admire their inspired camouflage techniques, hunting prowess or unbearable cuteness.
  2. Cats are clever
    They have something to teach us. Their content not only entertains but informs. That is true value.
  3. Cats are cool
    They don’t try too hard to be clever. Or jockey for attention (like dogs). They just are. That’s authentic. And that’s one of the secrets to creating great content.
  4. Cats are timely
    They know how to wait. And when the time is right – they pounce! That impeccable sense of timing serves them well on the web where timing the publication of content can be critical.
  5. Cats are a little….subversive
    There you have the secret ingredient of cat-driven content. Subversiveness is the certain je ne sais quoi that fascinates us about cats and helps differentiate their brand. You know they’re up to something no good and that is the part of the draw. Good content offers something a bit different, an experience that veers away from the mainstream.

 

Additional links you may find helpful:

Ten-and-a-half thoughts about content marketing from The Writer

 

Bonus: Here’s a real life example of what we are up against. Why I am showing you this? Guess I’m a cat at heart.

Losing her memory, not her mind

August 11th, 2014   •   no comments   

Once upon a time she was a brilliant toxicologist who commanded the title of ‘Doctor’ in court. Now she doesn’t recognize her own son.

I’m inspired to share one man’s poignant tale of losing a mother to Alzheimer’s, one memory at a time. This is storytelling at its best.

Reblogged from Medium.
Doctor.

My rule for creating content that delivers

June 18th, 2014   •   no comments   

One rule I try to live and work by is: ‘Always deliver on your promises.’ The bottom line is if you can’t deliver, don’t promise. This policy may not always win friends and influence people but it will definitely not make enemies or leave disappointed clients grumbling behind your back.

The same thing goes for effective communication. ‘Tis better to under promise and over deliver. Sound obvious? This can be a tough sell when it comes to marketing messages. I find people often all too willing to believe their own B.S. But if your product isn’t really going to change society, transform lives, or even amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, as Bogey said to Bacall in Casablanca, there’s little point in promising it will.

That’s even truer when it comes to creating content that delivers. My current bugbear is the post with the killer headline, designed to draw you in according to tried-and-true copywriting techniques:

read more

The Crossroads of Should and Must

April 15th, 2014   •   no comments   

Which path has your career taken?
An inspiring story about the choices we make and how they impact our lives.
Reblogged from Medium.

The Crossroads of Should and Must

Harness the power of ‘no’

March 28th, 2014   •   no comments   
Harness the power of ‘no’

Reports from early childhood indicate that ‘no’ was my first word.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never hesitated to say no in my professional life. Not because I’m a negative person. Rather the opposite: I’m quite positive about what I want.

It’s been my experience that really positive things can come out of a negative. They are two sides of the same coin. But here’s the tricky part: you have to say yes to harness the power of no.

Let me give you an example.

I said no to a new job opportunity not long ago because I really believed I could do great things as a consultant. I needed to close one door to open the other.

That was my ‘yes’ – starting a new business. Saying no allowed me to focus on what I really wanted to achieve in my career.

And recently, I turned down a potentially exciting project that would have brought me a lot of exposure. Not because I don’t need it, but because it would have prevented me from saying yes to a lot of other work for clients I value.

In a culture that reveres the yes, here are 3 reasons to just say no: read more

How to be a superhero

December 10th, 2013   •   no comments   
How to be a superhero

As we reach the end of 2013, it’s a time when many of us reflect back on the year and ask ourselves, ‘What could I have done better?’

This presentation from Bruce Kasanoff offers some of the best advice I can think of. (Especially Rule #1) Whether you apply it to your business, your relationships or any other aspect of your life…the world needs more heroes!

Give it a read: it’s quick, it’s fun and it’s something we can all do to make our world better.
Click to view on SlideShare: How to be a superhero!