The three-day weekend is over and in 15 minutes or so I’ll start my commute back to work. Right now I’m in the eating bacon and oatmeal and drinking coffee stage. So, mentally, I’m not at work. This time is still my time.
Last night, at some point, I had an idea about what I should write about this morning, but I did not write it down so I no longer remember what it was. I have to freestyle it—wait, I remember now. I wanted to write out (or at least a first draft of) my Hire Me To Do Writing copy.
I think I’ll just continue to freestyle this. Maybe I can use part of this as a draft, but I don’t want to just sit down and pound out something that’s going to be useful. So here are my thoughts.
By way of explanation, I’m going to revise and update the “About Me” and “Hire Me” pages for this blog. I also want to create a landing page, with a short snappy URL, that I can put out there into the world to be my canonical web page. For a long time, this blog has been that, but the blog requires more attention to dig in and find blog posts, so I don’t think it works too well for that catch-all, “who is this guy?” for any Jane or Jack to see if they encounter me out in the wild wild web.
If I want to try to sell my writing, since I don’t have very much published writing out there, I need to focus on a sales pitch. Building my brand, as it were. And honestly, I’m not sure what my brand is these days (or ever was).
Something I’ve always focused on when selling myself for my day job is clear, concise, and straightforward explanations of complicated or technical subjects. That will work well for my writing, too. I have learned over the years how to break down and break through the jargon, to use everyday metaphors, and to aim my words at where people are, rather than talking down to them.
In that same vein, I’ve tried hard to put myself in other people’s shoes, to see where they are coming from, and to empathize with and understand points of view that are not my own. It started when I read science-fiction; in good sci-fi, the author isn’t just depicting monsters, they’re figuring out whole societies that are not human societies and extrapolating how the individuals in them would work. Taking that to its logical conclusion means creating people with motives and reactions that make sense—even if that’s not how a human being would do. Reading those stories was good training for me.
And on top of that, all that reading was excellent practice in figuring out what is and isn’t good writing. Why wouldn’t someone hire me? I’m the kid whose mom learned I could read when she caught her three-year-old reading the Sunday comics to his older sister. I’m the first-grader who was playing with a typewriter when other kids were playing with dolls or balls. I’m the natural journalism student in high school, the guy who happily took typewriting classes so I could get my thoughts down on paper faster in a class of women who were pushed to being secretaries.
That’s why you should hire me to write whatever you need written. And I’ll work on spec!