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Posts Tagged ‘writing presentation’

About a week ago I presented to a large group of writers. I mentioned it briefly. We build websites for lawyers and the topic was the future of content in our products. Now, this is far from the purpose of this fiction writing blog, but I think that’s irrelevant because I strongly believe writers of any kind should take the time to talk about writing and to listen about writing. I considered it a privilege to get on stage and talk to them because, in some regards, there’s a little jealously on my part: writing is a function of my role, but it’s their actual job.

As much as I’d like to claim we had a dialogue, it was presentation where I talked about developing new content opportunities, flexibility in the product spec, and a greater ability to help the customer. Fortunately for me, I saw many heads nodding agreement, so I must have been saying the right things. But these were things I believe in. Many companies that hire writers often relegate the work to just another function of the great content churning machine. They lose the art and a bit of the soul as a result. There is no line item for artistic freedom on the balance sheet. I’d like to think we do things a little differently here and part of my job is to help the writers put a bit of the love of the craft into the content they provide our customers.

Instead of raising barriers for them, I want to remove the ones we’ve already established. Instead of requiring that they write to cater to the whims of a search engine, I want them to write for humans who will make an emotional connection with our customers. Instead of them slogging through the work day to meet a quota, I want them to feel they’ve accomplished something and are helping someone else succeed. Now, these sentiments may be a bit fanciful, a bit rose-colored-glasses-ish, but c’mon, I’m a novelist at heart.

I wrote this post to serve as a reminder to myself and my fellow writers: take the time to learn more about what works for other writers and to share what works for you. Don’t forget there’s a balance to the art and the work that writing entails, whether you’re crafting content for a client, whether you’re typing up the Great American Novel, or whether you’re just taking a few minutes to jot down some words to entertain yourself. Finally, give yourself permission to change your writing style and to create content different than you normally would.

And don’t forget this one last thing:

Write.

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I’m speaking to a group of writers today. I’m a product manager for websites and a large part of what we produce is written content. So, these are my colleagues and they are executing the specifications that I have laid out. It’s a great opportunity for two-way communication and idea exchange.

I had intended to write more about this before the presentation, but I’ll have to do a write-up later.

As a writer, I’m always excited for opportunities to meet with other writers, regardless of the type of content they create.

Time to go!

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