The magic and mess of a blank page
I started the year trying to resume the discipline of keeping a handwritten journal. This process of deliberately writing by hand has reminded me how it so often results in a flow that’s very different from writing using a keyboard. This got me to thinking about a poem I’d written several years ago about writing by hand On the first day of a writer’s workshop, the instructor said we would be writing by hand. Write…Keep reading
Seeking practice over perfect
“Practice makes perfect.” Surely a mantra we all heard as children…whether it was in sports, spelling, music or math. This was a standard line repeated by grown-ups who were just trying to help us learn. Practice is a good thing…right? But perfect? Rarely possible. Over the years, I’ve come to understand perfection is a false master regardless of the task. My perfect custard might look like your messy pie. My perfect swan dive might be…Keep reading
Tips for working with content expert writers
Comms professionals often depend on content experts to write about technical or complex topics for general audience newsletters, websites or social posts. But when content experts write about topics they know best, the document they produce might include industry lingo, technical language or assumptions about what a reader already knows. This is where the editor comes in to be the connect point between the writer’s intention and the reader’s experience. Avoiding disconnects between the context…Keep reading
Lobbying + Communications Teams = Heavenly Match or Rocky Marriage?
In theory, an organization’s lobbying activities should be closely aligned with its communications strategies. After all, the success of lobbying and grassroots advocacy efforts hinges on good communication of a well-articulated and targeted message to influence policy decisions at the local, state or federal level. In practice, however, organizations sometimes find that turf battles and conflicting priorities between these two important functions mean lobbying and communications teams are doing their own thing. Both are in…Keep reading
A dozen ideas to get reading more in 2023
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, you more places you will go.” – Dr. Seuss. Reading has always been a delight for me. I loved the library’s summer reading clubs when I was a kid. Browsing bookstores is a favorite pastime when I travel. Countless books on writers and writing are scattered around my house. In recent years, however, I found myself reading books less…Keep reading
It’s National Word Nerd Day
Today is National Word Nerd Day. This observance gives us a chance to make good grammar relevant again. I’m not sure who should be in charge of this movement, so I’m stepping up to lead the parade. For some people, writing is just a way to communicate. For me, it’s more of a passion for how words fit together. I see writing as an intersection of creativity, experience, knowledge and connection. It’s an art and a science…Keep reading
An election gratitude reflection
For anyone who has worked in campaigns, the week leading up to the election is like no other experience. It’s a blinding minute-by-minute chaos of decisions on the fly, anticipating every possibility that could stand in the way of making it to election day. (photo below is from the “week-of” bus tour during Nick Theodore’s 1994 gubernatorial campaign). I spent my early career years involved in the front lines of campaigns. These weren’t just jobs.…Keep reading
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