Friday, November 14, 2008

prose therapy

I don't know any writer who gets to just sit in her ivory tower and pursues her art. Do you? Fiction writers, poets, playwrights, we all have other jobs.

Most of my colleagues write reviews or essays or journalism pieces (I do all three). Many of my cohorts are teachers (I am only a teacher as "cameo appearance").

Then there are the ones who, like me, write copy for the lion's share of their day jobs. I invent copy, edit copy, brainstorm copy and fix copy. I wrestle with words for hours in behalf of my clients who are C-level corporate dudes, small business owners, artists, performers, nonprofits and entrepreneurs. At times, this job has proven stressful and tedious, particular when committees are involved, and the individuals who make up those committees can't agree on tone, style and message. But, fortunately, my typical client is a unilateral decision maker with a passion for a product or service.

I love working with people like that. I love it because I get to channel their styles, their personalities and their dreams, and come up with a story. My business partner, Laura, once called me a "prose therapist." What a great title, eh? Aligning words with the essence of a particular business or service?

These days, when the phone isn't exactly ringing off the hook, and clients are making very careful spending decisions, I feel myself increasingly reflective about the best way to finesse copy in service to helping clients grow, or sustain, their businesses. And reflection, at the end of the day, is a healthy response to the chaotic tumble of a catawumpus economy.

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