This post is #14 in a series of 50 dedicated to the art and life of writing, in support of the 50 for 50 Project to benefit WriteGirl. If you like it, or if you think it could have been improved by a better writing education for its author, please give generously. And pass it on.
I was a fairly highly-paid copywriter for some some big brand names, but it wasn’t until I started horsing around on the Internet that I actually got good at writing the evanescent stuff.
Blurbs. Bios. Short “about” squibs. And above all, comments and tweets and emails.
When people throw out that rhetorical question of how I manage to get so much done, they usually do it on the heels of some stupid little throwaway bit of nothing that quietly appeared somewhere. I get that, when I’ve been moved to make a remark like that, it’s usually been in the context of something small built upon a whole lot of other somethings small. Many, many pieces of small that together have made up a mountain I can not only see but that I can trust. Seth Godin reputedly responds to every single email he receives. I was startled (not to mention delighted) by the first reply I got, but it was the steady-and-sureness of the replies that led me to know, like, and truly trust him.
Yes, big things are dazzling. But so are many, many small things: the thank-yous and comments and @-replies; the thoughtfully-written FAQs; descriptions, captions, and something beyond a snap of the “like” button. The mundane touches that no one else sees, that arrive sans fanfare, assure us that someone is there, that someone sees us, that we’re not out there alone, whistling Dixie.
Bonus-extra? The more you do them, the better you get at doing all of it.
Portrait of the blogger as a young adhole by her brilliant and very patient first art director, Kate O’Hair.