Maybe that headline should read, “There’s just so much people want to read,” but this blog pretends to be about writing, and writing is what I pretend I do, so I prefer it the way it is, focused on writing, though honestly my real point is this:
Who wants to read (or hear read from a script) the tedious, uninformative, bland material that gets written every day? Brochures, film scripts, novels, blog posts (yikes!), radio ads, newsletters and so on … Who?
Over the years, I’ve written loads of utter rubbish — some I was definitely responsible for. My bad. But a huge amount of it was because I was paid to write it and, regardless of my suggestions, clients, bosses, whoever was calling the shots, insisted the waste-of-time text be done.
They were more interested in the artifact — a sheet of paper with words on it, 30 seconds of talking — than in the actual content, which was often non-existent (or utterly boring). They were caught up in the process of creating marketing material and utterly failing in making the connection between what was being written and the result they were hoping for. Had they paid attention to what the goal was (getting attention, selling whatever they were selling, engaging people), they might have had some different writing done, or even forgone the words entirely.
If you ain’t got a thing worth saying, for the love of Mike, don’t say anything!
Radio ads about nothing are noise. Brochures that don’t inform and entice are wasted paper. Scripts that put people to sleep are merely doorstops. And all are waste of everyone’s time, including yours. (Well, I suppose if you need the money, there is that to justify it. But you know what I mean.)
Have something to say. And say it in an engaging way.
Yes, and now if I can only learn to take my own advice …