холови гарнитуриYou never know where ideas and help are going to come from or when. Yesterday I paused from working and found two posts that helped me discover something I’d been looking for a long time. What was I looking for? What it is I do.
For me the most painful, almost unbearable kind of writing is biography. I don’t mean a book about me. I mean short bios on blogs, social media, resumes and so on.
A friend of mine on the west coast, Tzaddi, had a post yesterday, Common Threads, and she echoes what always bothers me. We insist on niches. The more specific the better. We’re in a world crazy for modifiers.
It’s not enough to be a writer (or designer, or musician, or fill-in-the-blank). What kind of writer are you?
There are definitely good reasons for asking such questions. The problem, however, is that they are limiting. If I’m an SEO writer, the implication is that I am not a radio copyrighter. If I’m known as WordPress designer, the implication is that I don’t design non-WordPress sites.
Our modifiers box us in and this is what I’ve always resisted. Boxes are boring. And as far as writing goes, I truly believe that if you are a writer you can write anything. You may have to get up to speed on some style aspects, but you can write it.
So what Tzaddi wrote really resonated with me. But her post was about common threads in her work. She discovered her clients, who all seem very different, had something in common and it was there she discovered what Tyler Tervooren talks about on his Advanced Riskology site.
He has a post titled, What’s your secret mission? I read his post and shortly after read Tzaddi’s and later lines of thought intersected and I suddenly knew my secret mission.
When I first read Tyler’s post I didn’t think I had what he refers to as a secret mission. It seemed very much like, “What do you do?” To that I’ve only ever been able to answer, “I write.”
But later I started thinking in terms of common threads. Were there any in the different things I do all day, in my various jobs, my posts … in what I do when I do what I do. I think there is and that is because those two posts I’ve referred to intersected. I realized there is something I’m always trying to do.
My secret mission, which is really not so secret (though I guess it was to me for a long time) is this:
Help people communicate with clarity, integrity, humanity and respect.
It’s that simple. That’s what I do.
(By the way, I also believe that is the way you communicate effectively.)