New year, new direction


Master has given Ducky a sock.

Rather than wait for a specific date to roll around, I’ve found that just getting started on making a change when the inspiration hits is more effective and longer lasting. I’ve made them before, but they didn’t stick; as usual.

This year however, I’m being laid off.

Why is this happening?

Simple. The company is reorganizing. My position, and the positions of everyone else on my team here in Seattle, are being moved to the company’s headquarters on the other side of the country.

So, yeah…change is being forced upon me.

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5 keys to taking feedback like a badass

Gandalf and Saruman

No one likes to work with someone who refuses to take feedback. We’ve all worked with people like that—someone who’s determined that he/she is right and that others are wrong and that the work produced is without flaw or need of improvement at all, whatsoever. Period.

It’s not easy.

There was a period of two years during which I worked with two graphic designers who are absolute opposites when it comes to handling critique of their work.

Note: When I refer to these creative colleagues, I’m obviously not going to use their real names. So I’ll call them Gandalf and Saruman. Personal preference.

Watching them showed me their distinct approaches—and how to be better at taking feedback myself.

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Earning clients’ trust


Why can’t they just trust me? I’m a professional.

~ Every Writer Ever

According to my research, every writer on the planet has uttered some form of this phrase at least a hundred times. (Disclaimer: My research has consisted of talking to my fellow writers here at work. Still, I’m pretty sure I’m right.)

It’s frustrating when we feel like our clients don’t trust us.

We pour ourselves into our work. We take pride in it. We can also be slightly sensitive about it at times, too. When someone questions that comma or that phrase or that arrangement, it’s easy to get defensive. Because really, why don’t they trust us?

But really, why should they trust us?

Seriously. Have we earned their trust? It’s their project, their company, their brand, their reputation, how they look to their bosses. We’re their resource.

So instead of taking it personally, let’s empathize and earn our clients’ trust.

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5 basics every writer should be able to do


This post isn’t about gadgets or books or some sure-fire, secret to transform your writing into everything you’ve ever dreamed of, plus a basket of kittens.

This is about table stakes. Basics that other people may not tell you about because you’re expected to already know.

Because they’re part of every writer’s job.

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What to do when you reach Cat Butt Level

Cat Butt Writing LevelEver work on a mind-numbing copywriting project that just won’t end?

New feedback conflicts with previous feedback. Nit-picky edits stemming from random opinion. Rounds and rounds of review are followed by more rounds of review.

It laughs in the face of all processes and procedures as it robs you of your sanity.

Not every project turns out like this. Some go on forever and when they’re done, you miss them (you were having that much fun). But once in a while, there’s that odd project that inspires you to do practically anything to just end the pain.

That moment you reach that point of no return?

I call it the Cat Butt Level.

As in “I’ll stick a picture of a cat’s butt on this thing if you will just approve it.”

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