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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Why I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo—again

lolcat-spartans

Let me start by making something clear—in no way am I against National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) itself. As with any gargantuan goal, I see  value in it.

Setting goals. Applying butt to chair and getting the job done. Pushing yourself to finish. Building your writing muscles. The feeling of accomplishment at just having the novel written. The bragging rights alone can give you warm fuzzy feelings.

However, NaNoWriMo isn’t for everyone.

  • If doing NaNoWriMo doesn’t work for you, don’t do it.
  • There are reasons to do it and reasons not to do it.
  • Either way is fine.

NaNoWriMo is not for me.

Here’s why. Continue reading

Flex your skills with 5-minute free writing

5_min_writing

Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Houston, I was an art student. Then I became a graphic artist and web designer. I sketched, a lot.

Now I’m a copywriter who works alongside graphic artists and web designers. And they sketch, a lot. During meetings, in brainstorming sessions, at their desks — their pens and pencils skim over whatever’s handy with a steady rhythm. And in just a few minutes, they can sketch some amazing stuff.

Last week, I was five minutes early for a meeting. So I followed their example but instead of sketching pictures, I jotted down random phrases that popped in my head.

The results themselves were terrible, but it was still worth it.

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To edit or not to edit?

star-trek-grammer-lolcat

“Please don’t judge my spelling, I know you’re a writer.”

“I’m sorry for my sloppy email, I know you’re a writer.”

“I apologize in advance for my crappy IM, I know you’re a writer.”

– Lots of people

I hear these fearful phrases (and similar) more often than I’d like, usually from people who are about to put something in writing for me to read.

Colleagues, new friends, old friends, casual acquaintances, passersby on the Internet—you name it, too many people are afraid I’m going to point out their mistakes just because I’m a writer.

But I’m not.

I’m not a member of the grammar police. And I don’t know a writer who is. Yes, we’re sticklers and yes, we do enjoy a good Oxford comma debate. But I’d like to think enough of us know when to turn it off.

But it does make me want to ask—when is it okay to edit and when is it not?

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What you need to build an MVP website

 

Ducks in a Row

Okay, time to rest my copywriter’s hat on my head. Today’s copywriters need an online presence. However, I’d wager that when a writer first thinks of building a website, the thought process goes something like this…

OMG!! It needs to be perfect or I’ll never work again! Quick, someone tell me how to make it perfect!!! I NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING NOW!!! AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

At least it did for me.

An MVP website is one way to start. By “MVP,” I mean minimal viable product. As in “What is the most basic website I can get away with and still look good?”

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