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Why I envy designers and developers

It’s relatively common to find people who will happily admit they’re not technical, or can’t code.

It’s reasonably common to find people who will admit they can’t draw or design, even if they still have a habit of making ‘helpful’ suggestions.

It’s not very common to find people who are aware that they can’t string a decent sentence together. It’s somewhat understandable when all our days are increasingly filled with texts, emails, and social media updates. And that’s even if you don’t have a job which requires written work.

Workbench by alicjacolon.com/

Workbench by alicjacolon.com/ (CC Licence)

All of the work I do for my business is around content and communication. Whether it’s client explanations and updates, consumer-facing writing and media, or improving the meta data and information structure for SEO and increasing conversions.

I’ve been employed full-time as a writer, formally studied literature and journalism, and taught writing, journalism and marketing (including on behalf of organisations including the Press Association). Out of the top handful of magazine publishers in the country, I’ve worked for, freelanced or trained at almost all of them.

And I then spend my spare time attempting to bootstrap a digital publishing company, which started literally with nothing. For a long time, I was the sole writer, editor, sales and admin person for any website I worked on.

So hopefully by now, I can string a reasonable sentence together. Although I still get nervous every time I start to write, and a compliment for work I’ve produced can put me on a high for days.

Which begs the question why it can be so difficult to explain the situation to someone who needs great writing and content to promote themselves, or their business. And why they often find it hard to accept that they might not be doing the best possible job – especially when they want to dump it all on the cheapest intern or member of staff they can find.

Those are the times when I really wish I was a proficient coder. Or welder. Possibly an electrician like my father.

Comments

  1. Good one… BTW, if you by any chance would ever need designers/coders, let me know 😉

  2. MsRowhedge says:

    As a fellow wordsmith – I believe that the general public suffers from word blindness. The use of written language is becoming increasingly casual and sloppy which is most unfortunate considering how email is often a preferred method of communication. In the age of Instagram and texting, words no longer seem quite as important as images, for some, and the rules of English grammar have taken a battering for the past 40 years. Why compose a sonnet when a selfie can do the job?

    Dare I suggest that you show your clients how using the right word at the right time in the right way will save them money, make them money and build their brand? I would point to advertising slogans, diction in Twitter, the negative connotations of particular words and steer them away from meaningless filler words. It is said that actions speak louder than words and talk is cheap. I say bring some poetry, simplicity, humour and honesty into business instead of godawful corporatespeak and see the response. Words will always matter.

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