This morning I was perusing through my updates and news links on LinkedIn. I found a few interesting articles. One on the latest update on Philae, and it’s historic landing on a comet. The numbers that we spend on these things really give me pause however. To jump down the rabbit hole for a minute we are studying these comets because we think that they predate the creation of Earth. Perhaps this flying balls of rock could tell us something? What perchance? I would like to know. I also would like to know why we spend so much money on these things, when there are people here and now dying. Dying not just of old age, or avoidable accidents-but poverty, neglect, malnutrition, and they continue to be overlooked. Is it because we have an idea that we will always have this? Is it because we think that it is easy to overlook if it is not staring us in the face everyday? I am more and more inclined to believe that is the prevailing attitude among the many. Perhaps we are so high brow looking for our origins that we forget to continue to help those that originate with us !
Besides the comet, space news and the race we have another article that I read that really struck a cord. I was interested, enthralled and happy to see someone write about the prevailing corporate mindset. It has to do with writing. It has to do with having about seven chiefs in the pot, and each one trying to tailor their article to their own whim. How after all of those people can a singular article sound human? It cannot, and yet we continue to take those jobs because we have to put food on our tables after all. The author Bruce Kasnioff, a ghostwriter on LinkedIn goes on to say “I make my living writing for companies, but I won’t ever attempt to write in a company’s voice… and you shouldn’t either.”
Why shouldn’t we?
Well as he says, and I agree wholeheartedly! Companies are a conglomeration, they are not a person. They do not speak on a personal level. Their entire idea is to bring people to their brand and sell a few things. I’m sure that many other writers in time past had to work on similar contracts. Does that mean as a writer you should be sacrificing a genuine voice? Of course not, to write is to communicate, but not like a set of stereo instructions. As he cheers on companies that are starting to become more human and less robotic, he does have hope for the future. I do as well, but we will still continue to see these company articles filling the gaps until then.
Take a look at Apple! They are always changing and they are growing by leaps and bounds. You would think that their hipster, graphically inclined audience would want more than a selling point. But, they don’t change it. They don’t even mention a change in their voice. That stays the same. They are not alone.
As a writer, it is your job to work within your comfort level. Do not stave off your creativity at the risk of sounding lousy.