It’s been a rough morning. The puppies have been barking to be let out (perhaps, as corgis, they’re excited about the royal wedding?), my laptop just had a massive update and my email server isn’t working.
But I fed two of my addictions – my new Kat Von D 10th Anniversary makeup palette (and an Anastasia Beverly Hills lippy) arrived by courier, and I watched the latest edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race – so it can’t all be bad.
I still haven’t started work and it’s 13:40pm. Guess I’ll be working tomorrow then?
*bear with me people, it’s been a long morning – Windows decided to take an HOUR to update when I turned my laptop on*
This week’s inspiration comes from a comment Ross Mathews made on Drag Race, season 10, episode 9.
He was talking to my favourite queen, Miz Cracker (she’s great).
While I was watching Drag Race, eating my breakfast and looking forward to a day of interesting things (oblivious to the fact that I should have turned on my laptop first), Ross made a comment that made me sit up and take notice.
He told Cracker (I’m paraphrasing here …)
Don’t get caught up in the details,
when you’re creating a moment you have to let go.
Oh. My. Goodness.
He is so right!
Look, I’m going to say something here, and you may hate me for it. Especially if you are in the same business that I am – editing, proofreading, copywriting … words, words, words.
You can spend so much time looking at the detail that you lose the big picture.
Remember the phrase I coined a few weeks ago, the ‘Perfectpreneur’? We spend so much time looking at perfectpreneurs, and at the details surrounding them, that we forget we’re just as good and just as capable as them. Do my exercise if you don’t believe me.
When we work, we spend so much time checking the details – the spelling, grammar, syntax – that we can forget we’re creating a moment for the reader.
Sure, details are important – if you don’t check the details and you’re a copyeditor or proofreader then you aren’t doing your job properly. BUT you shouldn’t spend so much time on them that you forget the end user.
You can’t lose the big picture because if you do you lose the moment for the reader.
Sometimes you just have to let go.
Let go of the overly academic text or the business jargon and give the reader room to breathe. Create the moment by using plain language and make them WANT to read your damn paper.
Let go of the perfect English and aim your writing at the level that’s needed. So, start a sentence with ‘so’, and ‘and’, and ‘but’ if you want to. No one is going to die from an informal piece of writing.
Let go of the rigid formality that’s strangling us all. Life is short. Create that moment in the way that’s best for the work in hand.
Just let go.
Create the moment.
Understand that unless your piece of writing is destined for greatness it may not be remembered that long. It’s a tough thought. But it’s true. Look at all the books in the bookshops and all the adverts, leaflets, brochures, websites, TV programmes, radio programmes, YouTube videos …
Create the moment for your readers, whoever they are, and they’re likely to remember you for longer.
Who remembers the staid, boring, formal academic paper that they have to wade through?
Who remembers the word-perfect, boringly detailed, book with no soul?
Sure, check the details but never forget the big picture.
Create the moment, people.