Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Safe and Cute Equals Crap

This post originally appeared on the Moxie Life blog on August 1, 2010.

image from www.flickr.com I have been stuck in my writing. I received an email from a friend that just floored me. I love him, and his opinions matter to me - which is why I assume that all of this stopped me in my tracks. Here are a few excerpts:

"Incidentally, your writing has always been pleasant, informative, and welcome, but never (to my recollection) particularly impressive. It’s clear enough, and pleasant to read, but nothing says “Jackie”. It is NOT because you are not a good writer but I suspect because you refuse to let yourself go…
To be more specific:
  • You tend toward the safe. I don’t think you’re willing to back an unpopular cause, UNLESS that unpopular cause is in itself another popular cause (case in point: “Obama babes”)
  • You tend toward the cute in your design responses; you always consider what might appeal to the client; and if that appeal is not immediately obvious (to the client) you prepare yourself with reasons beforehand (i.e. you do your homework/research).
  • I think you tend to be pragmatic in everything you do. By the time you take something up you’ve probably already thought how it will ‘play’ in society. (i.e., how you will sell it; where you will put it; etc.) I don’t know if you will write just to write."
He goes on... "Oh by the way, you are a writer. All that stuff you put in your blog; your emails; etc..."

Cute, formulaic, pleasant, welcome... but not impressive. The truism to that hit me hard and stopped my pen from flicking across the page and my fingers on the keyboard.

I wasn't upset.

I was just facing what I knew, but never said.

So, for about a week I stopped all of this writing activity.

But then realized that isn't the right answer. I can't get better, be more clear, be more real if I stop. I have to continue writing... and, I guess you have to continue reading the drivel. And hell, I am too pragmatic to give up.

Photo Credit: Djuliet

Jacqueline Wolven is pure "California Girl meets the South" on her blog MoxieLife. She explores what it means to be a mom, a 40-something, and how to relate to her chosen state of Arkansas. Nothing, well, a few things, are off topic. Life, politics (leaning far left), religion, popular culture and figuring out who she really wants to be when she grows up. A writer, consultant, speaker, and prolific project queen she puts it all out there for you to read. You can find her blog at http://goodwolve.blogs.com/moxielife/

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