Monday, July 14, 2014

My ruminations on writing & work

I've been thinking lately about the point of this blog, specifically  in relation to the labels "writing" and "work" that I've used for some of the posts throughout my six years of regular posting here, with the hyperlinks representing posts in which I had a label of one or the other.

To take these one at a time, perhaps the best way to look at usage of "writing" as a label is through some of the text of my post done in Feb of this year, "My new book compilation - More Words Written Down"...

More Words Written Down is a follow-up effort to the compilation book projects Words Written Down and 111 Books Reviewed with all three coming out of this blog and each an appreciation of words put down on a page in a meaningful order. The blog itself was begun 5 ½ years ago and my approach to it has been to read things of interest and then attempt to describe those pieces well and make connections between them. The result of this is hopefully both a repository of great writing and body of work with my thoughts on the pieces. As part of this body of work idea, the blog and book compilations out of it are also intended to serve as a tangible record for my two boys of what things I found interesting or important early in their lives.

Links noted throughout the print version of the book can be found at the referenced blog post and have as their criterion for inclusion the concept of Interesting. If writing was deemed interesting, it’s noted along with my ruminations on the topic and view of what makes that particular set of words grouped together into a book or story so good that they acquire permanence. The goal of Words Written Down is to highlight and pay homage to this permanence of words. Everybody's gotta have a thing, and for me, one of my big things is words. Here's to hoping that as my boys get older they find the things that have importance for them and get to spend their time pursuing and working on those.

In short, I like words, and that's why I've written this blog.

So, with that, the other label noted above is that of "work." In terms of work, I feel like I've come to the realization that I love reading, love coming across pieces of great writing, describing what it is I like about a particular piece of writing and making connections between it and other pieces of great writing, but I don't feel a particular drive to become a writer producing the type of journalism I love.

Rather, it's the idea of effective communication that I find cool, and to do that for work wouldn't require me to become a journalist, but could well be simply someone helping craft compelling business messages. To this point, one of my more memorable (at least to myself) posts I've done with the label of "work" was titled "The Ethereal Nature of Stock Valuation & Much Corporate Work Activity," with the conclusion to that post noted below...

Me thinks there's also way too much etherealness (yep, it's a word) in the corporate work done at many of the public companies out there. Just as stock valuation can be a matter of (often wrong) perception, corporations can too frequently have their best employees identified on the basis of not terribly important indicators like "being busy." I touched on this phenomenon in the Sept 2010 post "Urgent vs Important Work," but so frequently time gets spent on things that don't really move the success or failure dial much (and this is even using the public company success/failure dial of income/profit).

It's not to say all corporations are filled entirely by employees doing busy work 100% of the time as some corporations (and employees) are going to be much more productive around things of import than others, but it is an interesting morass to try to avoid, both as a corporation and it's employees. Corporate level success or failure at this busy work avoidance isn't going to change the stock increase chasing game, but is probably going to result in the companies that have employees focused on important rather than ethereal/urgent work performing better overall. Not a paradigm breaking statement to be sure, but important nonetheless.

To sum it all up, or as much as I can in this missive, I love great writing that tells an effective story, always will and hope that my boys are going to as well and while business communication may not necessarily carry as much heft as other types of communication, there is a need for people who can both craft and manage it's production effectively and doing this can very much tie into my overall love of great writing.