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National and Global, United States

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Know That I'm No Writer. I Can Prove It


Now, I know I have this bloggy-thinger going. That doesn't mean that I can write. I know that. One teacher in college told me 'you write good' (not her exact words), and should apply that to your future thoughts. And so I did. The results, as you will see, were less then stellar.

While in college, I went to work for a number of organizations as a 'writer'.

1) TV Guide Magazine -- I was hired as a 'promotional writer'. What that means is that you write copy for those little 'lap cards' that fall out of magazines when you open them. Yep, that was me. I was fired. Christmas Eve I recall.

2) Bofinger-Kaplan Advertising (no longer around) -- I was hired as a copywriter for this ad agency. My job? Naming paints. The color swatches would come across my desk, and I had to come up with names. You see them all the time at HomeDepot.
Fantasia Yellow, Caboose Red, Green Tea Green. This is a tough job if you are color blind. I am not. I was fired.

3) Union Fidelity Insurance (no longer around) -- This was one of those direct-mail insurance companies. You know, pay premiums for two years before benefits and no physical exam. I wrote copy for their direct mail pieces. What do you tell an 87 year old woman, who has to pay premiums for two years, before she is covered? Hang in there? I was fired.

4) Rodale Press (finally a company that's still around) -- I was hired again to write promotional copy for Organic magazines. This job was a 60+mile trip one-way. 120 miles per day, five days per week is not exactly 'organic'. Nor was I.
I was fired.

Thus, at an early age I realized (or someone did it for me) that I was indeed, not a writer. I had visions at one time of Ernest Hemingway. But no, I was never to be that. I couldn't even put names to paint colors. Instead, I would like to consider myself a 'humorist'. Nice term.

A humorist is a person who writes or performs humorous material. The material written and/or performed by humorists tends to be more subtle and cerebral than the material created by stand-up comedians and comedy writers. The intention is often to provoke wry smiles and amusement rather than outright belly laughs.

My family members probably would say there's an oxymoron there between me (the person) and me (the humorist). Nevertheless, if I can't be a Hemingway, I can at least attempt to be Ambrose Bierce, Yogi Bear, James Thurber, or Dr Seuss. Ogden Nash and Frank Zappa also comes to mind.

I will assume that most who read this will say that I am indeed not a writer. Some will say 'nor a humorist'. I don't mind. You can't fire me. And that's the great stuff of a blogger.

As Garrison Keillor noted:
"That's the news from Lake Woebegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."

"Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.". Even if you think I am a writer. Which I am not.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Your own boss, your own opinions and nobody can fire you. Love it. And...yes, I acknowledge the oxymoron. :-)

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