“. . . measuring does not apply to writing, other than direct-response copywriting.”

Dr. Gary North has an article at his site, titled “Prove You Are Better Than All the Job Applicants in Two Steps” that is about positioning yourself stronger as the coming recession increases the number of qualified applicants exponentially.  He points to speaking and writing.  Speaking is the real skill.  Writing, well, every junior editor who edits mocking commentary in his head a la Beevis & Butthead fashions himself a writer. But it was actually a comment that North made in one of his forum posts that nailed it.  IT came upon a question from a member about how to measure one’s writing.  Dr. North wrote “. . . measuring does not apply to writing, other than direct-response copywriting.” That’s exactly it.

That’s exactly it.

In high school, kids are taught to write essays–expository, persuasive, narrative, poetry, book reviews, short stories at best.  But these exercises have only for their audience their teacher, who to many I am sure is either tiring, a clown, or a task manager.  Not the ideal audience.  And that’s what is required for anyone to get inspired and create decent work.

Direct marketing suddenly gets the boys involved, boys are fired by the prospect of making a profit and turning a dollar with their talents.

The forum member recommended the SMART approach, fashioned by Michael Hyatt, to measuring one’s writing.  SMART is the acronym for 1) Specific, 2) Measured, 3) Actionable, 4) Realistic, and 5) Time-constrained.  This is too close to what Michael Masterson taught as well; in fact, this is the standard formula for goal setting, not so much for measuring one’s writing abilities. The best way to do that is to write and then work to publish, either through Kindle or sell your writing through direct marketing clients.

To produce a book or write copy or sell ads, review the insights of these gentlemen here: Bill Myers, Bob Bly, or AWAI.

 

After 10 Years on the Job, What Next?

In answer to the question of what one should do after 10 years in your field, leave or find ways to advance, Dr. North writes this:

Once you’ve hit the 7-10 year mark in your field, should you keep on getting those hours of experience for master status or should you switch to another field touching yours and start that experience clock over?”

If you quit 100%, you will get rusty. The new field should be complementary to your main field. Alternative: become a consultant. You will then be forced to learn marketing. Or become a writer/consultant. Inside the firm, become a teacher.

“On the other side of the table, if you hire for a job that needs a journeyman but not a master, would you rather offer a master a journeyman salary assuming an excess of masters or look only for journeyman candidates?”

Go for the journeyman. You may get a hot shot. The master has seen his day. But if the master could be a teacher or mentor, hire the master at a wage in between. A good teacher is worth paying for. He will get journeymen up to speed.