Years, ago, I tried to get a good but hungry writer friend some easy work, writing for Corporate Writer & Editor magazine, of which I was a contributing writer and editor.
All you gotta do, I told him, is come up with some aspect of writing or editing—headlines, leads, nut graphs, captions—and share with the readers your tricks for doing those in a sophisticated way.
I could see the blood run out of his face, but he said yeah, sounded good, he'd give it a try, send me some story ideas.
Weeks went by, months. No ideas. I let it drop.
But then one night at the tavern, he was bellyaching about not having any work.
"But what about Corporate Writer & Ed—"
"I can't do it, David! I just can't do! I can't write about writing—especially to teach people who are supposed to be professional writers and editors how to write and edit! Every time I start to do a piece, I think, 'Why don't you stupid bastards know how to do this?'"
But every communicator (and every bastard) has strong suits and weak hands. Often best writers are shy interviewers. The meticulous investigative journalist can't write a headline. The all-around editorial genius is terrible at negotiating the fees she deserves. A megastar blogger can't proofread his way out of a paper bga.
You know who doesn't have a problem teaching veteran writers what he knows about the craft and business of professional writing—and doing so in the most breezy, lighthearted, colleague-to-colleague way?
Speechwriter, playwright and music man Mike Long, who writes Prose for Pros, a weekly enewsletter for members and acolytes of the Professional Speechwriters Association, where he is resident writing coach.
Kinda like this. (Yes, I know Mike wears weird glasses; and that's not the half of it.)
If you think you can improve any aspect of your writing and editing, sign up here, for free, and see for yourself how personal professional development can feel.