In a cartoon I saw once, a Hollywood producer summons his secretary. “I want to send a memo to the parking-lot attendant,” he bellows. “Get me a couple of writers.”
I sympathize. Writing is not often easy or fun, and those of us in business are usually too busy to give it the time it seems to demand. We’d all like to have staff writers on call, to handle those difficult letters and memos that seem to pile up.
Most of us, however—even in large organizations—have to be our own “writing department.” We have to take personal responsibility for the stream of writing tasks that cross our desks.
That’s probably as it should be. As designer and entrepreneur Richard Saul Wurman, president of Access Press, says, “You shortchange yourself if you think that writing is ‘someone else’s problem.’ . . . Even if your job description says nothing about writing, by regarding yourself as a writer, even privately, you can take advantage of the discipline of the craft.”
This week, think of yourself as a writing department. Take responsibility for your writing.