Over the course of my 20-plus years practicing PR, I’ve observed two primary classes of professional writers: those who crank and those who plod.
I fit squarely into the latter camp. And it can be a real bitch.
Let me explain the distinction.
“Crankers” turn out quick, passable copy in a smooth and efficient manner. They ease into any assignment and can write seemingly on cue. I’m insanely jealous of these individuals.
“Plodders,” on the other hand, obsess. Obsessively. And we daydream. And trudge through even the simplest of projects. Some of us may even concoct some sort of ridiculous ritual or try connecting to an imaginary muse to unleash inherent writing talent.
Make no mistake, both writers get the job done. But the crankers do it with aplomb (and dignity), while the plodders finish said task in a puddle of sweat, tears, sometimes blood.
And the reality is, we’re living in an increasingly cranker-friendly world, where speed trumps just about everything else (including attention to detail and nuance).
So what’s an old-line plodder to do – besides beat his weary head against his desk? Although I haven’t completely decided whether crankers are born or made, I do know that I’ve failed in my ongoing attempts to morph into a fully-functioning one.
Hence I continue to plod. One. Labored. Word. At. A. Time.