The Quintessential Writer
Picture, for a moment, the quintessential writer. The sort of writer that we all grew up wanting to be; the type of writer that doesn’t answer what he or she does with, “I’m a writer,” but, “I’m that writer.”
Maybe you picture someone specific. William Shakespeare, quill in hand, poised over a play; George Orwell, writing the title of Animal Farm. Perhaps you see Harper Lee, writing the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, or JK Rowling, sitting on that crowded train, the plot of Harry Potter developing in her mind. Maybe all you see is a faceless form, head tilted away from the light so it can’t be seen. At some point, however, I think all those images start to take the same path. The writer reaches for a writing tool—a pen, a laptop, a vintage typewriter—and writes.
One thing I don’t think anyone sees the writer doing is pausing. Putting the pen back down. And reaching for a rulebook to check that he’s doing things right.
I decided to something a little different this week. Instead of a typical blog post, I’m like to share a short exercise in imagination. The topic: what would a job interview be like if it went like a fantasy story?
The heavy wooden door creaked as I pushed it open.
“Hi. I’m Jack. Jack Green. I’m here for the interview?”
“Of course.” The man behind the polished oak desk raised a hand and gestured to the chair in front of him. “Please. Have a seat.”
I did, taking a moment to survey the office. It had the kind of eccentric furnishings you usually only see in the homes of reclusive billionaires. Bookshelves, crammed with dusty tomes, lined the walls; a gleaming steel sword leaned against the fireplace, stained faintly with what I told myself was rust. A suit of dented armor hung on a stand. A fake skull—at least, I really hoped it was fake—sat atop the interviewer’s desk.
Unique selling point: The X-factor to any product or service. That one thing that makes it stand out. Also known as USP.
Maybe you’re writing a LinkedIn profile summary. Perhaps you’re prepping for an interview. Whatever the case, there comes a point where you’re faced with an uncomfortable question:
What is my unique selling point as a writer?
Eli Landes is one of those weird writers who just can't get enough. A marketing writer by day and a fiction writer whenever he can squeeze in the time, he spends his spare time working on his novel, writing short fiction, or daydreaming (I mean, researching). His main genre is Jewish fiction, but he's been known to dabble in the weird, the absurd, and the truly dark.
Eli Landes (the dude whose blog you're reading right now) is a marketing copywriter by day and a fiction writer whenever he can squeeze in the time. He's gotten pretty good at it, and has decided to share his "wisdom." Sigh. I guess they let everyone do this these days.
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