Welcome to week eighteen of the #WritersQuick5 series - where we learn about writing from fellow writers.
I think it is so important to remember that writers aren’t just people who get books published. Corporate Communications is an incredibly vital and vibrant role in the workforce. Today I’m honored to feature my friend, Erin Slucter, who currently serves as a Senior Manager of Communications and Multimedia at an organization here in Chicago. Her answers here are personal, but her professional work bespeaks the ways in which we all tell stories.
Erin tells corporate stories. As both a communications and multimedia person, about 60% of her storytelling is through video. The other 39.9% is pretty standard communications-type work—speeches, annual reports, letters, etc. And, as tells me, “there is .1% of my time spent thinking about the time I will spend working on the totally interesting creative non-fiction book I will write in the future.”
Let’s see what Erin has to say…
Question #1 - Where do you write and why do you write there?
Everywhere and all over the place. I'm a total scatterbrain when it comes to my projects. They usually consist of a little research, interviews, writing an outline or script, and then pulling together the story. So, that could mean the story is coming together in several different places. I do, however, get loads of clever* ideas that I jot down on my daily commute.
*They are absolutely brilliantly clever to me in the moment but since they often go unexplored, my guess is that gush of what I perceived as cleverness was probably blue line/blue line patron fumes.
Question #2 - What is unique about writing for your particular genre?
Since most of the storytelling I do is for the organizations I work for, there is often a pre-set agenda. That's not necessarily a bad thing but if I'm telling a story about chicken rearing in Alabama, I'm not there to uncover a big news story. I'm there to show people what chicken rearing in Alabama looks like. Or, if I'm writing a speech for a president, the subject of the speech is almost always tied back to my organization's mission.
Question #3 - What are some of your grammar or punctuation pet peeves?
I love the Oxford Comma and feel a bit naked and exposed when it's not used.
Question #4 - At what point in your writing process do you start to bring other people in to review your work?
I've been trying to bring people into the process earlier, at an outline stage. I've found that it cuts down on the 70 million edits that come from all over the place—from the CEO to the IT Coordinator—later.
Question #5 - What advice would you give to a new writer about the writing process?
Don't get anxious if you're a person that both starts and finishes a project at the eleventh hour. My best work happens then. (Note to self, don't get anxious when I both start and finish my next project at the eleventh hour.)
Thank you Erin for sharing this week. I know you, so I can hear your voice in these answers, which means I’m laughing at my desk as I post them because you are as hilarious as you are wise!
And I agree, know yourself well enough to know when you work best - it may just be in the 11th hour!
Thank you for representing those of us who write for a living - even if that doesn’t mean we don’t currently have a book to plug.
If you would like to be featured as a writer in the #WritersQuick5 series, please just reach out and let me know. I’d love to promote your work as well!
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