Writing Philosophy

Thoughts, approaches, aspirations
More Than a Passion

I recently read of someone’s passion for writing, and it gave me pause. Writing is integral to my existence, but do I have a passion for it? When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a writer. I have wanted to be a writer since third grade, when I wrote a story that was published in the school paper. The fact that my father was a writer was a key influence. Since I moved out of the retail and clerical realm, virtually all my jobs have had writing as a significant element. I’ve written eight books and countless articles. But do I have a passion for writing?

I would have to say that my relationship with writing goes beyond passion. It’s simply part of my identity, part of who I am, something that is in my DNA.

Writing Is Like Breathing for Me ....

.... it's something I have to do.

I bring a strong foundation for writing – my dad as a role model and exceptional teachers of English, composition, and Latin. The ancient language is the foundation of a strong vocabulary and love of words.

Writing comes easily and naturally to me.

My journalism roots taught me the value of fact-finding and sourcing.

My speechwriting roots taught me the the value of audience analysis, and I strive for deep understanding of my audience for every writing project.

Ideating topics to write about is a strength and a pleasure. I love to come up with a unique twist on a subject.

I enjoy research, and as a PhD-trained researcher, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for finding information. I also endeavor to assemble teams of subject-matter experts as needed.

I write quickly and am motivated by deadlines.

I'm a natural editor. I mentally edit when I'm reading and even edit my words before I speak them.

The only thing better than writing is having written.

B2B Content

In my current quest to add more writing gigs to my portfolio, I have noticed that a preponderance of writer job postings request writers with B2B experience. I have virtually no B2B experience. While I believe a good writer should be able to write for any audience, I recognize that B2B writing is perceived to be very different from B2C writing.

Should an employer ever give me a chance with B2B writing, I am committed to demonstrating that I understand the differences between B2C and B2B. A good starting place in B2B writing is thinking of the output as a tool to help a business meet its goals or solve a problem. In looking at my B2C writing, the vast majority of it also seeks to help its readers meet goals and solve problems. However, the stakes are higher in B2B writing; a piece of writing with the wrong tone or approach could lead to a poor purchasing decision. A good B2B writer realizes that multiple players may be involved in decisions and often must tailor written communication to various roles. Understanding the sales cycle is also important for B2B writers, as is knowledge of the reader's needs and pain points.

Some experts have set up a binary comparison in which B2B writing is in-depth and logical, while B2C writing tends more toward the emotional. Not every writing guru agrees. "Ignoring the importance of emotion in B2B copy is a big mistake," notes an unidentified blogger at Scribbly. An emotional approach can differentiate when products/services have similar features and benefits. Emotion helps establish a bond with the reader and thus a connection with customers. Given that brand identity is typically imbued with emotion, and brand identity is critical in B2B, emotion has its place in B2B writing. Storytelling, too, is wrapped up in emotion and effective in both B2B and B2C writing (see storytelling section below).

A call to action is more important in B2B writing than it is for B2C. Information must be authoritative and help build trust in the reader's mind. Content that the customer will consider to be a valuable resource is an important aspect of B2B.

Copywriter Ricky Stevens makes the case that B2B and B2C are more alike than different, both genres offering readers good writing, education and thought leadership, and compelling content that addresses their needs and desires.

I am a quick study, a PhD-trained researcher, and am convinced I can succeed as a B2B writer.

While the following example is only marginally B2B, it demonstrates my ability to write about the same topic for two different audiences: Two-Audience Ghostwrite Example.

10X Content

I'll be honest. When I encountered the term "10X content" in a job posting, I was unfamiliar with the concept. After researching it, however, I was extremely intrigued with 10X content and immediately set a goal to learn more and start producing content of this caliber.

10X content comprises content that is not a rehash of the same old topics and approaches we always see on the web that are often amalgamations of bits and pieces of lots of previous articles on the same topic. I cannot tell you how often I've been researching an article and see the same quotes pop up over and over again in past articles on the same topic.

10X content is unique, providing ideas and information not seen before on the Web. Having never had the goal of 10X content to strive for, I haven't produced much of it, but I do have a few pieces I consider to be unique. One is Is the Hidden Job Market a Myth? An Investigative Report. While much has been written about finding jobs in the hidden job market, almost nothing had been written that questioned the existence of the hidden job market. The article required extensive research and analysis, including explaining technical details about government hiring statistics and employer hiring practices. The article does not appear on the LiveCareer site in its entirety; please contact me if you'd like to see the full article (the site, Quintessential Careers, for which I served as Creative Director and wrote articles for 18 years, was sold to Livecareer in 2015. When integrating the site’s content into the Livecareer site, the Livecareer staff often used sub-optimal formatting, as well as omitting bylines and parts of articles).

Another example is Promising Interview-Prep Technique: Composing Written Responses to Interview Questions. The concept of applying Writing-to-Learn practice to job-interview questions was unique. The linked article is a mass-media version of an article that appeared in an academic journal; both articles were supported by quantitative research.

10X content should be of the highest quality. I am confident I have achieved this level of quality in the past and can do so in the future. I have learned that 10X content is reader-friendly, with some of its value coming from formatting, UX, and SEO factors. Content-marketing practices are often integrated into 10X content. 10X Content is error-free; I pride myself on writing clean copy that needs minimal editing.

I am committed to striving for 10X content.


I have been a passionate student of storytelling since 2004, when, while enrolled in an organizational-behavior class, I encountered a discipline I'd never heard of – organizational storytelling. Storytelling became the centerpiece of my doctoral dissertation, and I launched a blog, A Storied Career, dedicated to exploring the world of applied storytelling. I converted my dissertation into a mass-market book, Tell Me About Yourself: Storytelling to Get Jobs and Propel Your Career.

Because storytelling makes an emotional connection with readers and is more memorable than facts, I endeavor to integrate storytelling into my writing whenever possible:

Examples of writing that integrates storytelling:

Addicted to Internships: How One College Student Just Said No to Service Jobs and Started Building a Career One Internship at a Time

Executive Interview Case Studies