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Owning Labels: If You Write, You’re A Writer

Inkhouse, an integrated PR agency, just released its third collection of employee-authored stories with the coaching and assistance of Book Architecture. A Tiny Break in the Clouds centers around the theme of introspection seen through three separate lenses: mistakes, adaptation/starting over, and joy.

This was the fifth content project put on by Inkhouse that Book Architecture helped to facilitate. Between company founder and CEO Beth Monaghan’s motivations for launching such projects and the time, energy, and vulnerability put in by participating employees, we’re constantly looking for ways to make this a better experience for all involved that will yield the strongest possible product.

Working with people through writing personal essays in a corporate setting helps them get used to the creative process in general, which is both an internal and an external experience. This time around, we redesigned the process so there’s more support than ever.

Inkhouse writers who opted into the project worked with a professional coach on the first draft, mentor groups helped crowdsource input for the second draft, and professional editors worked on the third draft. Essentially, it’s the three draft Book Architecture model in miniature: the first pass is about putting the material down on the page; the second draft is about making sense; the final draft is about putting it all together and making it good.

You might be thinking—I know some of the writers we worked with were thinking—”Okay, great. That’s a lot of support. But how in the world do I know where to start? How do I decide what to write about?”

The great news for them, for you, is that you don’t need to know. Showing up to the first one-on-one with the writing coach with nothing more than a vague “I think I want to write about…” or “I have this one idea…” is all that you need. From there, you can let your intuition rise and direct your next steps. As long as you’re then willing to put the necessary time in (and we all have 100 excuses as to why we can’t, that we’re just going to go ahead and toss out now) your work will get where it’s meant to go.

We tell the Inkhouse employees something I think many of us would benefit from hearing: if you write, you’re a writer. You don’t have to worry about being good. You just have to worry about showing up and being you.

If you don’t go through the process, you’re guaranteed to stall. If you do go through the process, it’s nerve wracking. But then you take the leap and when you put in the time, your work will get better and the excitement takes hold. All writers go through the same thing.

Whether a super senior member of the team or someone who is brand new, it’s a joy to witness the wonder on an Inkhouse writer’s face as they realize their slight spark of an idea has caught fire and suddenly, wham! It’s there, in their hands, in its pristine final form, in a beautifully assembled book.

By allowing themselves to own the mantle of writer, they created art that will last (as we all can).



Filed under: Clients Crushin' It

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