Me, all day every day.

Dear copywriters:

The product you are describing is not revolutionary simply because it is new and different.

So you’re writing the campaign copy for a new dog shampoo? Good for you! You say the shampoo is all natural? Great! You say the bottle is biodegradable? Super! You say the cap is an edible dog treat? Well, that’s a neat feature, I suppose. You say your dog shampoo is revolutionary?

Whoa, buddy. Why don’t you just stay right here in Embellishmentville and not hop that express train to Hyperboletown.

Your shampoo is innovative, perhaps, but certainly not revolutionary. It does not fundamentally change the way you groom your dog; you still have to pick the hairy thing up and plop him in the tub. It does not, by its very existence, obviate all other pet soap products. It does not relegate any other method of dog-washery to the dustbin of history.

In a nutshell, please be more judicious with your use of the word “revolutionary.”

In fact, don’t use it at all.


Part of me is saying that I should abandon this story, because it has severe structural issues and a sub-plot that has gone off into the weeds. That part is my left brain.

Part of me is saying that I should take the good pieces of what I’ve already constructed and rework them into something completely different, because there is some real gold in there despite the flaws. That part is my right brain.

Part of me is saying that I should keep working on the story in its current form and see it through to at least a complete first draft, because I have made an emotional investment in these characters and also because I should not leave anything unfinished. That part is my heart.

Part of me is saying that I should cut back on the caffeine and alcohol and also drink a lot more water. That part is my liver, and I have no idea how it got involved in this conversation.

On the whole, good and great fiction is not written by beautiful people who feel successful. It’s written by the person who is most overlooked, all their life, and who understands things about the human condition which is very different from that of the experience of the twenty-five year old part-time model. Every author has a professional deformity – club feet, an uncomfortable religious inheritance, short stature, or incurable alcoholism, take your pick. Writers are always outsiders, and our nearest kindred isn’t someone in Hollywood but the bag-lady who rootles through dustbins muttering to herself.
Amanda Craig
Pen shaming

Pen shaming

Work work work

Work work work