Why writers need to be flexible

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Do you ever ask yourself, ‘how flexible should I be with my writing?’ If you do, here’s my answer…

I’ve just finished writing a story that had to be signed off by a host of people from the provincial government.

Of course such stories can never be signed off by just one government person — government people always travel in packs.

I’m not a diva about my writing but I’m not a doormat either. And it’s this “middle position” that I suggest most corporate communicators should adopt.

When I reviewed the changes the government folks had suggested to my story, I could see that a number of them made no difference to me at all. I left those up to the (non-government) client. She can decide herself whether she wants to adopt them.

I also saw one comment that struck me as a terrific idea and I wrote a note (sincerely) praising the wisdom of the person who suggested it and describing how I could make a change that would make her happy.

Finally, I saw two suggestions that hit me as idiotic. One of them replaced a two-syllable word with a five-syllable one with no change in meaning (bad idea!) The other added a grammatical mistake (unthinkable idea.) I wrote notes in the document explaining to my client why we should not adopt these suggested changes.

I never  think of myself as the iron fist inside the velvet glove. Instead I envision myself as an oak tree: strong, growing and willing to let my branches sway (but only a little) when necessary.