As of late, my new, in-progress LinkedIn profile has raised a few eyebrows in the copywriting community. No, I’m not sorry. I’m also not anything shy of a total writing professional, as was implied by more than one person in these small circles. I’ve never had a hard time getting work, I never miss deadlines, I never fuck (oh, there’s one now!) around about work. As far as I’m concerned, that means you can be grizzled and still be beloved. In fact, if I were to really throw all my cards on the table, I’d have to argue that you SHOULD drop a few f-bombs here and there.
Why it Fucking Matters
Now, if you’re a Fortune 500 CEO or looking for an office job, the f-bomb isn’t recommended, just to be clear. This is strictly for writers and those people who might want to consider getting into this upside down profession. We’re in a strange position — people want to believe what we do is art, when we all know that we’re strictly master craftsmen. That means a thing, it produces expectations.
For example, if you peruse freelancers on oDesk for any amount of time, you’ll go blind from all the repetition. “I’m this kind of writer with blah blah experience and I like to author things blah blah.” Seriously, it’s like the Borg have taken over. Although this may seem like the right approach, it really isn’t. All it does is turn all these clever folks into an endless sea of BLAH. BLAH BLAH BLAH look at me…. but no one will because they’ve done nothing to differentiate themselves.
Don’t Be BLAH
Before you leap to that conclusion I feel squirming between your ears: NO, using the f-bomb indiscriminately isn’t the way to get positive attention. Sure, you’ll get attention, but it won’t be the kind you’ll like. Instead, what I’m saying is that you need to be real. Be the real person you are, whoever that is. Are you a dainty little proper poet with a teeny mousy demeanor? Well, you’re a fucking writer, show the world who the fuck you are.
I’m the kind of person who is intense and passionate, if you’ve not noticed yet. So I use fuck a lot because it’s a fucking intense word. Fuck is a punctuation mark that rips people out of the fucking comas they develop while reviewing the BLAH BLAH BLAH. Their little brains say, “Wait a minute, did I just see the word ‘fuck’ on a professional LinkedIn profile?” Whether they love it or hate it, that f-bomb gets their attention.
Again, I’m not advocating for constant use of the f-bomb, but there are places where it and its discouraged friends belong. We’re writers, these little words are neglected far too much. They’re WORDS with real power. Sure, it’s a risky proposition to show that side of yourself to the professional world, but let’s face it, we’ve all got the same skill — the only thing different between us are the deep inner workings.
Pick a Patch of Personality
Certainly, your potential clients are looking for someone with a great deal of skill, but they may not realize they’re also looking for a personality. If they don’t do it consciously, they’re doing it subconsciously — once they’ve weeded out the writers who can’t do the job, they’re left with a seriously large number of writers who can. How do they choose from that stack?
Whether they know it or not, they do it by personality. Will this person be a good fit for my brand image, do they seem capable of bringing the bang I need for my buck, do I think they’d be fun to work with? Although some do ultimately choose the BLAH BLAHs, I’d be very surprised if that number wasn’t relatively small, especially when it comes to the higher paying jobs. After all, humans are drawn to each other in a magnetic way we can’t really explain well and cookie-cutter robots do not equal Homo sapiens.
If you had a project near and dear to your heart that required a professional writer, would you go for the bran flakes and business suit boring type? Of course not. You’re paying good money, you expect a big personality and someone willing to take a risk now and again. After all, you don’t want your blog to sound like all the other boring blogs out there.
This is why I believe in the power of the f-bomb. For me, it works. I take a fucking chance of offending some folks, but trust me on this, if they’re offended, that means they’re reading. The thing is that there are too many different types of writing jobs out there to craft a one size fits all online personality, so you might as well just be whoever the fuck you are.