I have a sickness.
I like to clean other people’s closets.
When it comes to other peoples’ stuff, I find that purging is easy.
That dress? Goodwill.
Those T-shirts? Trash.
Those recipes? Recycle.
But when it comes to cleaning my own closets, I hit a wall. I find myself agonizing over the value of every tchotchke. What if I throw away the gravy boat from Grandma, then realize I need just that thing next week?
My clear-sighted vision of what’s worth keeping and what’s not becomes clouded.
It crossed my mind recently that the same problem crops up when I’m writing about my own company.
When I’m writing about another firm, it’s simple to see why they’re special. So clear how they stand out from their competitors. So easy to articulate what their company voice should sound like.
But when I’m writing about my own business, the clarity drops away. Everything we do seems obvious—hardly worth describing. Nothing we do seems particularly special. I try to describe our offerings and what makes us unique and come up with only paltry, fragmented descriptions.
Maybe I’m too close to it. Maybe it’s because I’m too heavily weighing every word. Whatever the reason, it blocks my ability to write clearly and effectively about my own business.
I know other business owners feel the same way. That’s why so many of us hire outside writers to describe the inner life of our own firms. Outside writers can see more clearly what’s worth writing about—and what’s worth discarding.
So I’ll make you an offer. I’ll write about your company—you clean my closet.
Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial. She sometimes struggles with writing—and with cleaning.