The Times Are A-Changin’

WORDS YOUR WAY BLOG

The Times Are A-Changin’

A few weeks ago, a Facebook friend cast for sources for an article about interviewing for a job. I answered the call. I worked as a recruiter for a few years, and interviewing was one of my favorite parts of the job. She sent me a set of questions by email, I answered them, and voila, a few weeks later, the article appeared online in the jobs section of the The Telegraph (UK). The backstory is the fun part. The writer was my fourth-grade classmate; we reconnected on Facebook just a couple of years ago. The one unit I remember in detail from fourth grade was one about how The New York Times uses the front page layout to communicate the importance of each story, and how to fold the paper for comfortable and courteous reading during a crowded morning commute. Read Soozy G. Miller’s article featuring yours truly, or check out her book, ADHD to Honor Roll: How I Cured My Child’s ADHD Without Drugs (And You Can, Too!).  
Barbara Ruth Saunders is a writer, editor, and writing coach.

AdvisorTeam.com Case Study

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AdvisorTeam.com Case Study

When I was hired, AdvisorTeam (subsequently absorbed into Keirsey.com) had just begun to turn a profit from its online version of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, a personality profiling instrument similar to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. These personality tests are popular with job seekers, career counselors, and professionals, so the company decided to develop a career-focused report to capitalize further on David Keirsey’s intellectual property.

Working with a designer, I developed the modular structure and wrote the copy for the 16 versions of the Career Temperament Report, which has been sold online continuously for more than 15 years. Keirsey.com company has since produced several new reports using the template I devised.

Barbara Ruth Saunders is a writer, editor, and writing coach.

C.J. Hayden

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C.J. Hayden

Weeks after Barbara’s talk, my students continued to report how helpful they found the concepts she had taught them. These women managers worked in some high-stress environments — the U.S. Postal Service, BART, and AC Transit, to name a few. It was very gratifying to hear them tell how they had learned to recognize and turn around negative behavior. One student said, “I never realized what a problem the hoarding of information is in my office. Now that I know I can help people be more positive just by keeping them informed, we’re getting a lot more done.” I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Barbara as a trainer or consultant in any business, government or nonprofit environment. – C.J. Hayden, Author, Business Coach
Barbara Ruth Saunders is a writer, editor, and writing coach.

Sierra Club Case Study

WORDS YOUR WAY BLOG

Sierra Club Case Study

Almost every American has heard of the Sierra Club, the environmental organization founded by John Muir. The Sierra Club leads hikes for nature lovers, operates educational programs for schools and communities, and advocates for conservation. The Sierra Club is a 501(c)4 nonprofit that engages in political advocacy and therefore is not tax-exempt.  It has 65 chapters and 400+ groups. The Sierra Club Foundation is a 501(c)3, a tax-exempt public charity and the fiscal sponsor of the charitable programs of the Sierra Club and other organizations. The Sierra Club’s communications challenge is to explain its vast portfolio of activities to audiences with fundamentally different motivations — activists, idealists, and citizens who simply want to engage with the people and places around them. This requires that they produce multiple versions of collateral in different voices. My most recent project for the Sierra Club was a set of fact sheets that will be used as leave-behinds in fundraising conversations. Development officers will use them to inspire high-net-worth donors to contribute to potentially game-changing projects.
Barbara Ruth Saunders is a writer, editor, and writing coach.

Writing is a Process Not a Procedure

WORDS YOUR WAY BLOG

Writing is a Process Not a Procedure

Here’s how I learned to compose a piece in high school:
  1. Write an outline
  2. Write a rough draft, beginning to end
  3. Write one or more additional complete drafts
  4. Edit
Here’s how I actually write a piece:
  1. Write down some notes about the topic
  2. Start a draft
  3. Think about what I’m writing as I go about my day doing other things
  4. Write more notes
  5. Rearrange the ideas using an outline to figure out the structure
  6. Realize what it is I’m actually trying to say
  7. Rewrite
  8. Write a complete draft
  9. Revise
  10. Edit
Drafts, outlines, and mind maps aren’t clean steps. They’re techniques for organizing and sustaining the thinking process that ends up on the page.
Barbara Ruth Saunders is a writer, editor, and writing coach.