Monthly Archives: September 2006

A Question For Y’All

I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with other writers a lot lately.

Writing anything — fiction, ads, webstite copy, autoresponders, poetry — can be a very isolating experience. None of the best writers I know work with a single other co-writer, let alone a committee. At most, we have someone gather research info for us… but when it’s time to put words down, we go hide.

This solitude makes us dangerous social animals when we get around other writers. I call it “The Brotherhood of the Pen”, and this sense of shared-connection goes back to the dawn of civilization… which, by no coincidence, was spurred by the invention of a written language.

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Commit And Immerse

I’ve been reading a lot lately about brain studies. The Germans and the Dutch are really going to town on this, tracking eye movement on ads and recording brain activity while subjects listen to radio ads.

They aren’t choosing ads as their material to help marketers. They’re choosing ads because advertising is very effective at lighting up the cerebral cortex and amydala and brain stem. Everyone is affected by good ad copy in some way. If they used, say, Moby Dick for their tests, they’d have to make allowances for the unfortunate fact that many people doze off in the presence of a book.

I’m not sure if this makes me proud to be an adman or not… but it sure emphasizes the power of salesmanship. Negative or positive, everyone has a reaction to copy.

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Stupid, Foolish Greed


Just flew in from San Diego, and boy are my arms tired.

Okay, scratch that bad joke. I’m exhausted. Forgive me.

Still, since getting back in the office and plowing through the thousand or so emails waiting for me after being gone for all of six days… I have noticed a very nasty trend among wannabe entrepreneurs. And I feel the need to discuss it.

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Gutting Routine

Quick post before I hop on a plane in two hours, bound for sunny So Cal and a couple of wild seminars:

It took me half a lifetime to figure out the secrets of honest discipline, because I am genetically lazy and never had that cool, hip uncle-figure to take me aside and reveal the secrets of anything about life.

I was all slacker and potential, with no honed chops whatsoever. A total waste of pre-frontal cortex.

Then, I discovered the joy of discipline, and got my act together.

That’s when life got interesting.

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The Eleventh

I just have two things to say about the upcoming 9/11 anniversary:

1. I don’t care how much of a stud you are — this was an emotionally jarring event in everyone’s life. For all the turmoil it caused in business and politics and global stability, the lasting effect deep in our souls is just as damaging. Even if you skip all the cheesy TV specials (and I’m pretty sure every network we have will embarrass themselves), there will be vibrations throughout the collective unconscious.

Just be ready for a little emotional shockwave. We took a hit, and we absorbed the blow and held steady.

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Second Opinion

This posting has nothing whatsoever to do with marketing or advertising.

It has everything, however, to do with your life.

Over the past few months, an ever-widening circle of friends and family have gotten sick. I come from hardy working-class stock that, in normal circumstances, is pretty stubborn about allowing illness to win. If anyone ever gets sick enough to admit being sick… then they are really friggin’ sick.

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