Mission Impossible: Writing About Yourself

Mirror Who Am I WomanUnless you’re a narcissist or a massive lover of words (guilty), writing about yourself is one of the toughest things to do, whether you’re introducing yourself to a new set of employees or employers, redoing your LinkedIn page or resume, or simply crafting a 150-word bio for your company’s website.

A recent client of mine came to me for help with that final task. She was relatively new to a company (two years in), and all of her experience had been with a different firm in a different field. She felt like she didn’t stack up to the long, industry-specific bios of the company’s CEO and Vice-President.

The funny thing was, her LinkedIn page and my brief conversation with her were full of fantastic information. She had an amazing tool box of skills, 20 years of experience overall, and more than 12 as a top-level manager. After doing some research on her company, pulling out some adjectives that her coworkers were using, and running a few drafts, the bio nearly wrote itself.

I’ve actually struggled with writing about my own skills when I first got on Fiverr, which is a lot more of a “sell yourself” website than Upwork. At some point you have to stop worrying about people thinking you’ve got a big head and just unleash your skill set. As legendary baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean once said, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can do it.”

New Client: Chore-ology

Using a housekeeping service is an amazing thing. My wife was using one when I first one_day_time_earlyharrington_-p_2015met her and I thought it was an unneeded luxury until that first Saturday I was the dusting everything including the top of the refrigerator because I’m tall like that.

My new clients Mat and Anastasia run a housekeeping and handyman service in Seattle and were putting together a new website and wanting lots of content. I pitched Mat on not only your standard “services and home page” but also a few blog entries that had some humor in them to set them apart from the rest of the pack. Because, let’s face it, nobody outside of Marge Simpson or Ann Landers wants to read a 500-word blog on vacuum cleaners.

They loved the idea and of course, writing with humor is right up my alley, so I went full-bore into it, churning out five blogs including “Great Moments in Cleaning History”, “An Appreciation of Dirt”, and “TV’s Greatest Housekeepers and Handymen.”

That last one was clearly showing my age, as if you’re under 35 you’ve only seen the Top 5 in action on Nick at Nite, led by #1 Dwayne Schneider from “One Day at a Time.”

Regardless, writing the blogs first let me write the rest of the stuff better than I would have thought possible, as keywords provided by the web designer combined with some research of the market made for some insights I wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Moreover, the job came just days after a long-term client went dark for two weeks, so you have to love getting not just a new job, but a fantastic job when you’re in that sort of a lull.

The new website just went live, so a plug is still in order. Thanks, Mat!

I interviewed a guy who’s been married 74 years

200I’m doing a series of feature stories on residents of several senior living communities over the next couple of weeks and have decided to highlight some of the truly remarkable people I’ve been lucky enough to talk to.

James is from Dallas and is 94 years old. His wife is 93. He worked for Southwestern Bell for 40 years. When I asked him who his favorite Dallas Cowboy of all-time was, his answer was: “Whoever the guy is running the ball scoring touchdowns.”

 

 

I Interviewed a Guy Who Flew 131 Missions Over Vietnam

200I’m doing a series of feature stories on residents of several senior living communities over the next couple of weeks and have decided to highlight some of the truly remarkable people I’ve been lucky enough to talk to.

A couple of weeks ago I interviewed a Texan named Clay who had flown in the Vietnam War, 131 missions to be exact.. A few of his words are below:

“I was flying an F-4 at the time and it was absolutely black, no lights on the ground. We were a nighttime interdiction and harassment squadron. It was a hell of a flying experience.”

I Interviewed a 27-Year Army Vet Today

200I’m doing a series of feature stories on residents of several senior living communities over the next couple of weeks and have decided to highlight some of the truly remarkable people I’ve been lucky enough to talk to.

Today’s subject was a guy named Al born in The Bronx in 1918. In addition to playing minor league football for the New York Giants, he spent 27 years in the US Army, in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, eventually rising to the rank of full Colonel as a military intelligence officer.

He’s 98 years old now and still plays a round of golf every week.

Current Project: HERO Sports

aaeaaqaaaaaaaaj2aaaajdy3zjcyzjdllwfinjetndk2yy05mzvhlwm0nzq2nwi2njqxmqI first thought about being a sportswriter when I was 7 years old and NFL legend Earl Campbell came to my elementary school in the prime of his career. I got to introduce him before his speech.

As it happens, I spent a good dozen years as a sportswriter, another four years writing about tennis, and the last four writing about golf. For the last month, HERO Sports has given me the opportunity to get back into writing about college sports and it’s been an absolute treat, catching up on the NCAA basketball, baseball, and softball scene, while also getting to use my love of history to delve into some “Top 10” and “all-time” lists for the guys at HERO.

Current Project: GolfBlogger.uk

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It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing about professional golf for nearly four years, but time flies when you’re writing about the likes of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and more. How do you know when you’re really loving writing about a sport? When you eagerly look forward to each spring to writing the hole-by-hole preview of The Masters just to use Augusta  National’s fantastic 360-degree visualization tool. My favorite moments of the past four years? Spieth’s win at The Masters, Stenson’s fantastic double win of the FedEx cup and the Final Series, and the US’ triumphant win at the Ryder Cup in the fall of 2016.