Blank Made Simple

Made simple. How many times have you reared your ugly head in copywriting, marketing and lazy branding?

Just today, by looking around the web, I can tell you there’s a marketing company called MadeSimple. A reality show called Home Made Simple. A video by the guardian called Bitcoin made simple. A content management system called CMS Made Simple. Dog food called Raw Made Simple. Punctuation Made Simple. Web design made simple. WordPress made simple. House made simple. Travel made simple. Wardrobes. Volatility. Digital. Purity.

And even Church Insurance Made Simple.

I’ve had enough. The list goes on ad nausea.

If you’re thinking about what to call your product, how to market it to masses, just stop. Don’t use these words.

You might think it “simplifies” your message. Or maybe it conveys the essence of your product in two easy words.

What you’re actually doing is being a lazy bastard like everyone else.

[Blank] made simple is not only over-used and lazy, it’s also terrible, and using it in your marketing copy makes you a terrible person.

It’s a vernacular transgression. Word-based sin. It’s awful and meaningless and should condemn your product to the fiery hells of bad marketing.

Think about it.What are you conveying with “volatility made simple” or “purity made simple”? What do either of these actually mean?

“You know, it means our facial cleanser is simpler than all the other complicated ones.”

Oh yeah? How so? What makes yours so simple and magical and different? Does it fly out of the bottle and apply itself or do you have to put some on your hands and rub it on your face like everyone else?

What about Church insurance made simple? Are all those other bastards mucking it up for everyone with their over-complicated, mechanical, soulless church insurance policies?

How many people on earth even need church insurance to be made simple? Where are the masses crying out, cursing the skies because insuring their church is just too damn complicated?

The worst part it, “made simple-ism” isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

Every day new products, new websites, new crappy brands emerge from the either and demand lazy ad copy. The people behind them will hire some marketing agency made simple, get the same regurgitated copy as everyone else, and pat themselves on the back while giggling about how clever they are.

If you’re one of the bastards writing this type of copy. Just stop. Please. For the love of good words and better phrases.

Dissertation Writing

So, I’ve spent the past month¬† working on my dissertation proposal. Typically, I spend around 3 hours a morning working on it about 5 days a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Depends on how the morning goes or how distracted I get.

You know, starting after breakfast at 9:30. Have the blinds closed, document open and at the ready, and then the next thing I know I’m on Wikipedia reading about the history of Kyrgyzstan¬† or watching Stephen Colbert on YouTube.

One thing I’ve learned: writing a dissertation proposal is hard work. It’s not something I would have suspected when I first started, but by God is planning more difficult than writing.

Up to this point, the number of times I’ve planned how to structure and write a paper in advance has been, well, never. Usually when writing, I start writing and see where it takes me. That doesn’t mean it’s aimless. I can see destinations it needs to reach, but I’m never sure about how to link them until I get it down in writing.

Working on a document whose sole purpose is to plan, plot and structure my upcoming dissertation honestly feels like more work than writing the actual dissertation will be. I suppose that’s a good thing, since it lets me figure out exactly what I’ll be writing about. But still…

It’s remarkable how counter-intuitive the process of planning feels. How contrary to my normal work ethic it is.

On the bright side, my final paper doesn’t have to strictly adhere to the proposal; rather, the proposal is more symbolic than anything else, as it shows I have the ability to plan out a massive paper, whether that paper looks like the proposal or not.


New story: May you find salvation – accepted

It’s been a slower year than the previous one where publications are concerned. I’ve come down from my non-stop writing high, and actually spending more time relaxing and not-fretting about it so much – which has been a good thing so far.

Nevertheless, I’ve still been writing here and there. My flash fiction crime story, “May you find salvation” was recently accepted by the online crime magazine Shotgun Honey – making it my third story to be accepted by that site. It should be appearing online in the near future.

There’s a few other stories I have out there making the rounds through the mills. Let’s see what else turns up this summer.