Back in my college days, at least of third of my friends harbored the same secret back-up plan. Wise students that we were, we understood the utility of having some rock-solid skills to pick up the slack if our earth-shaking dreams of literary or cinematic stardom didn’t pan out.
And that fail-safe solution? Music Journalist.
Looking back, next to none of us gave that path any sort of true effort. Reality striking as it does, we soon realized that paying gigs were few and far between, and most importantly, that saying something truly new about typically derivative pop music is terribly tricky.
This recent article, An A-Z List of Rock ‘n Roll Journalist Cliches, from the British rock-blog “Stool Pigeon” sums it up quite well. I recommend that you accept their invitation to join them “on a magical journey through clichés as we look at the drivel that’s dearest to music writers’ hearts.”
It’s not exactly a safe-for-work post, but I find that the cursing goes down better when you imagine it with a British accent. Some solid examples:
Conscious decision — As an interviewer, two words that tell you you’ve run out of interesting things to say, e.g. “Was it a conscious decision to make a more boring-sounding record this time around, or did it evolve that way naturally?” Let me guess: it evolved that way naturally. Also: please kill me now.
Unleashed — Let’s face it, you didn’t “unleash” your record “on an unsuspecting public”. And you most certainly didn’t “drop” it, like it was some sort of unfettered-creativity bomb. No, what you did was you released your record, as a “limited” 500-copy run. Quite rightly, no-one cared.
I consider myself lucky that I get to write occasionally as part of my gig. From full-on articles to filling the copy gaps in a mostly ready-to-launch website, finding some good words to fit a moment’s need is a pleasurable part of the job.
However, just like in music journalism, the same pitfalls remain. It’s far too easy to fall back on the the latest business buzzwords instead of accurately capturing what a client’s products and services can really do. Sure, you give 110% to maximize your next-level innovations. I know you’re willing to reach out to your customers while leveraging an outside-the-box scalable solution. Don’t doubt it for a moment, but give me a call if you’d like to find a new way to say it.
There’s no end to good words looking for a page to call home.