Writers Are Crazy. Journalists Are Stupid. Consultants Are Hell.

Pretend you’re in business and your building needs a new roof. You look in the Yellow Pages under 'roofing' and find just two entries: 'Ace Roofing,' and 'Lonnie’s Massage Parlor and Roofing Service.'

You want it done quick and you want it done right. Who you gonna call?

Sometimes the decision isn’t so easy. Depending on what kind of service you need, you may not be qualified to make a decision. That’s when you need a consultant.

Pretend you’re an amateur genealogist. You’ve traced your family back to King Arthur’s Camelot. Your umpty-seventh great grampa used to polish King Arthur’s personal camel. You think that makes you somebody and you want everybody to know it, so you’ve written a book about your family. Problem is, nobody can read your book because you write like a baboon.

You know you write like a baboon because your golfing buddy is a copyeditor at the local newspaper and one day, over beers, he says: “You write like a baboon. There’s no way you can fix that manuscript. Don’t waste any more time with it. Hire a pro.”

So you’re shopping for a writer. You look in the Yellow Pages under 'writers' and don’t find any. Your buddy says lots of writers advertise on the Internet. So you go to your computer and punch up a search engine. You query 'freelance writer' and get 7.2 million hits.

Why so many writers? The short answer is that it’s Ronald Reagan’s fault.

You see, before Ronald Reagan was president, lots of Americans did useful work in factories and mines and mills and places like that. Since Ronald Reagan was president, lots of Americans who once did useful work in factories and mines and mills and places like that no longer do useful work in places like that.

Americans who no longer do useful work found jobs in the service sector. Americans who never did useful work couldn’t find jobs in the service sector, so they started their own businesses.

That’s why we see minivans with signs that tout 'Cherie’s Truck Repair and Pet Grooming,' 'Joe’s Lawn Care and School for Flight Attendants,' or 'Lonnie’s Massage Parlor and Roofing Service.'

Thousands of schizophrenic startups go broke every year. Thousands of schizophrenic entrepreneurs tire of spending money on schizophrenic startups that go broke every year, so they decide to become schizophrenic writers. That’s why there are 7.2 million writers on the Internet and that’s why it’s Ronald Reagan’s fault.

Truth is, there are lots of good reasons to become a writer. Here are a few –

  • Anybody can be a writer. All you have to do is call yourself a writer. Business cards are optional.

  • Being a writer is a great excuse to lay around the house and read books all day. If you’d rather watch TV, call yourself a journalist. Journalists claim they watch TV news because they have to keep up with current events. In fact, journalists watch TV news because they can’t understand what they’ve written until somebody explains it to them.

  • Being a writer means you’ll never have to work again. When your spouse calls you a deadbeat, just say: “Please, Honey! Don’t bother me now. I’m thinking.” If your spouse persists, lay on a guilt trip. Go ballistic and screech: “You’re making fun of my schizophrenia again!” That always shuts ‘em up.

  • Impress your friends. Awestruck, they’ll come to you and say, “Gee! You’re a writer, huh? I never knew your writing was that good.” Your friends’ amazement points toward the best of all possible reasons to become a freelance writer, which is –

  • You don’t even have to know how to write! People who want to hire a writer don’t know what good writing is. If they knew what good writing is they wouldn’t need to hire a writer because they could do the work themselves. Think about it, Bonzo! Isn’t that why YOU went shopping for a writer?

So there are 7.2 million freelance writers on the Internet. You’ve got a project. You want it done quick and you want it done right. Who you gonna call? 'Lonnie’s Writing and Editing Service?' 'Cherie’s Writing and Document Design?' 'Joe’s Writing, Ink?' Ronald Reagan?

Reagan is dead, so call me instead. I’m a communications consultant. That means I know a writer who can screw your split infinitives together, cut off your dangling participles and get you a syntax rebate, and I’ll give you that writer’s name for $50,000.

You’ll find me in the Yellow Pages. I am 'Deacon’s Sewer Service and Communications Consultancy.'

Yes. I do take checks.

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Comment by Deacon Solomon on August 1, 2012 at 4:29pm
Hey! I got a great idea! Why don't you spin off of this one on your blog?

Thanks for the flowers.


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