So I have decided that it’s blog time.  Why now? Why at all? A couple of questions that I try to ask my self before any venture, and the answer came from a very unusual place – A graduation speech that I read almost 2 years after graduating. There was one line that seems to have stuck with me: “You have to ask yourself the hard questions every night. What did you do today to get you closer to reaching your goals and what did you learn today?”

This immediately got me thinking – I don’t think I have ever asked myself that question. Everyone has been asked, “What did you learn from [insert experience]?” but how many times have you asked it of yourself? So, I decided to ask myself the “hard” question. “What have I been doing to get me closer to my goals?” I quickly discover that’s an impossible question to answer unless you have your goals laid out. Which led me to another even harder question. What are my goals? I thought; the same as everyone else – get a place I would be proud to call home, find someone to start a family with and hopefully do some good out there.  Now, those are pretty standard goals, and solid ones at that but a little ways down the road and awfully vague (Vaugé for some of you). What is something that I want to accomplish that is more immediate? Now, having a blog was not on my radar. I didn’t even think I was that good of a writer. And then it hit me. Goal number one; become a better writer. It’s the perfect answer and opportunity to the question that started it all.

I have decided to write about the “hard” questions. What did I learn today? more importantly, I think – what did I fail at today? What are my real goals? What did I do to get me closer to them? How did I help someone today?  Think of this as a career journal not only for me, but hopefully you – My friends, colleagues, and fellow students of life.

Now lets be realistic. It’s going to be almost impossible to write everyday. I’ll just chalk that one up to the goal column. Once a week seems to be reasonable. I’m thinking Saturday mornings, I will write about my week. For you young advertising professionals and students – what I learned in the seed of my career. And how those lessons get me closer to moving up the ladder. I hope this will help you to avoid some trip wire.

Lesson number one: Be a good writer, even if you are an Art Director.

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8 thoughts on “Progress

  1. Jeff Weakley says:

    Great idea Joe. Thanks for including me on the list. As an ad writer for over a quarter century, I have probably worked with over 250 art directors. The best ones are also good writers. (Makes my job easier.) Also, I know you shoot edit and do web stuff as well. I am coming to believe that those are very much writerly skills. The web is written in a language from this strange HTML country. (Near Bolivia, I think.) Vitorrio Storraro, arguably the world’s great Cinematography wrote 3 books that now go for about $1500 a piece. They are called “Writing with Light”. And the great film editor Walter Murch said “Editors do the final rewrite.”
    If I could offer some tips from what I’ve learned over the years… First off, steal. When I first started writing, I was a terrible typist (yes, typewriters) and would type and retype different pieces of great ad copy (very slowly). A great way to learn to hear the music behind the writer’s words. Stephen Kind said “Writing is just refined talking”. It seems to me that some of the people I know who are fantastic conversationalist suddenly freeze when they start to write because they have to “write”. A holdover from years of mean English teachers no doubt. And finally, since I no longer write anything for artsake, only for money, I will have to invoice you for this blog post. Good luck. Jeff

    • Joe says:

      Hey Jeff, I hope all is well. You’re right about one thing and I hope this blog becomes evidence of that. The lines that divide our crafts are not only blurring but almost disappearing.

  2. Ben May says:

    Bravo! And you say you’re not a good writer yet. Lookin forward to reading more. We should grab a cup of coffee sometime soon, it’s been a while.

  3. Diana Sellers says:

    Impressive! It’s pretty cool to see another side of you. I really look forward to reading more 🙂 -D.

  4. Heidi says:

    Joooooooooooooooooooe, This is awesome! I’ve been wanting to do a fashion blog for some time now and I think you’ve inspired me (my goal – not to procrastinate so much). I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures – I may have to live vicariously through you 🙂 Good luck!

    • Joe says:

      Heidi! I wish i was blogging while we were in Korea! Deadline Over Quality. You should start your fashion blog too. It’s really kinda fun.

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