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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 012819 — Daphne Gray-Grant

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On this #BetterBusinessCommunicationDay — celebrated each year on the 4th Monday in January — #sparkchamber is thrilled to welcome writer, editor, author, and publications coach Daphne Gray-Grant. A senior newspaper editor throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Daphne left the business to write a book [about writing] and to become a writing coach. More of the story in her own words: “My veins run with ink. I grew up in the newspaper business. Literally. My family owned a weekly newspaper and I worked there from the age of 16, eventually running the place. It was not fun, but I learned the hard lessons — about meeting deadlines, managing people, juggling tight budgets and fighting with banks. Eventually, I escaped to the land of daily newspapers. Why does the expression “from the frying pan to the fire” leap to mind? My first boss was a brawny Scotsman, who had hands like hams, a mind like a razor and a set of lungs like a bull. [We called him “McBagpipes” or the “Tartan Tornado.”] More hard learning but lots of fun in the intense orbit of daily journalism. I ran the features department with a dozen of the most interesting, creative people you could ever imagine. Thought I had the best job in the world.

People started asking me, “How do you do that? How do you write so fast? How do you stay so organized in a job with constant interruptions? How do you produce publications that get results?” And so, the Publication Coach was born.”

If you want to write faster or better, start at her blog, chock full of helpful tips and ideas on finding more time to write, improving your writing and/or editing, beating writer’s block, finishing and/or publishing a writing project, and being more creative. Subscribe to her “Power Writing” newsletter and get a free e-booklet guide to mindmapping. And then check out her book, 8½ Steps to Writing Faster, Better.  In addition, Daphne offers an accountability program to help writers get it done! Let’s make every day better business communications day!

1.] Where do ideas come from?

I read voraciously and I walk obsessively. Both these two tasks give me plenty of ideas! I also limit my use of social media — recently cancelled my Facebook account. Woo hoo!

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

I was a born editor — just able to do the job from the get go — but I always hated writing. Now I LOVE doing both editing and writing and the joy of that keeps me going at both!

3.] Early bird or night owl? Tortoise or hare?

I used to be a night owl doing my best work between 10 pm and 2 am. In my late 40s, with no effort on my part, I turned into a morning lark, overnight. It was quite disconcerting at first but now I’m used to it and I get my best work done between 6 am and 10 am. [Society over-rewards morning larks and under-recognizes night owls, in my opinion!]

4.] How do you know when you are done?

I make myself a list of tasks to do every day. When the tasks are done or when it’s 6 pm — whichever comes first — I am DONE!