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For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.

Verbiage

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(ED’S NOTE: Originally posted on my Tumblr.)

I’m out of verbs. No, really, I am. I just had an exercise that required using great verbs — really powerful verbs — and I don’t have sh*t. I even went so far as to broadcast this on Facebook, which was a total douche move and left me feeling a little ashamed.

A sleepless friend pointed out that it IS 2 a.m. (and later even now) and the verbs are asleep. I believe that.

And while I’m believing that, I’ll believe that I’ve been editing for too long. I had thought at one point this was a reversible condition, that I could again write well, but now I’m not so sure. Complicating this perception — compounding, perhaps? — is that the workshop is moving into an area of editing and more editing, and that is going to lose my interest damn quick. And it’s not as if I’m able to stay on task with my writing lately. I’m not focused, not at all. I think it comes from a sense of defeat, something I’m not used to. I’m finding what should be — I think — simple exercises to be terribly difficult. For example, I had to rewrite a sentence tonight (“The leaves are red.”) — and what I thought was an acceptable rewrite, what I thought should have been done to the sentence, fell woefully below the instructor’s expectations. I thought I was rewriting a sentence. A sentence! A single freakin’ sentence! I didn’t realize that I was supposed to recast it into an introduction to War and Peace!

This is me tired, angry and anxious. This week’s gonna be awful. There will not be enough hours in any of the seven days. I’ll fall even farther behind in my writing, and a nation will cheer. But don’t get comfortable. I will have to write an analysis of my company’s latest advertising campaign, a campaign that I believe shamefully echoes a competitor’s, and I’ll find some scant satisfaction in putting at least one person to sleep, my professor. At a later point, probably around midnight Wednesday, I’ll assemble a presentation on Ruby Tuesday’s revitalization efforts and its effects on casual dining in the United States. And although I am confident it will bore the unholy hell out of the 12-15 people who show up to class on Thursday or Tuesday or the next Thursday, I’ll use the opportunity to rationalize my unwavering unwillingness to cook and my deep-seated appreciation for a discounted cocktail.

About 2 p.m. Thursday, I’ll be heading south on a major interstate, driving away from a home office filled with distractions and a criminally unhelpful reference library. And although it is doubtful I’ll find any verbs along the way, maybe I’ll at least lose a few adverbs.

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog, and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her employers'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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