Things have definitely picked up for writers since the internet became an integral part of everyone’s lives. There are more gigs and possible ways to make money writing everyday, but things are not perfect. Many writers are still struggling to make a living and there are always new, talented people coming up, looking for their spot under the sun, so to say.
In essence, there can never be enough jobs for writers, especially those that would pay well and offer some sense of stability and security.
This is why a recent article from Harvard Business Review piqued my interest and should pique the interest of anyone who is trying to provide for themselves and their families by writing.
The article in question is entitled Why Your Organization Needs a Writing Center, about a new “department” that was recently opened at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. This “department” started off as a single-person unit and after being successful, it now boasts two employees.
This should be an interesting story for Listiller readers because these two employees are writers and they are making a living by helping other people at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia become better writers.
Simply put, they run a writing center, much like you would find at universities where students can get help putting their thoughts to paper in a way worthy of academia.
This Particular Case
In this particular case, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia hired Jessica Weber, a former assistant director of the writing center at Salisbury University, so that she could help their bank examiners write more organized, succinct and correct reports that are then sent to commercial banks, informing them of changes in federal and state banking regulation.
It is probably not the most captivating reading, but still, it is still writing and it can be done better or it can be done worse.
After Weber started helping the regulators, the quality of their reports went through the roof and the bank decided to bring another person on.
In short, the program was a success and it has turned into a permanent gig for Weber, the second hire and many more future ones that will probably follow.
A success story like this shows that there is a lot of potential for writing centers like the one in Philadelphia.
There are definitely innumerable government agencies out there that are struggling to convey certain (very important) messages after they have been altered, reversed, re-reversed and butchered in every way possible by a dozen different people.
However, there are also many companies that might benefit from writing centers or at least writing consultants. In the modern business climate, all companies produce a lot of written content and it is often contributed by people who never got any training and who tend to struggle when they have to put certain things on “paper.”
A Few Things to Keep In Mind
While this is all very interesting and perhaps even exciting, there are a few things that we have to keep in mind before we start popping champagne.
First of all, these writing centers only make sense in organizations where the majority of the staff is required to produce written reports or other type of content on a regular basis. Otherwise, this will mostly be content that can be covered by the marketing people.
Also, this will have to be implemented seriously in order for it to be long-term. The Philadelphia case was a success because the newly-instated writing center could provide proof that it worked, with the majority of reports dramatically improving over the course of time.
In addition to this, the organizations will have to decide whether to have these writing centers working on a voluntary basis (not pressuring their employees to take consultations) or make them obligatory, perhaps even using employee time clock software to ensure everyone is getting their full consultations. This is probably a decision that individual corporations will have to do on their own.
Instead of a Closing Word
It cannot be denied that corporate writing centers sound like a fantastic way for writers to get a steady, corporate employment. It wouldn’t surprise this writer if they turned out to be remote organizations that feature a number of clients, providing remote consultations.
We will have to wait and see where this is going, but it sure sounds great.