Leadership

Social Media Roundup: Get Inside Elmore Leonard’s Head

Even if you're not working on the Great American Novel, you can certainly write like you are. Borrow some tips from the late Elmore Leonard. Also: a tale of an invite rescinded—and the questions it raised.

Earlier this week, the literary world lost one of its shining lights—one whose words served as muse for numerous films and inspired writers far and wide.

Celebrated crime novelist Elmore Leonard, who died Tuesday at 87, left behind a large body of work, and one of those pieces could help you become a little bit better at using the English language. More in today’s Social Media Roundup:

The Language of a Legend

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” With the loss of Leonard, it’s a fitting time to look over his advice on writing, which Brain Pickings blogger Maria Popova has gathered from a New York Times article he wrote in 2001. “If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you,” he writes, “invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over.” You may not be working on an update of Get Shorty, but his advice—which focuses on the simplicity of language and the control good writers need—still resonates. How might Leonard’s insights change the way you communicate using the written word? (ht @kikilitalien)

Invited, Disinvited, Re-invited

Get past the labels: Edward Boches, an advertising professor at Boston University, recently found himself disinvited from a speaking engagement. And the reason startled him. “Yesterday the Council of PR Firms uninvited me,” he wrote. “Apparently they found out that I was an ‘ad guy.'” But rather than simply get upset or bitter about that, he wrote an impressive piece on the need to stop thinking so narrowly about titles and consider how disciplines can learn from one another. “What has me upset is that an organization attempting to serve an entire profession would think so narrowly in this day and age,” he wrote. “It concerns me that the message they are sending to members is the wrong one. It’s worrisome if our industry gatekeepers are failing to teach the next generation the skills and mindset needed to succeed.” After his article was widely shared online, Boches revealed that he had been re-invited to speak—about the issues that he raised. All in all, a busy day for Boches—and an insightful post. (ht @theexpogroup)

How are you pushing beyond your industry’s comfort zone at your event? Let us know your take in the comments.

(photo by MDCarchives/Wikimedia commons)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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