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November 25, 2011

Sensitive Litigation Moment: Quality is not a Work-Life Balance Thing.

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Easy reading is damn hard writing. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

Resist the new mail-it-in culture. Stop trying to make great but hard things easy. Stop making tech the main event. E-mail less.

Talk on the phone.

Meet with people.

Hear some voices.

Stop hiding.

Writing is not a "get-a-life" thing. Neither is lawyering--especially contentious and advocacy work. You bleed. You give blood. Like writing, it's a privilege and a trust to do it well. In both, you serve. It is not all about you. Anyone can try to write.

And almost anyone--in America, especially (look around you; we've dumbed law firms and corporate lawyering way down)--can and apparently does become a lawyer. Not a big deal anymore. Law is the new B.A. degree. But great lawyering--like great writing--is difficult.

There is too much going on in the work of writers and lawyers to make good work simple to do. If you think that either is easy, you are not doing it right. Savor the brutality. Revel in the headaches. Stop trying to make great but hard things easy.

Stop making tech the main event. E-mail less. Talk on the phone. Meet with people. Fire up ideas. Hear some voices. Stop hiding. Know that your laptop is not your brain; there are no answers to hard problems in that thing. Resist the new mail-it-in culture.

Get a standard. And lots of Heart.

Posted by JD Hull at November 25, 2011 11:59 PM

Comments

The easier it looks, the harder it usually is.

Reminds me of a favorite quote, from Gene Fowler, "Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."

Posted by: Dave! at October 24, 2011 10:48 PM

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