Get to the Gym Kernels

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February 2, 2014 by Kathryn Kuttis

decoWriting is like exercise. You never want to do it until you get started. Making time for the gym is usually the hardest part of a workout.

The writing process feels similar to me. In both cases, it helps to imagine how I’ll feel if I don’t do it. Which of course, turns out to be worse than just doing it.

When I want to get to an early yoga class, I lay out my stuff the night before. In the morning, I see the stack of clothes and the towel and feel obligated because I’ve already made a slight effort.

That’s the key to my writing. If I make just the slightest effort to get something started, it quickly takes on a life of its own. If I overthink it, well then it takes longer and is more painful.

That’s why I ask students in my J452 class to write twice a week. To write often and regularly takes the sting out of it. Ideally, our blogging assignment will help students define their own rituals for the writing process. These are essential for professional communicators who must be able to write on demand.

In Daily Rituals, author Mason Currey looks at how artists work. Currey shares some surprising details about history’s most famous creators. For example, Thomas Wolfe wrote on top of his refrigerator. The book reveals the daily rituals novelists, poets, playwrights, filmmakers and scientists used to maneuver the obstacles of their creative work. Apparently, it’s not unusual to feel anxious about a blank page and you should never let it stop you from writing.

Now that you are finding your own rituals, I hope you take time to enjoy the process and embrace your negative notions about writing a harmless bogeyman. Snuggle up with your latte, get out your lucky writing hat and tuck into this week’s Kernels.

Are You Ready For Some…Nordic Voices (NYTimes) Zooming out to see the big picture can make anything more interesting. What’s happening in your world? How does it contrast with what else is going on today?

CNN’s Carol Costello Confronts Atlanta Officials Over Snow Response (HuffPost) Crisis communications 101. How could this have been handled differently? Where do you draw the line between reporting and personal experience?

Sponsoring Sochi Olympics Turns Into Minefield For Big Brands (PRDaily) As the world becomes more connected, inclusive brand strategies get more complicated.

Annals of Leno: 4 Biggest Ways NBC Insulted Jay (TVHowl) How not to treat your best employee on his way out the door. Maybe Jay should commiserate with Conan on-air.

NFL Reporter on Her Career & Mean Tweets ( Sports journalism, what’s required besides good hair? How to ignore the social media haters and build a great professional career.

Can H&M’s Interactive Super Bowl Ad, David Beckham’s Body Make TV Shopping Click?(FastCompany) Watch out Amazon here comes t-commerce. The future is here now how can they get consumers excited about it?

Did Daft Punk Troll The Grammys?( What makes a conspiracy theory so sticky? How can celebrities create brand intrigue and still show their faces?

Dylan Farrow Details Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Against Woody Allen ( In an open letter to the NYT’s  Farrow asks why Hollywood continues to embrace Woody Allen.

David Ogilvy’s 10 Tips For Clear, Concise Writing(PRDaily). I completely agree. What are your tips?

Delta’s Awesome 80s Safety Video (Fast Company) What’s old is new again. How do advertisers use emotionally charged images to engage their audiences?

How the Edelman Juggernaut Powered on in 2013 (PR Week) Want to learn more about the world’s largest PR agency? Have a look under the hood.

Glenn Lowry on American Folk Art Museum: The Decision Has Been Made ( How to talk to your neighbor when you want to bulldoze them? Bring in the experts. How can influencers build a case that you can’t?


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If you share an interest in public relations, media and visual design, this might be a good place for you to hang out. I started this blog to exchange ideas with my students at the University of Oregon. They keep me (and maybe you too) at the forefront of social media, visual communication and career development. Here you'll find our best ideas, links and learning as we write, create and blog our way through a course on Strategic PR Communication.

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