Bill Duncan


Going up?


What’s your elevator pitch?  

I don’t know how these writing prompts keep being so relevant to me, but it seems that each one to date has touched precisely on a topic that I really need to work on.

After last week’s post, I looked ahead to what I would be writing for this week, and thought, “Elevator pitch? Really? Sounds far too business focussed for where I am right now.”

I’m still just getting a grip on who I am and where I’m going so it’s a bit early for me to be trying to distill any sort of a sales message into a succinct soundbite.

And yet, by the time today rolled around and I sat down to compose this post, I realised this is exactly what I need. And right now is the best time for it.

I don’t need a business slogan. What I do need, is a phrase or sentence that I can call on when I’m asked the all important, “So, what is it that you do?” question.  As I construct the next stage of my life I want to have a real answer, firstly for myself, and secondly for those who are actually interested.

This societal Q+A approach has grated with me for many years. I believe that there is so much more to each and every one of us; it is too shortsighted to distill a whole person into a single answer, or worse, a single word.

However, I’m not going to be able to change western society (not overnight anyway!) and so in the last few weeks when I’ve been put on the spot, rather than launch a philosophical discussion about the question, my answer has been:

“Ahh, I’m in a career transition right now.”

That’s well and good, and I did muddle my way through the ensuing conversation, but it doesn’t really get me any closer to a satisfactory solution to my problem.

Looking over my journey of the last 8 months, though, something has become clearer and more focused to me, day by day.

I love writing.

This blog, and Scott’s LYL challenge, has been part of discovering this piece of me. As has the novel that I’m 5000 words into.

And the more I discover, the more I remember. The well-received short stories and class play written in high school. The half dozen novels I’ve started when I was ‘ahem, between jobs’. My love of reading and exploring different worlds, languages, people and situations through the pages of great books. And some not so great ones, too.

I love writing – for its own sake.  I feel better every day that I write – clearer, less anxious, and more present.  It doesn’t matter if no-one else sees it – though I’m working on changing that! I can be as entertained and surprised at what comes out of my fingers when I sit down to write as I can when reading another author’s work.

So, I think I’m finally ready to come out of the closet—one-word answers be damned.

I’m a writer.

I love to play with words. To create, to sculpt, to cajole, to entertain and even to shock. To make people, including me, stop and think, if only for a moment or two.

The exact method I use to incorporate this into my Second Act is yet to be drafted, polished and proofread, but it will be an ongoing theme. I’m sure of it.

This feels like more than a job or a role. It is part of who I am at my core, my true nature—that magic nexus where work, play, fun, growth, creativity and generosity collide.

I am, and will forever be, a writer.

[image source: fiddleoak –]

1 Comment

  1. Hi Bill, I can sense the sureness in this elevator pitch. Sounds like you’re more and more aligned to your dharma. Congratulation for figuring it out! I haven’t get to the elevator pitch prompt yet… 2 posts down the line.

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