LIM College

The LIM College Blog


How Writing Can Develop Your Career

posted by LIM College

describe the imageCaroline Thompson and Quin Acciani report on an LIM College panel on “Writing for Business and the Business of Writing” held this Spring.

While the majority of us refer to these industry experts as our Department Chairs, they also can serve as inspirational examples of published writers.  Professors Eric Feigenbaum, Dudley Blossom, and Michael Londrigan were joined by Arts and Communication professor and novelist Diana Spechler. All the writers agreed on the importance of understanding one’s audience, context, and culture, and tips for success.

describe the imageSelect your venue before you write. Study it well.

That is so whether you are writing a simple Tweet, academic paper, or blog post. Professor Londrigan explained that he insisted on writing a textbook about menswear that did not read like a conventional textbook, and he chose a conversational style that would work well with a fashion audience.

Professor Spechler advised freelance writers breaking into the profession to study the publications they want to accept their work carefully. Know exactly what kinds of articles the publication accepts, the tone they like, and the assumptions they make about their audience. She once made pretty good money writing for a magazine about fishing—yes, catching fish—and had to learn not just about fishing but the different approaches that various magazines took to the topic. Now she writes for magazines about subjects much closer to her life in Manhattan--dating and relationships, “life coaches,” and literature.

Don’t take rejection personally.


Although writers understand their audience and subject fully, rejection still happens to even the most seasoned and talented. Professor Blossom and Feigenbaum both said that rejections sent them back to work harder or differently, and how their projects, and their ability as writers, were improved by learning from a rejection.

The panelists also shared tidbits for success.Be disciplined, energetic, and promote your work.

Professor Spechler “always made writing the most important thing in my life, and the other jobs I took were always so that I could support my writing.”  By pouring her heart and soul into writing her first novel, Who by Fire, and promoting it tirelessly by way of online social networking, readings, visiting book clubs in person and by phone, she found commercial and critical success.  Behind all of the marketing is her regime of writing every day.

  • Read all kinds of writing and profit from feedback

Professor Feigenbaum talked about how reading good writing of all varieties is necessary to have something to say. Thomas Mann, the famous German novelist, was one of his inspirations. Just as did the other panelists, he talked about how working with editors and other writers can be a great experience, but one that is challenging because writing is a personal expression of one’s soul.

  • Be a global reader

Dr. Blossom pointed out that strong writers are almost always avid readers. They browse international business publications to get a variety of views and read short stories, web sites, and absorb all they can.  Reading widely sharpens your world view and helps you define yourself better as a writer.

--Caroline Thompson and Quin Acciani

Further Reading:

G. Jay Christensen, A professor at California State, Northridge, publishes a web page with inspiration and advise for many kinds of writing:

The online writing lab at Purdue University is one of the best:

The New York Financial Writers Association site:

Topics: fashion careers, Student Advice