My last post was about what it meant to be an “expert”, i.e., did our readers expect us to be “experts” in the things we write about? I’m guessing if you are writing a cookbook; well then, yeah … it probably would be good if you knew your way around the kitchen. Or the “Five Easiest Ways To Perform Open-Heart Surgery” probably should be written by a doctor, preferably a heart surgeon. But a reader can hardly expect a writer of vampire novels to be a vampire (i.e., a “real” expert). Or everyone who writes a thriller about the CIA to be an undercover agent in Iran.
“The expert is the son-of-a-bitch from out of town.”
~ Gordon Koller
Those were words my dad used to say whenever a “consultant” showed up at his place of employment. I think you’ll relate to some of the random thoughts that follow; but if you get to a place where you start saying “where the hell is he going with all this?”, I ask you to be patient. There is method to my madness. Consider the following paragraphs like a “prologue” to a bigger (and better?) story.
I always thought my dad had clever ways to convey an idea with a minimum of words and a maximum of punch. As you can tell, he always bristled whenever his company would bring in someone who was thought by management so wise as to tell you how to do your job. Back in the day, the guy brought in was inevitably someone from “out of town.” Usually one of those “big city experts”, as my dad would say.