We’re not a verb yet, we stink at LinkedIn and we haven’t talked enough about you in this headline. Other than that, good month.


If we can make this post interesting, we may just have a future with the whole word-sentence-paragraph thing.

This is our first written press conference, to be held on the seventeenth of every month, at which we’ll interview ourselves to let relatives — and anyone else who cares — know how Page 17 is doing and what we wish we were doing better. If that is you (hi, mom), this is for you.

And now, with two quick taps on the mic to make sure it’s working, let’s get this presser started.

Q: So how is Page 17 (raises voice, puts uncomfortable emphasis on next word) really doing?

A: We have had a good month of bootstrapping, which is what we’re supposed to focus on initially, according to Guy Kawasaki in The Art of the Start 2.0. Clients and cash flow.

The work itself has ranged from grind-‘em-out video descriptions for a sports website to a half-day workshop that helped healthcare execs craft their brand story. Fun work, great people.

Q: And what do you (snorts softly, smirks cynically) wish you were doing better?

A: When naming a startup, Kawasaki says never to use a number (oops) and to search for a term that could one day become a verb. And while we dream of some future client telling her cohorts, “Guthrie, we need to page seventeen our brand story” or “Dunwoody, let’s page seventeen the heck out of that brochure copy,” our bootstrapping selves know we’re not there yet.

To become a verb, we need to better spread the word about what page seventeening would mean to you or anyone else.

It means treating every writing assignment as an exercise in empathy and an expression of gratitude to those who will invest their irreplaceable time reading it.

Too lofty? Try this: To page seventeen is to have the meh surgically removed from writing – either by us or by us helping you to do it on your own.

Q: Anything else you wish you were doing better?

A: We’d like to be more generous on social channels, especially Twitter and LinkedIn. We’d like to create a one-hour webinar that shares practical tips on how to write better. We’d like to think of a third thing but will have our calendars full with the first two.

Anything else? OK, thanks for attending and caring about better writing. Next press conference: two days after your taxes are due.