Agents of Ourselves: Part Eight

During our second session of Finding Your Voice last Thursday, the five writers in the workshop shared the first drafts from their first assignment. Their task was to describe, in 300 to 500 words, what they saw in this painting, which was done by my wife, Anne. Given the fact that they were being asked to share their impressions or interpretations, there could be no right or wrong. There could be only expression. And that expression could be rendered in the tone and style of each writer’s choosing.

The good news is the drafts were brilliant. Our conversation about them was even better. All of them wrote from their hearts and their spirits, unleashing their creative imaginations to write movingly, with authority, with their own voices, and with their fully-fledged agency.

The bad news is their drafts were so beautifully realized, they left me with nothing to do but applaud and encourage them. Edit their magnificent work? None needed.

Since we all expressed the desire to meet for the next two weeks anyway, even though they’d already accomplished everything I’d hoped they would, we decided two things: Next week, Week Three, we’ll share and discuss the poetry we’ve written at different points in our lives. In Week Four, we’ll tell our personal stories and discuss the importance of writing and sharing them.

Laura Staley, Maribel Cardez, Yvonne Jones, Helen Qiu, and Tom Dietzler, I give my thanks for sharing your brilliance with me and for enriching my life.

To the rest of you from all of us, we know you got this.

Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brienhttps://obriencg.com/
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.