Friday, August 31, 2012

Some music is not conducive to #apmp proposal writing

I write proposals for a living. This requires research, discussions, and (argh) meetings, but at some point you have to actually sit down and start writing. When I write, I often put on headphones, attach them to my smartphone, and start streaming music.

Certain music can be very good for proposal writing. When you're up against a deadline, loud music (such as some Nirvana songs) works very well. At other times, calmer music such as Air is called for. (DISCLOSURE: I work for a subsidiary of a French company that has another office in the state of Washington.)

But because of the nature of pop lyrics, there are certain songs that should be avoided during proposal writing.

Take the Pink Floyd song "Have a Cigar," which started playing one day while I was working on a proposal. If you're unfamiliar with the song, it is sung from the perspective of a music industry executive - a know-nothing. (This is the song that includes the famous question "Which one's Pink?")

In his skewering of the executive, lyricist Roger Waters trots out more cliches and double-speak than you can shake a stick at. When you're trying to write a high-quality proposal, it can be counterproductive to hear lyrics like this in your ears:

You're gonna make it if you try...

Well I've always had a deep respect,

And I mean that most sincerely...

It could be made into a monster

If we all pull together as a team...

I shudder to think of the executive summaries that have been written while Waters' lyrics were playing. "If we all pull together as a team, WidgetCorp will help MegaCorp optimize its synergies - and we mean that most sincerely."

Note that Waters was writing these lyrics intentionally. Think of all the popular music lyrics in which the lyricist unknowingly writes junk. There are a lot of them (although I should defend my alumni association friend by noting the Dr. Demento did not write "Fish Heads").

blog comments powered by Disqus