This morning one of my bosses came in and told me he really enjoyed reading a memo I had left for him.  This news was the highlight of my day.  Not just because it’s nice when your boss likes your work, but because I had fun writing that memo and it was nice that he had fun reading it.  The memo was an internal one, which gave me more freedom to let the words roll out in a way that could not be done in a memo for external use (although it is still possible that my other boss will have me revise it to tone it down because you never know where things will go).

But, it was a creative memo, or rather a factual memo, but written in a more flowing style than I usually employ.  But the facts cried out for a turn of phrase, so I went with it.  And it made me realize that one of the reasons that I am enjoying this new blogging thing is that I am looser stylistically here (thank goodness) than I am in most of the memos, contracts (there is absolutely no room for flair when drafting a contract, probably why it is the dullest part of my job), and briefs I write for work.

Many of the factual scenarios underlying legal work can be uninteresting, at least to those not intimately involved with the issues in the case.  (For those involved, the most byzantine elements of civil forfeiture law or apparent authority and agency can be fascinating).  But often, even when the facts are dramatic, the drama, humor, or what-have-you are completely drained in most writing done in the legal field.  The flair is seen in the courtroom, in the dramatic closing statement, or the tricky cross-examination.

One of the things I have struggled with is infusing more creativity into my life.  I used to write poetry, back in the dark days of my youth.  I used to write short stories, a long, long time ago.  I put all of that away, somehow, and I’ve been trying to pull it back out.  Before I started this blog I had been working on outlining and drafting a novel for over a year.  It was utterly awful.  I was bored writing it and anyone would have been bored reading it.

So, the fun I had with this memo made me think that rather than compartmentalizing my writing – trying to be creative or expressive at night, in my spare moments, I should spend more time infusing some dash into my daily work.  Heck, if I can make a factual summary lively, I ought to eventually be able to make a novel sing, right? 

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