Ministry of Prose: making words work for your business

One in a semi-regular series of ponderings, musings and contemplations on the interaction of words and psychology in business.

Five years to change the world

August 2015

For much of my life I've worked to generate income. Well, we all do that, don't we? We all have to make ends meet.

Still, I haven't sold my soul. Looking back on my career to date, the only parts I regret are those in which I wasted other people's money; in other words, when I worked on government IT contracts. Never again.

Apart from that, I can look back with some pride and satisfaction on what I've achieved so far. I wrote a lot of useful, informative articles about the computing industry and in doing so helped businesses and consumers make informed buying decisions. It's not exactly Mother Teresa, but it hurt nobody and helped many.

I also founded and ran a website that helped people cope with clinical depression. Although it never made me any money, and was never intended to, that's the project of which I'm most proud. It actively helped its readers cope with mental health issues, at a time when such illnesses were stigmatised or ignored. It helped some people stay alive.

I've run various other projects and businesses over the years, some of which succeeded and some of which didn't. Each was neutral or actively helped people. Many were fun.

Today I write. Some of my writing is still journalism, still helping companies and consumers navigate the maze of possibilities offered by today's technology. Another big chunk of my writing is geared towards helping small businesses. The content is published by various companies with an interest in selling products into that market, but the quality is high and the information is valid and useful. I'm happy to do it.

And yet... I don't know whether it's due to age and (at least some) maturity, but I'd like to do something truly worthwhile, something that helps more people in a fundamental way. And I want to do it before I'm 50.

That's where you come in, dear reader. I'm looking for advice, suggestions, ideas for areas in which I can do something genuinely helpful and practical. Something that uses my skills and intellect for a good cause. Not a "good cause" but an actual good cause, something that makes a positive difference to people's lives. I want to do this alongside Ministry of Prose, which is growing nicely now.

This is my CV/resume in a paragraph. I can write, I can program computers, I can teach and I have the type of personality that will jump in and try new things without worrying too much about the fine detail. I'm qualified in physics and psychology, I like a challenge (obviously), I have a logical yet lateral-thinking mind, I hate authority and I'm no good at teamwork.

Think you can help? Get in touch.

Alex Cruickshank has been a professional writer since 1994 and no, this isn't a joke.

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