It was the Friday after Thanksgiving, and like a lot of people, I was out looking for bargains. But not for the reason you might think…
My bank had a great promotion going on–I use my debit card to buy something, and I get ten bucks for free. (They’d only do that for one purchase, unfortunately).
Now, being me and all, I wanted to maximize that return, and get something not-so-expensive. Wouldn’t you?
After picking out a $2 towel, I checked out, slid my card, and that was that. I ultimately decided to return the towel, and bought a candy bar at a different store (not the same one I’d bought the towel from).
And then I forgot about the whole thing.
Until a few days ago, when I heard on the news that the store where I bought (and returned) that towel got hit by hackers.
The second biggest breach in American history.
I checked with my bank, and I didn’t see any funny charges–the money for the towel came out, got put back.
Now I considered doing nothing, based on nothing happening right away. Then I heard a news report warning that 3-6 months from now, people could still experience problems.
So I decided to be safe and sound instead of hacked and sorry. I skipped telling Target, and told my bank what happened. They’ve canceled my card, and I’ll be getting a new one and new PIN soon.
Now, this isn’t to hate on Target–I enjoy shopping there.
This is to illustrate the value in expecting the unexpected, to the best we’re able. To weighing options, and formulating a plan to deal with things.
Fiction writers and copywriters can benefit from this “go with the flow.”
As a fiction writer, what if you’re writing, and you get another idea that causes the story to go in a whole new direction?
Should you do nothing? Of course not. Open a new file, and paste the idea in there. Or copy and paste your story up to that point, and continue with the new angle, if that’s what you’d rather do. If you’re feeling super-ambitious, you can come up with different files for characters, settings, and so on. (More power to you on that, by the way).
The point is, rather safe than sorry here.
It’s the same thing for you email writers. If you’re working on something and an idea that won’t work for this audience or this email pops up, save it.
The extra steps may seem like a waste of time now, but when you go back over the file, you’ll be glad you laid the groundwork when the time comes to use that idea in an email, story, or wherever.
And about my bank’s promotion? I don’t know if I’ll get that free ten bucks or not. But considering the possible (and scary) alternatives, it doesn’t really matter.
Until next time,