Anyone who has taught a high school or college-level writing class has heard some version of a common student lament: “If only I could print what’s in my head, I’d get an A.”
The student isn’t always wrong. Very often, the thought itself is indeed worth an A. But the process of translating that thought into words can be vexing, and it’s always easier to confuse than to clarify. The fundamental challenge of every writer’s life is to spend hours, days, and sometimes longer wrestling with words until they begin to resemble the original thought that inspired them.
The best communicators aim for what Wallace Stevens once called “the first idea”—the original truth behind their words. In his wise and difficult poem, “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,” Stevens compared “the first idea” to a fairy-tale hermit “who comes and goes and comes and goes all day.” The hermit may be cagey but once you manage to corner him, once you manage to hold him in one place even for a moment, he will tell you the truth.
That’s the challenge that motivates First Idea Communications. We help our clients to distill their ideas, explain their innovations, and realize their aspirations—to hone their communications strategies and express themselves clearly “so that we share/For a moment, the first idea.”