I get emotional about accounting. That’s probably a personal problem — some sort of deep-seated issue dating far back in my history as an entrepreneur. But the more time I spend thinking about accounting in general, and tax returns in specific, the more emotional I get.
The accounting industry is having a very good year as we’re all pushing to get our tax returns completed. As an industry, accountants tend to do well and can expect repeat business. But this year is something special, as we all scramble to figure out just what the Affordable Care Act means for our personal tax returns.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m ecstatic to have a way of getting health insurance that doesn’t require a marriage or an employment contract. I’m willing to spend a little more time with my accountant in exchange. But the ripple effects really drive home just how much of an out-sized impact the US approach to health insurance has on our economy. With a presidential election next year, I’m sure that we’ll see even more unintended consequences in the near future.
I’ve been finding Hemingway surprisingly useful when working on ghost-writing projects lately. It’s a useful sort of a writing hack to get some quick insights when you’re trying to mimic someone else’s writing style.
Of course, Hemingway is fundamentally intended to help writers sound more like the man himself. But it does that by highlighting certain characteristics of writing:
- passive voice
By putting in writing samples from a client who I need to mimic, I can see pretty quickly how they use words. I can do that sort of analysis by hand, but it’s tedious enough that I don’t actually do so except on really well paying projects.
If you’re trying to mimic the style of someone’s writing, I suggest looking at several examples of someone’s writing through Hemingway’s lens, not just one. Getting the style right on a ghost writing project is hard enough when you’ve got multiple samples — getting style right off of just one sample is impossible.
Putting in several samples can be time-consuming, though. I do wish Hemingway had an API so that I could integrate it with some of my other writing tools, as well as automate the process of putting writing samples into the app. But I don’t absolutely need an API to keep finding new ways to use Hemingway — it’s just something that would be nice to have.