My name is Leah Rosenzweig and I’d like to be your seller of ideas. I will assume the challenge for the price of the opportunity to stand in the marketplace among other craftsmen and women, and perhaps, the price of a salary. But I am most thrilled by the prospect of standing among the pretty birdhouses and hand-stitched tapestries with a cart-full of concepts. I imagine myself positioned beside pedestrian-swarmed streets and shouting “Come, behold the unseen! Tell me your ideas, your products, your marketable entities! My words will take something as banal as your sock and sell it to the world as if it were the loveliest prize!
Listen: ‘I have, in my possession, the loveliest white sock. In its standard application, the sock would certainly belong on the foot, stretched and protecting its vulnerable skin, calluses and inclination to smell while fitted into the most burdensome of boots or sneakers. The sock’s masked microfibers will clothe the tiniest or plumpest of toes in unimaginable layers of softness and warmth. But don’t be fooled by its warming powers, the sock also allows for cooling in summer months. Suppose you are partaking in a heated tennis match, the sock will allow flexibility, coolness, and breath to tuckered out toes. A sock is also the ideal plan-B mitten for a child whose desire to run headfirst into an embankment of snow following a peaceful storm is too urgent a cause to waste time sorting for a pair. The same sock can be used to warm a child’s rose-colored cheek when the game is over, when the snow is stomped-upon and tinted brown. Buy this sock and you’ll remember it like I remember the socks I first wore after my first fall stroll down Charles Street with my boyfriend four years ago.’”
Although the sock may seem an exaggeration, it is the perfect example of how my mind constructs vehicles through which I frame something or someone, yes, even a sock, as desirable, beautiful, and original. While at first, I feel I lean on vocabulary, sentence structure and wit, I almost always feel my mind drift toward a personal connection. After all, this is how I won Second Place in Impromptu Speech the Pennsbury Invitational Forensics Speech Competition in high school (this is a true statement). I was assigned a topic, and on the spot, I was able to draw in puzzle pieces from my own observations and life experience to create a wholesome speech that was both persuasive, innovative, and wholly my own. I do this in my own writing now. I believe my writing exudes confidence and a distinct style. My invitational and personal style draws in a broad audience. I don’t ever aim to capture a reader through entrapment or excessive hyperbole. Rather, I aim to sustain a genuine voice, one that tells the truth about a product, person, or idea, and tells it clearly, with a beginning, middle, and end—like a story. This is the key to how I sell ideas: I never alter or exaggerate; I just communicate well.
Like the potter, I’ll write a small narrative essay or a review, and little by little, I’ll remember how a collection of poems on bullying reminded me of my days of feeling inferior, lost and alone as a starry-eyed middle-schooler. I hold the cylindrical wad of clay and press the petal violently, yet gracefully. Some ideas spit back and smack the wall, while others, create a personal, yet marketable review, a beautiful product that contains visible bits of myself. Someone will spot the finished product in the marketplace among other similar beauties; they will sense, without knowing it, each particle of personality spreading news and ideas, continuing to create and exchange concepts, from the marketplace to the mantel.