I was set off this morning by an article regarding the fact that the house used for exterior shots in the 1981 movie, Mommie Dearest, was recently sold and the new owner is just tearing it down. Now, the new owner has a right to do whatever they want with the property, after all, I don’t pay the taxes on it. So I have no right to say, but why buy a house just to tear it down?! It’s a beautiful mid-1930’s colonial, not some ugly post-modern eye-sore. The rest of the neighborhood homes are similar mid-1930’s gracious mansions, not a bunch of cookie-cutter stucco mcmansions. The property is not historically significant, despite having a classically-bad movie filmed there, so it doesn’t necessarily deserve protection by a non-profit society. But why buy a house just to tear it down? Why not remodel or adapt it to your needs, or buy elsewhere?
This is also happening in my neighborhood here in Orlando, as I’m sure it’s happening all across the country. I live in an area of gracious mid-century ranch—style houses with large lots, sweeping lawns, and mature trees. It seems like when a house sells, the nouveau riche new owner tears it down, strips the lot bare, and builds to the lot-lines, a multi-story mcmansion that sticks out like a sore thumb. I have nothing against those who like that style of house, in fact there are many very nice neighborhoods with exactly those types of houses built up in the last decade, just a few miles out of town. In my opinion, if you like that kind of house, go there! If you like the kind of neighborhood the older home is in, buy it to reuse, recycle, and/or remodel it!
The same is true when writing an article. When it comes to topics and content; reuse, recycle, and/or remodel. Don’t re-create the wheel or struggle with new that might not fit in with your current brand. Use a book chapter, or a blog post, or a workshop handout. Keep the same message that fits in with your current content, just reformat it for the audience of the magazine you’re writing for. Your re-creation could be remodeled just right so that your new style of home is re-born!
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