Notes from Jeff York

Small business marketing thoughts from a marketing small business owner

Posts Tagged ‘reading

The three R’s: Writin’, writin’, and writin’

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In a previous post, I talked about the importance of reading other’s writing.  In business, math is essential.  But this week, I want to talk about the other R we learned about in school.

Writing.

This week, I had a chance to have lunch with a writer.  She’s not a published writer as yet, but her work that I’ve read is exceptional.  The experience served as both a beacon of hope that some young people do have the capacity to generate amazing copy and as a reminder that many of the best marketing concepts come from looking at a situation with a different angle.  Her writing does just that.  For example, when talking about snowboarding, she writes “It’s like suicide without the death.”

If you haven’t stopped just now and considered the deliciousness of that statement before reading this sentence, then you simply don’t appreciate good writing.

But thus far this week, I’ve been asking you to read.  Yet, this blog entry is called writing.  What’s the deal?

I believe that writing forces us to look at things from a different angle.  And different writing styles and goals do that differently.  Technical writing causes technically minded individuals to translate that information into something we can all understand.  Copywriting focuses language into pinpoint accuracy to cause another to act on our suggestions.  Without superior writing ability, your message is weak or gets lost.

When writing copy for your business, do you keep in mind your audience?  Does the tone of the writing match your type of business and the type of customer you’re trying to attract?  What are some of the things you keep in mind when writing copy?

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Written by Jeff York

August 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Blocking the Writer’s Block

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Many of us have been there.  We have to write something on deadline.  Sometimes it’s on a topic that just doesn’t excite us.  Sometimes, we like the topic, but for whatever reason, the literary gods of inspiration are denying us.

The deadline’s approaching.  What do you do?  What will you do?

My suggestion is to read, take a walk, and drink.  In that order.  Let me explain.

I like reading.  I love knowing what other people have to say.  Thankfully, today we have one incredible resource at our fingertips in the Internet.  Call up your favorite search engine and type in keywords related to your topic.  Start reading what others have already said about your topic.  Don’t steal their ideas!  Just read about the topic and explore the different angles those authors have taken.  Typically, these Internet articles have links to other topics and ideas.  Follow the links down the rabbit hole.  Explore new topics.  Read the fresh perspectives.  Read read read.

But remember, you’re on deadline.  Once you’re gotten a good base in your head, take a walk.  Think about what you read.  Think about different angles people have taken on your topic.  Think about your own experiences and how they may differ from what you read.  Take mental notes which might only be free form thoughts, but may also serve as jumping off points to help get the creative process started.

And drink.  I’ve found things with sugar and caffeine in them to work the best.  Stay away from alcohol.  You’re no Ernest Hemingway.

What’s worked when you’ve been besieged with Writer’s Block?  Ever been forced under deadline to have to find your way through the Block and still deliver the goods?