5 Lessons for the Love Of Writing

Cool Technology

5 Lessons for the Love Of Writing

Even in this grammerless age of 140 character Twitter microblog Tweeps and 160 character SMS text messages there is still a fundamental need for good writing and structure. Cool Technology

The challenge is to find your voice and let your writing style come out.

One of the things I personally really miss most about my dad was his intellect and his ability to present a good logical and compelling argument –  he was one of those blokes you’d ask and listen carefully to the logical, wise and well crafted advice.  A derivative being the ability to translate those points into effective letter writing.

That’s the power of good writing – to effectively communicate, inform, influence and motivate.

I believe there’s a “writing voice” in all of us and with practice we get better.  Note, there’s also a “singing voice” but I’m self contractually promised to keep mine where it belongs – better left alone and locked in a box.

Below are few points from my writing journey thus far.

Lesson #1. Practice makes perfect.

Like all things the more you write the better you get.  I suppose it’s the same for nearly all things for example *photos – the more you take photos of beautiful women and begin to understand light, form and pose, the better you get, you experiment, you take risks, make mistakes and learn.

(A) You can replace “*photos” with any action you want.

When you write a page per day very soon you get pretty good at writing a page per day.  

The more you write the more you may become interested in the theory behind what your doing and appreciate the style of others.

Interestingly, there’s a natural process that seems to occur where you feel like you’re tapped into some universal knowledge base or something – like a channel of inspiration – (ye gads was that a metaphysical moment I shriek!) or is that what sports people or artists call “in the zone” when you are doing what you should be doing

You learn about the importance of the audience and writing for them – “It’s not about you” even though it really is!

LOL (Laugh out Loud) – sorry, I just skipped back a few sentences to read and check what I’d written, replacing *”photo/writing”  (A) with “sex” and understood the “Oh God” moment!  (oops, that’s rude, didn’t mean to upset those concerned about the word sex and God in the same sentance – we’ll probably end up on some Australian Government web censorship hit beste online casino list now – arrhhhh!).  

Please note: Based on the Hawthorn Effect  the average male does not think about sex every six minutes – that is a statistical error.

Over time your skills develop and move beyond the basic formal structures and psychological reader engagement drivers, to developing personal effective writing styles – to write with confidence.

Your audience builds.

Lesson #2. Begin with the end in mind

“Hello tadpole, what you wanna be when you grow up then” (said in a Cockney accent for no apparent reason)

Set a goal, Can you visualise it? What is the time line, double it, double it again.  

For this blog I’ve set a deadline of 11AM to publish.

It’s interesting how we as humans naturally attract towards our set destinations if we think about them enough.

How much do you want the end result?  What are you prepared to lose?  What is the gain?

Moving forward you can mind map the process or maybe, like this article you just write and see where it does  goes.

I’m reminded of the Back of a Napkin process for visual thinking – like a the lump of clay on the spinning wheel working from the broad to the detail.

What’s the brief I ask my clients – a process of questions which lay the foundations for developing the communication.

Lesson #3. Follow your passion

What do you do in your spare time?  Write about that.  

If you love what you do it comes through.  In this world of Google search and indexing – if you’re love is the Australian Red Eyed Tree Frog  then at some point you article will be indexed.  Write a lot about the Australian Red Eyed Tree Frog  and soon other people will link to your frog article and you move up the Australian Red Eyed Tree Frog web influence ladder. 

Follow your passion and though the money may not come you’ll be happier and other frog lovers will connect to you.  Hmmmm I wonder what Youtube videos are out there on the Australian Red Eyed Tree Frog?  

Note:  I like frogs but I’m not really into them – it’s just because we’ve a couple of new frogs in the fish pond out the back – geez hope they’re not those mongrel Queensland Cane Toads in Sydney! – I digress

Lesson #4. Do it now and edit later.

Even in a non linear digital environment the worst mistake is to constantly try and edit everything as you go.  

Break things down into manangable junks.  Like the spinning wheel clay – play with it a bit, listen to the groove, shape and then when inspiration comes go with the flow (hmmm strong Zen influence creeping in here) and create.  

Then STOP and review.  

How does it read aloud.  Does it flow?  Does it get the message across?

Can you put it on the shelf and come back to it later?

Make a decision – start again or begin the edit.

Don’t worry about the title, first paragraph and conclusion until you filled in the middle and edited the flow.

Lesson #5. Persistence

Yes, some people are more naturally gifted to hop then others BUT success is 99% persistence.  See Lesson #1.

 

That’s a wrap – I’d like to spend more time editing this message down but it’s either throw it or put it up.  

Would love your feedback.

Scott

Ex publican, photographer, musician, entrepreneur and Head of Digital for the Cronulla Sharks.