You’ve done it. You’ve written that killer story, or the zingy product copy to send to your client that will skyrocket their brand into the stratosphere. It’s spell-checked, proofread, and edited to perfection, with an eye-catching hero image in place. You’re quite rightly proud of your work.
Just attach and send, right?
Pulitzer Prize-winning content it may be, but take a moment to consider the recipient’s reaction. That first impression when they open the document. It’s in your best interest to make it easy for them to read. Your extra attention to detail might help a client turn your work around faster or even be the difference between acceptance and rejection.
Sure, the content will be reformatted for publication by the client later, but your finished copy should shine in its own right. Considerate formatting is also beneficial for readers with additional needs, such as dyslexia.
To improve its impact, don’t look at your work with a writer’s or editor’s eye, but a designer’s. See if it delivers the right message and visually matches the story you’re telling. The design and layout should reinforce the style and tone you’ve used in the piece, as it affects the perception of your work.
If you don’t consider yourself a designer or know much about layout and fonts, don’t worry. These few simple tips will enable you to add visual punch to your copy.Continue reading
In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell states that being a world-class expert requires 10,000 hours of practice. David Eddings, who wrote more than 20 fantasy novels, believes that a writer’s first million words are just practice.
There’s a reason so many authors write every day; they need the practice.
When I first set out to become a best-selling novelist (still chipping away at it), I chose to emulate Stephen King and write 2,000 words a day. That work ethic led to three attempts at a novel and hundreds of thousands of words written. I’m not sure if I’ve reached the 1 million word mark yet, but I’m getting close.
I used to think that getting a day job as a writer would eat away at my creativity and motivation. After all, how could I write my own projects when I’d just spent eight hours working on someone else’s? So I labored in unskilled day jobs, from working inventory in a retail store to testing video games.
Then recently, a friend mentioned that his company was looking for a marketing copywriter. The decision didn’t take long; I’d just left my previous job after a bad management experience. And the pay was good.
Now that I’ve been working at this job for almost six months, I realized something. My writing’s actually gotten better. It seems counterintuitive, but it’s not. Here’s why.Continue reading
Let’s be honest, the world of writing and entrepreneurship can be lonely, confusing, and sometimes downright difficult and scary.
It’s hard to stay motivated and inspired all the time, no matter how experienced you are.
Writing and entrepreneurship each have their unique challenges.
On the one hand, as a writer, you need to master the craft not only of writing, but the type of writing you do.
And on the other hand, as an entrepreneur, you need the skills to build and grow your business, such as marketing, getting clients, and managing finances.
It’s easy to get caught up in one and ignore the other. But to build a business and be successful, writers and entrepreneurs have to combine these two mindsets and skill sets.
Imagine asking two strangers to get married. And then expecting them to be compatible, uplift each other, and be successful. (No pressure.)
The reality would likely be very different.Continue reading
Smell that? Yeah. Hearsay. Myths. Or as I like to call it, gibberish. Light a candle, quick! It reeks.
Unfortunately, myths about writing are a thing. And for full-time writers like yours truly, the old urban legends tend to peep their ugly noggin out from behind the sofa every now and again.
Don’t let them put you off!
Let it be known, as a warning; the sad truth is, there will always be some writing myth out there that will attempt to kick the ladder from under your feet. Things like needing a stack of startup cash and a wealth of qualifications, having to be a member of the “grammar police” or a workaholic, and always having to seek paid work to start a writing career.
I quit my office job in 2015 to become a full-time writer, and I’m here to tell you that writing for a living is very possible, given you side-step the myths, hearsay, and speculative jargon I’m about to tell you about.
The writing gods from the future sent me to warn you about these threats … I kid you not!
Come on, I’ve got you.Continue reading