You know how they say “you are what you eat”? Well, I say you write what you read. You’re probably thinking, “Great tip, Captain Obvious” but I doubt people actually digest what this means. Yes, corny pun intended.
Think about it. For someone who writes professionally, I am acutely in tune with my strengths and weaknesses. Sure, I can write pretty much anything the client asks for but some take a little more time and effort than others. And my turnaround time lies greatly on how easily the words flow.
I have little trouble with editorials, opinion columns, and feature articles. Why? Because I read fiction. A LOT.
That is not to say that editorials and opinion columns are a work of fiction (although some are, if you know what I mean) but rather that the structure and the tone that set my mood for writing are grounded on that part of my brain that feeds on fiction.
Business articles, sales letters, and proposals, sadly, seem to be anchored on my fear of managerial accounting and quantitative business analysis. LOL (MBA dropout here🙋)
So, how can you expand your writing repertoire? How can one cure self of business writing paralysis? Read what you want to write. This is not about plagiarization, mind you. It’s about feeding your mind the tools it needs to crank out the results you want.
Say, you want to finally get that novel off the ground, what’s the best way to do that? Devour the world’s greatest authors, of course. The intention is to learn, not to copy.
J.K. Rowling may be a celebrated author but J.R.R. Tolkien fans are less than impressed about the undeniable similarities between The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Again, the intention is not to plagiarize but to learn.
Learn how words are woven together, how to describe a room, an emotion, a pair of shoes. How plots zig and zag and pull and push. After you’ve digested enough, eat up the best in the genre that you want to try out. Then, when you’re ready you can sign up for a fiction writing course. There’s a free one on FutureLearn that can help you get started.
Want to write better business materials? Follow Harvard Business Review, Associated Press, Forbes, Bloomberg Business, and other reputable publications on Facebook or Twitter or wherever it is you kids hang out these days. Seth Godin is also a wellspring of astute marketing principles. He may not exactly be a business writer but his work will stretch your mind in shapes that’ll help accommodate more than business writing styles.
Think you’re ready to get started? All that’s needed now is for you take the leap.
But if you think you need help to jumpstart your work, drop us a line at inquiry[at]whitehatcopy[dot]com. Let’s talk about your brand and how we can help.