Write & Wrong

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“Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.” – David Ogilvy

“Write drunk, edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway

What Hemingway was getting at here was this: writing and editing were not meant to occur at the same time. They require totally different states of mind. When you write, you should be loose, ambitious, and open-minded. Follow your creative instincts. Let the words flow. Let the story take you where it wants. When editing, you need to get tough. Scrutinize your work. Find the heart of the story and carve away everything else. Be brutal.

“The first draft of everything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” – Elmore Leonard

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” – William Faulkner

“You can fix anything but a blank page.” – Nora Roberts

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King

If you’re having trouble writing or coming up with stuff to write about, maybe it’s because you haven’t been reading enough. Reading other great work comes with a host of benefits. It inspires you to achieve great heights with your own writing. It activates your creative mind by stirring up themes, issues, and plots inside your brain. And it teaches you about the craft of storytelling.

Simple is genius, brevity is beauty. Like Hemingway says: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

First thing you want to do is to delete your first two paragraphs. Then reread the article and add just one single sentence instead of these paragraphs. Sometimes you don’t even have to add anything.

An hour in the morning is worth two in the evening. Go to sleep and then look at your copy in the morning. You’ll understand that some parts need to be changed even if they seemed ideal the evening before.

Master the art of storytelling. You may find a lot of new ideas to craft a cool story about your brand.

Doubt yourself. Doubting that your copy is great is the best way to make it better.

“Start off with ‘Dear Charlie,’ then say, ‘this is what I want to tell you about.’ Make believe that the person you’re talking to is a perfectly intelligent friend who knows less about the product than you do. Then, when you’ve finished writing the copy, just cross out ‘Dear Charlie’.”

Okay. Now. How many ways are there to say that?

COPYWRITERS DON’T WRITE FOR A LIVING. THEY THINK FOR A LIVING.

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