Simple rules, part 2: Writing.


“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” ~John Jakes~

Unless you completely outsource your marketing, sooner or later you’ll have you write something. An article for your email newsletter. A brochure. Your mission statement. So, here are the simple rules that work for me (and since you’re on my blog, you be the judge).

Number 1: Start with something to say. If you’re drawing a blank here, go get some inspiration first. It’s OK (and actually better) if that newsletter goes out later, but with more substance. Chances are people aren’t desperately longing for it in front of their inboxes. Daydream about all the awesome things you want to bring to this world. Read your way across some blogs on diverse topics. Revisit your business plan, your journal, and your last couple of emails from the people you work with.

When you found something good, rule number 2 kicks in: Write badly first. Don’t self-censor yourself in the first round – just get it out. It’s so much easier to improve something crappy you have right in front of you than to pull something perfect out of thin air.

Now take a break. Nap, brew some chai, go for a run, fold laundry, or do something else completely unrelated to your writing project.

Finally, come back to that mess (or hey, maybe it really isn’t that bad…) you just wrote, and rework it. I have two more rules for that part: Use your own voice. Simpler is better. When you take both of them together, you leave enough space for your personality to shine through.

{Photo by Mullenkedheim on Flickr}

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