Write to communicate – how to talk like a human

In school I was really good at creative writing.  Back then, I could write!

child writingNow, very many years later I’m on a journey backwards, trying to unlearn the teachings of a lifetime. It’s a pretty hairy trip!

But I’m not the only one. A significant portion of the human race is doing the same thing.

Here’s the story

I got a thorough grounding in English grammar in school. I even studied Latin. My mother’s a retired Latin and English teacher so I guess I focused a little more than average.

I went to university, got a Ph.D. and did nine years of research. I learnt to take personality out of my writing and the dreaded Passive Voice took over.

“The experiment was carried out and the results were obtained.” 

Like elves had sneaked round the lab trying their research skills in the night and we humans rolled in the next morning to observe the results and write it all down. Good grief.

Then the Internet crept onto the scene and I began spending an embarrassing amount of time in front of a computer. The word nerd springs to mind. The last few years I’ve been engrossed in the world of Internet marketing.

So what has this got to do with anything?

Well, if you’ve spent any time thinking about how your writing could possibly grab the attention of millions of total strangers then you’ll have carefully studied what really works.

Let’s look at some typical advice:

  • Use the spoken voice
  • Inject some personality
  • Tell stories!
  • Be human, be personal, use emotion

See what I mean? Grammar flew out the window quite a while ago (but check this out!). And I regularly start sentences with conjunctions. But that’s not really my point.

My point is that many of us are now re-learning, and focusing very hard on how to get through to other human beings

Real communication. Human-to-human. Because we have to. And it’s great!

Maybe you’ve been writing, but now you need to communicate

You can participate actively in the movement or you can just learn the best methods from very successful copywriters. The opportunity is there right in front of you.

You’ll have to write to communicate, as a human. Appropriately express your views and ideas and speak from the heart. You have the chance to practice on an enormous scale.

So I’d like to give you the names of three of my absolute favorite copywriters that can teach us a thing or two (hundred):

Joanna Wiebe. Joanna, thank you for SO MANY of those “oh shit I’ve been doing this wrong all my life” moments.

Jon Morrow. Jon, you ARE the god of blogging. You do know that don’t you?

Naomi Dunford.  Naomi, I still wish I could write like you. But then I’d be filthy rich and probably not writing this…

Go check them out right now.

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