Calling on you to discuss the joys of writing and the importance of creativity in our personal and business lives.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

No one wants to read your words.

Most people write for fun. And when you write for fun, you can generally say whatever you want. Plus you can say it however you want.

I write for a living. That changes things. When a client hires me, he or she is asking me to use my writing talent and experience to deliver that client's message to a given audience to effect a specific reaction.

Sometimes I'm selling a client's product or service with my copywriting. Other times a company wants me to deliver its news and information via an article or newsletter. Sometimes I'm writing a how-to brochure. Or a letter from a company president seeking a meeting with a large, potential client.

In every case, I have to first attract the reader's attention, then deliver the message or messages effectively. No small task these days. So much to see. And read. And hear.

So, how does a writer create effective writing? Here's how I start every project:

I assume that people do not want to read what I have to say.

It's good advice. Plus it happens to be true. Sorry, but people do not want to read my words. Or yours. But they will if we attract and hold their attention. We must make people take notice. Make them want to get involved.

Take this article's headline. Pulled you in, right? In addition to being powerful and a bit startling, the headline is also interesting and honest.

Next time you write something that you want others to read, really examine your final words. Pretend you stumbled upon them for the first time. Does the headline hook you? Is the intro interesting? Will the content resonate with your reading audience -- in other words, will people care?

If not, rewrite. Get tough. Make your words irresistible.

Need examples right now? Simply check out other blogs. See which posts draw you in -- and keep you there. You'll quickly discover which writers have it figured out -- and which ones need a little help.