On Being a Better Writer

13 Aug

Learning to be a better writer won’t simply change my life, because writing is my life.

No matter where I go or what new career path I embark, it’s always there.

I’ve walked down many different paths: some times I was a mystery shopper, other times I was an administrative assistant. But deep down, I have been and will always be a writer.

My strength is creative writing and blogging. I have no problem expressing my ideas, opinions, emotions, hopes and dreams on paper (or screen). Where I need to grow is business writing.

Writing to persuade seems like a completely different language versus personal writing to inspire or writing to relate. I’ve never been much of a salesperson. (Notice that sales was not part of my long and varied career history.) Copywriting seems like a simple process:

  • Step 1: Find out who your readers are
  • Step 2: Figure out what they want or need
  • Step 3: Address their desires and how you can fulfill them in a way that’s on their level and not pushy

So the basic concepts are there, sitting dormant in my head. But it’s often difficult to articulate these messages in the written word.

(Don’t get me started on speaking, but that’s a whole other topic.)

Part of the problem isn’t just my lack of experience, it’s my lack of confidence. When I am in a tough financial situation, and I’m deeply passionate about growing my writing and administrative consulting business, I lose focus. I lose the right words.

I begin to focus on what my weaknesses are and not on the steps I need to change them. Heck, I even forget about my own accomplishments since I started my business last year.

It’s tough to sell the message of another company when I can’t even sell myself.

Developing a voice, creating a brand. Always keeping the customer in mind while being succinct, maybe witty or endearing.

Copywriting is the toughest area of my business to tackle and why I need more education in the area.

With an opportunity like Damn Fine Words knocking, I’d happily skip around my laptop and get to brainstorming on how I’m going to apply what I learn with my own business and my current and future clients.

Future clients. They seem so distant, but they are always my focus. They are the ones who will take my business to the next level. They will be the ones to turn to me when they just can’t think of the right words to say.

Who doesn’t want to be the “go to” person as a writer? After all, part of why we write for an audience is to change someone’s life and be changed at the same time.

Isn’t that what great copywriting is? Changing lives? In that case, it doesn’t have to be differentiated from personal blogging at all. Perhaps my skills as a creative writer will help me to become an even better copywriter.

I just need the tools to grow, and Damn Fine Words is the best chance I have to do so.

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This is my contest entry for the Damn Fine Words scholarship. You can enter here! (No worries. This isn’t an affiliate link. I just really want others to take advantage of this!)

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