A few of my favourite things

I really do love to write. And I love this quote that sits above my desk, because it reminds me that it’s important to love what you do:  

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Of course, some writing projects can be more joyful than others. Some are technical and a little on the dry side, because that’s what’s required of the document. 

But when there’s some creative scope, like if you’re writing web copy, correspondence to clients or staff, marketing materials or speeches, there are a few simple things that can really help you produce more enjoyable copy—and ultimately, make for better reading. 

How to make copy more enjoyable for the writer & the reader 

 

Contractions

Certainly not the ones that come at two-minute intervals, but the ones that combine two words to create a natural, conversational flavour to copy (e.g. don’t, isn’t, wasn’t etc.).

Time

It’s so important to give your copy time and space before it’s finalised. I find that drafting and leaving something for even an hour, but ideally overnight, can give you better perspective, particularly if you’re struggling with certain phrasing. 

Red pen

Every piece of writing I do is printed and edited with a red pen. I edit on screen, but I always take it off screen too. You notice different things when you’re reading offline. Embrace your red pen!

Storytelling

I love when I’m given a real life story to tell as part of the copywriting process. It adds so much reality and personality to the copy and really helps the reader get to know you and your organisation—rather than a straight corporate blurb. 

And

I love starting sentences with ‘and’—it makes sense, it’s natural, and it helps your copy flow. And I love that the Chicago Manual of Style gives me permission to do so: 

“There is a widespread belief—one with no historical or grammatical foundation—that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as 'and', 'but', or 'so'. In fact, a substantial percentage (often as many as 10 per cent) of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions. It has been so for centuries, and even the most conservative grammarians have followed this practice.” 

Passion

When a client is passionate about their business, their products, their services or why they do what they do, it really shows. I love bringing this passion to life through words. One of my favourite recent examples of this was when I worked with Polkadot Photography. Not only is Hayley incredibly talented (and has photographed the likes of Hilary Clinton & Mark Zuckerberg), but her passion for her work is palpable. When it comes to writing about your business, you have to tap into your passion—your readers will sense it and they’ll want to find out more. 

What about you?

Do you love writing? Or would you rather be doing the thing that you love instead? If it’s the latter, contact me today!