Hey, bestie. Happy New Year!
Glad tidings to you in this first issue of 2023!
Is this a perfect time to think about setting an intention for the new year to become a stronger writer, creator, marketer one year from now?
Yes it sure is.
Let's look at 13 ways you will become* a stronger writer in 2023.
* WILL BECOME. Not "might become," because we're MANIFESTING. You will be a MUCH better writer one year from now, on January 1, 2024. Or I'll refund your money from the cost of this newsletter subscription, less 10% service fee.*
* Fine print: j/k. This is free, obviously.
* * *
<Hand over heart; eyes to the heavens>
This year, you resolve to...
1. WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT AS FAST AS YOU CAN.
Get it out of your noggin. Get it onto the page. It'll be lousy. It'll be ugly. GOOD FOR YOU. You did it! Have a snack.
➡️ How to avoid procrasti-straction: Write that first draft.
2. NEVER PUBLISH THE FIRST DRAFT.
Rewriting sounds about as much
fun as getting a root canal. But please-please-please do it! Even if what you are going to publish is "just" an email. "Only" a LinkedIn post. "Merely" a marketing article.
The difference between mediocre and not-mediocre is one more round of revisions.
The difference between something you make excuses for and something you're proud of is one more round of revisions.
Your writing is not a
sloppy-drunk at a family party; you should not be embarrassed by it.
I write 4 drafts of anything I write. I want to make each paragraph, sentence, word earn its keep.
If it's not adding anything, I cut it from the team and encourage it to try again during next week's tryouts. (I'm not trying to crush their spirit, you know?)
➡️ Writing is rewriting: Unclog your copy.
3. TELL YOUR READERS: 'I
Great writing says to the reader: I see you. It aligns you with your audience with a kind of knowing nod at least 1x in a every piece.
➡️ Morning Brew does this beautifully. (Side note: This is my favorite newsletter I wrote last year.)
4. SHOW, DON'T TELL.
Snap out of the tendency to state things only as you see them—it's an easy trap for lazy writers.
Instead, put yourself into the mind of your audience. Step into their shoes; slip on their skin.
What's it like? Add a second sense beyond sight: What's it sound, taste, feel like? Paint a picture. Make sure I recognize me in the frame.
➡️ How to Show Not Tell: Tell me without telling me about your product.
5. SURPRISE YOUR READER.
Opportunity lives where your audience least expects it.
➡️ Inspiration from an unlikely place: Like, the bottom of your TV screen.
6. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD JARGON AND BAD JARGON.
Jargon is like cholesterol. There's a good kind and a bad kind.
➡️ Know the difference.
7. WRITE TO ONE PERSON.
51K people are getting this letter today. I do not think about them—I think about you. You are my #1. (What other 50,999? Where?)
Count the number of YOUs in anything you write. If you run out of fingers... you're doing GREAT.
➡️ How to write to one person at one
8. SEND BETTER EMAILS.
Why fight algorithms
when you can stroll the streets of Email World, wearing shoes made of hundred-dollar bills?
➡️ Next-level email is yours.
9. READ EVERYTHING OUT LOUD.
Reading your final draft out loud is the best way to hear your voice, literally. Yeah, you sound like a nutloaf talking to yourself in the middle of your office. So?
Mistakes I catch during my own Nutloaf Moment (TM):
Countless spelling/grammar errors. Awkward phrasing. Hard-to-understand sentences. Moments when I sound too prescriptive or too serious or too straight. When I sound like I'm reporting a five-car pileup on the freeway on your local news... not
writing to you directly in my own voice.
on how I approach writing: Steal from my process.
10. GET SPECIFIC.
Specific writing paints a picture in the in the mind of your reader. Name names. Show, don't tell.
➡️ You can do it: How to sell an idea.
11. DO NOT FEAR THE ROBOTS.
Remember: who holds the tool matters more than the tool itself.
➡️ What does AI mean for writers? I have thoughts.
12. START THAT
That book you've been thinking about? This is your year.
➡️ No really. It is your year: When you should write your first book.
13. FINISH THAT THING. SHIP IT.
You have one year. GO.
➡️ And it's gonna be better than you think: Writers write the hairs.