March 12, 2014 Patricia Ferreria
Think about the first time you discovered you had a passion for putting pen to paper. I remember my first writing experience. In Grade 3, I remember having to write a short story on anything I wanted. I chose to write my story on a camping trip I took with my best friends where we ran into the mysterious creature that inhabited the camping grounds. I was kind of going for an “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” type of style. That isn’t overly original or creative, is it? But I think it’s pretty creative for a 10-year-old. The point I am trying to make is that as we grow older it seems that the more us writers, well, write, the harder it is to come up with great things that will engage our readers. Here’s me writing about writing.
Having a great idea for a book, or an ad is awesome, but think about the reader and what is going to incline them to pick up your book or read your ad. You need something smart, cheeky and interesting to get their attention and it all starts with the headline.
I was taught at Mohawk that if I didn’t have an interesting headline nobody would take the time to read the rest of my copy and it didn’t matter how much flare and creativity it had. I was told countless times that my headlines were “not twisted enough” or my absolute favorite “it’s not quite there yet”, but that did not deter me from trying even harder to improve my writing. If you didn’t have an advertising prof that told you any of these things, you didn’t go to the right school. If anything, the constant criticism from profs telling me I could do better is what kept me going for 3 years and encouraged me to become a better writer.
It’s kind of like picking a book out at a bookstore. You wouldn’t pick up a book that had a lame title, now would you? Think about it. The first thing that catches your eye is the title, which prompts you to read the back of the book and from there you can decide if you’re going to buy it.
Once you have nailed a great headline it’s time to focus on your content. You have your reader’s attention now and you don’t want to lose it, so keep it interesting. According to PR Daily these are 5 things that every writer should keep in mind while writing:
Some people don’t really know how hard writing actually is and how hard it is to find a great idea to write about. Writing isn’t just a bunch of sentences put together relating to one topic. Writers are poetic, expressive, crafters of perfectly written sentences and artists in their choice of words. Remember this next time you put pen to paper.
Patricia Ferreira, Raven5 Ltd, Oakville, Ontario March 2014.