Writing

Copywriting isn’t “Life or Death” Except When It Is. (And It Always Is.)

Mordecai Richler

“Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it’s about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here, and the frustration that it creates.” – Mordecai Richler, Born. Jan. 27, 1931. We sellers of stuff, our products and services all directly or indirectly relate to death. Evading it. Escaping it. Thwarting it. Making …

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Coffee? Whiskey? Weed? Noise? Tea? Silence? What Do You Need to Sit Down and Write?

Derek Walcott

“Any serious attempt to try to do something worthwhile is ritualistic.” – Derek Walcott, Born Jan. 23, 1930. Are you serious about what you’re doing or what you want to do? I once heard a talk by late copywriter Eugene Schwartz where he talked about how he keeps his desk and surroundings when he writes. …

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Making Your Minor Marvels More Mysterious May Magnify How Much They Matter

Francis Bacon

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” – Francis Bacon, Born Jan. 21, 1561. You’ll see me waffle on whether what sales copywriters and ad men do is “art” or not. But whether it is or isn’t – that’s irrelevant to whether the methods of CREATING art are useful to us …

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How to Warp to the Next Level Without Beating the Boss

Will Wright

“Players like to know that they’ve discovered things that even the designers didn’t know were in the game.” – Will Wright, Born Jan. 20, 1960. People who grew up in the original Nintendo Entertainment System era have a unique insight into persuasive language. In particular, an advantage when it comes to the framing of information …

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Do the Thing Now. Improve the Thing Later. Perfect the Thing Never.

Arthur Ransome

“When a thing’s done, it’s done, and if it’s not done right, do it differently next time.” – Arthur Ransome, Born, Jan. 18, 1884. Stop trying to make shit perfect. You won’t. You can’t. Don’t even worry about it being great. Focus on “good enough”. Publish your alpha, beta, 1.0 stuff. Let the audience react …

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“Dress For the Job You Want” Means a Different Thing to Professional Persuaders

Steve Allen

“Pretend you’re a southern sheriff. Or Mae West. Or Donald Duck. Buy a western hat and walk around the house like a cowboy. The point of all this, of course, is to draw yourself out of your accustomed groove.” – Steve Allen, Born Dec. 26, 1921. A lot of entrepreneurial, self-employed, freelancer types like us …

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