“All writers are liars. They twist events to suit themselves. They make use of their own tragedies to make a better story… They are terrible people.” – Nina Bawden, Born Jan. 19, 1925.
You ain't no journalist.
You ain't no oracle.
We are making shit up to manipulate people's emotions, and thereby their behavior. That weirds normal humans out no matter how nice you try to make it sound.
Pretending we do something else more gentle is like trying to call yourself a puppeteer, while taking pride on only ever gently blowing on the strings.
That's not how you make the puppets dance.
Grab the controls willfully. Embrace what you truly are. We aren't normal people, in this profession. We are already a band apart.
To fulfill your potential, you need to learn to leverage everything at your disposal. Every raw little nerve you can twiddle in their brain should be fair game.
Now, you already know that developing this skill set will take you down some dark alleys. It's the nature of it.
The ability to invisibly control others is a fearful thing, and normal people relegate it to the shadows, and abandon these tools to the sole use of evil men.
Why should they have all the fun?
Just because we are liars, doesn't mean we aim to hurt.
Whenever I talk about lying, people get all upset. Oh, I don't MANIPULATE, I *persuade*. Yeah, OK. All that tells me is you brought a knife to this gunfight.
Deal with the reality. Advertisements are definitely a kind of lie. Storytellers lie. Songwriters lie. Joke tellers lie. We are all twisting possibly true fragments to create a more effective fiction. The BEST ones are the ones that do it the MOST.
Once you accept this, you can remove all the artificial barriers to your study and practice. Look toward the ad men, as well as the mad men, and bad men. Learn the powers that the manipulators use to serve their own ends, and put them to work for you.
Your goals. Your wealth. Your power.
And look, if you want to be one of those super honest liars, that is a perfectly fine decision to make. You can be the monster that doesn't eat people because they choose not to. That choice is up to the individual.
But you don't get to choose what you ARE. We are NOT like them. We don't WANT to be, and they will never understand our fascination with what makes the puppets dance. They're happy just dancing. They get to remain puppets.
But not you – you're still a monster. A terrible, terrible monster.
And what a fun thing it is to be. Powerful. Mysterious. Famished. Fearfully symmetric and beautiful in our dangerousness.
But only when you accept the full potential and true nature of the powers we possess. If you do – when you do – you will become really, really, really good at this thing we do.
Scary good. Like a natural, even.
Do you think you can? Do you believe you will?
Because here you are, reading this. Your inner beast is already awake and is hungry.
Now you tell me:
Am I lying?
<!—- lagniappe Does this idea of “lying” make you upset? It’s not your fault. We are taught as children that “lying is always bad” by adults that find children easier to control when they fear dishonesty. But that’s just a lie! Adults lie all the time. “Santa brought you this present.” Or “the check is in the mail.” Or “those pants definitely don’t make your caboose obtuse, my love.” Let me give you some perspective about the INHERENT dishonesty when it comes to professional persuasion. And then I will tell you at the end why it’s not bad, but gooooood. 1. If you’re writing to put words in someone else’s mouth - your client, their spokesperson, a fictional character in a scripted ad - you’re creating a fiction. It’s not real. It’s not what it’s being presented as. And that’s OK (provided proper disclosures and disclaimers as dictated by the laws where you do the advertising...) 2. Testimonials. A great example of a thing that is true and yet dishonest at the same time. Sure, the true words from prior customers are persuasive. But they operate off the logical fallacy that someone else’s experience might predict your own. Logically, it doesn’t. Emotionally, it feels like it does - and we capitalize on that without explaining that. 3. Price justification is a trick we play with meat computers that are bad at numbers. If I tell you something costs $50, that is a lot if you weren’t planning on buying something today. But if I make you believe something is worth $500, THEN I tell you that you can get it TODAY ONLY for $50... what a bargain! A trick, though. And if explained, ineffective. 4. Limitations like scarcity, rarity, urgency - we can make them come true, but if they are arbitrarily limited simply for the sake of making more sales, well... That’s another one of those true lies. Yes, I will only sell 50 copies at this low price. But WHY? Do I need to? Or is that a made-up limitation meant only to move product NOW rather than later? We can go through a whole huge list of these. But fundamentally, we are manipulating people’s emotions to guide their decisions. That’s the job. We do not get permission. We do not raise awareness. It’s a stealthy business. That’s why it works. If we explained it, it bloody well wouldn’t work, would it? Here is where we make it all okay. OK? Does the product solve a problem? Does it leave people better than they were after using it? Does the seller keep their promises for results and support and guarantees? If the answers are “YES” then you have a DUTY to sell that thing to those sufferers as HARD as you can. What’s the alternative? Letting them suffer? Trudge along unfulfilled? Slog through stagnation and just accept a problem they don’t have to bear? NO! If the solution works, and will give them relief - SELL IT. No customer ever said “I love this, it worked for me, cured my ills, and changed my life for the better... BUT... I just wish you hadn’t tried so hard to sell it to me!” —->