My quick addition of Ch. 8 of “The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way” by Jeffrey Gitomer.
You are a fantastic writer. Well, maybe not. BUT I know you are a lot better than when you began writing. When I started writing, I was awful. My first story was about how my brother gave me a nickel for Christmas. There was not even a point to the story; I made it seem that the nickel was all I wanted to receive for the holidays. I was six years old and I definitely wanted more than a nickel. I fight myself to not burn the essay every time I take it out. Why don’t I set it to flames? Because you can always find something new to learn or notice when you review an earlier piece of writing. Although I do not burn it, I do “RIP” it.
A Gravestone Story
Gitomer touches on the necessity to use strong examples to get your reader shaking their heads in agreement. I have a bunch of stories and examples to share about particular life lessons, but when I type them; while the story may be strong to me, it would not be to someone else. You not only need to put on the audience members shoes when using an example of a personal story, but you have to wear their shirt, pants, and even the underwear with their name sewn into it. Understand your readers.
On the top of my essay about the Christmas gift of a nickel, I wrote “R.I.P.” When you are writing, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
1. Recognize – Are you winning over your readers? Make sure that you have them shaking their heads in agreement with your side.
2. Impact – Is every sentence pushing a lesson or feeling into the reader? Check again to see if you are persuading them to act, or simply telling them to do something because you said so.
3. Point – You may have heard that “math is everything, the rest is just fluff.” In the case of writing, “significance” is everything, and information is just the fluff. As you review your writing, are you learning more statistics than understanding the real message?
You Would Have Thought I Wrote In Red – I Didn’t
At first glance you would think that my essay was simply a white page of paper with red marker all over it. With further investigation, you will find actual words inside the red. When I edited my essay, I highlighted in pen everything that I knew was not leaving an impact. The less red, the more loved it will be by your readers.
NOTE: While in sociology class and studying on the topic of “education”, I read an article that was persuading schools to BAN the use of red pens in elementary schools. The author declared that using red pen to correct papers left too much of a negative impact on younger students. The sociologist concluded that the color of red is too harsh, powerful, oppressive, and negative. See for yourself by googling “the significance of the color red”. You do not have to click on a link, it will state right under the link how it relates to violence and warfare. While red can also signify “love”, it is less of an impact and does not support the imaginations of younger people as much as violence does.
I stated that editing in red was troublesome for the youth, but not for you, not for people who honestly want to be writers. The negative impact is all the more reason to grade yourself with red, because you need to be rough with yourself. No one else is there to watch over your shoulder, otherwise they would be writing for you. Let the red ink sink into your writing abilities.
4.5 Extra Steps to Writing Better
1. We all know that a persuasive piece of writing is to compel the reader to act! What we continuously fail to do is define what we want our readers to act on before we write. We figure on that if we write the article, we will just add the call to action at the end and it’s a done deal. NOPE.
2. I often read that the best way to market is to write, act, read, invest, spend, as if you were the prospect of the product. The same goes with writing a persuasive article, you must consistently remind yourself that you are not only the writer, but you are the reader as well. Would you share your paper or throw it away? Forward it in an email to a friend, or skip over it?
3. During Dale Suslicks last un-workshop, one gentleman stated how difficult it was to write. He believed it was so much easier to speak because it flowed better than writing. I began to tell him how I have the same problem, but it depends on who your audience is. Do you want them to read it as if you were speaking directly to them? Then check yourself by reading your own written work aloud for a conclusion. Similarly, you can read your work out loud to see how “speaky” it sounds to make improvements. Remember, keep that red pen near!
4. I am coming to find more and more that when an idea pops in your mind, it does not like to stay. Write it out. Do not just take a note, or think you will remember it. You won’t. But I also added that you should not write on a small note because when you go back to it, the feelings behind the idea are not as powerful and you will have a much harder time to write out a full article of complete thoughts. By writing less to begin with, you limit yourself when you go back to it. That does not mean you need to write pages upon pages about an idea, but enough so that YOU get just as inspired as your readers when you read.
4. 5 On the other hand, it is fortunate for you to keep notes of small ideas that may not have manifested immediately in your mind. You can use these when you are coming near a deadline, want to free-write, or when an opportunity arises for you to test some of the ideas.
Launch yourself into learning everything you need to know to get what you want, when you want it. Read up on blogs and articles of successful people in your area of interest daily. I hope that whether you have read “The Little Green Book to Getting Your Way” or not, that you have understood more of how to create a long-term legacy and a short-term impact with your writing and life. Gitomer says, “Writing leads to wealth.” Where is yours leading you?
Stay Positive and Write On
Garth E. Beyer
If you have not yet read Jeffrey Gitomer’s “The Little Green Book to Getting Your Way”, you can do that at http://www.gitomer.com/Jeffrey-Gitomer-Little-Green-Book-of-Getting-Your-Way-pluLGB.html