Can deviled eggs and Terry Pratchett books make you a better writer?

I’m writing a letter for my cooking client today. This means I’m up to my eyeballs in the inner workings of pressure cooking.

So far, I’ve learned that farm-fresh eggs peel much better… and make cuter deviled eggs… if they’re pressure-cooked, instead of boiled.

I’ve also learned that pressure-cooked cheesecakes turn out creamier than their oven-baked counterparts. At first I was taken aback by this because I think of pressure cookers for making stews, not for baking. But when I put that old thought aside, I realized this:

I can use my old tools in new ways, to get even better results.

I guess that’s the big thought o’ the day: How can I use the stuff I already have in my toolkit to get even better results… and maybe even delight myself and others?

Okay. Here’s an example for copywriting:

I like to read children’s books. Out loud.

This was practically a job requirement when my kids were younger, however, the kids are growing up… and I still like to read children’s books out loud.

So what am I going to do? (Other than be a guest reader at my local library…. not the worst idea ever, but not very lucrative either.)

Here’s the big epiphany:

Reading out loud is something I like, and it’s independent of the fact that I’m a parent.

So I’m asking myself, “How can I use this interest to improve my life and my work?”

Some other clues:

  • Copywriting is story-telling with a “buy now” button attached.
  • Good copy is written at the 3rd to 5th grade reading level.
  • Sales letters and emails convert best when it seems as though the writer is SPEAKING directly to you.
  • Copy is more fun to read and easier to understand if you use metaphors, juicy details, and fun examples.
  • “Voice” is the most important thing that a writer can have. It’s her USP. And if she has the ability to write in other people’s voices, on their behalf, then she has a viable business.

So I took all these ideas, mushed them together, and came up with this action plan:

I picked a children’s book that I liked. I bought it on Audible. And I listen to it in the car, even if I’m only driving 10 minutes down the road.

I’ve decided to listen to it “cover to cover” 10 times.

As of yesterday, I’m on read-through #6.

I’m so tickled with the whole experience.

My writer’s voice is getting stronger.

I write faster… with less stress.

What I say is more memorable.

And I ask for the sale easier.

Now I say things like: “Buy this product. I think it will help you. I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t give it a try.”

And then I stop talking.

And of course, that’s the magic of the whole thing, because knowing how to make your best case… and then just. stop. talking… is just about the highest level of persuasion.

It says you trust yourself, your ideas, and the reader enough to put your argument out there… and trust the outcome.

Just for fun, I’ll share the link to the book that’s making me a better writer:

It’s The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. Here’s the link to the Audible version. It’s my favorite way to experience his books:

There’s only one downside: Don’t be surprised if you start telling inside jokes that other people don’t get right away. I guess it’s the unintended downside of deep learning.

That… and I’ve started saying, “Crivens!” under my breath when something shocks or surprises me. So that’s a little weird, but it’s probably fine. If that’s the worst side effect of learning to write like the magical Terry Pratchett, then we’re gonna be okay.

P.S. I’m still offering free “Find Your Ideal Buyer” consultations through August. I might have to switch to a pay-for model, once the kids start school. Either way, If you’d like to know who your ideal buyer is, we can sort that out in about 15 minutes by Skype. It’s a free consultation. There’s no obligation. Click here to reserve your spot.

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