Heard of the Writer’s Process Blog Tour? It’s a semi-viral meme I’ve seen sweeping through a few of my communities now (a little like a by-invitation chain letter, but far more enjoyable!)
The idea – at least as I understand it* – is that writers from all walks of life get to take a step back, reflect and think about what they write, why and how. Then they get to sum that up in a handy blog post, and get to read how and why other writers do their thing too.
It’s an awesome way to make connections with other writers, and to learn from folks who work differently to you. I’m hopping on the tour because fellow copywriter Tim Gray of Words that Change the World tagged me (thanks Tim!)
And I’ll tag a few writers in my circles too at the end of the post.
What am I working on?
As a copywriter, I’m generally working on all kinds of things for my clients: web pages, email campaigns, newsletters, social media posts… And of course I do all of those things for myself as well – both for this site, and for my other introvert-focused website.
But if you’re more interested in the bigger projects I have going… there are two right now:
- I’m creating a manual-cum-workbook based on the material I covered in a free webinar a couple of weeks back about email/newsletter marketing for introverts. The idea is to use the material from the webinar as a foundation, but expand it out into a fully-fledged training pack.
- I’m also collating a selection of the responses I got from my recent Awesome Introverts Amongst Us interview series into a single downloadable ebook.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
(NOTE: non-fiction writers in the tour are generally interpreting “genre” here as “competitors”, or at least interpreting the question as “what makes my work distinctive?”)
This is a difficult question for me to answer because, in the little corner of the interwebz that I inhabit, there’s no such thing as being “like everyone else”. Each person brings their own unique personality and gifts to the copy they write (whether for themselves or their clients).
That means it’s less a case of “standing out from everyone else”, and more a case of “finding the clients that you resonate with best”. That said, if I had to sum up what infuses a given piece of copywriting with “Tanja-ness”, it would be:
- A focus on clarity, rather than cleverness: I’m about helping to communicate clearly, in a way that connects with and resonates with readers, not about writing “irresistibly compelling copy”.
- A lack of strict grammatical correctness: again, I care more about being clear than I do about being correct. So I frequently start sentences with conjunctions, end them on prepositions, split my infinitives, and use sentence fragments. Why? Because I write the way I talk (just more clearly, and without a Kiwi accent!)
- A conversational, personal tone: I’ve spent way too long working in formal business settings where the language bordered on legal-ese. I think of copy as part of a conversation, and I write it as such.
- A low-key approach to selling: I try, where humanly possible, to avoid high-pressure sales language or hype-y claims. My perfect clients want their clients to get the information they need to make a good decision about whether an offer is right for them. They’re not looking for copy that will make readers “unable to say no”.
Why do I write what I do?
Honestly? Because I can, and I’m good at it
For the longest time, I knew wanted to make a difference for the better in the world, but I could never figure out the specifics of how. Unlike most changemakers I knew, I didn’t have one particular cause that drove me. And if I’d tried to get involved in ALL the things I cared about, I’d burn out.
My revelation came when I realised that I didn’t need to have “my own personal cause”. I could use my skills and gifts with language in service of other people who were driven to create their personal brand of change. By helping them with their copy, I’d be helping them make more of their difference.. and earning a living from it.
Talk about a win-win.
How does my writing process work?
It varies, depending on what I’m writing. For a blog post like this one, I generally just sit down and write a draft without worrying about idea-generation, outlines or any standard “pre-writing” steps. I’ll generally do a single round of editing, a final proofread, and then post it.
For a longer piece, I might start by creating a nested bullet-point outline (my mind is almost totally non-visual, so mindmaps don’t work for me). Then I’ll normally write a first draft based on the outline that’s usually – not to put too fine a point on it – godawful, but at least gets SOMETHING down on paper.
Lastly, I’ll “sculpt” the final copy from the chunk of rock that is my first draft by applying an editing chisel. I normally do at least 2 rounds of editing on my own, and then if I can, I’ll get feedback from someone who’s a good match for the people my copy is meant for. Only then do I do my final proof and call it “ready”.
And now… here are 3 writers *I’d* like to hear from
Angie Mroczka is an author, artist, and publisher at http://ebookaviatrix.com. When she isn’t helping authors realize their dream of publication, she can be found working on her latest novel.
Kris from http://www.mythicrhythm.com/blog is not your “normal,” dry marketing + business coach.
She takes the deep, dark and intoxicating parts of the mind & mythology and turns it into powerful & proven strategies to help you gain more visibility, customers and revenue.
With her 20 years in marketing and web development for companies the likes of E!, Paramount Pictures, Disney and Citrix Online, she knows what you need to do to succeed without hiding your true identity.
Teresa Deak at http://handsongratitude.com/ is a Butterfly Shaman, holder of hearts and see-er of Beauty who offers you what your heart needs.
Her spiritual agents – energy clearing, Butterfly Resonance Images, her Gratitude Tarot cards and app, Soul Mandalas, Intuitive Butterflies – and her pendulum guide will awaken your Divine and welcome the flow of the Universe. She is ready to bring you butterflies and hold your heart while writing about her spiritual journey along the Butterfly Way.
* I say “as I understand it” here because I can’t actually find any information about who originally started the blog tour, and why. They might well have had completely different goals for it than I’m inferring!