It’s impossible for copywriters to avoid clichés and stock phrases altogether, especially when writing short copy. But we should at least challenge ourselves to be original and sincere when we can. Tempted to call that event a “great day out with something for all the family”? Itching to ask people to “simply” phone or email?
Editing and proofreading other people’s writing can often feel like a thankless task. It’s not easy, it’s time-consuming and few people appreciate being told their work is full of mistakes or that you’ve had to chop it in half – especially if those people are clients. So, how’s it done? Start by recognising that drafting,
There’s a big difference between drafting and editing, and editing and proofreading. Why then do so many writers try to do all three at the same time? If you’re the kind of writer who plans their work meticulously, knows exactly what they want to say and can bash out a first draft in moments, you
If you refer to your latest product launch as ‘pioneering’, ‘ground-breaking’, ‘innovative’ or ‘state-of-the-art’, you not only irritate journalists you also reduce your chances of getting decent coverage. How then do you swap the fluff for the facts? Journalists are busy people. They receive hundreds of unsolicited press releases and sell-ins every day. They don’t
If you didn’t spot the ‘double the’ in the subject line, don’t beat yourself up. You’re in good company. Very few people spot a ‘double the’. In fact, very few people are good at spotting most of the common proofreading mistakes, particularly in their own writing. Not wired for proofreading The human brain isn’t geared
What message do we convey when we say or write “I’m just checking if Friday’s meeting is still on” or “this is just an example of our creative work”? ‘Just’ has become the new ‘basically’, the word many of us habitually use without even realising it. While ‘basically’ adds nothing, but doesn’t necessarily harm our communications,
Whether or not Ernest Hemingway actually said the regularly quoted “the first draft of everything is shit” (I’ve yet to find the source), it’s not a bad mantra to keep in mind as you gaze at the blank screen or delete (almost) everything you write. The message behind “the first draft of everything is shit”
Can’t think of anything to write? Obsessed with deleting because you think your writing is rubbish? Bored with writing about the same old subject? You’re not alone. ALL writers face writer’s block at some time or other. Here are 10 ways to help you beat the dreaded ailment. 1. Find the root of the problem.
The internet has turned us all into publishers. Sadly, it’s also made many of us think we’re copywriters. Just because you CAN put your own content up on the web for the world to see doesn’t mean you should! Ideally, unless you are a gifted communicator, get your content produced by a professional who knows
At the end of the day, what’s wrong with clichés? Why do critics squirm when they read about companies going from strength to strength? Why do editors put red pens through state of the art showrooms? And, more to the point, how do we avoid writing them? Clichés are victims of their own success. The