When I was at ad school in Atlanta, my mentor in the copywriting program made a great suggestion to help my writing style. Her tip: before starting the ad copy, write a quick letter to a friend. It helps put you in a conversational tone. And I found that it was usually pretty effective.(I’ll even admit, I wrote good letter. Even made myself LOL, only that was WAY before we even had LOL.)
Of course, the natural progression was to evolve from snail mail to e-mail. So as my career progressed, it was easy to fire off a quick electronic note to someone to help put me in the mood.
Next came IM, and the constant connection with people in the next office, or across the pond. It still remains a great conversation starter, and does help keep my tone casual.
Sure, it’s not always appropriate to be casual. And adapting to that style isn’t too difficult.
Today, we have status updates for Facebook and Linkedin, tweets, SMSs, plus the continuation of e-mail and IM. With all this electronic communication, and more time spent “connected” to people you know, and even people you actually know personally (and not just electronically), I find that it becomes more distraction, less motivation for the projects I have going. Almost to the point of quitting all communication programs (e-mail, IM, even the web) just to have a little peace and quiet.
It’s time to go old school. You know, using a writing instrument and (gasp) paper.
My new motivational process, well at least something I’ve done once this week with great results (IMO), was inspired by my dear editorial friend up in Seattle. She suggested a blank piece of paper, a writing utensil, and some actual quiet alone time. The intent is to be in the moment, and find inspiration in my immediate surroundings. Watch, listen, feel, and then capture whatever thoughts bubble up from wherever thoughts come from, and then jot them down in one of the four quadrants I’d drawn on the blank page. There is really no specific purpose of the writing, other than to just be present. But as my brain can do at times, it took it a step farther.
I think this extra curricular brain activity stems from my new desire to write poetry. I’ve been told my ad writing can (at times) be poetic, and seemed like a natural extension. So, once I had captured the four strongest thoughts of the moment, after a little tweaking, I actually turned it into 4 poetic tidbits. It’s still rough. Still a work in progress. But I’m pretty pleased with the overall results.
4 Views of a Fall Afternoon
Wind blows, chimes sing.
Lower tones swaying in the breeze,
High notes answer with another gust.
Reverberation drifts as the calm envelopes.
Silence, broken only by shifts in the atmosphere.
Stirred by the wings of a dove, or perhaps a butterfly.
Born half a continent, or a world away.
Creating mood, creating music.
The dark, dark beauty of longing eyes.
Looking for trust. Assurance. Love.
Big dark pools that reflect joy followed by uncertainty.
From what depths does the fear stem?
Not when, but if it will ever abate.
Find solace reflected in my gaze.
Feel joy from my heart.
Safety is yours for the asking.
Long, luscious green blades
Gently bending, giving way,
But not giving ground.
Flitter. Flutter. Swaying to what music
Is found in the power of Mother Earth.
Warm under the rays of the sun.
Water splashes, giving life.
As hope continues to flow—and grow.
The drone of a single engine.
Where has it been, where is it going?
In the now, does it really matter?
Chase the blue! Dance with the clouds.
So light. So free.
The drone grows louder in the moment,
Then softly slips beyond the horizon,
Leaving nothing but memory in my ear.