The Only Way to Learn Writing is on the Job

You are reading this because you want some tips on how to improve your writing. The topper-most tip (and most unglamorous) of all is The 3 Rs – “rewrite, rewrite and rewrite” until you reach the deadline. There’s no end to perfecting your writerly skills and so we should always welcome the deadline. So here’s what I’ve done to enable all writers great and small to advance their craftsmanship beyond existing capabilities: an on-line content writing program that employs you to produce a communication piece from concept to completion. The reward? Accomplishment worth more than a year’s salary. As in all professional development, the more you put in, the more you get out, so that year’s salary you’re wondering about could be somewhere between $30,000 and $1million. But Rule #1 of good writing is:

Don’t think about what you want to get out of writing it but what your reader will get out of reading it.

The On-Line Masterclasses are designed around the Anatomy of Body Copy, which for those of you who haven’t read Chapter 1 of my book, Copywriting in Action, maps out the socialising path we take to establishing a connection with another. There’s nothing really new about this, but it becomes new every time to write another blog or ad or webpage or internal communication or executive summary or brochure or advertorial like this. But the more I explained it in my masterclasses the more I came to realise its psychological relevance in human communications. You meet a stranger at a cocktail party. You strike up a conversation and find a topic of mutual interest. This establishes a connection. The connection is appreciated and leads to mutual trust. This trust opens the doors of receptivity to each others’ story. The story is listened to with interest (as long as the story is interesting). This interest leads to a desire to continue the story another day. There is a call to action in a “let’s do coffee” kind of way. A relationship established. From a psychological point-of-view, the Anatomy of Body Copy is a conversation for relatedness, possibility and opportunity (in that order).

Back to The On-line Masterclasses. The curriculum as a complete course is 8 sessions by 2.5 hours over eight weeks (with a Certificate of Participation at the end). Part time writers can cherry pick the units to suit their needs or limited schedule. Full time writers will travel the scenic and sometime perilous path from conception to completion and ultimately, accomplishment. Along the way, they will encounter all kinds of writerly challenges including the ten types of transitions, paragraph shaping, suspensive cumulatives, invisible propositions, patterns of expression, the six strategies of conclusions and the ten desires that drives us all. Of course, you can read about these in my blog and learn a lot. Listening to McCoy Tyner and doing McCoy Tynor are two very different actions. Content Writing in Action is all about the doing. There are plenty of “free” writing courses on-line and in books all about how to hit the right notes. But who wants to sit through a concert where the musician just played all the right notes? This course is about writing and rewriting until your copy sings. That’s what it’s all about. Making it sing. That’s what gets the audience in, even if they don’t know it. But you’ve got to see it to believe it right? Hence this course, of course.

The playlist of units are:

Unit 1: Writing a High Fidelity Communication Brief (What to say & Who to say it to)

Unit 2: Arrest Attention (How to Say What to Say and the headline/visual that does it)

Unit 3: Introduction & Transition One (Opening hook line and expansion on the headline proposition)

Unit 4: The Ten Types of Transitions (moving seamlessly from one idea to another)

Unit 5: Substantiation & Transition Two (turning a shopping list of facts into pure, purposeful prose)

Unit 6: Mechanics of a Paragraph (especially important for long copy and editorials)

Unit 7: Conclusion & CTA (six strategies toward a strong ending)

Unit 8: Patterns of Expression (packaging an idea into a few memorable words, a phrase or sentence)

This curriculum won’t just make you a better copywriter or blogger, but a versatile writer for all subjects and all media. You want to be able to experience the process so that you apply the know-how in all writing projects. You want to be able to know all the rules so that you know when to break them to break the mould. You want to do this course so that you finally gain control over your writing capabilities. It’s the only one of it’s kind outside my own on-campus masterclasses. This way, you can be anywhere and in the comfort of your own home and still have the classroom experience, and within the very medium that challenges and demands the very best of us writers these days – on-line. And in real-time. You, me and a maximum of ten other like-minded participants will be working together on a Group Project in the spirit of constructive collaboration, from concept to completion to ultimately, accomplishment.

Call to action: get to work and register here. If you need a Q & A before you enroll, fill in the Contact form and I’ll respond within 24 hours.

Originally posted 2013-07-23 21:46:15.

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