Why Zombie Web Copy Could Be Ruining You as a ‘Real’ Writer

Couple of things:

First, reason for the headline: I spend 8+ hours 5+ days a week writing almost exclusively for the web. It becomes quite task-like, repetitive even after that kind of bearing down.

And my second point: I think in the past web content and copy writing were relegated to a status unbefitting a “real” writer, but that’s changed. Brass tacks are that writing copy for websites has become quite specialized. BUT it can be a bit formulaic and …. common.  Successful web copy is not written like a New York Times editorial–it’s written much more informally, in a much more conversational tone and cadence.

Can endless days of churning out web copy rob you of your writing agility?

Writing across the spectrum is like flexing your muscles. If you sit in the same position day in and day out your body begins to recall that position, you lose flexibility and become stiff and sore. Your writing abilities need the same maintenance as do the muscles in your body.

How to flaunt what you got as a writer at a moment’s notice:

I know when I start out my work day with even 5 or 10 minutes of reading–a well-built New York Times or Wired magazine article– my writing immediately crackles right out of the chute. Reading good writing gets my juices flowing, stirs up my mind and thought processes. And short writing exercises all my own work best for me. In some cases I now have pages of fodder for future pieces.

Has your writing muscle gone flabby? Grab a brightly colored marker, a blank piece of paper (yeah, break away from the computer for a few) and dig your teeth into one of 15 cool little writing exercises dreamed up by John Hewitt over at Poe War.

My mother always said: if you don’t use it you’ll lose it–she meant talent and skills.

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