Have you ever desired to become KICKASS at some, seemingly out of reach skill?
I know that I have...with many things.
And when I start to think of each, INTIMIDATING goal that I've set for myself (lately I'm obsessed with becoming a skilled acrobatic-yogi, a high-level aikido practitioner, and a successful online entrepreneur), sometimes I become overwhelmed with the feeling that these goals might be too lofty for me to achieve.
This often paralyzes me from even getting started or straight up quitting before I get too far along with them.
But recently, one of the most important, high-level skill sets I've set for myself is, believe it or not...
...becoming a persuasive, entertaining and engaging writer.
"Why a writer" you ask?
Well, just take a second to think how valuable it would be if you had the ability to produce compelling articles, captivating stories or convey thought provoking ideas clearly that resonated with readers in a meaningful way...that'd almost be like having a superpower, wouldn't it?
I've always felt like I was full of good ideas and interesting narratives, but lacking the communicative talent to keep people's attention when telling a story or putting my message in writing.
I always wanted to, one day, think of myself as a clever writer, but never really imagined that I had the right stuff to pull it off.
Heck, they even say great writers are born from ravenous readers, but I’ve never been much of a bookworm either to tell you the truth. My reading volume has only picked up measurably over the past few years, but I still suffer from pitiful reading speeds that reflect that personal history...
If you compared the amount of books I’ve read in my life with the uncountable volumes my 5 siblings each read, you’d definitely come away thinking I was the dull tool in the genetic shed.
Well, I actually can't argue against that particular family detail, but it's not important to dwell on, soooo, let’s press onward...
If you’re looking for an easy fix to improve your writing, don’t be surprised to learn that it’s probably going to take a little more effort than swallowing a magic pill to achieve.
Indeed, I don't think there’s any fancy trick or well guarded secret to becoming a better writer…
...you just have to write, write and, after that, WRITE SOME MORE!
(It even helps if you write more after that as well…)
It’s actually an obvious truth that I’m the idiot in the family because, even though I never considered myself much of a writer, I made a MASSIVE, life-changing decision to quit my six-figure oil job, abandon my geology career and go for broke, starting over from scratch as an aspiring, online copywriter.
Let me define copywriting real quick for those who haven't seen the TV series Mad Men:
Not to worry if you're unfamiliar...I too didn’t know what copywriting was until a little more than a year ago (pretty much when I started watching Mad Men...).
When I say online copywriting, I basically mean the skill of typing up articles and advertisements in exchange for cash from those online small businesses and bloggers in need.
So far, the best way I’ve found to get money for my written word has been to ghostwrite articles for people's blogs or wordsmith sales pages for online products.
So, to make a new living in copywriting, I’ve known that I must acquire some MAD writing skillz ever since I abandoned my geology career in April, 2015...
And to become a well paid writer, I’ve realized that I not only need to make writing a daily habit, but I MUST let go of my fears of criticism and judgement from others.
Soooo, in order to crush my fears and build a strong daily writing habit, I’m going to commit myself to completing a personal writing challenge...
What I call...The Copy Grinder!
In less cryptic terms, The Copy Grinder is an ambitious (well, at least for me anyways) 30-day writing challenge that will require me to post a single article to this Modern (m+An)imal Blog every day for a month!
I got the idea after reading a post from Shane Melaugh's im>impact.com blog titled "The Grind". I really recommend checking that post and its accompanying video out as Shane shares his radical skill transformation in creating video content by completing not 30, but 52 videos in 30-days!
Well, my goal here is simple: I just want to write and post daily like my life depended on it...
And, in a way, my life does depend on it because I must develop a knack for persuasive writing if I’m to have any hope of achieving a living wage through my written word.
Until now, I’ve let a counterproductive, perfectionist mindsets prevent me from sharing my writing with others.
From now on, instead of keeping my creative works close to the chest (like I’ve done for most of my life), I’m going to try this new strategy:
For the next 30 days, I’ll force myself to SHOW YOU the written product from each day's 24-hour pressure cooker...good, bad or ugly!
With very limited time constraints, I won’t be able to excessively fine tune details and will instead, be forced into resourcefulness and creativity to beat the challenge's daily 24-hour guillotine drop.
My measure of success for this challenge is very simple:
If blog post #3o shows a quality improvement over blog post #1, I’ll consider it a success!
It’s really no more complicated than that. If I’m lucky, I might even find some new readers with offerings of constructive feedback along the way...
Why don’t you help keep me accountable?
You can let me know what you think of my current blend of ground copy in the comments below and follow along these next 3o-days by subscribing to my email list in the side bar to the right -->
If you’re planning to jump in the Copy Grinder with me or start a similar sort of 30-day challenge for yourself (to improve a different skill from writing), please share by leaving a comment below!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to Grinding Copy...
Matt's a geologist turned online marketer and digital minimalist. He's a Modern Manimal on a mission to cultivate a high-tech, hunter-gatherer lifestyle within our exceedingly domesticated world. When away from his tech, you can find him studying complex human movement through random play or practices like Aikido, AcroYoga and Barefoot Running.
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