“Keep living and keep writing.”―3 notable quotes to inspire you in your writing career! [Tuesdays: “Write with the Pen of the Masters”]
A romantic in the pursuit of reconciliation of opposites.
A realist in speaking “the rude truth” about life.
An idealist in believing there’s a deeper truth behind all appearances.
These are how author Marc D. Baldwin described the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
In terms of writing, Baldwin said Emerson cannot be pinned down―his style is “rambling, anecdotal, analogical, and allegorical.”
In fact, Emerson is all these things and so much more!
If you’re looking through his works―and other prominent writers’ works―to create your own set of writing guidelines, you might want to check out some of Emerson’s notable quotes!
“No one’s going to hold your hand at the keyboard. If you want to write great works, you have to do it yourself.”
In his “Self-Reliance” essay, Emerson rolled up his work ethics, common sense, and man’s need for sheer survival instincts into one principle.
He believes there is really nothing new to human history, but there will always be something new to philosophy and a piece of writing.
So… as a writer, how can you apply self-reliance in your career?
One way is by having confidence in your capabilities. Be your own writer!
We also talked about this in a previous “Write with the Pen of the Masters” article about Emerson.
Listen to your own thoughts, ideas, and inspirations… and don’t be afraid to take risks.
Sure, there will be times when you have to read other writers’ works as reference but that doesn’t mean you have to copy their writing styles and techniques.
If you want to establish your name in the field and make your copies stand out, you have to know how to maximize your strengths and manage your weaknesses.
Be unique! Simply riding the coattails of other successful writers won’t get you far in your career.
Remember what Emerson said: No one else is holding your hand. If there’s someone who has to act in order to produce written outputs, it’s YOU.
It’s your own hands that will press the keys on the keyboard or put pen to paper in order to create good content.
… and one of the secrets to get ahead on this?
It’s to get started.
“The way to write is to throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent.”
This quote shouldn’t be taken in its literal sense!
It doesn’t mean that you have to make yourself bleed just so you could produce great written outputs.
What Emerson is trying to say here is that every time you write, there will be moments when you won’t hit the mark… especially when you’re pounding away at your keyboard on the first draft.
Here’s good news:
It’s okay! Many writers experience that―not necessarily getting things right at the first draft.
That is why another legendary writer, Ernest Hemingway, wrote in his book, “A Moveable Feast”:
“The only kind of writing is rewriting.”
In a sense, the revision process is like shooting arrows at the mark and doing it again and again until you arrive at the most polished version of your copy.
Why did Emerson say “… throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent?”
That means whether you’re writing the first draft of your copy or rewriting it, you have to do everything you possibly can to make the final output its finest.
This is also one of the ways for you to show your readers how much you value them―by putting effort into every word you write and making sure they’ll gain a valuable message after reading your copy.
One key takeaway from this point?
Keep aiming for the mark in any way you can.
“Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. This you cannot do without temperance.”
In 1927, Soviet psychologist Bluma Wulfovna Zeigarnik studied the effect of interruption on memory processing, which was later called the Zeigarnik Effect.
This explains the tendency of a person to experience mental tension about an incomplete task.
Let’s dive deeper into what happens during a Zeigarnik Effect…
Since a task is still incomplete, thoughts about it will keep popping into your mind even as you do other things.
As a result, your brain keeps working on that task subconsciously so that when you resume doing it, you have a better idea as to what you should do.
Once the task is complete, the tension you feel will be relieved and ta-da!
Your memory will let go of that subject and move on to the next one.
How can we relate the Zeigarnik Effect to Emerson’s quote above?
First of all, keep in mind that content writing takes time. You know and experience that as a writer.
So… instead of trying to cram everything in one day and in one go, why not finish what you can for the day, take the night to “Zeigarnik,” then get up and continue what you’re working on the next day?
Note: When you stop to “Zeigarnik” a task, that doesn’t mean you only have to literally sleep on it. Other ways to “Zeigarnik” include going out for a short run, having a coffee break, playing with your pets, and listening to music.
Let’s say you’re done writing the first draft of a short story.
Does this mean you also have to rewrite it within the day?
You can… but you don’t have to.
If it’s already past your usual work hours, just take the rest of the day to relax and unwind. Being able to finish writing a first draft is great progress in itself.
Listen to Emerson’s advice―“interpose a solid wall of sleep” and practice temperance!
This is because no matter how eager you are to revise and rewrite your first draft, stopping to “Zeigarnik” will do wonders for you in the process.
Doing so allows your brain to process information more efficiently and yield better results the moment you sit down to rewrite your draft.
There are a lot of factors that make a writer successful.
One good start towards achieving that is to do your work persistently until you get better at your craft so that readers start recognizing your work, no matter how long it takes.
Keep living and keep writing!
According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, there’s no telling how far you’ll go in this career but with hard work, skill, and consistency, you’ll be able to achieve both your personal and professional goals.
Keep Emerson’s useful quotes in mind!
If these lifted the spirits of people during the 1800s, then these words of wisdom, embedded with new philosophies on writing, also have the capability to do that to you and your readers in the 21st century and beyond!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Write with the Pen of the Masters”
Who doesn’t find content writing to be a skill that requires a lot of practice and effort?
In fact, many people may even find copywriting very intimidating.
However, you can be a good writer as long as you have the right tools. You won’t always get things right the first time, but with enough time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it!
When you write a copy for any brand or for your company, your aim is to make an impact and…
…to get people to remember.
Getting people to remember means getting consumers to buy your product or to avail of your service.
And when you get your content to deliver the results you want, THAT is a great copy!
Every Tuesday, we publish content based on tips and insights from the masters of content writing, copywriting, and storytelling.
Become more familiar with ways to write great copy that helps you gain ROI from your efforts, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals.
Learn time-tested tactics that better capture the attention of your target audience, and maximize the benefits of great copywriting.
Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Write with the Pen of the Masters!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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