“It’s crap”, she tells me.
“One long litany of woe-betide me, about how miserable I feel at the moment”.
She hands me her laptop, and shows me the draft email – the first one she’s planning to send to her list in her new email marketing strategy.
And it’s not bad, not at all.
It’s just not the kind of thing you want to share.
Rather, it reads more like a diary entry.
And as such, it’s really good.
But not for sending.
So I tell her: “It’s brilliant.
“This is what I call flexing the writing muscle.
“It’s a warming up exercise.
“Now that you have this out of your system, you can open a new doc, and write something you actually want to send”.
She grumbles, not satisfied.
So I change my strategy, and tell her:
“What would you tell an art student, when they start a piece and they’re not happy with what they’re doing?
“When the student is critising herself, blaming herself for not being better?
“You tell them to just keep scribbling, scratching, drawing lines – right up to the moment that there’s a breakthrough and something starts to emerge, right?”
Reluctantly, she agrees.
“When a student makes something they don’t like, you tell them to just take another sheet of paper, and create something new.
“Yes”, she says. “of course”.
Deftly I play my trump card, and thrust the laptop back at her.
“Take a new sheet, and go create something new”.
A few hours later she has a new email ready, and it’s terrific.
She sends it, and before the day is out people start to reply.
Including a well-known and influential artist, who replies with some excellent comments.
You, artist, know as well as I do, that self-criticism is deadly for your creativity.
That sometimes, inspiration is just the consequence of perspiration.
And that sometimes, you just need to turn a page fully black, before you’re free and open and ready to create something good.
Me, I have a folder full of email drafts that I never sent.
Probably 10% of the time, I’ll write something to send, read back, and decide that I can do better.
I’ll close the file, and simply start another email.
And every single time I do that, the next one is good to go.
Email marketing is just as easy – or difficult – as making art.
And just like art, it gets easier the more often you do it.
Which is why I’ll suggest to everyone who’ll hear it, a 30-day challenge.
Send it or not, but see what happens when you commit to simply writing a quick riff every day for one month.
Don’t edit, don’t criticise, don’t even put up the barrier of having to write something sendable.
Just write, 30 minutes, and move on with your day.
Train that muscle, and see what happens.
You just might be surprised…
Of course if you already know you want to send, but you just don’t know how to write sendable and sales-getting emails, I can help.
Details here –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/