This article is excerpted from one that originally appeared on Fast Company’s Co.Design. It’s taken from an interview with the author Austin Kleon, who wrote Steal Like an Artist. I had to steal his ideas, and then rewrite them to make them my own.
Nothing is really original
Every writer gets asked the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” The honest writer answers, “I steal them.” So, figure out what’s worth stealing, and move on to the next idea.
Admit to yourself that nothing is original. If you’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, you can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and you can embrace influence instead of running from it.
People have been swapping ideas for thousands of years. Every new idea is just a mashup of previous ideas. You are a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences.
I love the TV series “Mad Men.” Maybe because in part, it’s about coming up with the right words for the right ideas. Here are some excerpts (and rewrites) from an article that appeared on Copyblogger.
Mad Men Made Writers Sexy Again
The main character of the series is a creative genius. He crafts the perfect slogan to capture the minds of America, and he makes it all look so cool. So do all of the characters. It’s their work. They sit around thinking up the perfect ad, and then they convince their clients to spend beaucoup bucks on it. And they do it all with nothing but words. How cool is that? You write something down, publish it, and it changes the world.
Some of the advertising principles also apply to blogging.
This article comes from a discussion on LinkedIn. It has important information about what you should consider when writing effective web copy.
Writing for the Web
Writing for the web is unlike any other kind of writing. Whether you’re an author or a marketer, knowing how to write good web copy is a valuable skill. Besides the basic principles of good writing, two things make online content “good”: how easy it is to find and how well it persuades readers to take a desired action. Use the following ideas to improve your web writing skills.