WBW: points vs games, storytelling techniques & ancient writing tips

Welcome back to Write Better Wednesdays!

Writing is a keystone skill for anyone looking to grow & monetize their email newsletter.

So each week, I share 4 things to make you a better writer:

- 1 piece of copy to swipe
- 1 piece of content to consume
- 1 prompt to write
- 1 quote to ponder

Let’s dive in…

Read time: 2 minutes

Copy to swipe:

Your newsletter sign-up page should be as simple as possible.

Because the more elements you include, the more potential objections you generate.

Sahil Bloom’s is a great example of this:

As you can see, it’s very minimalist.

He doesn’t even include any testimonials.

The product shot is a nice touch too.

NOTE: If you don’t know how to add web pages to your swipe file, read this.

Video to watch:

I’ve only recently gotten into tennis.

So I never got a chance to see Roger Federer play live.

But after watching him speak, it’s clear he has deep insight into high performance.

The commencement speech he gave to this year’s graduating class at Dartmouth included some powerful lessons that apply to writing.

Here’s one of my favorites:

***

In the 1,526 singles matches I played in my career, I won almost 80% of those matches. Now, I have a question for you: what percentage of points do you think I won in those matches?

Only 54%.

In other words, even top ranked tennis players only win barely more than half of the points they play. And when you lose every second point on average, you learn not to dwell on every shot.”

***

Remember this the next you write a newsletter or social media post that flops.

It’s just a point.

And you can lose many points yet still win the game.

The full speech is only 25 minutes long and well worth a watch.

Prompt to write:

“What’s the moment of highest tension or conflict in this story?”

The phrase “in media res” means to start a story in the middle instead of the beginning.

It’s a popular storytelling technique…

Because it forces you to skip over the initial setup and jump straight to tension or conflict driving the story.

Use this prompt to craft an attention-grabbing hook or lead.

Quote to ponder:

“To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.”

— Aristotle

That’s it.

Thanks for reading!

See you next time.

Jim Hamilton

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