Do you feel bored right now?
And are you a writer?
Do you feel like a bored writer?
Of course, if you’re high on life and slurping up the deeper recesses of inspiration, and looking out the window like a million interesting topics lie in wait for you, stop reading.
But if you’re working on a writing project or assignment for an ad, blog post, novel, short story, song, or even just figuring out how to nail that Facebook status so everyone will think you’re awesome…
And if you’re bored out of your freaking mind doing it, and don’t understand why, and have no idea how to break out of your funk…
You’re right where you need to be.
Welcome. It happens to all of us, almost on a daily basis. You’re not alone.
How to feel more inspired about writing
What if you could just feel less bored and get more excited about your writing project right now?
You may have your own ways of getting inspired, but I’m going to tell you one way you can break out of the monotony and get to a happier place.
What’s word deconstruction?
In so many words, it’s the process of smashing a word to bits and extracting all the baggage of that word. That way, you can understand what’s behind a word, and all of the nuanced meaning wrapped up inside it.
Once you realize that words aren’t just letters on a page — they’re living, breathing entities full of life and memories, you’ll feel more excited next time you open that Word document, blog site, or social platform.
You’ll use words for what they’re worth — instead of just taking them for granted.
Let’s kill some copy. K?
Who’s our next victim? I know. Let’s deconstruct “love.” That’s a good one.
Time for what I like to call…
Word Surgery: The act of deconstructing words to discover their true meaning
Imagine you’re some topnotch surgeon working at a local hospital branch.
People respect your unwavering ability to maintain calm during traumatic scenarios.
Imagine you’re there in your surgery chamber. Any second now, a stretcher will blast through the double doors.
You take a deep breath. Inhale… exhale.
Wash your hands and arms. Pull on synthetic rubber gloves. Stretch your goggles and cap over your head.
A stretcher bursts through the door. Your crew floods in and spews technical jargon to ready the operation. You twiddle and stretch out your fingers, adjusting a sleeve so it won’t interfere.
Screaming in agony, the patient convulses. An assistant applies a mouthpiece to the writhing body, and the patient falls unconscious.
But…it’s no ordinary patient, lying there on the table. It’s…not human at all. It’s nothing but an organic, heaving…WORD?!
My god, it’s…”Love.”
After a moment of confusion, you shake your head, ask for a scalpel, and get to work.
You open Love right down the middle.
But imagine what you see isn’t blood and organs . Instead, what you see is images.
Like there’s an alternate dimension of memories and experiences contained within the organism.
You’re faced with flashes and snapshots of everything that Love means to you:
- You see yourself with that special somebody, working through a heartbreaking conversation. You had to move away to pursue your career. That tug in your stomach. That bittersweet look in their eyes.
- The image vanishes and is replaced by memories you shared during Christmas with family.
Then that vanishes too.
- Waiting in a parking lot for your first love to arrive so you could be together.
- Your mother bent over the stove, making dinner.
- The friend who lent you money when you were at your lowest, and told you “don’t worry about it.”
- A trip to the beach with a sibling.
- The co-worker you wanted to date.
- The time you cried when everything was wrong, and someone embraced you and reminded you how great you were.
- Someone fixed you a steaming-hot bowl of soup when you were bedridden with the flu.
- Your best friend’s mom, or your uncle, or your aunt, trying to hide their parental affection for you.
- People kissing during a couple’s wedding dance.
- An old man and wife sitting at a park bench.
- Lovers grip hands walking down a city street.
- Parents cover their toddlers with an extra blanket during a black, January night.
You snap out of it. Like out of a vivid dream, you look around. Your assistants smile above blue face masks.
You look down at the patient. The operation, complete.
A total success!
“You will come back at the count of 3.”
Welcome back! Enjoyed that? Good.
Here’s the takeaway from this:
When you write a word, for example, “love,” you’re not just placing a stale word on the page. You’re placing a whole universe of past experiences into your reader’s brain.
So, when your reader sees “love” in your copy, you activate the past experiences they’re had associated with that word.
(By the way, “Love” is a powerful word. Use it to stir up positive or strong feelings. And your readers will attribute that feeling to your copy, your product, and/or your characters.)
Now it’s your turn to hold the scalpel.
Pick a word. Any word.
Now grab a pen. Grab a piece of paper or a Word document.
Write that word down. Do this now.
Or imagine the word in your head. (Although writing it down will help you remember what you learned better.)
Imagine slicing the word open.
Write down the memories that come to mind.
Once you have 3-5 memories jotted, take a moment to reflect on them.
Isn’t it awesome how words aren’t merely words — isn’t it awesome how words open up a portal to your past experiences?
And you take them for granted most of the time.
When you’re writing, remember that your words are for your readers eyes. Therefore, when choosing a word, imagine your ideal reader’s past experiences — and not your own.
Instead of seeing and feeling words with your own mind, imagine what your ideal reader, perhaps standing right there next to you, would see and feel. Write to ignite their memories. Again: not your own.
Pretty soon, you’ll be writing emotionally engaging copy that your readers love. Crave. Need. Because now your words aren’t stale to them. They’re full of life.
The reader’s life.
You activate a story that already exists inside your reader’s brain, reminding them of their own hopes, fears and affections.
You’re writing’s empathetic. It speaks with intimacy, care.
You reach your readers when you activate experiences.
Feel a little more inspired about writing now? Good.
Write to your readers — not to your page.
Animate your Copykiller, friends.
And comment here if you have thoughts. Or email me. I’d love to hear from you : )
P.S. Thanks for reading. All of this content is based off of a linguistic theory I’m building.
P.P.S. Hope you’ve enjoyed my ideas so far, and I’d seriously love to hear what you think. Rock on!