First, I want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours. I hope you’ve had a safe, joyful, loving season. I can’t believe another year is almost over. Now, today’s post …
The post is a little philosophical and spiritual. I figured it was fitting considering the holiday.
Oprah Inspires a Post
This past Sunday, I was lounging on the couch watching some TV. A marathon of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday was on, and during one episode a pastor (Rob Bell) was talking about being present and celebrating every day of life.
He went on to say how we have almost every imaginable gadget we can have these days, yet many of us are bored to tears. Part of being present; celebrating every day, he said, was taking the time to actually talk to people – and LISTEN to what they have to say to you.
He said one day he met a person and found out that he was a house cleaner. So he said to the guy, “Tell me about that.”
Now first of all, who of us would even take the time to respond like this when somebody tells us that they clean houses for a reason? NOT that there’s anything wrong with this, but because most of us know what’s entailed in cleaning a house, hence no follow-up questions are needed.
But, I digress.
He said the guy went on to explain how people invited him into their most sacred space; their home – and he provided a clean environment for them to exist. He used a few other reverent phrases to explain what this gentlemen said to him about this job, and he said he thought – as a pastor – this is a guy who GETS it; he gets how important his contribution is to the world.
Oprah went on to comment later in the program that most of us think that our calling has to be some grand gesture, but really, it can be the simplest thing.
And this is what inspired me to write this post.
What Separates Great Writing from Good Writing
You see, when you tap into meaning– whether you’re writing content for a plumbing site or a cancer research site – the copy has a purpose.
This gentlemen didn’t see his job as being “just a cleaner,” but he saw his job — his purpose — as creating a safe, clean environment for a family to bond, exist and share love with each other.
So some of the copy you write for a cleaning company’s website, for example, could highlight how germs affect the health of children; how chaos in a home isn’t conducive to bonding with family; how harsh cleaners harm the earth – an environment we all share.
When you write what I call “heart copy” like this, it touches emotions.
Emotions are feelings.
How you make people feel determines whether or not they will buy from you. Proof?
The Psychology Today article, How Emotions Influence What We Buy, states:
. . . emotions greatly influence and, in many cases, even determine our decisions. . . . In his book, Descartes Error, Antonio Damasio, professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California, argues that emotion is a necessary ingredient to almost all decisions. When we are confronted with a decision, emotions from previous, related experiences affix values to the options we are considering. These emotions create preferences which lead to our decision.
So the next time you put finger to keyboard for a client, ask yourself, “Where is the ‘human element’ in this content?. What is this person’s business REALLY about?” And it’s almost always connected to some human emotion – one that unites us as divine beings.
This brings me to the question posed in the title of this post, “Do you know what your true gifts are as a writer; what your calling is?”
I thought about this, and mine is “giving it straight” to the freelancers/aspiring freelancers who write into this blog asking me for advice on how to start or grow this type of home-based business.”
I don’t pull punches because if I ask someone for advice — especially about business, something I’m basing LIFE decisions on — I don’t want or need it to be sugar-coated. Some freelancers like this; others don’t. But it’s my writing gift.”
What’s Your Gift as a Freelance Writer?
What’s yours? Please share in the comments section below.
Just some food for thought on this Christmas Day.
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