top of page

Well, this is awkward.

Hey, it’s Olga.

I know, I know. ‘Who?’ 

It’s been a while, and I have no excuses other than 'life'. /makes a vague hand gesture/

Some of you have sent extremely kind messages with really, REALLY nice words about Writtn. 

Those messages were clear signs that I must return to it.  

But it just wasn’t happening. Despite the fact that the next issue of Writtn was dedicated to the subject of having fun. 

When writing about having fun feels less than fun… now, there's a clear sign that you're effing it up.

I had a long hard think about why — and the reason was so dumb, it’s embarrassing.

It wasn’t unstable self-esteem or undiagnosed ADHD or anything like that.

It was just time

Every issue of Writtn took around 20 hours to write and publish. 

And I was trying to write one a week. 

On top of a full-time (-ish) job, if running your own business is a job, plus all the other adulting.

I couldn’t do that then, and I can’t do it now.

So I won’t. 

Instead, I’ll do what I can. 

Which probably isn't as bad as it sounds, when the only alternative is 'nothing at all'.

And so: Short bursts. Brief posts. Quick tasks. 

Maybe I’ll get back to the old format somehow, someday. Maybe not.

I will still do my best to give feedback on your responses to the briefs — and to your emails in general (I really do try to always reply to emails).

Also, my next post will be a lot less about me.

Deal?

Now, here’s your first task in the new format.

 

Your turn.


a sign on the station floor reading 'watch your step in our stations'


I saw these signs at the Winchester train station and thought: 'Dangit, anyone who reads Writtn would have done better than this'.

Because the second half of that message — 'in our stations' — is the most useless piece of copy I’ve seen in a while.


I can see how it happened. I’ve had clients like those. But that still doesn’t justify it.


Now go ahead and write a better message. You can keep the ‘watch your step’ part, if you like — there’s nothing wrong with it — but it’s all up for grabs.


You may be thinking, 'ah, but we already had a task about watching your step at stations', and you’re right. But, firstly, that was aaaaages ago, and secondly, that was copy for a radio announcement or a poster ad. This is a different medium. You only have a few words to play with, in total: 2-4 per foot. And those words have to be short. That makes it a whole other beast. You may even find that this task, which seems so quick at first, actually takes more time than writing 20 versions of a longer message. But, however much time you can give it, it’ll be time well spent, because being able to write a short, punchy and effective (life-savingly so!) message is a much rarer (and therefore more valuable) skill than a long blog post — speaking of which, I’m about to wrap this up.

 

Dare to share.

As always, you can share your responses in the comments — or reply to my email, if you're shy.


P.S. I’m thinking of switching to Substack, because I think it’ll make it much easier for me to do more of this. If you have any objections or tips, I’m all ears.


P.P.S. Know someone who might like this, too? Please send them a link to this post.


Thank you for reading and writing.

See you soon, I hope!

Olga


Comentarios


bottom of page