You probably heard the advice “Write Like You Talk”. When we talk with friends we use simple language, words that come naturally to us. We are concise because we have limited time. And then, when we try to put the same ideas and stories on paper, we have trouble expressing them in a similar way. I know I have this problem.
My first blog post I wrote here was a story about how I got into designing t-shirts. But, at first when I wrote the post and gave it to my brother to read, he hated it. It was unnatural, completely not how I talk, more like some kind of official statement. I rewrote it a few times, each time trying to make it be more like a short story that I was telling a friend.
A few weeks ago, I’ve read an essay by John McPhee where he advises how you can go even a step further. Not only do you imagine you are writing to a friend or someone close to you, but you actually write “Dear…” at the top of the page. He uses “Dear Mother” as an example.
I’ve been working on a longer post about making money on Threadless and one thing that I try to keep in mind when I write is that many people who read it might be just starting out with designing and selling online. I try to write in an approachable way, explaining everything as I would explain to a friend. And I actually have two friends who’ve recently asked about designing t-shirts. So, at the top of my page I wrote “Dear Asia” and then imagined what I would tell her about earning money on Threadless and wrote that down.