The current online landscape in 2018 could be interpreted to be fairly negative. Our world leaders on Twitter threatening nuclear war after all is anything but positive! But the human spirit is basically optimistic and as we navigate this coming year, we are often seeking likeness and authenticity both online and in real life. This shift from broadcasting what we are doing to actual connection is particularly relevant to bloggers and influencers, who are seeking to remain one step ahead of the collective consciousness, and a new book written by one of the BritMums community shows you how to do just that.
Heart, Soul & Sass: Write Your Way to a Fully-Expressed Life by Greta Solomon is available for pre-order until May 15, and here she shares some wisdom on writing from the heart.
As we all know, the blogging and online business world is a busy place, and it can get a little saturated. And while social media, PR, marketing and SEO can make you visible, it’s the quality of your content that keeps people coming back.
In 2017, we shifted into the ‘age of authenticity’. People now want more authentic storytelling and sharing. They want to be inspired by you and your experiences. After all, that’s how true connections are made. And I’m certain that many of you started blogging to meet other mums, and to give a voice to the myriad of changes happening in your world.
I’m the former BritMums Expat Round-Up Editor (former because I’m no longer an expat and am now back in London)! This special guest post is to celebrate my book Heart, Soul & Sass: Write Your Way to a Fully-Expressed Life. I’ve just launched it using Publishizer – a crowdfunding platform that matches authors with publishers. And it’s available for pre-order until May 15, so be quick if you want to nab some fab bonuses including an online course and coaching session.
Having coached and trained business writers and bloggers for more than 10 years, I have a large toolkit of techniques at my fingertips. The tool I’ll share today is called object writing – and it can completely transform your writing. It’s also fun, and easy to master.
Invented by Pat Pattison, object writing is a tool borrowed from songwriting that allows heart-centred writing to happen naturally. It involves taking an object and writing about it using only your seven senses. So, you look at – or imagine – the object and focus on what you can see, hear, touch, taste and smell, the movement of the object and how you feel about it. You then do this in short bursts of 90 seconds, five minutes or 10 minutes.
So, pick an object, any object! A piece of fruit is a good one to start with as you can smell, taste and chew it. Then follow the following instructions.
Seven steps to great object writing
- Write the following headings at the top of the page to remind you of the senses you need to focus on: See Hear Touch Taste Smell Feel Move
- Set a stop watch for 10 minutes, 5 minutes or 90 seconds.
- Spontaneously write down whatever comes to mind about the object. Write with excitement and interest. Be as specific as possible with your descriptions and images.
- You don’t need to stay completely focused on the object, so don’t worry if random words and sentences tumble out. Just go wherever your seven senses lead you.
- Write in full sentences if you can but don’t worry if it’s easier not to.
- Keep your hand moving across the page and don’t stop to cross out words or correct spelling mistakes.
- Only amend spellings, grammar errors or other mistakes when you’ve finished. Yep, this is hard. But resist the temptation to stop and judge. Keep your flow and don’t worry if what you write looks clunky or disorganised.
Here is an example of object writing:
A fizzy drink can (written by my client Emily) – 90 seconds
Shake it if you dare. Put it in the freezer for hours if you dare. Flick it open and…a spray of foam shoots high up like a volcano erupting. Erupting into the sky and falling into my hair. The sweet, sticky liquid runs down my cheek and I take a little lick.
Object writing ought to feel fun, and flowy. Plus, every time my clients do it, they’re amazed at the spontaneous metaphors and interesting imagery they create. So, read through what you write, and underline your favourite bits. They are likely to be raw material you can use for headings, product names (if you have a business) or just fun descriptions. You can start off writing about a peach, for instance, and find yourself on a wonderfully interesting tangent.
So, what does this look like in practice?
Well, there are three ways you can incorporate object writing into your blog posts.
You can take an object you’ve made (such as a piece of jewellery or art) and do object writing on it.
You can take an object related to what you’re writing about, and do object writing. Then you can pick out some interesting phrases and sentences to use.
You can do a daily practise using random objects to build your writing muscles and increase your ability to spontaneously write from the heart.
Through doing this practice, your voice and the words you use become quite unique to you. And you start to express yourself in a way that is YOU, because only you can sense the world in the way you do. That’s how you connect with the readers that really matter to you.
Greta Solomon is an author, creative writing coach, business writing trainer and former journalist for British newspapers and magazines. She is the author of Just Write It! How to Develop Top-Class University Writing Skills (McGraw-Hill, 2013) and the forthcoming book Heart, Soul & Sass: Write Your Way to a Fully-Expressed Life. She lives in South West London with her husband and daughter. Greta runs creative writing workshops for bloggers and the business world, and coaches people to bring their own books to life.
Connect with Greta:
Pre-order Heart, Soul & Sass (and get bonuses): https://publishizer.com/heart-soul-sass/