You just wrote an amazing article. Or blog post. Or some other kind of business copy.
Whatever it is, you rocked it!
How do you know you rocked this article or blog post or business copy? Because you felt utterly awesome while you wrote it. You could just sense your genius taking over, with the words flowing from your brain down your arm into your fingertips and right onto the keyboard to show up on your computer screen.
Ain’t writing a breeze!
But then you go to edit it. And all of a sudden, your writing high crashes to a bewildering low, leaving you wondering what in the world happened to your beautiful article or blog post or other kind of business copy. Someone must have stolen it, hacking into your computer and switching out your document while you blinked!
There is always that possibility. But it could also be that you have a healthy-enough mind and analytical-enough sense of self that you realized what just about every writer should realize: that first drafts are trash.
In which case, you have no reason to be discouraged. If anything, you should be proud you’re not one of those self-important writers who publishes absolute drivel.
So here’s what to do with that healthy mind of yours. You read over the first sentence or sentences, and ask yourself a question… Do they capture your interest, making you want to read the next few lines as well?
If the answer is no, then consider these editorial angles:
It could be a mere matter of word choice. There might be a synonym you could replace a particularly prominent word with in order to make the copy pop a bit more.
It could be a matter of sentence structure. Sometimes, starting a sentence out with a noun, pronoun or article – the typical sentence-starting parts of speech – can come across as boring. Try rewording it so that the leading word is a preposition, conjunction or verb, and see if that makes any difference.
It could be a matter of focus. You wrote your article or blog post or business copy for a reason. It’s supposed to address a particular topic for a particular purpose. But that doesn’t mean you have to jump right into the meat of your meaning. Instead, maybe throw in a personal story or an example or a catchy saying or some such thing that you can then bring around to support your point.
It could be a matter of spacing. White space is a very powerful tool, making people pause in thought or instigate a little editorially driven impatience: a motivational push for them to see what’s on the next line.
Once you’ve figured out which of those can apply to your opening lines, then you move on to the next sentence or section. And if it doesn’t read right the first time, consider those same editorial angles as before, moving down your article or blog post or other business copy like that until it’s good and edited.
Just one word of caution: In the editing process, you’ve doubtlessly changed things around. So read it over one more time before you submit it for publishing. That can save you a lot of editorial embarrassment.