Words of Writing Wisdom


While cleaning up my inbox, I came upon an e-mail I sent a 20-year-old intern six months ago. I had assigned her to cover a pop art exhibit of a local design group that produced shirts, buttons, bags, and practical items with witty one-liners, and the next day she turned in a piece that began with “I am allergic to pop art.”

I remember how enraged I was. Did she think she was writing a reaction paper? She was writing for an arts and culture blog, I said, and what she just wrote wasn’t funny at all.

Maybe you should let go of your negativity for once. You are young. There’s so much in the world to explore. There’s so much to be happy about. Go out and discover . . . experience new things. I trust that you will take up that challenge, be more open-minded, READ MORE, and spend less time with and on inane people or things. Read good sites like NY Mag and NY Times. Study how [other journalists write their] articles . . .

Pay attention to how writers tell the story without injecting themselves. Tell the story for others to know, not because you want to be a star in it.

I thought it was just the perfect advice for me, who has been remiss in her own writing. I must admit I haven’t been updated on my reading because everything of late has been about SEO writing, marketing, and e-mail marketing, or what my favorite writer Butch Dalisay calls “professional writing.”

This is all for my own career growth, I know, but I never imagined myself writing headlines for e-mail campaigns, wishing that recipients would buy the products I was peddling because of the witty call to actions (this I can say, with much embarrassment, that copywriting isn’t rocket science, at all, but why is it so hard for me to come up with a sexy, moving headline?)

I promise to do something more, uh, literary in October. Such as going back to finishing (or rewriting) my second book, which, by the way, was wiped out when a virus hit my system.

How’s your writing? Tell me about it.

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About Karla

I am an e-mail marketer, editor, and writer. My passions are yoga, food, and Filipino arts and culture.

2 responses to “Words of Writing Wisdom”

  1. angela says :

    Hi, Karla.

    The next time you need something witty and fun for your e-mail banners, throw it out to us. Maybe we can help.

    Have you seen Mad Men? You might enjoy it.

  2. Karla says :

    @Angela: I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t watched television for the longest time. But thanks for the tip! I’ll ask someone to check whether there’s a DVD to be had somewhere in the metro ;p

    BTW, what do you do? Am curious. This writer can’t seem to come up with a witty and fun one-liner when needed.

    But then again, I think I write better in 300 words than in less than 50 characters. ;p

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