Copywriter Embraces Positivity...and Hemingway

One of my copywriting "issues" is being too negative--letting the reader stew in their own juices a little too long. It's important to express some sympathy and understanding but if the reader is suffering from heel pain, there's no need to remind the reader about how much their feet hurt for 500 words. Get to the positivity...the solutions...the happiness.

As a direct response copywriter, I use a direct response copywriting checklist. One of the items on the list...SELL HAPPINESS. Get that heel pain sufferer to imagine life without heel pain...bounding down the road, able to run marathons and standing up for long periods at parties...or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

When I'm writing, I take a look at a paragraph I've just written and instantly turn any negative sentences and phrases into positives.


You will no longer suffer from heel pain...


Wear the Acme "Easy Night" Boot for just 14 nights and you will soon walk easily...even hike up a Colorado mountain.


On Brevity

I have to admit a weakness for long, involved sentences, like the ones you will typically read in novels by Martin Amis, Charlotte Bronte, Tom Wolfe, Dickens, and other writers with a passion for over-expression and literary gluttony, as exemplified most commonly in, perhaps, mid-Victorian novels but also present more recently in writing by students at American Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs where "has been" and "never were" writers who are themselves extremely mediocre, instruct "would be" writers how to write fiction that will likely never be published by one of the "big six" publishing houses but will end up, like their teachers' writings, in the so-called slush pile, which is a stack, sometimes moving, sometimes not, of manuscripts that mostly novice writers have sent to agents and publishers in the hope their work, often replete with long, involved sentences (with an abundance of semi-colons) will help them earn a significant advance and get them in the literary 'game.' won't read anything like THAT in ANY of my direct response copy but I find myself with a tendency to write long sentences. The cure: Hemingway.

From...The Sun Also Rises.

There was a light in the concierge's room and I knocked on the door and she gave me my mail. I wished her good night and went up-stairs. There were two letters and some papers.

Simple. Efficient. And a touch of tension...what was in the letters and papers?

I'm striving to write simple and efficient copy without making it anorexic or overly taut. Just like a simple conversation.


I'm a direct response copywriter. My website is here.