Lessons From a Legend - Hemingway

Episode 20: Lessons From a Legend – Hemingway

In this new episode of The RevolutionFI Podcast, Tim looks at lessons from a legend – novelist, Ernest Hemingway.

“So, the question is this: How can 50+ folks like us, honest and hard-working, how do we manage our current responsibilities and still plan for retirement? 401ks alone won’t be enough and we don’t have 40 years to save, so how do we leverage our experience and wisdom to gain financial independence? That is the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Tim, and welcome to the Revolution. The RevolutionFI podcast.”


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Happy Saturday morning to you. I’m excited to bring you a Weekend Reflection from The Stacked Marketer newsletter, and this one was from July 21 of 2020. It was about lessons from a legend, Ernest Hemingway.

Before we get into this reflection, I would love if you could leave me a comment on revolutionfi.com for this episode, or any other of the previous episodes.

Writing Copy

Let’s get into the reflection on the article from The Stacked Marketer. The Stacked Marketer talked about Ernest Hemingway, and they came up with these great ideas of how to use Hemingway principles when you’re writing copy. Copy is short for ad copy or sales copy, and don’t fool yourself into thinking that this isn’t something you have to pay attention to. Whether you are running a one person business, or a multi million dollar company, the idea of sales copy or ad copy is communicating clearly, and getting your offer in front of the right people. It is a skill, and if you can write good copy, it will pay off in emails, and websites and products, all different places.

Here are some of the tips The Stacked Marketer came up with for leveraging the power of Ernest Hemingway in your sales copy.

Simple Words

First of all, use simple words. Simple words, a few syllables, keep it plain. A lot of us writers, myself included, like our pros. We like to use complicated big words to impress people, but when it comes to writing copy, simple is definitely better.

Reflect Real Life

Another tip from The Stacked Marketer is let your writing reflect real life. Don’t pull any punches, be bold, be honest, be direct. These are ways that you can connect with the reader–keeping it real and keeping it simple. Hemingway always, almost always, avoided adverbs, and we should, too. Adverbs is really lazy writing in all forms of writing. Instead of saying he ran quickly, show us what someone running quickly looks like. Again, easier said than done, but well worth it.

Keep it Simple

The last point from The Stacked Marketer in lessons from Ernest Hemingway, write for a fourth grader, a rocket scientist, or both. They talk about Ernest Hemingway’s writing being read by pretty much anyone. Keep it simple and direct for a fourth grader, which means a rocket scientist will enjoy it as well. You are much more likely to get people connecting with your message. I would say roughly a fourth to sixth grade reading level is what you’re aiming for, that way it doesn’t tax the reader mentally, it’s easier to understand and it’s just better writing.

Hopefully you found those lessons from Ernest Hemingway helpful, and tomorrow we are going to be back with a Weekend Reflection for your Sunday morning. Taking a look at Bukowski. If you know anything about copywriting, you will know that Charles Bukowski was a big deal. We’re going to take a look at his lessons that we can learn on writing ad copy or sales copy.

So, keep your coffee machine running, and I will see you tomorrow morning.

Transcription by Otter.ai, please forgive the bot for typos and mistakes.

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