When we hear the term “lying down,” our first thought is bound to be of short naps in kindergarten. Meanwhile, this term also refers to a certain practice that every writer should take to heart.
Good copywriting is based on creating interesting content. The text that comes out of the hand of a professional writer is not always created under inspiration. One could even venture to say that the inspiration comes extremely rarely, and certainly not when we need it most. However, if we keep a few workshop rules in mind, we will manage to write any text, and without the company of venom.
What should we take care of when planning a text and writing it? First of all, let’s try to avoid jargon or complicated vocabulary. Let’s not create excessively long, flowery sentences, which can cause a feeling of fatigue and irritation in readers. Let’s divide the text into short paragraphs of several sentences. It is also worth using mid-headings. If we must use professional nomenclature, let’s explain the meaning of foreign-sounding words. Always adapt the language to the audience – we will address children in a different way, and students in another. And when we finish writing, let’s put the text down and forget about it for a while.
Forgetting about the text you have just written may seem a rather drastic method. Copywriters and writers usually, after writing a text, want to share it right away or at least pass it on to editors. Meanwhile, one of the golden rules of writing is precisely this “lying down,” which consists in putting aside the written text and returning to it after some time. Of course, for those few hours or days nothing will change on its own in the sentences we have written, but our attitude to the resulting text may change. After a short break, we will look at the work with detachment.
Why is looking at one’s own text from a distance so important in the writing process? Lying down allows us to learn insight, careful observation and catching our mistakes. When we return to the created content after some time, we notice typos, linguistic stumbling blocks, repetitions and misplaced phrases much more easily. We then look at the text not only from the perspective of the writer, but also of the reader. We become self-critical and try to find solutions that will make the text sound better. After lying down, authors often shorten their works, divide sentences and paragraphs, throw out unnecessary words. They focus on creating simple and concise content, so desirable, after all, for the audience.
There is no definite answer to the question of how long a text should lie. It depends on its length, topic or the time we had to spend writing it. Textbooks on writing recommend that such a moment of rest should last a minimum of several, several hours (for example, overnight). If we do not need to rush, we can put the text aside for several days or even weeks. In the case of longer texts, including novels, it is advisable to forget about your work even for a month and only after this time look at it with fresh eyes. Stephen King in his guide for writers suggests that a text should lie down for at least six weeks!
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