The Power of Envy

Envy. It’s one of the seven deadly sins. It’s said to turn us into “green monsters”. There are thousands of articles online and in self help books telling us how to let go of it, get rid of it, or rise above it.

To be concise: It’s got a bad reputation.

But, as always, it comes with a silver lining. Envy can be a strong motivating force, for both good and bad. And, as Pahrul Sehgal points out in her TED talk, it can be a force of innovation. Getting from point A (what someone else has) to point B (having it) can take some creativity, and envy is just the motivation for that creative thinking.

Envy is also an act of storytelling. We tell ourselves all about what someone else has, why they have it, and what it all means to us. This, the creativity and the narrative, may be why literature is obsessed with envy. Sehgal even argues that without envy, we might lose literature all together: “No faithless Helen, no Odyssey; no jealous king, no Arabian Nights. No Shakespeare. There goes high school reading lists because we’re losing the Sound and the Fury, we’re losing Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, we’re losing Madame Bovary, Anna K. No jealousy, no Proust.”

So while envy may bring out the worst in us (as Sehgal acknowledges) maybe there is something to learn from it. Instead of trying to beat the envy out of ourselves, maybe we can leverage it into something more.

750 Words

“We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.”

“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”

Whether you believe in 10,000 bad drawings, 11 lifetimes, or 10,000 hours, it’s commonly agreed: Practice makes perfect.

750words.com seeks to make practice even better. The premise is simply. You go online, write 750 words, and the website keeps track of whether you do it or not. It keeps track of your running streak, and it assigns points.

Simple. But apparently very effective, according to the Wall of Awesomeness on 750words’ website. The Wall of Awesomeness keeps track of the people who take and successfully complete the 1 month challenge. The 1 month challenge is exactly what you’d imagine, of course – write 750 words every day for a month. If you’re struggling to stay motivated, or if you’re planning on a “write every day” style New Years resolution, 750words.com might be worth a shot.

Writing Advice from Dr. Seuss

dr-seuss
Source: Copyblogger

All you need to do is serve the pudding before sprouts, remember that similar birds fly conjointly, and try not to be afraid of nizzards and glikkers. Yes, yes, Dr. Seuss tends not to make sense at times, but he always reveals the moral of the story at the end though. He knew how to captivate even the most unruly of audiences – his writing had the power to make kids sit down and listen. The most important lesson to learn from Dr. Seuss is to first give the readers what they really want before you unload all the detailed important stuff. You need to paint the picture before you try to haggle the price. Lure people in with verbs and active language, then slowly work in the point of your content. This is what Copyblogger tries to drive home: If you can create like Dr. Seuss, you can make it like Dr. Seuss. Okay, I really just wanted to make something rhyme… how about this:

He rhymes, he writes, he sets kids right; you read, you need, click here with speed.

Eye-catching, Irresistible Headlines

Source: the-trukstop.com
Source: the-trukstop.com

Yelling, shouting, jumping – these are all verbs that are used to describe gripping headlines. A string of words that can compel a reader to continue reading are essential. However, writing headlines isn’t easy at all. Just like many things, it comes with practice. Focusing on the headlines that catch your eye aren’t a bad idea though. Usually headlines that have credibility, a source that you trust to back them up, are the ones that draw people’s attention. Scientific research or studies are seen in our society as reliable sources. But that’s not the only thing that matters. Context also has influence over the reader, if they aren’t interested in scientific research, then there needs to be a targeting element to the content that will draw them in. For example, if the scientific pull of a research project doesn’t get them, then perhaps the fact that it’s on puppies and kittens will. Who doesn’t like puppies and kittens? Maybe they’ll continue reading for the promise of pictures or maybe the reader is genuinely interested in the outcome of the research of adorable, baby animals. Either way, in order to capture the attention of readers, there needs to be thought put into the credibility of the content as well as who is the target audience. Head over to Copyblogger to learn more about crafting irresistible headlines!