From the Brain to the Page: How to Create the Best Piece Possible

Sometimes it can be difficult to create the perfect piece. Whether it's a direct mail letter or copy for the website, the words often don't come out the way you want them to.
A Simple Truth:

What you draft out in your brain is always better then what's on the page.

I have always found this to be true. That doesn't mean that what you write on the page isn't good. But it will never be as good as in your head.

One of the first things I learned as a writer was to let that go.

So how do you get what's in your brain on to the page?

When people sit down to write, they can get intimidated by the blank page (or blank computer screen).

That's why I like to brainstorm first. Get a flipchart and start writing down as many words as you can think of to describe what you are trying to say. These can be used as a great jumping off point for what your document will look like.
Then just spit it out there on the page. The first draft may not be good, but some of it at least will encapusulate what you are trying to say. I know writers who like to draft outlines, but for me it's more important to get what you are saying on the page first. Then you can outline and organize your thoughts.

After this, you need to back away. Trying to edit your draft immediately won't help you at all. Work on something else and put it out of your mind.

Once you've had some time away, you can start on draft two. Here's where you organize your thoughts and get your points across. Re-examine the flip chart to see what words and phrases can work with in your document. Take time to really think about what your goal is and see if you are achieving it.

The Best Nonprofit documents include:
  • An Organization Description
  • What the Money Is Used For

  • Client Story
  • Call to Action

Am I missing anything? Sound off below!

2 comments: said...

My ideal image is really far from the actual output. That is so true! Thanks for shedding some light on it.

Lindsey said...


Me too! Sometimes it's so perfect in your brain and it just doesn't come out that way on paper. It can be hard to put that aside!

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