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Broccoli wasn’t the answer I was expecting from my 7-year-old when his teacher asked the class to write down if there was anything worrying them.
But that’s what he wrote. Why broccoli? Apparently he was worried that’s what was turning up on his plate for tea.
Given the on-again off-again lockdown circumstances we’re all living in, I’d expected something different... when he’s going to get back to school or when he can see his friends and play football (or whether his parents are consuming too much wine!). I’ll admit it brought light relief.
As this deadly virus continues to rampage through the world and disrupt life as we knew it, I wished broccoli was the only thing on my mind. And it got me thinking...
In a world of content overload, when everyone’s stuck at home doing the same thing and scrolling through the same feeds, how do you know how you actually feel and how do you put your own take on it?
In the never-ending quest for authenticity, I realised the only people who are truly themselves are probably the kids.
They say what’s on their mind, their actual mind. Not the mind of someone they follow on Instagram or the corporate lines we’re brainwashed into believing..
I mean, if you’re describing yourself as authentic, let’s be real, you’re probably not being your most truthful self. Heck, we’ve probably done it ourselves. Until the day of the broccoli of course.
So rather than focusing on what we can teach our kids this lockdown, we’re going to see what we can learn from them. Beyond long multiplication. We’ll make sure to report back.
In the meantime, here are our initial findings and suggestions for you to use this learning in your life and content.
Kids are great at saying no. No to bath time, green veg and leaving the house. I wonder at what age we actually lose the capacity to say no to things we don’t want to do. So why not embrace your inner toddler and say no to something you don’t want to do today. No to the client who keeps on demanding more from your retainer. No to a partnership opportunity that you’re actually not interested in. No to a Zoom meeting. Please just, no!
Fact. Kids love being silly. Probably because it rhymes with willy, right? When something’s fun, you forget about time. You laugh, you cry. You’re totally you. So loosen up, don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh at yourself. Play around and have some fun.
The same goes for your writing. Copy should be fun! Make it rhyme, explore words, use words you wouldn’t normally use. Why? Because you can.
Stuck for content ideas? Have a look at national hooks or stories in the media to add some light hearted fun to your channels. Why not turn one of your photos into a gif?
What American sitcom takes you back to your childhood years? I was a Saved by the Bell fan. Take a trip down memory lane to embrace your inner child.
Grab a notebook and write down things that make you laugh or make you cringe. Don’t do anything else but sit and watch TV. Get word-inspired by your past loves. Write down stories that spring to mind from exploring your past life, people love stories, they’re what makes things stick in people’s minds.
Try and weave these stories into your content or use them as inspiration or a hook.
When did you last play? Play a game, a new sport or just play around. Life has felt a bit too serious to be completely carefree of late..
What did you play when you were younger? Pick up your pastime to rediscover what helped made you, you. It counts as exercise right? This applies to writing too, play around with it.
Play around with your content. Remember Timmy Mallet and ‘Mallet’s Mallet’s the word association game where you musn’t pause and you mustn’t hesitate or you get a bonk on your head…? Take a word, and think of another word, and another, is there something that’s better or maybe more fun and playful than what you’ve already written?
A first draft of any copy shouldn’t be perfect. In fact it should be quite crap, because a crappy first draft can only get better. Like the teachers tell you, never delete what you’ve done, it shows your initial thoughts and workings. Copy it and try again, make improvements, play around, change words, make it better.
PRs, copy coaches, mates, mamas and story obsessives.
Sunshine vibes and poolside tunes to get me through these long winter days. Download the app to listen on your phone, or mac and and enjoy the preloaded playlists. Pass me a margarita!
I discovered Gabrielle Bernstein last summer, inhaling her book The Universe has got your bank while on holiday in France. Since then I've literally read her entire repertoire. I can't get enough of her positivity and make picking an affirmation card the first task of my day.
I discovered Marie Forleo at the end of 2019 and devoured her book Everything is Figureoutable while on holiday in Bad Gastein in March last year. I love her New Jersey no nonsense approach to problem solving and how she's all about the fun, because we all need more of that.
Mountains, I love them. I love looking at them, climbing them and the possibility that they hold. Our favourite place to explore in the UK is the Lake District, whenever we have a spare weekend or day, we throw the tent in the car and head up north.
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