How Getting Smacked With Wood Taught Me About Writing’s Two Most Important Things…

When I was younger, a friend of mine taught me about fencing. And I don’t mean fencing with the wire masks and padded suits. There were no referees or crowds or making touches. So it wasn’t the technical term. And there were no pads involved here either. This was more like sparring—by swinging blunt pieces of wood or plastic at each other.

And even my brother got in on the fun. Sure, there were times I got a bruised knuckle or two from my brother crossing wood or plastic blades (of sorts) with me, and then sliding his piece down until it met my unprotected hand, but all in all, it was pretty fun. And there were other things my friends could do with these improvised tools that you had to see to believe.

Throughout the time I fenced with my friends, I experimented with different styles—one sword, two-hand staff, and even a sword and shield (made of plywood). But my favorite style by far was…

Handling two short swords at the same time.

This wasn’t as boring as the one sword style. Or as clunky as the staff style. And I liked it because even though holding a shield protected you better, it was difficult, most of the time.

And with the two-sword style, it was beneficial to keep both pieces going at the same time, to rattle your opponents, or make some room for yourself if you needed time to think.

And that’s why I enjoyed it so much. Oh, yeah. And the fresh air and sunshine that I got from messing around in the great outdoors. That was important too, I guess.

Now, what the heck does any of that have to do with writing, or life in general?


And here’s why:

Whether you’re writing emails, fiction stories, poems, scripts for video sales letters, or what-have-ya, there are two things (really two steps) you need to focus on…

Writing, which is when you create what you deal with in step 2, which is…

Marketing, when you make people aware of what you’ve done in step 1 and ask them to take a look at it, and take action—which could be anything from clicking a link, buying your story, buying a product or service, and so on. And this also encompasses managing potential contacts or clients who come to you on their own.

And if you don’t write, almost every business has a skill side, and a marketing side to it. Do your best to put some focus on both—kind of like using two pieces of wood at the same time to block a blow, or redirect force away from yourself with one piece, and then swinging with the other.

How about you? Do you like to focus more on the creative side or marketing side of your writing?

Drop me a line in the comments, and let me know, okay?

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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