C.S. Lewis never ceases to amaze me. For those of you who do not know C.S. Lewis, he was a renowned theologian who taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and authored more than 30 books in his lifetime, including the children’s Narnia series, Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters.
C.S. Lewis’ work is revered by many around the world. In fact, so much so that his life was portrayed by actor Anthony Hopkins in feature film “Shadowlands,” and his Narnia books such as “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” have been brought to the big screen. However, not only is his work memorable, he lived his life transparently and openly shared his thoughts and struggles through his powerful pen.
His work has had a profound impact in my life and I often re-visit his words when searching for answers about life circumstances. Recently I had such a time when I needed to heed his advice and as such, stumbled upon a jewel in regards to guidelines for creating incredible content.
Whenever I attend social media events, inevitably this one question comes up every time – how do you make content that others want to read? C.S. Lewis provides the answer.
In a letter written to a schoolgirl in America, who had written (at her teacher’s suggestion) to request advice on writing, here’s what he had to say. The letter is from December 14, 1959 and his advice is spot on for the 21st Century.
CREATING MEMORABLE BLOG CONTENT
C.S. Lewis’ 8 Tips for Writing Incredible Blog Content (Source: The Essential C.S. Lewis, edited by Lyle W. Dorsett)
- Turn off the radio. (Today that also includes the TV, Pandora, iPod, X-box, etc.)
- Read all the good books you can and avoid nearly all magazines. (This one is tough for me.)
- Always write (and read) with the ear, not the eye. (Excellent point)
- Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, nothing else.
- Take great pains to be clear. Remember that though you start by knowing what you mean, the reader doesn’t, and a single ill-chosen word may lead him to a total misunderstanding. (Brilliant point)
- When you give up a bit of work don’t throw it away. Put it in a drawer. It may come in useful later.
- Don’t use a typewriter. The noise will destroy your sense of rhythm. (I think he wouldn’t mind the computer keyboards now.)
- Be sure you know the meaning of every word you use.
So don’t take it from me on how to write content that gets shared…use these 8 points from the literary master C.S. Lewis. Who if he were alive today, I’m sure would be answering every Facebook and Twitter post personally. That’s the stand up man he was.
Off to do a bit more reading.