Tag Archives: writing

How to write a video script

This week I’ve written three video scripts for my fertility client. One was on the impact of stress on fertility, another on the Weston A Price diet and then today one on going gluten-free for fertility. So what are the rules?

Firstly, aim for between two and four minutes for an audience like this, of people who are specifically visiting for information. Given that it takes longer to impart spoken information than written information, aim for talking at 125-150 words per minute. This means that your script needs to be a maximum of 600 words.

You need to start with a bold introduction telling your audience what you’re going to tell it. The first 60 seconds should explain what they will learn and have a call to action. Here’s the one I wrote for stress.

In this video I’m going to tell you how you can improve your chances of getting pregnant just by doing something you used to do before you started worrying about getting pregnant………..relaxing. Can it really be that simple? Well yes it can.

and this one for the Weston A Price diet.

Dr Weston A Price developed a diet based on years of travelling around the world and observing the effects of traditional societies as they migrated from their native foods to the modern processed foods. He advocates his diet for women wanting to conceive a healthy baby so I’m going to tell you about three things to cut out right now and three things to replace them with to ensure your body is most receptive to conception.

You need to speak directly to your audience and use ‘I’ and ‘you’ because you are speaking to them as if you’re in the same room.

Talk about something they care deeply about. In this case it’s fertility but you will be focusing about what your customers and clients care about. This is not about you, it’s about them.

Don’t waste their time telling them what they already know, they will just leave you mid sentence. Don’t talk down to them as if they know nothing nor should you talk in jargon and professional language because they won’t feel you’re talking to them at all. Instead talk to them as if you’re talking to a friend over a cup of coffee.

It’s good to engage them with a good story that they can relate to but keep it short and relevant. Here’s one I wrote for the stress video script.

We all know of people like us who have been trying to get pregnant for years, they’ve read all the articles, he’s wearing loose pants, they’ve filled the fridge with healthy food and she’s taking her temperature every day to work out when she’s ovulating. You know the story. Then they decide they aren’t meant to have children or they go on holiday, give up and resign themselves to being loving aunties and uncles. Then ‘boom!’ out of nowhere, they get pregnant! Friends of mine even decided to cycle the length of France because they didn’t want to keep putting off doing things on their ‘bucket list’ any more. She came back saying she’d found some of the hills rather hard and when she also noticed she hadn’t lost any weight her doctor suggested she might be pregnant. She said ‘I can’t be, we haven’t even been trying!’ but did a blood test because she wondered what could be wrong. Maybe she’d picked up an infection. Guess what! You know the ending of this story don’t you? Yes she was pregnant, by then about four months pregnant! 

If you want to refer to a study, just mention it briefly because video isn’t a great medium for conveying statistics and sources, samples and the details of the source of the original article.

Here’s how I tackled this in the gluten-free script.

A recent study in the US looked at 188 infertility patients and found that 5.9% had undiagnosed celiac disease. Now that’s not very high is it?  But when you look at the fact that in that study after they went gluten-free, they all got pregnant.

Leave them with a call to action so they are reminded what you said at the beginning and have no doubt about what they should do.

Here’s the end of the stress script.

And laugh!

Did you know that our body isn’t so very clever, after all?  It may know when you’re stressed even when you don’t but it can’t tell the difference between a fake laugh and a real laugh. It assumes both mean that you are relaxed so go on, laugh your way to fertility.

So I hope you’ve learned some of the rules of writing a video script and feel confident to write your own now.

 

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How to write a blog post

I’m hoping many of you reading my Blog are readers of my books, whether they be my NLP books, children’s books (as JudyBee) or Marketing/Market Research titles. I wanted therefore to tell you something of my writing life. In this post I want to tell you how I write a Blog Post. Many of you will have blogs and may be interested in my process although this is by no means the best or only way to write them! Everyone has their own style and process regardless of content.

I always have something I want to write but sometimes it takes time for the thoughts to take form as a piece of writing. The thoughts seem like pieces of paper thrown into the air by the updraft of a bonfire. They hover and drift off so I have to metaphorically gather them up and make sense of them. I have to be in the right frame of mind to do that.

I have to want to do it first and foremost because if that desire isn’t there then nothing will happen, I will sit at my desk gazing out into the garden.

Secondly, I have to have a nice pen and paper. I think most writers hanker after lovely pens and pretty paper or notebooks. Yes of course I use a computer but my first draft is hand written. I like to see my writing fill the page. It’s as if the thoughts are my thoughts and the words are my words as they are in my handwriting. It’s the most personal writing form there is.

I like to have a mug of tea while I’m writing and frequently a peanut butter sandwich, I’m more savoury than sweet.

When I’ve written all I have to say and those pieces of paper or different thoughts are all on the page(s) I thn leave them for a bit to settle. It may be a day or so before I revisit what I’ve written and go to type it up on the computer. During that time I may play tennis or do yoga but I probably won’t write anything else until the draft is committed to the computer. I don’t usually change much of the first draft because the changes have happened as the thoughts are processed. Many thoughts don’t make it onto the page of writing althought they may reappear at another time and become another piece.

When I’m typing up from the handwritten draft I don’t read what I’ve written as I type, it is merely a process.

Then when it’s all typed up, I go back through checking for typos, grammar, sense and make sure it’s easy to understand for a busy mum.

Then I go back through it again, this time more as a reader to decide where I want an image and search on google for the best image to illustrate my point.

Then the important last stages are to tag the relevant keywords and link anything that readers will find useful , assign the appropriate category and write a short summary description for the SEO (search engine optimisation).

Then I press ‘publish post’ and this is what you get! I love it when people like a post or comment so do get in touch.

If you’d like me to write a blog post for you please complete the form below and we’ll have a chat.

Focusing on your goal

I think most writers would agree that from time to time they lose their way a bit. We can get distracted by Facebook or by the housework, a book that will surely help us or writing something else that has suddenly taken our interest. We , like dieters, get really cross with ourselves and say “well that was a wasted day, I may as well not bother now because I’m not going to meet my daily wordcount goal.”

distractions

Instead let’s reframe the distraction. Meet it headlong and ask it what it has for you. How could you use the distraction to your advantage? Here are some ideas.

1. So you find yourself on Facebook or Twitter and you need to be writing your oeuvre.

How about asking your friends what a word you’re writing in your book, means to them. Ask them what they feel about the subject you’re writing about. Ask them for their favourite word. Maybe you can use it. Put out a plea for a quote that you could use. Ask favourite colour , maybe your character could wear something that colour. What is the most bizarre name they have ever heard of? What is the strangest sounding place name? Use your distraction to move you on with your book.

2. You’ve found yourself in Youtube and you’re getting carried away some place else.

Well this is fine, it is research isn’t it? Search for videos on subjects your character might be interested in. Search for videos on the same subject you’re writing on. Think about how you might post a Youtube video on your blog, you could take your smartphone and do it right now. Video posts or vloggs are very popular and drive a lot of traffic to your blog. Talk to camera about where you are in your story what’s the block, what are your options. This will engage with your readers and make them ten times more likely to follow your blog so they find out when you’re book’s coming out.

3. While you’re researching you find someone’s blog with some great posts on. If only you could write like that …. blah blah blah

Of course there are better writers out there and that’s good isn’t it? Who wants to read rubbish anyway? So what makes their writing good? What can you learn from it? Do they have a great way of starting a new paragraph or concept? Have a go at doing the same yourself. Do they use some great adjectives, copy them into your work. Obviously you aren’t taking the whole sentence but play around with some of the words you like.

4. For some reason you know not why, you’re doing the housework.

Well you character may have a view about housework. What would their view be? How would they approach the housework? Which would they like doing first and what would be left til last? Are they someone who hates to stick their hand down the toilet or are they someone who has to hunt out every cobweb. Do the housework like your character and get some more insight into their nature.

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5. I know it, you’re gazing out of the window

Who could be there? What might your character see? What will they do? Who do they least want to see? How could you make something happen that will be exciting and unexpected? What’s the most random thing that could happen now? If this doesn’t fit into your story or you’re writing non-fiction then how is what you are feeling or seeing at this moment a metaphor for the subject you’re writing about? Could it make a good blog post?

So here you have it. This blog post started by me looking out of the window and noticing how the frost on the leaves has gone and wondering what the garden will look like tomorrow when I wake up as there’s snow forecast. For me this reminded me how different my page looks when it’s full of writing, like the bushes covered in frost. The page looks attractive to me but underneath the blank page where I am about to write, looks bare and ugly so I want to fill it.

Overcome your limiting belief

A limiting belief is something that gets in the way of what you want to achieve, in this case , your writing. This ‘thing’ can take many forms.

It can be a voice in your head. We call this an auditory limiting belief. The voice might say

“Who do you think you are, call yourself a writer, you are rubbish.”

“You’ve got more important things to do than write.”

“Do the housework first.”

“This will never be published.”

“Press delete this is no good.”

Do you have a voice in your head? What does it say?

How does it say it? Is it a loud voice, a whisper? Is it male or female? Do you know the voice? Who is it?

Is it mocking or jeering, is it laughing at you or is it being deadly serious?

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One way we can manage this voice is we can change it. Repeat what it says out loud but in a silly voice like Micky Mouse or some cartoon character you know. Make it sound really absurd and not to be taken seriously at all. Now answer it back and tell it to ‘shut up’ .

If it persists you can do this perceptual positioning exercise. Take three chairs. one is Position 1 – you. Another is Position 2 – the voice and Position 3 is an uninvolved bystander. Sit in Position 1 and tell Position 2 what you want to do and tell it that they should be quiet and let you do it or whatever you want to say to that voice. Then go and sit in Position 2, be the voice. What is your positive intention,what benefit is there in you saying what you are saying? Now back to position 1 and respond. It helps if you give yourself a little shake between positions so you can really be that different entity. When you are back in Position 1 how can you reassure Position 2 that you can meet their positive intention yourself and don’t need their protection or whatever their purpose for you might be. In Position 3 you stand back and observe what went on and suggest a solution. Back to position 1 and you tell Position 2 what you plan to do and Position 2 needs to be OK with that.

Your limiting belief might be a feeling like a brick wall and we call this a kinaesthetic limiting belief.

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You’re creative, do something with it. Can you close your eyes and imagine the brick wall or whatever your obstacle is. It could be a feeling in your tummy, is it an animal, does it have a colour? We use submodalities to change the limiting belief into something pleasant and non-threatening. Can you shrink your brick wall and then put it down for a moment while you write? Can you push it further away, so far that you can barely see it? Can you turn it into a food that you can poke a hole in or even eat? If its an animal can you sing the animal to sleep or soothe it by stroking it?

You might have a visual limiting belief. Perhaps you see a messy house and think I must tidy up first. Perhaps you see the blank page on the screen and panic? What you see is your choice. You can reframe what you see by deciding instead to see the blank page as your next story or the beginning of an idea, an opportunity to write something amazing today. We can help this reframe along by using something called the SWISH.

Imagine a TV screen in front of you and in the middle of the screen is the visual of what you are responding to. You have a TV remote in your hand. In the bottom right of the screen is a small picture of what you’d prefer to see – your published book, a page full of writing, a good review…. Now in one move use your imaginary remote to switch the images so you’re looking at the preferred image.

What does that look like?

Do it a few times and then you can use this whenever you need to.

I provide NLP coaching sessions via Skype if you’d like a bit more help with any of these techniques.

Homeopathy and writer’s block

What is writer’s block?

Endless staring at a blank page or word document, the twiddling of a pen between your fingers, frequent visits to Facebook or the fridge, many cups of tea.

That idea is in the back of your mind, but it’s shy. Somehow it has to be fully formed before it leaps, sparkling and singing, onto your page.

Somewhere between your reticent idea and your fat, beautifully covered novel or red-carpet movie première are a bundle of words that need to be herded together and fed through the pasture gate in perfect order.

But let’s face it, the material reality of the fat novel or the movie première is scary. Is it an impossible goal? Am I punching too far above my weight? Do my words have worth? Will they ever make it into print or on the screen?

Best let them lurk, let them slink, solitary-like, around the recesses of my mind. If I put them down on the page then I commit to action. I commit to my dream. I might succeed, but then again, I might fail, and I’m not sure which is more scary.

The enormity of the task facing writers is probably the biggest barrier to finishing, or even starting, a serious piece of writing. In the course of writing a serious piece of art, your whole self will be jolted, provoked, tested, stretched, piqued. In essence, you will come face to face with yourself. Homeopathic treatment can help you face your demons, understand your grief, unravel your traumas, and clear the way to superb, enlightened writing.

On the other hand, you may be totally sorted and none of that applies to you. It could just be that you are simply blank. You haven’t got a single witty word to say.

So write that down. “I haven’t got a single witty word to say.” Keep going. “My mind is blank. There are no thoughts in my mind.” Keep going. “Oh look – a squirrel has just climbed the tree outside my window. I wonder if it has a mate? Are they going to have a squirrel party? Squirrel parties are cool: they….”

See what has just happened? You have used the principles of homeopathy to lead to writing. Homeopathy rests on the Law of Similars – that which causes the disease can cure the disease. So what cures a blank mind? An even blanker mind!

That is why meditation (or allowing your mind to be empty) before writing is probably the biggest cure of writer’s block, and the greatest engenderer of fine creative thought and writing.

Homeopathic treatment combined with meditation will lead to untold creative fertility. I should know – I do both, and have just completed my first feature-length movie screenplay.

If you would like more information on how homeopathy can help your creative process, or fancy a bit of coaching to get your writing juices flowing, please contact me on 07885 529060

Julia Lockwood BA RSHom, homeopath and writer.

http://marlowhomeopath.wordpress.com/

Julia works as a freelance writer and homeopath for The Alternative Writing Doctor, based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

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