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The letter will teach you.

This actually comes from an old Lithuanian proverb about a house teaching its owner how to perform the necessary maintenance and repairs. I paraphrase it here because I’ve found it to be true hundreds of times. Likewise, trust that your sales letter will develop a life and personality of its own, literally interacting with you as you write. One simple idea will explode into a half dozen totally different directions you may have never considered.

When I first met my wife, who is an artist, I found this was a common ground between us. She, too, begins with a blank canvas. She begins making marks on the canvas, adding paint, and may make hundreds of changes as she goes along. A painting is a work in progress, and along the way it begins speaking, whispering to her. A brushstroke that ends with an unexpected flair, or merges with another color in an unusual way… all of these things begin showing her new possibilities she hadn’t thought of before. So she goes with the flow, and in the end, a beautiful painting results.

Professional authors, too, experience this. You may have seen a sequel writer being interviewed about their latest novel. The host may ask something like, “So what should we expect to see from Jack in your next novel? Are he and Joaney going to tie the knot?” When the writer replies, “I don’t know, they haven’t told me yet,” the host chuckles, and we all assume he’s just being coy. Truth is, he doesn’t know … the characters haven’t taken him that far yet.


Your letter will lead you, and your prospects down the cherry road, driving home the points, building to your close. These are the letters you look at years from now and literally get teary-eyed over… you wrote that! And yet, it was collaboration between you, and your creation, which produced the final piece. You’re pretty good!

Carpe Diem!

Emerson Brantley

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