DO Take Your Writing for Granite

By Randall Gerber

Writer –Winning  2014 Best ROI healthcare blog - By the Carolinas Healthcare PR and Marketing Society

CEO The Gerber Group

No. The headline isn’t misspelled. I mean granite (or marble) because one way to view writing is to approach it the way a sculptor appraises a piece of granite or marble.

Good writing is like good sculpture

Like a writer, a sculptor removes everything that doesn't belong.How do they create their art? They take away everything that isn’t needed for the final masterpiece.

First they take the big chunks away from the corners. The healthcare blog writer removes chunks of medical jargon and technical terms. Even as the large chunks are hammered away, the sculpture has a vision of the final work – a hero leaning forward, a woman timidly posed, an inquisitive young child.

The closer the sculptor approaches the finished piece, the smaller the pieces removed, the more refined the artist’s movements. Yet, each artistic decision and refinement is in tune with initial vision.

The best healthcare blog writers are like the sculptor, continually asking, “What doesn’t belong here? Yet what is necessary to make the piece complete?”

Shorten your sentences. Chisel away those subjunctive clauses. Whittle down the run-on sentences. Explain the medical condition or treatment so that your niece or nephew could understand it.

For the sculptor, what they take away sometimes adds to the piece. Replacing a flat face with expressive lines. Blending hairlines to flow and suggest dynamic movement. A writer replaces bland terms and adds more exact, emotional verbs and modifiers.

Where the sculptor creates emotion from stone, a healthcare content marketing writer adds a physician quote, a patient testimonial, or a situation the reader can see in their own life.

Finally, the sculptor polishes the work using tools and experience to make this piece unique. The writer puts their work aside. Then, comes back to it with a fresh eye. Does it speak to me?  Will it speak to my audience or reader? 

One final reference to this metaphorical allusion. Like a great piece of art that is carved from stone, today’s healthcare content blogs are at once ephemeral and eternal. They exist as a series of 1s and 0s on the Internet as the mere object of today’s patient search or this month’s pay-per-click campaign. Yet, they will exist forever on the Internet unless deleted – and even may still exist on someone’s computer after that.

Granted, we may not succeed at creating art every time we craft a healthcare blog. But we can changes the lives of our readers. And that’s not so bad either.