I am currently on tenterhooks, waiting for the 40-word blurbs and some quality photography from all the people who are taking part in Cotswold Open Studios ...


Writing about your work

You may need help summarising who you are and what you do


I am currently on tenterhooks, waiting for the 40-word blurbs and some quality photography from all the people who are taking part in our Cotswold Open Studios. They are dropping into my inbox as I write. Some have arrived by snail mail with beautiful cards and thank you notes. I know how hard it is to put pen to paper – this is your life's work. Part of you wants the work to speak for itself, but you know that you need to give your audience a way in. People want to connect and find out more.


You must get into the habit of talking and writing about your work. Keep speaking it out when you are on your own until it becomes second nature and totally authentic.


Keep a notebook on you at all times to jot down thoughts and ideas. If you are writing about your work, get straight to the point and make sure that people can understand what you have written. Do not be tempted to drone on and on! Do not talk about past projects or history. Keep it simple, stupid! Always tell the truth and keep it light, bright and crisp. If you are selling a product or a service, make sure that you list the benefits and use your unique selling point in all key messages. Above all, know who you are writing for and make sure that your photography is eye-catching.


I know that visual people do not like writing. Try to use this as an opportunity to take stock and clarify your thoughts. Carve out some time and make sure that you choose the time of day when you are at your best. Take the phone off the hook or go for a walk. If you can feel a writer's block coming on, get started by finishing these sentences:


• My work is all about...

• I am inspired by...

• I work in [medium] because...

• People respond to...

• This is what people say about my work... [dig out everything that anyone has ever said about it]


If you are still struggling, don't give up...

... perhaps you are just too close to it all - if you just can't write, find somebody you trust to write or talk about your work. This brings clarity.

... try a voice recorder (you can buy a cheap one for about £18) to capture your thoughts.

... good old-fashioned pen and paper work wonders, flowing from head and heart to hand.

... try interviewing an articulate person about your work. Why not sit them down in front of it and ask a few open questions like what do you find interesting about my work? Is there anything you would like to know about my background? Do you wonder how I created this? How do you respond to this?


Once you have got some of this down in writing, type it up onto the computer and leave it for a while. When you come back to it, re-read it all and start honing it down, working and re-working. Give it to others to check, edit and comment. Start afresh each time and don't keep re-working the same piece of writing as it will get stale. Make sure that your opening sentence really grabs attention. Most important of all, your opening words must lead others to appreciate what you do. The more you communicate about what you do, the more your confidence will grow.


I wish you all the best as you start to show the world who you are!


© Tessa Webb