magic words of the week artists break rules

Artists Break Rules

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” 

—Pablo Picasso

This week I was presenting some messaging to another copywriter. 

She hired me to help her communicate what she does, because it’s really hard to write your own stuff. (Like how it’s hard to be your own chiropractor 😂.)

One suggestion I had to describe her offer: “Dang Good Copywriting.”

“I like it!” she said. “But I’m debating whether it should have a hyphen between ‘dang’ and ‘good.’”

“Maybe,” I said. “But we’re not going to put one there.” 💥

See, copywriting isn’t English class.

And the rules of grammar aren’t like the laws of physics. 

A word artist can bend or break the rules of grammar.

For example: It’s common practice never to use periods in website headlines

If it sounds good and fits with the voice, prepositions are ok to end on. 

Inventing new words is dandy-pandy. 

Also fragments. 

And on we go.

The important thing is that your words connect with your audience and convey a clear message.

Grammar totally helps with that… until it doesn’t.

So, as Picasso says: Learn the rules like a pro. Then feel free to break them like an artist.

Deviously yours,


PS – Need help with your messaging AKA word art 🎨? I have one spot for new clients starting in November.  Click here to get on my calendar and find out if we’re a good fit.

This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.

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