Last week I did a closed session with the 4,000-member strong Fractionals United. Karina Mikhli has done an incredible job building that community.

The session was a tutorial about how to create a HOOK.

(That’s a headline or first sentence that makes the reader want closure through knowledge).

And I let everyone in on the secret about writing a hook — it’s not a writing change, it’s a perception change. You have to think backwards.

Something very powerful tries to prevent us starting any communication with what the reader would notice and point their attention toward.

Instead, everyone always starts by organizing what they want to say. Maybe they put some thought into how they can best say it.

Then they stop.

But every one of them is a reader more often than they’re a writer, and they know that readers start on the other end.

Something about how we evolved from the Stone Age never prioritized seeing through the other person’s eyes. And we all suck at it now.

We probably always will.

So this session was me showing them how to think backwards, from the reader to the writer.

I’m sure some of the audience was uncomfortable.

But this is the only way to do it. Like a lot of great advertising-style writing, to write a hook, you unhook from your normal mind, and do the opposite of what’s natural.