5 lessons copywriters can learn from hunter gatherers

Evolution is awesome.

Taking a glimpse at what our lives were like 20 years ago provides a striking reminder of the speed at which we move forward.

The modern industrialized world has an undoubtedly endless number of perks. From farming and agriculture, all the way to  – kind of embarrassing – pre-packaged and  peeled oranges (it’s a real thing). We’ve evolved so much so that even technology as groundbreaking as ATMs have gone out of fashion.

As this world provides the feeling of instant satisfaction and of hyper-connectedness it can, ironically, also make us feel isolated and aimless. That’s the context for our creative work, for every business endeavor.

We can ask for fresh apples in the summer and cherries in autumn like it’s no problem.

What does that mean for our writing?

Living in a fast-paced, all-access society can disconnect us from primary skills that humans had not so long ago.

And although we may think those abilities are no longer with us, DNA studies show that human memories and adaptability skills from 10,000 years ago remain with us to this day.

What if we seek to awaken those primary skills we left behind?

Get some hunter-gatherer in your writing by implementing some of these primal skills into your practice:

  • Build a tribe
    Besides their immediate family group, in this case your team, hunter gatherers had a sense of belonging, a tribe that identified their customs and common ancestry. Anyone in business, solo, small or large, can reap benefits from connecting with like-minded people or mentors in similar paths. Being a part of a community can also help you stay on top of trends, tools and ideas so that you keep leveling up your writing and business skills. Embrace the power of the tribe.
  • Assign clear roles
    There were few opportunities for multitasking in the hunter-gathering society. Everyone in a group had a distinctive role they were  held accountable for, which allowed for learning and specialization, and enabled the development of crucial technology, such as as bows and arrows, tending fires,  and creating clothing from fur and hides. If you’re a solo-preneur, go ahead and separate your writing tasks from the rest, and dedicate full days or work sessions to those. If it feels right, figure out if it’s possible to get an editor on board, or someone to gather ideas and organize your content. As you grow, specialize in what makes full use of your strengths and cultivate a sense of development and evolution in every area of your business.
  • Explore your territory
    Early humans explored a LOT. Some of them traveled the globe before they even knew what existed across the horizon. But even later, as they settled for longer than a season at a time, they were continuously exploring the landscape for more resources or better shelter. And yes, they also encountered life threats. That’s how they survived. We’ve become pretty comfortable with auto-piloting these days, often forgetting to go beyond what’s customary or readily available to us, whether that’s content formats, writing techniques or even our audience. Turn on “hunting mode” for ideas and projects that help you develop a broader reach for your message. Look for new connections between topics, make guest appearances on other blogs and platforms, comment and engage with your audience. Survive by exploration.
  • Record every experience
    There has been a place  for arts and spirit since the beginning of our story. Great tales and myths were created with the intention of passing on lessons and beliefs about the world around us. We learned a lot from hunter gatherers through their crafts and storytelling. Daily activities that may be insignificant today, give great insight into their way of life. Build that sense of spirit into your business experience; write about every milestone you reach or problem you solve. Morning pages are a cool practice to get into , to capture thoughts and anecdotes that you can use and share in your writing whenever feels right.
  • Appreciate the seasons
    Gatherers were in the plant business. They learned how seasons affect availability of seeds, branches and fruits, and their taste.They knew good meals were not a year-round luxury so they planned for it. Inherit some of this wisdom into your creative approach. Keep a list of big writing projects that would benefit from you at your prime. Every time you hit a good spot of creative genius or confidence, dive into that list. Plan ahead for your content writing needs and get the most out of that energy when it’s available — which in return could also make it last a little longer.

There’s a lot of room for us to embrace our primal origins even in today’s modern, instantaneous society. Go directly to the source. Tap into your raw abilities and natural exploration tendencies to get the most out of your craft.

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Marielisa Alvarez
marielisa.mate@gmail.com
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