North of Jewfish Creek
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
In this newsletter, we are going to talk about
what makes "Can You Guess Part II?" ("A Valentine For
Jessica") such a good piece of writing.
I've already given you the reason why Part I and
Part III of the "Can You Guess" series were so
successful. Remember... the answer
But that is NOT the answer with "A Valentine For
Jessica". And, for those of you who haven't guessed already,
it was me who wrote "A Valentine For Jessica".
When I wrote that little essay, I'm not sure
exactly why I did it. I think mostly I wrote it because so many
people were always commenting about "The Gary Halbert Style"
of writing. I think all good writers do develop a "style" of
their own. But I think what I wanted to prove was, a really
good writer could write in almost any kind of style and from
almost any kind of "voice".
What most of you perceive as my "style" is
what you read in my newsletters. But it's my conceit I could
write a romance novel for women, an action novel for men, a
"legalese" contract, an ad for the Surgery Eye Centers of
Tennessee, and a Valentine for Jessica... and... none of the
people who read each of those would ever guess they were
written by the same person.
When it comes to writing... especially ad
copy... the best writing of all is...
you are selling something, you don't want people to notice
your style. That's why I don't very often use graphics.
That's why I am (for the most part) against graphic
designers, website designers, photographs in advertising,
and so forth. What I want is people to read the sales
message... and... not get distracted by graphics, style,
photographs, music, or anything else.
Bob Dylan was interviewed on the TV show,
"60 Minutes" recently. He recited the lyrics from some of
his earlier songs. He then commented something to the
"Where did that come from? The lyrics were
absolutely magical. There was almost a cosmic aspect to
He also commented he couldn't write like
that now since he was unable to access and tap into whatever
source it was that enabled him to write those lyrics.
Something akin to that happened while I was
writing "A Valentine For Jessica". I have read it and reread
it, and I honestly don't know if I could ever write like
that again. It seems to me (and I'll prove it very
dramatically a little later in this newsletter) it was an
extremely important piece of writing. Until recently, I
didn't know why it was important and for whom
it was important.
But I'll tell you what: As "New Agey" and
flowery and mushy as some people perceive "A Valentine For
Jessica" to be, I personally think it is a very straight
forward piece of writing. A marketing friend of mine emailed
me to say, as far as he was concerned, there was nothing in
that piece of writing for him.
He was correct. That piece wasn't written
You know, it's almost like I didn't write
that piece myself. It's almost like a "higher power" was
guiding my thoughts and my hands. It's almost as though I
were nothing but the "channel" through which an important
message was being transmitted. (This doesn't sound like the
same Gary Halbert you've come to love, adore, respect, and
despise... does it?)
Anyway, let's give this little essay a
surface examination. What we have here is a man who is
smitten by a woman and contrives to meet her. As she reveals
herself to him, he is enchanted. But, she is not enchanted
by him. And one day, she just evaporates from his life with
nary a backward glance. But, for the rest of his life, he is
unable to forget his meeting with this incredible woman.
I think things like this happen every day.
It reminds me of something I once read about a man who
traveled the world searching for the perfect woman. But alas,
when he found her, she was looking for the perfect man.
Anyway, the publication of "A Valentine For
Jessica" on my website has fetched me, what I consider to
be, the most precious testimonial I have ever received. And
don't forget, I'm a guy who has received tens of thousands
of testimonials and praise from people like John Carlton, David Ogilvy,
Jay Abraham, Gary Bencivenga and every other direct
marketing person of consequence. For some reason, I don't
publish most of my testimonials even in my sales pitches.
But, I want you to read this one and I think you will
understand why it is so precious to me.
Jessica learned to accept people and things as
they are and not try to change them into what
she wanted them to be. The man is nameless so
he could be anyone - and he is most people.
That is the secret ingredient in this essay.
I have a
special insight into this because I have
Multiple Sclerosis. Many people have told me
that I have given up but that is so not true. I
have accepted - accepted what I can and cannot
do on any given day. I am at peace with this
monster as Jessica is at peace with her life.
For 10 long years I have tried to decide what to
do with the rest of my life. It came to me
almost in a flash. I am going to write -
copywrite to be exact. I am now absorbing
everything I can about this business.
I have no idea
how to market myself but I know it will come.
An idea will 'magically' pop into my head and I
will know what to do. That is being at peace
with the universe and that is what the writer of
this article imparted so eloquently.
Here's the truth: I, myself, did not know
what the "stand out" feature of my essay was until it was
clarified for me by Cathy Perkins. But I think if something
I write can touch someone suffering with the monster of
Multiple Sclerosis... and... can help clarify for her what
to do with the rest of her life... and... can give her faith
that an idea will "magically" pop into her head and she will
know what to do... and can put her at peace with the
universe... well then... I think I and whomever or whatever
guided my thoughts and my hand when I wrote "A Valentine For
Jessica" achieved something very
In Cathy's reply to me she said,
"I have no idea how to market
myself but I know it will come."
Well, with the help of my friends, I intend to see that
perhaps "it" will come a bit faster for Cathy.
I Am Now Going To
Call In Some Favors
From A Few Of My Friends!
You know, that "call in favors" doesn't
sound right. In truth, I probably owe the people I'm about
to mention as many favors, if not
more, than they owe me.
I'm going to start with Scott
Scott has recently completed the writing of
an amazing course called "Shortcut Copywriting Secrets".
So Scott, here's what I want you to do: I would like you to
mail a free copy of your absolutely great copywriting course
to Cathy Perkins. (I'll give you her address a little
Gary Bencivenga. Gary, you've had some personal
experience with the uplifting feeling you get by helping
people who carry an unusually heavy burden. I'm asking you
to send Cathy, as a gift, some of your unique and amazingly
informative marketing instructional materials you have
created over the years.
how about John Carlton? It would a personal favor to
me, John, if you would send Cathy every back issue of your
terrific marketing newsletter and some of your other
Michel Fortin. Hey Mike,
by now you know the deal: Please send Cathy by email or
snail mail, anything you've created which might help her
with her new endeavors.
Ed Dale and Frank Kern.
I understand you've created an excellent product which tells
people how to inexpensively create little cash-producing
websites. I think Cathy deserves to get one of your courses.
Hey Joachim dePosada, Dan Kennedy, Brian
Keith Voiles, Joe Polish, Peter Stone...
Oh gosh darn it! Gosh darn it? Is this ME, Gary
Halbert, writing or maybe I'm dreaming and somebody has
hijacked my website. Ah, whatever. What I want is EVERYBODY who reads
newsletter and who has created or possesses some marketing
instructional material... whether it's on copywriting,
Internet marketing, how to put up a website, anything at all which would help
Cathy... to send it to her...
Out Of The Goodness Of Your Heart
As A Free, No Strings Attached Gift!
I'd like you to do this right away.
Here's what else I'd like: I'd like ALL of
you who gift Cathy with the type of materials I've just
described to email me and let me know you did so. I'd like to
know who you are and what you sent her. Who knows? If you do
this, maybe, just maybe, you'll get something special from
me in return.
If you have something Cathy can download,
you can email it to her at
If you have something to send Cathy by snail
mail, you can send it to her at:
196 Penny Lane
Hickory, NC 28601-9341
That's it for this month. I hope this newsletter has given
some of you a fresh and slightly different perspective of
Gary C. Halbert
P.S. God bless all of you.
Copyright © 2005 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights