Five Minute Writing Lesson
Business people often think, "I can't write." But while only a professional writer should tackle your website or marketing materials, anyone can write an acceptable letter, email, or memo. And most business correspondence is less critical than your website or a press release. Remember – you are not competing with Leo Tolstoy.
Your task is simple: tell someone about something clearly and concisely.
ElectricSun will post writing tips from time to time, but the biggest difference in your writing can come from intuitive tools that require no study. For example, if you have to write something, follow these steps:
- Brainstorm. Sit alone or with colleagues involved and make an outline or mind map of what you want to say, why, and how. This exercise will result in the DNA or blueprint of your masterpiece.
- Write. Now that your mind has a clear roadmap, start driving. Write without editing, but get all your points in.
- Edit. Condense, move things around, have a preliminary check of your grammar, syntax, and wording, think of more original words or phrases than the clichés or jargon that may have slipped in, and generally tidy things up. Then put it aside for an hour or a day.
- Rewrite. Your goal this round is to reduce the content to half its original words while giving it twice the punch. Eliminate most of your adjectives and adverbs – ninety percent of them are padding. Change overweight expressions like, "at this point in time," to "now." Again, put it aside for an hour or more.
- Proofread: Make sure there are no remaining spelling, grammatical, or syntactical errors.
- Rewrite one last time. You’ll know just what to do this round.
Try it. You'll find you have writing skills after all.
Writing is the most satisfying and useful of art forms because we communicate through words. The ability to express yourself clearly, to put concepts and abstractions - from love to economics - into words, gives you an advantage in every aspect of life. This includes public speaking. Sir Winston Churchill said that he learned to speak well by learning to write well.