My writing started in school, where I was fortunate enough to be allowed to take Media Studies and English Literature (teachers said it was ‘too specialised’ but allowed me when I demonstrated by commitment to writing). I continued at college, where I took further creative and literary courses (and mostly failed to take them seriously I’m sorry to report [family crises]). But it was only when I started doing some external comms that I truly reflected on the needs of the reader, and it was only working with awesome bosses that I began to learn about grammar!
So I’m a hands on writer now; I’ve honed my craft in real-life situations, and I’ve learned the rules and when to break them. I’m still learning of course, and I hope the bits I share with you are useful. Here are five more ideas to guide writers and communicators when the message really matters.
The first draft is powerful; the sixth, spineless – of course I use review cycles; of course news, articles, pages and documents need approving. But committees will hack into the tone and style when they don’t need to. Content and style are separate.
Words without meaning – have no place in our clear communications. Oh the comedy!
Enough is as good as a feast – the balance between clear concise communications and the need for context and understanding.
The difference between good writing and a good message – almost a manifesto! Several good ideas to free your writing, plus three lists to help you hone your message.
Who’s asking who when you write questions? – a personal vendetta of mine. Don’t change ‘voice’ in your articles.
Please do leave your comments and ideas on the relevant article, or lay it on me below.
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