Listen to Your Writing
One of the goals for our blog is to offer you some practical advice on how to improve your writing. The following are a few simple tips, plus the best writing tip we’ve ever received.
• Be genuine in your writing. Converting the spoken word to written form is no reason to change your style. Write the same way you speak. For example, use contractions. We say: “It’s the way we’ve always done things,” but we write: “It is the way we have always done things.” That sounds awkward and artificial. Avoid it!
• Accuracy is more important in writing than in speaking. We hear the spoken word only for an instant, but the written word is “permanently” recorded for all to see.
• Sending a reprint of an article you’ve written to a prospect or meeting planner can backfire if it’s full of errors.
• The close quote (”) ALWAYS goes after the period, comma and exclamation point.
• Avoid using a sans serif typeface or lengthy italics in the body of your manuscript. They’re harder to read.
• Use short words, short sentences, short paragraphs; it all makes for very readable copy.
• Proofread your work carefully, and have at least one other person do the same. Poor grammar, typographical errors, misspellings, etc. create a very bad impression.
Here’s the best advice about writing I’ve ever received: LISTEN to your writing! Read your copy aloud. Better still, with your eyes closed or back turned, have someone else read it aloud to you. You’ll find something that can be changed and improved, almost every time.