Why Writing Still Matters
Writing is a dying art.
We hear that all the time, but it’s not true.
The written word is still a very critical part of everyday communication. We send emails, we post Facebook updates and we answer text messages. We also draft blogs, produce annual reports and create “catchy” language for billboards.
That’s writing. It’s not a dying art; it’s an evolving one. We must be versatile writers – all of us. We must also learn to communicate for our intended audiences.
We have a saying we like to share with our clients: Everyone always told you to dress for the job you want. We believe you should also write for the job you want.
This means we need to:
- Keep it simple and get rid of the clutter – No one has time to filter through your message to figure out what you mean.
- Give your reader something to do – If you give them no “call to action,” what’s the point of what you’re trying to say? If there’s no call to action, perhaps you should reconsider sending that email….
- Lead with the lead – This is a basic writing tenet taught to every journalism student. People have a short attention span, so tell them what they need to know at the beginning.
- Take out the jargon – Write like you speak. People don’t want to hear from a robot.
- Don’t try to sound smart – Just don’t. Instead, be your authentic self. That’s a much more effective way to communicate.
- Edit yourself – Read through everything before you send it. Even a text. Ever hear of autocorrect? It’s not always your friend.
There are a lot of books out there about writing. One of our favorites is On Writing Well by William Zinsser. We don’t agree with everything he says, but that’s the point. We all have our own styles, and that’s what keeps writing – and reading – interesting.