As long poor writing survives the war against it goes on. It may be a forever war. But helping people write well matters greatly to their personal and professional progress. Moreover, it is a vital element that influences how far and how fast society advances. I want people’s progress and society’s advancement to be as full and rapid as they can be. So I’m joining the fight for writing well. This despite an infinite number of good-writing blogs out there. Why? The force for good writing can never be too large or strong. There are many like this blog, but this blog is mine. Of all that are out there, perhaps this is the blog a person needing better thinking and writing will discover. One person is enough. Without good writing great ideas may perish, great causes may be lost, and great solutions to life’s greatest challenges may fail. But with more and more good writing civilization expands its limits and extends the endpoint of its progress. It matters that much.
On the individual level, writing well wins jobs, wins resources, and wins the battle of ideas. But when a person doesn’t have information and resources for writing well he/she loses in life. I want that person to win. When such people win we all win, including me.
So I’m happy to launch this blog. I’ll share what I can via insights, lessons learned, information, ideas, and resource recommendations. They flow from a 30+ year career as a communicator of one kind or another.
What You Should do First (and Always) to Write Better
A good first step toward becoming a good writer is to read good writing. Make it a permanent habit. Leverage that by reading about writing well. Now then, for most of us the writing we do, especially on the job, is nonfiction. Things like e-mails, presentations, reports, memos, proposals, etc. One of the smartest things I ever did was to buy William Zinsser’s wonderful book: On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction. He addresses the principles of good writing in plain English that’s enjoyable to read. He also discusses some of the common types of nonfiction writing. Get this book–today. Read it. Then read it again. As self-improvement guru Tony Robbins says: “Repetition is the mother of skill.”
Standing alongside Mr. Zinsser as a how-to-write master is Mr. Rudolf Flesch. He wrote How to Write, Speak and Think More Effectively. “This book not only explains readable writing–it IS readable writing,” says one Amazon commentor. He/she is right. Absorb this book. Really focus on it. Do the exercises. Doing so will transform your written words like spring fertilizer brings forth a new lawn.
When you take on board these two masterworks you’ll be on your way toward joining the top 20 percent of your occupation. Those are the people, the ones with top communication skills as well as strong technical skills, whose pay and positions rise first and who get laid off last.
So those are the first two books I recommend for driving your written communication. What are yours? Any good-writing blogs/websites/forums you like?
Also, please suggest future topics. I could make my own choices, but it’s more important for my “customers” to tell me what they want. What information, advice, or ideas do you need to help you think and write more effectively?
And your feedback is always welcome, too.