The Write Stuff
Winter 2006 Volume 2 Issue 1
Resolve to Become a Better Writer in 2006
Losing weight, getting out of debt, focusing more on family, and quitting smoking are some of the common resolutions made to begin a new year. Why not add improving your writing skills to that list? It’s a well-established fact that good writing will enhance your career.
What steps can you take to keep your writing resolution? Here are just a few:
- Proof, proof, proof. Never distribute anything that has not been thoroughly proofread. It’s typically better to ask someone else to review your work, since you usually won’t spot your own errors.
- Enhance your vocabulary. You don’t have to start reading the dictionary to learn new words. Take advantage of the thesaurus tool in Word to get suggestions for alternatives to words you commonly use.
- Don’t discount the importance of e-mail. Most professionals use e-mail on a daily basis, but few consider the process of composing messages to be real writing. It is. You don’t need to spend a lot of time laboring over e-mail communication, but you should choose your words carefully and review all messages before hitting the send key.
- Banish wordiness. Get to the point quickly. Readers have short attention spans; be succinct, especially on websites.
In addition to self-help, plenty of resources exist to help you sharpen your writing skills. Books on business writing can be useful, as can continuing education courses and writing seminars. What a coincidence…I’m offering a writing seminar next month, as noted in the left column.