Posted by: Jack Henry | June 27, 2019

Editor’s Corner: Importance of Writing, Part 2 (7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer)

As promised, here is the meat from the Fast Company article on the importance of writing well:“This skill makes you more employable, no matter the role.”


1. Read a lot, ideally from as early an age as possible. In my experience, the best way to become a great writer is to read. A lot. Reading expands your vocabulary, solidifies your grammar, enables you to draw inspiration from great writers, and more. So read before bed. Read on your commute if you take public transportation. Read whenever you have time, all the time.

2. Review everything you write. I’m not perfect, but I review everything, including emails. This helps ensure my writing is free of mistakes. Take the extra few seconds to give your writing one more read. It’s worth it! [KC–And take advantage of your company’s editors: it is our job to make you look good.]

3. Use as few words as possible to communicate your meaning. Less is almost always more. Nobody wants to read a 200-word message that could have easily been 50.

4. If there’s a simpler word, use it. Good communication is about getting your point across in the easiest way possible for the reader to digest it. Quite simply, simple words work best. There’s no need to say you “disseminated” information when you sent it.

5. Make sure your points are parallel. Now we’re getting into the weeds a bit, but I certainly notice this one. Failing to use a parallel structure can degrade otherwise good writing. For example, if five of the six qualifications on your resume begin with verbs but one doesn’t, that single outlier will feel “off” and make you look less qualified.

6. Use anecdotes and examples wherever you can. A story is worth 1,000 words. Adding one whenever possible helps you connect with the reader so they remember your message.

7. When it matters, have someone edit your work. We all miss mistakes in our own writing. At NakedPoppy, the clean beauty startup I co-founded, we have our resident grammarian comb through every single social media and blog post before it goes live. [KC–Oh look, more about editing! I didn’t found a startup, and I’m not a naked rose or poppy, but my team and I sure love editing, so don’t be shy. If a client is going to see
what you’re writing, it matters. Run it by us first.]

Writing is an outlet for your intelligence to shine through. That’s why, regardless of your field, improving as a writer will help you succeed.

It’s never too late to learn what makes great writing. If your writing chops need work, here’s my advice: pick up a copy of The Elements of Style or Revising Prose and take a workshop or an online class.

But remember that nothing is more important than reading often. When you read great books and articles, you’re learning at the feet of the masters.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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