- On September 19, 2019
Everything we write is designed to achieve some objective, whether it’s a resume, love note, text, business report, eBay item description, even this blog. All of these things seek to move readers to take action: to make a job offer, bring home a gallon of milk, visit a website or some other goal. The more effective your writing, the better your results will be. And you don’t have to be a Shakespeare to make this work, you just need to brush up on the basics.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your written product is to WRITE OUT LOUD. That means just what it says: before you hit ‘send’ or drop that card in the mail, literally read what you’ve written aloud, pausing for commas, stopping for periods, raising your voice for exclamation points, etc. How does it sound? Is your meaning clear? Are there awkward passages or muddled messages? If it checks out, great — you’re good to go! But if there is anything that hits your ear with a clunk, go back and fix it. Try it out again as if you’re speaking to a live person, and keep at it until you find words that work.
Most importantly, don’t be intimidated by the idea of putting thoughts down in writing. This can make you overthink the whole process and add a ton of unnecessary angst. Something as simple as the ‘write out loud’ tip can work wonders and it doesn’t require learning a bunch of rules about grammar, syntax and punctuation. (We’ll get to those things in future blog entries, but for now, let’s just stick with baby steps!) Trust your instincts, say what you mean then write what you say. Done!