This may not be our most inspiring title, but it just might be our most honest one yet. We’re talking about writing, of course. (What else do we talk about?) Writing is one thing that if you do daily … you may not perfect. So why should you do it anyway? You should start a daily writing practice to:
- Become a more effective communicator
- Unleash your creativity
- Reach your customers on a regular basis
- Make the practice of writing easier
We frequently have people tell us, “I just really can’t write. I’m terrible at it.” While we understand that writing does not come naturally to everyone, have you ever heard of a professional athlete or stellar rock star who never practiced? You’ve got to practice to master those skills, and writing is no different. So come on. Give it a try. You just might become the next Richard Branson … or fill a pile of notebooks you never want to share with anyone. Either outcome is OK. (Remember the above benefits.) Try a few of these ideas to get you started.
No writer knows it all. There is room for everyone to keep learning. So where do you turn?
- Follow reputable writing blogs. We bet you’ve heard of Grammar Girl. Check out her blog for helpful nuggets of information, a.k.a. her “Quick and Dirty Tips.” If you’ve never known the difference between further and farther, Grammar Girl will get you straight! (Check out her explanations about the difference between i.e. and e.g., that and which and more to make us editors really happy!)
- Read great writing books that won’t put you to sleep. There are some well-written titles out there that will help you build stellar business writing skills and inspire you to master the written English language. Try The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, The Business Writer’s Handbook by Gerald Alred, Walter Oliu, and Charles Brusaw and On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zessner. You’ll find inspiration and advice that’s immediately applicable in many of those pages — right up our alley.
- Release your fear and defeat writer’s block. Develop creative practices and get inspiration from books like The War of Art by Steven Pressfield or Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. A little creativity and openness go a long way to improving your writing skills and easily communicating with your customers. Work hard, play hard, right?
Yeah, we know we told you practice might not make perfect, but remember the “do it anyway” part? Here’s how:
- Set aside time each day. Going back to those athletes and musicians, we’d venture to guess they have set times each day to perfect their skills. You need that too. Perhaps you want to work on your next blog post for 15 minutes at the end of each day. It could start as a mental dump or a recap of what you’ve been working on throughout the day and gradually grow into something ready for publishing. Or perhaps you feel most inspired first thing in the morning and will work best with your coffee each morning. We like the coffee idea, as long as no one talks to us until we can see the bottoms of our cups.
- Create uninterrupted time. If completing your business writing is already a bit challenging, it would be all too easy to find excuses among the interruptions and put your writing off. Instead, block off time on your calendar, shut your door, and create time and space for blog or marketing writing.
- Write in short spurts. It’s much less intimidating to write without stopping for 15 minutes than if you demand an hour a day of yourself. Start small.
- Keep an idea notebook with you at all times. Many of us find that the hardest part is figuring out what to write about. We’ve all been there — that blank page staring at you can be more intimidating than your fifth grade teacher when she caught you passing notes during your English test. Avoid the deer-in-the-headlight stare and keep an idea notebook with you at all times. If you think of an interesting new use for your product, jot a note about it and create a blog post on it later. When you receive an outstanding review, make a note to write a social media post about it later. Ideas are all around you; you just need to keep your eyes and ears open and your notebook with you at all times.
- Attend a writing workshop or seminar. There are workshops available on blogging, business writing, marketing email construction and more. Look for topics on the specific aspects of business writing you wish to improve.
Communicating about your business and its successes should be at least somewhat fun and exciting. How often you choose to communicate with your customers is individual to you. Perhaps you aspire to start a blog and write one post per week. Maybe you just want to write smoother monthly marketing emails or more concise internal memos. Whatever you do, find ways to enjoy the process.
And if you need assistance in the business writing department, let us help! We can ghostwrite blogs, white papers, marketing materials and more to help you get the word out about your services through content marketing and social media.
All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors.