Posted by: wordsmithsuk | September 10, 2010

Why do people have problems when they are writing?

No matter which sector you work in, good writing saves time, money and gives your organisation a positive and professional image. Poor written communication, on the other hand, causes all sorts of problems. The result could be anything from misunderstandings and irritation to wasted time, project failures and lost opportunities. Don’t forget that if you write badly, it’s not only your own image that suffers in the eyes of the reader, it’s also that of your department or team and your whole organisation.

In my experience, some people have a real terror of writing, while many others simply lack the confidence, the patience or the knowledge to learn how to do it effectively. These negative feelings exist because of the permanence of the written word. Say something, and it‘s gone. Write it down, and it stays forever, just waiting to come back to haunt or embarrass us.

The main reason why writing skills are becoming so important today is the internet. We‘re caught up in a massive technological revolution that has permanently changed how we communicate. With so many of our activities being conducted on-screen or online, it‘s more important than ever to be able to use the written language correctly.

Although most of us spend a lot of time writing, few have learned the basics of effective writing. For many years, school pupils were expected to know how to write without actually being taught how to do so. ‘Getting the message across’ and ‘expressing what you think’ was somehow thought to be more important than document structure and sentence composition. One strange result of this approach was that the first time many people were exposed to grammar was when they learned a foreign language.

Of course, some people were and are trained in formal writing skills at school and at university. But letters to clients and project reports are not the same as essays or dissertations. The construction and composition of a business document must be as brief as possible and must reflect who it is aimed at and its specific purpose.

    To overcome these kinds of problems and to write more effectively, you need to know three things: why you are writing; who is going to read it and what you want to happen as a result of your writing.

    Word Smiths’ new audio book “Effective Business Writing for Success” sets out to address all these issues – and many more.

    Please get in touch if you would like to have a pilot copy for review. The publication date is 1 October 2010


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