by Dawn Goldberg, Write Well U (reprinted with permission from Fuel)
Writing is more than just packaging your words. Those words are the meat of your project and your message. You have to think about content and your audience and writing it well and getting your readers’ attention and keeping your readers’ attention and…. The list goes on and doesn’t ever seem to stop.
If you write well, then your writing will accomplish all those goals: getting your readers’ attention, keeping their attention, and meeting their needs. Now, we’re not talking about correct grammar and sentence mechanics, although that is important to writing well.
We’re talking about how to make the writing come alive, to be yours and yours alone.
- Be creative. Whether you’re writing titles or giving examples, come up with your own ideas. It seems clever to riff off the “Got Milk?” slogan, but after a while (and sometimes a very short while), that gets old. You don’t have to worry about your writing being cliché or old when you come up with your own creative ideas.
- Be yourself. You’re not the answer for everyone, and not everyone is going to be attracted to your stuff. However, if you write authentically, then you have a better chance of people sticking around to see what you have to say. It’s basic Law of Attraction.
- Be original. You don’t have to do it like everyone else. You don’t have to follow all the rules. Just because you get great advice from E-zines and books on writing, it doesn’t mean you have to follow all of it. Do it your own way and stand out from the crowd. If you’re like everyone else, what would make people gravitate toward you? Give them a reason to pick you.
- Be strong. Choose a stand and believe in it. If your writing is filled with “I think” and “I guess” and “I believe” and “it seems,” you come across as wishy-washy. Take those words out and stand firm. Say what you believe and believe what you say.
- Be human. We all make mistakes. Don’t try to pretend you’re perfect. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Your audience wants someone to whom they can relate. If you come across as perfect, how can they relate to you? Admit your weaknesses and be authentic.
- Be fun-filled. Enjoy what you’re writing about. Write from the heart. Be passionate. If you like humor, be funny. If you like word play, add a few puns. If you’re thrilled with what you’re doing, let that joy come out in your writing.
The point is to throw yourself into your writing. It can be scary, yes, but you’re more likely to grab your readers and have them follow you rather than get a lukewarm or so-so response. Take risks. Be yourself. Let your words be powerful.
Which “Writing Well” tips do you find most helpful? Share your thoughts here.