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Ernest Hemingway once wrote “Easy writing makes hard reading.” Not many people in industry aspire to write like Hemingway, but his advice has as much bearing for you as it does for novelists. A casual approach to writing can result in communications that can actually hurt your company’s business and your reputation.
How does this happen? If you are like most technical people, you assume that your writing is adequate for your daily business communications. Or if you know that your writing is less than adequate, you may avoid writing or do as little of it as possible.
Both of these attitudes can be disastrous. They lead to communications that fail to accomplish what they must if your company’s business and your own career are to succeed and grow.
We’ve all have read emails, specifications, and proposals that are at best confusing and at worst impossible to understand. Because we really need the information we read them over and over trying to decipher them. Does this mean this or does it mean that? Eventually, if we cannot figure out what the writer is saying, we have to contact him to find out what he meant. This takes time from us and from him that could be spent more productively.
You don’t want to find yourself with the unfortunate reputation as someone who cannot communicate clearly. And you won’t, if you keep in mind the critical importance that written communications can have to your chances for advancement at your company.
What follows are ten ways you can improve your writing. Using any one of these will improve your writing dramatically. Use them all and you’ll have gained a reputation as someone that can be counted on to provide some clear thoughts on complex issues.