Everybody Writes: Say It with Less Words
“Always try to say it in less words. Trust your own voice and use humor whenever possible.”
Everybody Writes by Ann Handley, page 203
I often get caught in my own trap. I begin writing and before I know it, my creative side takes over and I begin entertaining myself. I’ve been known to make myself laugh more than once before my wife steps in and reminds me to “focus” on the task at hand.
Being the first to admit that I was not a member of the “A” student crowd, I am still not sure what a dangling participle is, and even if I am spelling it right. That is one reason why I enjoyed reading EVERYBODY WRITES so much. I understood what the author was telling me.
The one directive, one I can identify with (in spades), is to “be myself.” That I can do without much effort. (I am still not sure if this is the good news or the bad news.)
One of the hardest lessons we all have to come to grips with is that maybe, just maybe we have something to say… something to offer… something to share.
I remind people who are focused on climbing the ladder, be it corporate or entrepreneurial, that it is a good bet that they did not get this far by accident.
In the majority of cases they are good, honest, hard-working people who want to feed their families regularly and have a few shekels left over at the end of the month to insure they have a roof over their head for the following 30 days.
So my reminder to you who are reading this column today is to share your wisdom and knowledge freely, but do so without boring your audience to tears. Adopt the age-old salesman’s mantra that reminds us to be bright, be brief, and then be gone.
Give yourself a little respect and appreciate that what you know in all probability is worth sharing with others.
And here is the kicker: I alluded to this danger a few paragraphs back. The ugliest word I can think of also happens to be a four-letter word. It is spelled b-o-r-e. Once you become boring, you can hand in your order pad.
And the surest way I know to make certain this does not happen to you is for you to maintain your sense of humor and shy away from being overly politically correct… as long as it does not hurt anybody’s feelings or offend anybody.
Say what you have to say without too much embellishment. Listen to your inner voice and laugh every chance you get.
You have just heard the secrets of good writing according to Mike.
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