How to Write Faster–and Faster–and Faster

How to Write Faster–and Faster–and Faster

(Originally published June 2017) The story I am about to tell you is true, although embarrassing. But I share it because there’s an important lesson to be learned here about becoming a better faster writer… The story of how I learned to write faster and faster Once upon a time, this freelance copywriter fell on hard times. That’d be during the post 2008 recession when every single one of my high-tech clients disappeared. As a single mom who still had to pay the bills, I took on some writing work I can only describe as gross to tide...
Why Your Business Writing Is Not Working

Why Your Business Writing Is Not Working

(Originally published April 2017) When it comes to business writing, a lot of us think we are better at it than we really are. If our grammar is correct and we’ve got our facts straight, that’s all that really matters, right? Wrong. Because our business writing has a job to do. It’s called writing at work because it’s supposed to work. Sadly, much of the writing done in the workplace today fails to work, costing American businesses billions of dollars and keeping employees busy sending pointless emails long after work hours. I’ll...
Writing at Work? Don’t Be a Jerk: Put the Reader First

Writing at Work? Don’t Be a Jerk: Put the Reader First

Business writing at work can do more harm than good when the reader is ignored. What does it mean to be a jerk when writing at work? It means to write without considering the reader or audience. Because when you don’t write for the audience, you’re being selfish and writing to serve your own purposes only. And that leads to pointless back-and-forth emails, confusing documents, miscommunication and other time wasters. How do we fix this? Josh Bernoff has the answer. On page 5 of his book Writing Without Bullshit, Bernoff asks that we...
Why You Need Better Business Writing Skills by 2021—and Dozens of Ways to Improve

Why You Need Better Business Writing Skills by 2021—and Dozens of Ways to Improve

(This post was originally published in 2019, but it is still remarkably relevant as I update it in January 2021.) We’re going to talk about business writing skills, but let’s start with a more appealing topic first… Do you have an activity or interest that constantly challenges you to learn?  Horses top my list. They challenge me to keep learning because they are also learning. Every time we master one thing, it simply moves us on to the next. Plus riding more than one horse means learning one thing in different...
Risky Business: Why Writing at Work Is Dangerously Misunderstood

Risky Business: Why Writing at Work Is Dangerously Misunderstood

“I never said you stole the money.” Have you seen that sentence before? That simple phrase is proof that our writing at work must work harder to communicate better. Here’s how: Read the sentence out loud five times and change the word you emphasize each time. As you do, you change the meaning of the sentence too, like this… “I never said you stole the money” means someone else said you stole the money. “I never said you stole the money” means I’m defending myself against an accusation. “I never said you stole the money” means...
Want to Be a More Confident Writer at Work? 8 Ways to Get There

Want to Be a More Confident Writer at Work? 8 Ways to Get There

Learning to be a more confident writer at work is good for your brand, the business and the bottom line! It’s sad but true: People often tell me they were nervous to have me read their writing…even when it was simply an email they sent me as part of doing business. Although plenty of people in the business world write without any such qualms, many others lack confidence in their workplace writing skills. And it is for those who want to be a more confident writer at work that I write this post… The lack of confidence is...