7 Mar

Everybody Writes…but not all of us write well.

By Ian Marker, Account Associate


We tend to write a lot as marketers and communicators of the world, so that makes us perfect when it comes to nailing down five new blogs and two new social media calendars in eight hours, right? It may be true for some, but certainly not most.


What if I told you there was a book to help your writing skills that ISN’T boring! I know. It seems crazy, but Everybody Writes by Ann Handley truly is a great guide for filling in those holes to make writing easier on you AND better for your readers/clients. Everyone who can acknowledge that their writing could use help should pick up this book. Not convinced? Below I’ll give you a little taste from the book’s first section: How to Write Better.


Tip 5: Place the most important words (or ideas) at the beginning of the sentence.

This may sound remedial at first, but I bet that you waste a good portion of your day reading sentences that don’t get to the point! The fact is, it’s just easy to take your reader on a longer journey than they have to be on. Through practice, this is an area where we all can improve. One example that Ann provides in the book is this sentence from the CDC’s website: “According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), released in 2006 by the U.S. Department of Education, 30 million adults struggle with basic reading tasks.”


In this sentence, we don’t get to the juicy part of the subject until the very end and are forced to wade through the boring qualifiers. The meat of the sentence is, “30 million adults struggle with basic reading tasks.” Why not put what’s interesting first?  “Thirty million adults struggle with reading, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) report, released in 2006 by the U.S. Department of Education.”


Tip 14: Start with Dear Mom…

Writer’s block. We’ve all felt it. Whether it’s starting a new blog, writing website copy or even drafting a new social media calendar, it’s easy to not know where to start! The best suggestion Handley gives is to start your message with “Dear Mom…” No one has ever had trouble telling their mom what they were thinking! Breaking down that scare factor helps you to just get it out! You can edit later (you’ll probably want to delete Dear Mom at some point, too).


Tip 27: Set a goal based on word count (not time).

When looking to set a writing goal, base it off of how many words you write, not how long. Writing words is the result needed to complete the project! Sitting and thinking about what you’re going to write for half of your goal time doesn’t generate results. Ann quotes Yoda for this example, who says, “There is no try, only do.”


Writing is easy. Everyone can write, and everyone does write! Adding simple tips into your daily writing will keep you improving to better yourself for that next writing project!