A long time has passed since my last post here. It’s troubling, for a guy who used to post daily. But the fall and winter have found me pacing the focs’le, adrift deep in the horse latitudes. No wind in my currents, and it’s even more disturbing that through my glass I see in the distance many good ships with full sails and following seas, moving well.

So I thought I would start the new year by sharing a testimonial, a tribute to the worth, the efficacy, the abounding helpfulness of my work. Just to motivate and cheer me up, you know? This was received by email through the contact form on my website, from someone in Asia, I believe.
I simply wished to thank you very much once again. I am not sure what I could possibly have created in the absence of the actual ways provided by you concerning this industry. Completely was a horrifying circumstance in my circumstances, however , seeing a professional avenue you processed it took me to cry over contentment. I will be happier for this assistance and thus believe you know what a great job you happen to be carrying out teaching people all through a web site. Most probably you have never got to know all of us.

I truly don’t know what to say. How very kind. I only wish I had the time to follow the accompanying link, to see what sort of adventure it might portend.

How To Write

I came across these 10 good tips on writing well for business. This is from a 1982 internal memo by David Ogilvy, a famous businessman.

His ideas apply to creative writing too, I think. I studied business writing and rhetoric in college, as well as creative writing. I believe all writing skills inform each other.

I’m going to follow his list by repeating it with my thoughts. Because, you know, I’m a writer and it’s my blog. I have to do the heavy lifting around here.

  1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
  2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
  5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
  6. Check your quotations.
  7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.
  8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
  9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
  10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

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