The LAWS of…Writing for Business – Part 1

It occurred to me some time ago that writing is different to writing in the workplace/writing for business. For a start, no one will ever compliment you on your character development or suspenseful cliff hangers when giving an update on a project. There are no awards for best piece of workplace fiction, although I’m sure there is plenty of fictitious writing working its way around most businesses – “no issues” – “on schedule – “understood” etc. It took me quite a long time to realise this when I started in the workplace. I committed many crimes (against the laws of writing for business). Fortunately for you, after many years of learning through trial and error – I’m going to share what I discovered. This way you can hopefully avoid some of the same pitfalls.

LAW 1 – Let me just think…

Here’s a scenario for you – it’s Monday morning or Friday late afternoon. You’re clearing the decks of your e-mail inbox and firing replies out quickly to get “on top”. It’s pretty easy in this scenario to aim for speed – get ’em out quick and get the job done. Sadly if speed was the sole purpose of communication we’d judge quality by how quick a reply is sent as opposed to the content.

What is the purpose of communication? And much more narrower – this specific communication?

Writing something without thinking about it beforehand is a bit like going for a walk and not planning on where you’re walking to. Sure it might get you somewhere – but what if it puts you further away from where you wanted to be? Why write something without the clarity of knowing the intended outcome.?

So Law 1 – Think about it

TO BE CONTINUED…

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