Everyone is a writer. We write emails, tweets, meeting agendas, presentations, chat conversations — most of our day goes in writing. But very few of us think of it as an actual skill.
Go on, tell me in 1-2 sentences what you do for a living?
You’ll be surprised how few people can manage this without hiding behind a jargon-armour. It’s typically because very few of us speak or write deliberately. Most often our choice of words are a natural — somewhat sub-conscious — function of the environment we’re in. The tighter the workplace-cult, the more obscure the language.
As a writer myself, I believe that clarity of communication — not rightness of grammar or usage, mind you — is fundamental to doing all our jobs better. And clarity comes from giving a fuck.
So, next time you feel like obscuring your answer behind big words, ask yourself this:
If you were in a safe and open environment, is this how you’d say it? If not, write again.
If you’ve had the chance to think about it a wee bit, is this how you’d say it? If not, think about it and write again.
If you were speaking in person to the recipient of your communication, is this how you’d say it? No? Try again.
You’re going to be writing a whole lot in your career, my friend. Write like you mean it.