Quick answer: YES! Long answer: Yes, and you need to.
When you write well, any of several good things happen. You want these, right?
- People do what you tell them.
- They believe what you say.
- They respect you and consider you an expert.
- They keep reading.
- They might even enjoy reading what you write.
And if you write poorly, any of several bad things will happen (not might happen, will happen). Would you exert any effort to prevent these?
- Some readers will look down their noses at you.
- Some will misunderstand you, perhaps with disastrous results.
- You will bore, frustrate, irritate some readers.
- You will lose some readers—they’ll stop reading.
You’ll create some kind of effect now matter how you write. May as well try for the effect you want, right?
- Maybe you want to move someone to action (such as buy something), or
- You might need to demonstrate that you know something (term paper).
- Perhaps you need to tell someone what to do (“type your email address and click the button”);
- How about an effective warning? (“Do not attach the wires until you are 100 feet from the explosives”)
- You get the idea.
What is good writing? (This is a pretty high level definition, but you need to start from here:) Good writing creates the effect you want in your reader. You need to write well. Period.
Don’t let nightmares from junior high English drag you down—good writing is not that hard to do.
Want to do it? You can.
One of the best things about good writing is that it’s not an all-or-nothing thing. Every improvement you make makes a difference. If you don’t know it all, that’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect. You just need to head in that direction. The most effective techniques are easy.
Grab these five easy techniques. They’re free. Start to follow them; you’ll be a better writer.
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