Does writing well still matter? Let me count the ways

Man taking notes on paperKudos to Deborah Brody of Deborah Brody Marketing Communications for launching a new feature called “On Writing.” Each month, she’s interviewing a communications professional on the craft of writing and then posting the interview on her blog. This month, I had the pleasure of discussing why writing well still matters in a digital/emoji world.

Below are some excerpts from my interview, but I suggest that you take the time to explore Deborah’s blog. She’s been blogging since 2008 and writes regularly on marketing communications. A writer and consultant with 20 years of public relations, advertising and marketing experience, her firm provides high-level writing and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofits.

On writing: For Jay Morris, writing is a journey

We’ve reached the fourth edition of On Writing, and this time, I asked Jay Morris to share his insights. Jay, who runs his own PR consultancy, has an extensive writing background as a journalist and editor. He also writes one of my favorite blogs, The Wayward Journey.

1. What role does writing play in your work and how important a skill is it? 

Writing is by far the most important “deliverable” I provide my clients. My projects often begin with a strategic communications assessment, but I almost always end up writing something for the client. It could be web content, a blog post, a press release or a speech—some type of written communication that meets a need and tells the client’s story.

2. Does writing well still matter in a digital/text/emoji world? 

Writing does matter, and I think it matters even more in a world where there is a way too much mediocre content. If you want to distinguish yourself—if you really want to stand out—you need to be able to communicate effectively. Whether it’s a tweet or a long-form journal article, put some effort into writing it well. Readers will take notice and reward you for it.

3What’s the best advice you’ve received or would give on how to improve writing skills? 

An English professor once wrote on one of my papers, “You seem to understand the concepts, but your writing is unpracticed.” That was a bruise to my ego, but I took what he said to heart and worked hard at improving my writing. I practiced writing clearly and concisely. My advice to anyone who wants to write would be the same: practice, practice, practice! Just as musicians and athletes practice for hours each day, writers need to flex their creative muscles, too. Look for ways to stretch your skills, try new forms and experiment with your style and voice. Blogging and journaling are two excellent ways of doing that.

To read more, visit Deborah’s blog.

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