Write Drunk ….. Edit Sober

short blog post squareNow that I have your attention with that headline let me explain why that Hemmingway quote is way more appropriate than it looks.

In my constant quest for new and valuable sayings for the The Grumpy Old Manger’s Guide (aka Me) to get his message across simply to the masses I recently came up with the words on the left.

Everytime I start a blog or any project for that matter that involves writing I am well aware of the old addage Less is More.  This is particularly so in an age where we are being bombarded by messages and information in one way shape or form all day long.

But first let me explain why I believe in the age of YouTube, Pinterest, SlideShare, SnapChat ,Instagram etc etc why writing is an even more vital business skill than ever.

Even better let me have Ann Handley author of several books and articles on the topic put it very succinctly

If you have a website, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are in marketing. And that means we are all writers.

Writing matters more now, not less. Our online words are our emissaries: They tell our customers who we are.

Our writing can make us look smart or it can make us look stupid. It can make us seem fun, or warm, or competent, or trustworthy—or it can make us seem humdrum or discombobulated or flat-out boring. That’s true whether you’re writing a listicle or the words on a SlideShare deck, and it’s also true of the words you’re reading right here, right now…

– See more at: http://annhandley.com/everybodywrites/#sthash.y7rj6Y6j.dpuf

I totally agree with Ann on the absolute importance of writing in business today but would add two elements to her words Begin with Creativity and End with Brevity.  In other words start by making it interesting to you and end with an edit that makes it interesting to the reader.

And if you are stuck and daunted  with the idea of writing a blog or an article or content for your website just think of it as an email that you are writing for your business to a customer, a supplier, a colleague, a prospect etc But avoid waffle, marketing babble and weasel words.

To develop the Creativity when I am writing I think first of the engaging headline and then the images and from there I let the words flow around that imagery.

hemingway So while creativity in your writing is important its the brevity brought about by good editing that is even more important and hence I turn to the words of the legendary Author Ernest Hemmingway, who was known to be particularly fond of more than the occasional drink or three.

Start by letting the words flow as one does when one is drunk ….. but unlike a drunk don’t publish until you are sober and have had a chance to re read as your audience would.

Its all about writing for your audience and to do that you need to be interesting (Creativity) and you need to be relevant and specific (Brevity) and a hence a re read over and over with some good editing as if you were the reader is for me the key.

How many times have we written an email and later wished we had edited it  (often deleted it) and more so how many emails have we read that have never had anything resembling an edit done before being sent hastily.

Having said that I am in a hurry to get this read so I better just hit publish now….

In closing let me leave it to a man I love to quote often…..

Whether it be a speech, a blog, an email, a website, an article etc …….As with many things I think Winston Churchill sums it up very well….


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