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Writing as teamwork

I am a reluctant writer sometimes. I find myself wanting to edit rather than create or preferring to do more research rather to start analyzing what I have. At moments like these, it helps to go find a muse. Last week, I found a glorious essay called " Good Writing and Editing is part of Great Design", on the blog Design Shack http://designshack.net/articles/business-articles/good-writing-and-editing-is-part-of-great-design/.
 
Yup, the blog itself is for graphic designers, but wait--don't click off yet! The author, Carrie Cousins, rounds up some fantastic advice for any writer who feels stuck or who has forgotten who they are writing for. In brief:
 
  1. Use plain language. (George Orwell was right.)
  2. Only put one space after periods. Hire me and we can talk about why.
  3. Vary sentence and paragraph lengths. All writing requires design because humans are aesthetic creatures.
  4. Add plenty of elements to break up long blocks of text such as subheads or quotes.
  5. Spellcheck!
  6. Avoid jargon and acronyms.
  7. Remember your readers and write for them. Who your audience is determines how you write your material. Always.
  8. Tell a story. This is possible even when you are writing to your plumber.
  9. Edit, edit, and edit some more.
  10. Be consistent. Your readers won't care so much about which style guide you choose as they will if you are consistent in how you apply it.
 
Right--a list of tips by itself won't turn you into a confident writer or a good one, but having the list to hand when you work with a tutor--as a team--does work.