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:
- Use plain language. (George Orwell was right.)
- Only put one space after periods. Hire me and we can talk about why.
- Vary sentence and paragraph lengths. All writing requires design because humans are aesthetic creatures.
- Add plenty of elements to break up long blocks of text such as subheads or quotes.
- Avoid jargon and acronyms.
- Remember your readers and write for them. Who your audience is determines how you write your material. Always.
- Tell a story. This is possible even when you are writing to your plumber.
- Edit, edit, and edit some more.
- 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.