Everyone Writes, But Are You Being Heard? Mastering the Art of Engaging Writing on National Writing Day
Did you know that 23rd June is the UK’s National Writing Day?
And this sceptred isle has housed a host of phenomenal writers: Billy Shakespeare, Jane Austen, me, to name but a few.
So it’s good to have a day to celebrate it.
But the thing is, this isn’t just a day for the “professional” writers.
Everybody Writes, says bestselling author Ann Handley.
And it’s by and large true. It’s tough to think of any jobs where you don’t communicate via text in any way whatsoever.
The problem, says another author, Steven Pressfield, is that Nobody wants to read your sh*t.
Which, again, is often true. There’s nothing more daunting than a palisade of text, particularly if it’s on a subject you don’t care about.
And what is writing without somebody to read it? We’re getting into tree falling in a forest with no-one around to hear it territory, here. Author Roland Barthes will be spinning in his grave.
So, what can we do about it?
How can we write well? How can we write in a way that’s engaging, compelling, maybe even Shakespearean?
Well, the fact we’re even asking that question is half the battle. Even knowing that there’s a question to be asked is important.
I’ve known a lot of charismatic speakers who were boring writers. Maybe you have too. Why should that be? It’s essentially the same skillset – communication.
Everybody writes. Writing is such an everyday, natural occurrence, it can be easy to sleepwalk through it. To assume it’ll just be fine. To do what you’ve always done and not even question it.
But that’s not enough. It’s not all about you.
It’s about the reader. Writers are nothing without them.
You need to empathise. To put yourself in the readers’ shoes. To give them something to care about.
Make them want to read. That’s your job as a writer. Any kind of writer.
Of course, different types of business writing require nuanced and niche techniques to be truly standout.
Luckily, you’re not on your own when it comes out to best practice here.
Check out these courses for some tips:
But ultimately, just like all the great UK authors, past and present, by putting the reader at the heart of every sentence you compose, you won’t go far wrong.