Writing is a Constant First Impression
Writing tells people more about us, than we may realize. Readers make decisions about our intelligence, level of education, breeding and morality. They decide whether we are someone who has something worthwhile to say or not.
Initially, we need to differentiate between writing and content. When we write, we do so at two levels. How we say it and what we say, both make a first impression. The best content in the world will be worthless, if the writing is careless. No one will ever hear our message.
Every time we meet a new reader, we are meeting someone for the first time. Likewise, we must always be careful which impression we make.
We need to realize the levels at which our readers perceive our writing. After this examination, we may need to tighten up in these areas, so we can make a good presentation. If we work hard to present the best stories and arguments of which we are capable, it would be tragic if we shooed our readers out the door before they could appreciate them.
How we present our information is the most important step, if we wish to have readers. If we had guests to our dinner table and we offered them food on a dirt-encrusted plate, it would not matter which cooking school we attended.
It is the same way with our writing. There are innumerable numbers of articles and books to read and someone cannot waste their time on us, if we do not care enough to edit and polish.
It is important that we understand something.
If we drop our Mother’s good china, it is immaterial if it was accidental. Her pride and joy is shattered. We can appease our minds by claiming that our poor presentation is accidental, but that will not bring the readers back.
If we have poor grammar, punctuation, spelling, or sentence structure, our presentation will doom us. We force the reader into a position where they can make assumptions about us. If we wish to avoid that, effective presentation is an absolute.
Speed is the enemy of powerful presentation. We must leave time for adequately proofing our manuscripts. Time is the best editor. Let the piece sit before editing and we can find more mistakes. Great writing is impossible without great editing.
If we are weak in the areas of spelling and grammar, then learn and be prepared. Proper presentation is indispensable.
Our readers can perceive quickly how we feel about our subject. Are we portraying any passion? Can they tell that we care? Are we meeting an assignment or pouring out our hearts?
A passionate piece is one that has punch. We cannot wait to tell our story. Teachers, who assign term papers, know that passion is very rare. Students do not want to write the paper, so they contain zero passion. Therefore, these papers are torturous to read.
If we do not care about our content, why should the reader?
When we write, our readers can perceive the depth of our well of knowledge. If our vocabulary is small and our clichés large, we do not give the reader much to go on. A decided lack of creativity says something to our reader that we may not intend.
Precision refers to the ability to say what we intend to say. To utilize the full-spectrum of language and thought to make our arguments, we need to fill our minds with knowledge and ideas. It is crucial that we possess the proper pool of information, in order to put our thoughts into the minds of our readers.
Why do the hard work to write and then chase our readers away with our carelessness? Writing is a talent like anything else. Some will be better than others. However, we can take these three principles and do them to the best our abilities, and can compensate for what we lack in innate ability.
Everyone who loves sports enjoys watching the athlete who has limited abilities, but succeeds by playing harder than everyone else. If we are a less talented writer, focus on these three areas, outwork the more talented writer, and make a difference.