How to write better

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-latin-writing-image20423572I was fortunate; not only was I a voracious reader growing up with a natural ability with words, I also worked with some incredibly gifted writers and editors at Maclean’s. Working with some of the best in the country (I would say the world) makes you up your game. There is a much higher bar when the talent level of your colleagues is through the roof.

At AHA, we work with clients to write, review, revise and edit a wide range of documents. At some point, each project we work on involves the craft of writing – speeches, e-newsletters, web content, messaging and positioning, presentations, communications plans, video scripts, news releases, media pitches, media kits, briefing documents… the list goes on and on. And then there is the process of editing. Which is a very important piece of the puzzle. A solid edit can make a good piece great.

We are always interested in improving our craft. We take courses, participate in workshops and webinars, and read articles and books that give us tips and techniques to improve our writing skills. It is a never-ending quest for improvement.

Active voice vs. passive voice is something we look for in every document. While passive voice isn’t necessarily wrong, active voice is always right. Passive voice can be vague and it is an inefficient use of words. Active voice communicates a different energy and is more effective – it just works better. Grammar Girl has an informative blog post on it here. There is also a piece on Ragan.com that talks about cutting the fat from your writing which highlights the same approach. They are definitely worth reading.

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