Pick up a book today
A fortunate few of us studied English in university or college. I did not and realize now how digging deep into the foundations of our language, exploring the rules of punctuation and grammar, and studying a cross-section of literature from the classics to contemporary writers would have nourished my writing skills.
Jennifer Arends, Executive Director of Communications for 3sHealth, is going to be a guest lecturer in one of my classes. She did get a degree in English and says it permeates every element of her communications life, from word choice to sentence structure and tone.
Sure, I’d love to have that degree and foundational knowledge but that shouldn’t hold any of us back from expanding the way we write. The best way around it? Read as much as you can. The intersection of reading and writing is a necessary life skill. Jennifer goes even further, saying we should read beyond social media and newspapers. Expand the scope of your reading to literature, biography, history and really anything above a grade 4 or 5 reading level.
It's true that’s there an urgency to business writing. We want the writer to get to the point. But as I’ve expanded my own reading, I realize that good writing is good writing. A spare, minimalist sentence can be just as good and equally memorable as a long, descriptive sentence. A fiction, science or historical writer puts just as much thought into creating strong openings as we do.
Once you discover the joy of reading all kinds of different writing, your day-to-day emails have a much better chance of getting better.
Happy Thanksgiving to anyone who is celebrating today!