Writing Know How with Charlene Kurland, a professional copywriter and writing expert, is for women in business who have been wondering how to write effectively for business, what is the best way to go about it. Charlene is passionate about writing and helping others, especially women, say what they really mean. Her specialty is copywriting and creative writing.
We asked Charlene to share her expertise and provide 4 great tips to ensure your writing process is effective and produces the results you want. Here’s what she had to say…
Oh, That’s what you meant
One of my favorite quotes is from George Bernard Shaw, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
How many times have you carefully crafted an email or a text to someone or just had a conversation and got a much different response than you were expecting? Then in order to correct the miscommunication, you had to go into a long and exhausting explanation of what you really meant. Today there is so much careless speech on TV, on social media, on blogs and even just in conversations that we sometimes forget how powerful words are. How can we write what we mean, and have it received by the reader in the way we mean it?
Write what you mean
You have an innovative idea and want to communicate it to your co-workers. You have a great product or service and want to let potential customers know about the benefits. You want to share information that you feel will be helpful or you want to tell an entertaining story. You sit down to write but you just do not know where to start.
Writing is a process. The process I follow begins with clearly defining the purpose of the piece. Then I organize my thoughts through an outline or talking points. Then I carefully choose my words to address my audience. The final step in any writing process is to Review, Edit, Review, Edit, Review and then, after exhausting all edits and revisions, finally publish. You can write well by just following these simple steps.
1.To write effectively, understand your purpose.
The reason many people do not write as well as they can is because they miss the first step and begin writing before defining the purpose of the piece. Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this piece?” Am I trying to inform, persuade, entertain, or express an opinion? If you are trying to inform, get your facts in order. If you want to persuade, understand why someone would act and address those points. Want to tell an entertaining story, try out the premise on loved ones and get their reactions. If you have a strong opinion you want to express, your goal is to elicit an emotional response. Once you understand what it is you are trying to communicate then you can begin organizing the structure of your piece.
2. Organize your thoughts
Good communication, just like a good book, takes the reader on a journey. You guide your reader through steps to help them come to their conclusion. It can be as simple as an email or as complicated as a great novel but, if you keep the reader’s attention, they will go on the journey you set for them. Before you begin writing, always set up talking points or an outline. Follow your talking points to the conclusion or action you are trying to elicit. Then your reader will be able to follow the roadmap you setup to come to their conclusion.
3.Words are Powerful. Choose Them Wisely.
In order to communicate you must understand the purpose of your writing and know your audience. Choose words that resonate with your audience. You must write using their references, their vocabulary, and their level of sophistication. If you are doing technical writing, your vocabulary and tone will be much different than if you are writing about travel or dining. When we write we are trying to elicit both an intellectual and an emotional response to what we have said. The aim of our writing is to communicate our thoughts and to have them received and understood by the reader in the way we mean it. This cannot be accomplished without knowing your goal and knowing your audience.
4.Review, Edit and Review, Edit Again.
Writing is not finished until it is reviewed and edited and reviewed and edited again. The reason we review is to ensure that we are saying what we mean and to help us clearly communicate our meaning to the reader. During this process we look at whether or not we have accomplished our purpose for the piece. Did we organize our thoughts clearly so the reader can follow them to the conclusion? Do our words resonate with our audience? Today we are incredibly lucky with all the tools we have to help review and edit that are right on our computers such as spell check and editor. A writer can lose all credibility if he includes poor grammar or misspellings in a published piece. With all these resources we can publish error free documents relatively easily.
Communication is two sided. It is sent and it is received. When a message is sent and received with the same meaning that is effective communication which is the goal of a good writer. Writing is a process, and you have a better chance at effective communication if you follow the process. Define your purpose for writing the piece. Organize your thoughts into a cohesive structure that can easily be followed by both you and the reader. Choose your words wisely to resonate with your audience. Then review, edit, and review again until you are comfortable that your piece is error free, and it clearly communicates your thoughts. Always remember words are powerful. When writing or in conversation choose your words carefully to communicate your ideas, avoid misunderstanding, or just to let someone know how much you love them.
About Charlene Kurland
Charlene has loved writing since she was a child. What a great way to share your thoughts and imagination. As she grew up she experimented with cutting edge topics. Unfortunately her writing teachers were not as progressive as she was and discouraged her from pursuing a career in writing. What they didn’t know is that one day she would be a published author.
In college she pursued a degree in marketing and then a career in commercial lending. Her writing skills established her as an expert in her field. She wrote articles and columns for many business publications including the Business Journal, The Daily Record and Examiner.com. Her persuasive email campagins and credit writeups got her recognized as the #1 lender in my field. For more than 20 years, she has worked with every type of business both large and small learning every aspect of their businesses, their processes and their target markets.
This experience has given her the knowledge and understanding of what motivates both business owners and their clients. Charlene has the experience and knowledge to write persuasive, creative copy that will increase your reputation, elicit direct response and ultimately grow your business. To find out more visit https://writers.work/charlenekurland
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