Wednesday, August 28, 2013

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer for Your Association

In his book, Awesomely Simple, John Spence (@awesomelysimple) cites that “robust communications” is one of the six (6) principles of business success. He devotes an entire chapter to the importance of open, honest, frank and courageous communication both inside and outside the organization.

Writing – whether speeches, blogs, memos or publications – is the cornerstone of association communications and a key to success of association executives.

When I coached youth ice hockey, I opened every season with this point:
  • Practice makes perfect is a LIE.
  • Only PERFECT practice makes perfect!
In 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer, Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger.com wrote:
  1. Write.
  2. Write more.
  3. Write even more.
  4. Write even more than that.
  5. Write when you don’t want to.
  6. Write when you do.
  7. Write when you have something to say.
  8. Write when you don’t.
  9. Write every day.
  10. Keep writing.
Mubasher Alam replied:Along with writing, you should…
  1. Read good writers.
  2. Read good writers more.
  3. Read good writers even more.
  4. Read good writers even more than that.
  5. Read good writers when you don’t want to.
  6. Read good writers when you do.
  7. Read good writers when you have something to say.
  8. Read good writers when you don’t.
  9. Read good writers all the time.
  10. Keep reading good writers.
I started my career as a news reporter and I've been writing for associations for more than three decades.  I’ve always used a 3-step process in writing and now blogging:
  1. Pre-write – gathering information, research, mentally thinking about your topic, writing an outline, getting the “lead” (1st sentence) in your mind.
  2. Write – getting in “on paper” (as in the computer) ... write as fast as you can ... ideally without interruptions.
  3. Re-write – edit and proof (someone else should do the proofing).
So, there you have it ... some ideas for association executives to help create robust communications.

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