“There is no one way to write – just as there is no one way to parent a child or roast a turkey. But there are terrible ways to do all three.” Ann Handley
Writing can be one of life’s greatest joys or a big pain in the butt depending on how you approach it. Everybody Writes provides the framework to help everyone from bloggers to content marketers to people who want to become serious authors by breaking writing down into it’s simplest elements and providing structure.
Here are ten tips from Ann and Everybody Writes: Your Go-To-Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content that will get you on the path to writing well:
- [clickToTweet tweet=”A good lede invites you to the party. Pay special attention to the beginning of your story and cut the fluff.” quote=”A good lede invites you to the party. Pay special attention to the beginning of your story and cut the fluff.”]
- Use familiar yet surprising analogies. Ground your text by providing a familiar framework but give your readers something new to chew on.
- Keep it simple – but not simplistic.
- Good writing is like math. It has logic and structure. Give your writing solid structure by making your writing clear. An organized way to write it using bullet points or numbered points.
- Writing is a habit, not an art. Don’t make excuses for not writing, you don’t need special inspiration or a certain pen to get your ideas down. Get your butt in the chair and write.
- Tell the story only you can tell. “Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and they’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or that – but you are the only you.” Neil Gaiman
- Break some grammar rules. Sometimes throwing a rule out the door is a good thing. You’re not writing in class any longer, you’re writing for your readers and it should be clear and easy to read.
- Write. Edit. And then edit again. Don’t focus on form in the first draft – just write! Then edit your work. Then edit again before you have anyone else edit.
- Cite as you write. Seek out the original source of articles and quotes to make sure the credit goes to the deserving party.
- [clickToTweet tweet=”What matters now isn’t storytelling but telling a story well.” quote=”What matters now isn’t storytelling but telling a story well.”]
Take these “rules” from Ann’s writing toolkit and use them to create the writing foundation that you need to be a better writer. There’s always room for improvement and growth in your process.
The question is: are you ready to get serious about your writing?
If you want to learn more from Ann Handley, check our our Art of Social Media Power User Google+ Hangout interview on December 22nd at 3 pm ET. RSVP here! It will be recorded so the video will be here after the live event.
As always, hit me up in the comments below with questions or your thoughts!