Often I’m asked to help people write something — a letter to the editor, a press release, a paper for school – and my advice is to write the way you talk. Going back to high school, we’re all taught to write the typical three-point essay – the introduction, three supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. In theory, this is a good guideline for writing a typical paper, but it’s left so many people with hang-ups about form and structure that it inhibits them from being creative in their expression.
As a journalist and writing news stories several steps beyond the inverted pyramid style of writing, I’ve gotten in the habit of being too objective and distant in my writing. It doesn’t always make for the most entertaining online magazine content, so I began taking my own advice.
Writing the way you talk makes the writing process easier, more enjoyable and faster. Also, it makes your message more enjoyable to read and lends the type of credibility that tells readers that you’re a real person. You should never intentionally sell yourself, your product, your company, or your ideas when writing a blog, but you should definitely share information.
Remember, if your speech is anything like mine, grammatical errors slip in, and I can sometimes wander off onto another topic. Give whatever you write a rest, come back to it, and clean it up. Having a second set of eyes look over your writing helps to polish it off, too.