Over the stretch of time since I began this blog last Janauary, different aspects of clear writing have been discussed. As I’ve mentioned in recent blogs, my thoughts on clear writing are now encompassed in my new eBook, “The Art of Clear Writing,” which was published on amazon.com/kindlebooks on July 25, 2012. It sells for $9.99, but can be reviewed without charge.
The eBook contains basic, reliable writing insights which will help anyone willing to put in the time to become an improved writer. All of these insights have been covered in this blog over the last several months. A major benefit of the eBook is that the guidelines can be applied universally to attack the basic root causes of unclear writing. That is to say, the guidelines can be applied to languages other than English. Here’s what I mean.
The very first point stressed in the eBook is to develop confidence in your writing. There is probably no more important point to make than this one. It doesn’t matter what language you speak or write, lack of confidence in your writing will trip you up every time. The underlying premise of the eBook is that clear writing is an art form, meaning that anyone can learn to write well but you must have the desire and dedication to do it. If you’re willing to put in the time and learn the skills, the satisfaction and rewards will come. Even if writing is not your strong suit, you can still learn and significantly improve your writing ability by following the suggestions in the eBook.
Begin with a positive attitude toward your writing. Clear writing depends to a large extent on the power of belief, belief that comes from having confidence in your writing. When you have that confidence the reader will see it, no matter what language is being used.
Other guidelines also apply to this premise. Clear writing flows from good organization, which depends on a well thought out preliminary plan. The creation of a preliminary plan before writing applies whether you are writing in English or any other language. Begin the plan by preparing a comprehensive outline; then use the outline to prepare appropriate paragraph headings and subheadings.
Other clear writing guidelines should apply universally as well. Understanding your reading audience is undoubtedly as essential if you are writing in a foreign language as when you are writing in English. You must be aware of your reading audience and write to address your reader’s needs.
You must also become an expert on your subject matter. This requires in depth research of the subject using effective research techniques. Only after you have thoroughly researched your subject will you be able to write with authority on it.
Finally, you must polish your writing. This is important in all languages.
All of the foregoing is covered in section I of the eBook, dealing with guidelines. Section II covers writing techniques, including vocabulary, diction, syntax, punctuation, and others. I can’t speak to the use of all of these techniques in foreign languages, but certainly some should apply.
There’s one more matter I would like to repeat in the context of this blog: It’s never too late to learn! This is a subject I’ve mentioned before but it deserves emphasis. One of the email messages I read recently from noted sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer was about the famous French painter Claude Monet. Apparently he was 74 years old before he began painting his Water Lilies series. So, you can start to improve your writing no matter how old you are. This subject is emphasized in my eBook and without doubt should apply to other languages besides English.
Copyright © 2012. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.