The Secret Social Media Skill

writingIf you’ve designs on making an impact on the web for your work, do yourself (and your business) a favor.

Improve your writing skills.

Just because Twitter is only 140 characters doesn’t mean that spelling, grammar, and clarity don’t matter. In fact, I’d argue they matter more because you’re communicating in such a compact package, and you’ve only a moment to make an impression (or break it). You can still make your Facebook updates coherent and well-composed. And by all means, if you’re blogging, you’d better be working on the fundamental skill that helps you articulate your thoughts.

And please note: I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to be a Paulo Coelho and write staggeringly beautiful prose like he does (oh, how I wish). But you can and should be paying attention to fundamental writing and communication skills. Spell things correctly. Use clear vocabulary. Understand grammar rules. Stop using adolescent abbreviations as you would in a text message. If you can’t spare the characters to spell out the word “you” in your updates, you’re using too many words, and it looks lazy.

Whether you like it or not, your participation in social media – whatever your ultimate goal – makes you a communicator by practice, if not by profession. It is to your benefit to constantly hone your written communication skills.

A few ways to do that:

  • Get a copy of Strunk and White‘s Elements of Style. It’s a classic, and gives you the fundamentals you need.
  • Read. Read lots. The more you read good writing, the more your writing will reflect what you absorb. Not sure what good writing is? The more you read, the more you’ll learn.
  • Subscribe to Copyblogger and Men With Pens. Heed their writing guidance.
  • If you’re often confused by some English usage (things like their vs. there, lie vs. lay, or its vs. it’s), I love Paul Brians’ Common Errors in English Usage.
  • When in doubt, look it up.

Writing is a skill that can be taught, refined, and improved. And the written word is still a powerful tool. Learn to wield it well.

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  • http://www.afhill.com/blog Andrea Hill

    Oh how I wish this weren’t a secret!

    I know that some folks have argued that there is no need to be precise with language choice or spelling, as folks will overlook shortcomings. But coming from a user experience perspective: why make it harder for a visitor to get your message?
    .-= Andrea Hill´s last blog ..Facebook: It’s Time to Enhance Events =-.

    • Amber Naslund

      I wish it weren’t a secret either, Andrea, but I sure see lots of evidence that it might be. I think there’s a gap, however between intent to be clear, and ability to be so. Corporate speak comes to mind. :)

  • http://www.afhill.com/blog Andrea Hill

    Oh how I wish this weren’t a secret!

    I know that some folks have argued that there is no need to be precise with language choice or spelling, as folks will overlook shortcomings. But coming from a user experience perspective: why make it harder for a visitor to get your message?
    .-= Andrea Hill´s last blog ..Facebook: It’s Time to Enhance Events =-.

    • Amber Naslund

      I wish it weren’t a secret either, Andrea, but I sure see lots of evidence that it might be. I think there’s a gap, however between intent to be clear, and ability to be so. Corporate speak comes to mind. :)

  • http://SusanBeebe.com Susan Beebe

    Great post, you’ve provided wonderful advise! I especially agree with your statement, ” But you can and should be paying attention to fundamental writing and communication skills.”

    Thanks!
    @SusanBeebe

  • http://SusanBeebe.com Susan Beebe

    Great post, you’ve provided wonderful advise! I especially agree with your statement, ” But you can and should be paying attention to fundamental writing and communication skills.”

    Thanks!
    @SusanBeebe

  • http://justinkownacki.com/ Justin Kownacki

    Another reason to read more: understanding HOW you read (and how your brain processes information WHILE you’re reading) will improve your ability to write for others.
    .-= Justin Kownacki´s last blog ..How to Be Interesting Enough to Make Social Media People Talk About You =-.

    • Amber Naslund

      I love that you said that.

      When I talked productivity yesterday, I referenced the idea that you have to learn how you process information. That means paying attention and experimenting.

      To your point, I skim when I read. I actually skip words. Dense writing is hard for me to process. So I try to be clear and fluid when I write, probably because it reflects the way I digest things. And it’s something I’m always trying to improve.

      Folks often ask where I learned to write. I learned amidst other people’s words, of course.

  • http://justinkownacki.com/ Justin Kownacki

    Another reason to read more: understanding HOW you read (and how your brain processes information WHILE you’re reading) will improve your ability to write for others.
    .-= Justin Kownacki´s last blog ..How to Be Interesting Enough to Make Social Media People Talk About You =-.

    • Amber Naslund

      I love that you said that.

      When I talked productivity yesterday, I referenced the idea that you have to learn how you process information. That means paying attention and experimenting.

      To your point, I skim when I read. I actually skip words. Dense writing is hard for me to process. So I try to be clear and fluid when I write, probably because it reflects the way I digest things. And it’s something I’m always trying to improve.

      Folks often ask where I learned to write. I learned amidst other people’s words, of course.

  • http://www.jobacle.com Andrew G.R.

    I don’t leave home without Strunk and White in my pocket! I’d also toss Stephen King’s “On Writing” on the must-read list. Whether or not you’re a fan of his, the book is a great read for folks looking to improve their writing skills, irrespective of your blog’s subject matter.

    • Amber Naslund

      I agree! Great recommendation. Had forgotten about that book!

  • http://www.jobacle.com Andrew G.R.

    I don’t leave home without Strunk and White in my pocket! I’d also toss Stephen King’s “On Writing” on the must-read list. Whether or not you’re a fan of his, the book is a great read for folks looking to improve their writing skills, irrespective of your blog’s subject matter.

    • Amber Naslund

      I agree! Great recommendation. Had forgotten about that book!

  • http://www.rathergoodcopy.com Amanda Radley

    Excellent article, the basics of spelling and grammar are vanishing quickly. We all make the odd mistakes but we need to learn to proof-read! It only takes a couple of seconds to read through your 140 characters and ensure everything is in order. And yes, when in doubt – look it up!

  • http://www.stevesayswhat.com Steve Lazarus

    great post. I am always looking at improving my writing skills and find myself mostly learning from other blogs, posts, etc that I read. Books however seem to be more of a challenge for me, maybe because i have not gotten my hands on an e-reader yet, but listening (audio books, podcasts) is definitely where I absorb the most. I wonder if there are tips for listening. thanks again.

    • http://sharisax.com Shari Weiss

      Hey, Steve
      If you are really “always looking at improving [your] writing skills” then don’t do another thing until you find a copy of William Zinsser’s ON WRITING WELL.

      He “walks the talk” in this easy-to-read&enjoy book about simplicity, conciseness, and style. A must read for my English, Business Communication, and Journalism students.
      Shari Weiss
      .-= Shari Weiss´s last blog ..Three “F’s” to Achieve Your 2010 Goals =-.

  • http://www.rathergoodcopy.com Amanda Radley

    Excellent article, the basics of spelling and grammar are vanishing quickly. We all make the odd mistakes but we need to learn to proof-read! It only takes a couple of seconds to read through your 140 characters and ensure everything is in order. And yes, when in doubt – look it up!

  • http://www.stevesayswhat.com Steve Lazarus

    great post. I am always looking at improving my writing skills and find myself mostly learning from other blogs, posts, etc that I read. Books however seem to be more of a challenge for me, maybe because i have not gotten my hands on an e-reader yet, but listening (audio books, podcasts) is definitely where I absorb the most. I wonder if there are tips for listening. thanks again.

    • http://sharisax.com Shari Weiss

      Hey, Steve
      If you are really “always looking at improving [your] writing skills” then don’t do another thing until you find a copy of William Zinsser’s ON WRITING WELL.

      He “walks the talk” in this easy-to-read&enjoy book about simplicity, conciseness, and style. A must read for my English, Business Communication, and Journalism students.
      Shari Weiss
      .-= Shari Weiss´s last blog ..Three “F’s” to Achieve Your 2010 Goals =-.

  • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

    Excellent advice Amber. I’ve read various opinions on this topic, but I think fundamentally we need to have a strong command of the language we are writing if we want people to take us seriously. There are some that might argue that occasional errors or imperfect grammar are part of being human, and they would be right. However, for those of us who are writing for business and want to make an impact as you said, we need to step up our game.

    Thanks for the reminder and the excellent resources that you provided!

    @brandon101
    .-= Brandon Sutton´s last blog ..Marketing that inspires =-.

    • http://sharisax.com Shari Weiss

      Brandon,
      :-)
      grammatically speaking, it should be “there are some WHO might argue”
      stylistically speaking, it is preferable to begin sentences with stronger words and avoid constructions like “There are” and “It is”
      but, as you say,
      we’re All Human

      That being said, some of us humans are English teachers
      :-)
      Shari Weiss
      .-= Shari Weiss´s last blog ..Three “F’s” to Achieve Your 2010 Goals =-.

      • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

        Shari,

        Thank you for the correction! I wish you knew how much I enjoyed receiving the email alert on this earlier – it really made me smile. :)

        I find that I get so much out of reading and commenting on other blogs that it’s often more fruitful than writing for my own blog. The odds of an English teacher suddenly appearing on my blog to provide a quick lesson are pretty slim, wouldn’t you say? ;) Chris Brogan talks quite often about the serendipity of his experiences on Twitter. This reminds me of that conversation.

        Thanks again Shari!
        .-= Brandon Sutton´s last blog ..Marketing that inspires =-.

      • Amber Naslund

        Oh, Shari. I do love your suggestions to Brandon. In that spirit, however, I’m going to mention a couple of other things that matter. Capitalization and punctuation, even when commenting on blogs. :)

        (Just a little needle…all in good fun. Thanks for being here.)

  • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

    Excellent advice Amber. I’ve read various opinions on this topic, but I think fundamentally we need to have a strong command of the language we are writing if we want people to take us seriously. There are some that might argue that occasional errors or imperfect grammar are part of being human, and they would be right. However, for those of us who are writing for business and want to make an impact as you said, we need to step up our game.

    Thanks for the reminder and the excellent resources that you provided!

    @brandon101
    .-= Brandon Sutton´s last blog ..Marketing that inspires =-.

    • http://sharisax.com Shari Weiss

      Brandon,
      :-)
      grammatically speaking, it should be “there are some WHO might argue”
      stylistically speaking, it is preferable to begin sentences with stronger words and avoid constructions like “There are” and “It is”
      but, as you say,
      we’re All Human

      That being said, some of us humans are English teachers
      :-)
      Shari Weiss
      .-= Shari Weiss´s last blog ..Three “F’s” to Achieve Your 2010 Goals =-.

      • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

        Shari,

        Thank you for the correction! I wish you knew how much I enjoyed receiving the email alert on this earlier – it really made me smile. :)

        I find that I get so much out of reading and commenting on other blogs that it’s often more fruitful than writing for my own blog. The odds of an English teacher suddenly appearing on my blog to provide a quick lesson are pretty slim, wouldn’t you say? ;) Chris Brogan talks quite often about the serendipity of his experiences on Twitter. This reminds me of that conversation.

        Thanks again Shari!
        .-= Brandon Sutton´s last blog ..Marketing that inspires =-.

      • Amber Naslund

        Oh, Shari. I do love your suggestions to Brandon. In that spirit, however, I’m going to mention a couple of other things that matter. Capitalization and punctuation, even when commenting on blogs. :)

        (Just a little needle…all in good fun. Thanks for being here.)

  • http://smilingtreewriting.wordpress.com dava

    The limitations of 140 characters are similar to the limitations of writing poetry. Learning the skills of clarity and concision in writing will help your readers understand your message, and that is a good thing.

  • http://twitter.com/tomprete Tom Prete

    Don’t stop at “Elements of Style,” because Strunk & White both had some odd quirks and preferences that don’t always equate to the best advice. Still, it’s a great starting point for most people, who don’t know the rules well enough to know how to break them. If you’re serious about improving your writing, curb your ego, listen to any editors you might have and think of “The Karate Kid.” You need to do a lot of “wax on, wax off” before you’re ready for the fancy stuff.

    • Amber Naslund

      You’ve a point there, Tom. But I think S&W, as you said, have a great base to build from for those who need the fundamentals. And I love your comments about curbing your ego. That’s hard to take sometimes when you’re writing the thoughts in your head. But valuable advice, and worth practicing. Thanks!

  • http://smilingtreewriting.wordpress.com dava

    The limitations of 140 characters are similar to the limitations of writing poetry. Learning the skills of clarity and concision in writing will help your readers understand your message, and that is a good thing.

  • http://twitter.com/tomprete Tom Prete

    Don’t stop at “Elements of Style,” because Strunk & White both had some odd quirks and preferences that don’t always equate to the best advice. Still, it’s a great starting point for most people, who don’t know the rules well enough to know how to break them. If you’re serious about improving your writing, curb your ego, listen to any editors you might have and think of “The Karate Kid.” You need to do a lot of “wax on, wax off” before you’re ready for the fancy stuff.

    • Amber Naslund

      You’ve a point there, Tom. But I think S&W, as you said, have a great base to build from for those who need the fundamentals. And I love your comments about curbing your ego. That’s hard to take sometimes when you’re writing the thoughts in your head. But valuable advice, and worth practicing. Thanks!

  • http://talesofadisorderedeater.org/ Melissa

    Awesome post, Amber. Being a good writer (and proofer) really does make us more credible. Thanks for those resources, too.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..New Book Tells Women to Stop Fretting About Their Health =-.

  • http://talesofadisorderedeater.org/ Melissa

    Awesome post, Amber. Being a good writer (and proofer) really does make us more credible. Thanks for those resources, too.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..New Book Tells Women to Stop Fretting About Their Health =-.

  • Anita Cohen-Williams

    An older book, but one that has a lot of very useful information is Bill Walsh’s Lapsing Into a Comma: A Curmudgeon’s Guide to the Many Things That Can Go Wrong in Print–and How to Avoid Them (2000).

    • Amber Naslund

      Hi Anita. That’s one I hadn’t heard of. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Anita Cohen-Williams

    An older book, but one that has a lot of very useful information is Bill Walsh’s Lapsing Into a Comma: A Curmudgeon’s Guide to the Many Things That Can Go Wrong in Print–and How to Avoid Them (2000).

    • Amber Naslund

      Hi Anita. That’s one I hadn’t heard of. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • http://www.abbyschoffman.com Abby

    I wish everyone would read this and take your advice. I think that because Twitter is a less formal means of communication and social networking, people let writing rules fly out the window. Sometimes I’ll see someone (often times a professional) tweet a link to a really interesting blog post or article that I want to retweet. But I’ll stop and think, would it be rude for me to correct the person’s spelling/grammar/punctuation in the RT? I find myself thinking this more often than I should have to.

    Of course, everyone makes mistakes, especially when using Twitter on the go. I know I do. And there are times when not following the rules exactly makes sense, too. I’m convinced there are many people out there who simply don’t know the basics to begin with, though, which is actually quite sad.

    Great post.

    • Amber Naslund

      Abby, I sure make mistakes, too. I’ve caught several of my own in blog posts and the like. Perfection isn’t the goal, but awareness and practice are. As for the retweet, I’ve been known to correct a few here and there in the retelling. :)

  • http://www.abbyschoffman.com Abby

    I wish everyone would read this and take your advice. I think that because Twitter is a less formal means of communication and social networking, people let writing rules fly out the window. Sometimes I’ll see someone (often times a professional) tweet a link to a really interesting blog post or article that I want to retweet. But I’ll stop and think, would it be rude for me to correct the person’s spelling/grammar/punctuation in the RT? I find myself thinking this more often than I should have to.

    Of course, everyone makes mistakes, especially when using Twitter on the go. I know I do. And there are times when not following the rules exactly makes sense, too. I’m convinced there are many people out there who simply don’t know the basics to begin with, though, which is actually quite sad.

    Great post.

    • Amber Naslund

      Abby, I sure make mistakes, too. I’ve caught several of my own in blog posts and the like. Perfection isn’t the goal, but awareness and practice are. As for the retweet, I’ve been known to correct a few here and there in the retelling. :)

  • http://www.vaargentina.com Vicky Miles | Bilingual Virtua

    What a fabulous tips! Thanks for sharing this wise advice. A simple “secret” often forgoten in social media sites such a Twitter & Facebook…
    Something to keep in mind, always!

    Saludos from Argentina!
    Vicky

    PS: landed here via @copyblogger!

  • http://www.itsdigitalmarketing.co.uk Gary Robinson

    Absolutely spot on, Amber.

    It’s disappointing to see the written word eroding like this. Just yesterday I was struggling to read a customer’s email because he had written it like a SMS message. I guess there is a time and place for abbreviation, but I don’t think it reflects particularly well in a professional context.

    Your point about reading lots is true. That’s why I’m attempting something similar to Julien Smith’s How to Read a Book a Week resolution.

    I’d thoroughly recommend this approach to anyone.

    • Amber Naslund

      I love Julien’s program, and I’ve got my own version. I read voraciously, so of course I endorse anything that gets more people reading more stuff.

      I’m most worried about the generations of communicators coming out of school immersed in abbreviated communication. I sure hope our schools and universities continue to make writing a fundamental.

  • http://www.vaargentina.com Vicky Miles | Bilingual Virtual Assistant

    What a fabulous tips! Thanks for sharing this wise advice. A simple “secret” often forgoten in social media sites such a Twitter & Facebook…
    Something to keep in mind, always!

    Saludos from Argentina!
    Vicky

    PS: landed here via @copyblogger!

  • http://www.itsdigitalmarketing.co.uk Gary Robinson

    Absolutely spot on, Amber.

    It’s disappointing to see the written word eroding like this. Just yesterday I was struggling to read a customer’s email because he had written it like a SMS message. I guess there is a time and place for abbreviation, but I don’t think it reflects particularly well in a professional context.

    Your point about reading lots is true. That’s why I’m attempting something similar to Julien Smith’s How to Read a Book a Week resolution.

    I’d thoroughly recommend this approach to anyone.

    • Amber Naslund

      I love Julien’s program, and I’ve got my own version. I read voraciously, so of course I endorse anything that gets more people reading more stuff.

      I’m most worried about the generations of communicators coming out of school immersed in abbreviated communication. I sure hope our schools and universities continue to make writing a fundamental.

  • Sara Broderick

    Amber, I completely agree.

    I’m an editor turned marketing professional who believes that the foundations of writing, if practiced correctly, can go a long way.

    In addition to Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, I recommend a resource called “Working with Words.” (You can find it on Amazon.) It’s a handbook for media writers and editors that does a great job outlining the fundamentals of speech and grammar, putting the lessons in the context of our role as communicators. As you mention above, if you take the time to understand the basics, such as the parts of speech and sentence structure, good writing will follow.

    • Amber Naslund

      Thanks for pointing out another resource for folks. Appreciate it!

  • Sara Broderick

    Amber, I completely agree.

    I’m an editor turned marketing professional who believes that the foundations of writing, if practiced correctly, can go a long way.

    In addition to Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, I recommend a resource called “Working with Words.” (You can find it on Amazon.) It’s a handbook for media writers and editors that does a great job outlining the fundamentals of speech and grammar, putting the lessons in the context of our role as communicators. As you mention above, if you take the time to understand the basics, such as the parts of speech and sentence structure, good writing will follow.

    • Amber Naslund

      Thanks for pointing out another resource for folks. Appreciate it!

  • Nerdcore Steve

    Word.

  • Nerdcore Steve

    Word.

  • http://www.honeybeeconsulting.com Melissa DelGaudio

    Oh, Amber … if I didn’t adore you before, well, I’m yours now. We’ve become a nation of lazies.

    I hear people argue all the time that spelling doesn’t really matter and that, “People will understand what I mean.” But the thing is, they won’t. When you can’t master the concepts of simple (and I *mean* simple) grammar, punctuation, and spelling, why on Earth would (or should they, for that matter) anyone entrust their business to you?

    The thing that’s really sad is that there are a number of schools — colleges, even — that are endorsing this line of thinking. There’s so much focus on number-crunching and business acumen that little or no thought is given to things like this.

    *SIGH*

    They’re sad, sad times for the poor, downtrodden apostrophe, that’s for darned sure.

    • Amber Naslund

      I’m a bit more worried about the semicolon. He’s so abused. And I’ve been guilty.

  • http://www.honeybeeconsulting.com Melissa DelGaudio

    Oh, Amber … if I didn’t adore you before, well, I’m yours now. We’ve become a nation of lazies.

    I hear people argue all the time that spelling doesn’t really matter and that, “People will understand what I mean.” But the thing is, they won’t. When you can’t master the concepts of simple (and I *mean* simple) grammar, punctuation, and spelling, why on Earth would (or should they, for that matter) anyone entrust their business to you?

    The thing that’s really sad is that there are a number of schools — colleges, even — that are endorsing this line of thinking. There’s so much focus on number-crunching and business acumen that little or no thought is given to things like this.

    *SIGH*

    They’re sad, sad times for the poor, downtrodden apostrophe, that’s for darned sure.

    • Amber Naslund

      I’m a bit more worried about the semicolon. He’s so abused. And I’ve been guilty.

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    As an extremely long winded person by nature – Twitter has really helped me in getting the point across in a concise way – which has translated into my overall writing style. Good thoughts here – and PS – we have to get together soon, we DO live in the same city after all. Stay warm out there!

    • Amber Naslund

      We really do. The trick is that I’m actually not IN Chicago much, and when I am, I’m usually with my kiddo. That said, let’s make it a point to at least grab a coffee one of these days, huh?

      • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

        Sounds like a plan. Where are you in the city? I live in the burbs (Schaumburg area) and work in Glenview. Let’s try to get together sometime soon!

  • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

    As an extremely long winded person by nature – Twitter has really helped me in getting the point across in a concise way – which has translated into my overall writing style. Good thoughts here – and PS – we have to get together soon, we DO live in the same city after all. Stay warm out there!

    • Amber Naslund

      We really do. The trick is that I’m actually not IN Chicago much, and when I am, I’m usually with my kiddo. That said, let’s make it a point to at least grab a coffee one of these days, huh?

      • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

        Sounds like a plan. Where are you in the city? I live in the burbs (Schaumburg area) and work in Glenview. Let’s try to get together sometime soon!

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  • http://www.MyCopyEditor.com Jenny Meadows

    Great post, Amber. And many of you who commented made points I was going to say.
    The only thing I would have added to the list of ways to hone your skills is to hire a professional copy editor/proofreader, but not just any CE. Look for one who is skilled at coaching you in why an error is an error. I find that most of my clients learn quickly — they just were never shown in school in a way that made sense to their style of learning, or they were so turned off by a critical teacher that they dropped learning English’s finer points altogether.
    May I put a link to your blog on my blog?

    Jenny

    • Amber Naslund

      I think a copywriter or editor is great if you’re talking big picture writing for content or marketing purposes. That’s not always feasible if you’re writing a blog, and certainly not for Twitter or other social networking purposes.

      That’s why I’m advocating that people learn the basics of good writing for themselves. Fundamentals of communication never go out of style.

      • http://www.MyCopyEditor.com Jenny Meadows

        Hi Amber,
        I edit several blogs because the writers want to put their best foot forward from the git-go, as we say here in Texas. And eventually they’re going to put their blog articles into books. Guess that’s big-picture or long-term thinking, as it may be years before they get to the book-publishing stage.

        Couldn’t agree with you more about your point, though.

        Jenny

  • http://www.MyCopyEditor.com Jenny Meadows

    Great post, Amber. And many of you who commented made points I was going to say.
    The only thing I would have added to the list of ways to hone your skills is to hire a professional copy editor/proofreader, but not just any CE. Look for one who is skilled at coaching you in why an error is an error. I find that most of my clients learn quickly — they just were never shown in school in a way that made sense to their style of learning, or they were so turned off by a critical teacher that they dropped learning English’s finer points altogether.
    May I put a link to your blog on my blog?

    Jenny

    • Amber Naslund

      I think a copywriter or editor is great if you’re talking big picture writing for content or marketing purposes. That’s not always feasible if you’re writing a blog, and certainly not for Twitter or other social networking purposes.

      That’s why I’m advocating that people learn the basics of good writing for themselves. Fundamentals of communication never go out of style.

      • http://www.MyCopyEditor.com Jenny Meadows

        Hi Amber,
        I edit several blogs because the writers want to put their best foot forward from the git-go, as we say here in Texas. And eventually they’re going to put their blog articles into books. Guess that’s big-picture or long-term thinking, as it may be years before they get to the book-publishing stage.

        Couldn’t agree with you more about your point, though.

        Jenny

  • http://www.thegoldandoilguy.com/ Christina

    I’ve been following your blog, another good read and great advice. Thanks.
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..Nonfarm Payrolls This Friday Could Dampen Commodities =-.

  • http://www.thegoldandoilguy.com/ Christina

    I’ve been following your blog, another good read and great advice. Thanks.
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..Nonfarm Payrolls This Friday Could Dampen Commodities =-.

  • http://www.iwearglasses.net Swain0

    I couldn’t agree with this post more. Just wanted to mention Eat shoots and leaves by Lynne Truss. This is a great book on punctuation and is written in quite a humorous style. If you’re looking for a refresher and don’t want to be bored to death, I would definetly reccomend it. Cheers Amber, love the blog.
    Paul

    • http://www.palace.co.uk/blog Sam

      Good point. Wicked book, really well written.

  • http://www.iwearglasses.net Swain0

    I couldn’t agree with this post more. Just wanted to mention Eat shoots and leaves by Lynne Truss. This is a great book on punctuation and is written in quite a humorous style. If you’re looking for a refresher and don’t want to be bored to death, I would definetly reccomend it. Cheers Amber, love the blog.
    Paul

    • http://www.palace.co.uk/blog Sam

      Good point. Wicked book, really well written.

  • http://www.birdsongcreative.com toni birdsong

    Ok – just gotta say – I’m lovin’ every bit of this. Bring it. Then bring it some more! Sometimes reading blogs is the audio equivalent of watching an American Idol audition – you know, the chalk board solos. So painful. Relevant post. Perhaps social media demands – and pure competition – will raise the national reading/writing level all together. Hope abounds….

  • http://www.birdsongcreative.com toni birdsong

    Ok – just gotta say – I’m lovin’ every bit of this. Bring it. Then bring it some more! Sometimes reading blogs is the audio equivalent of watching an American Idol audition – you know, the chalk board solos. So painful. Relevant post. Perhaps social media demands – and pure competition – will raise the national reading/writing level all together. Hope abounds….

  • http://acfconsulting.blogspot.com Barbara

    I couldn’t agree more! It aggrivates me when people don’t use proper grammar in their posts.
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..Using Call to Actions on Your Site =-.

  • http://acfconsulting.blogspot.com Barbara

    I couldn’t agree more! It aggrivates me when people don’t use proper grammar in their posts.
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..Using Call to Actions on Your Site =-.

  • http://www.amymengel.com amymengel

    Yes! And absolutely yes on your second bullet – READ.

    We’re so overwhelmed with information to read today – blog posts, tweets, news articles, etc. I even feel pressure to try and keep up with all the trade books coming out on social media marketing.

    But the one thing I did over the holidays was read four novels — good stuff, not supermarket fiction junk. The best way to become a better writer is to read the work of other talented writers.

    @amymengel
    .-= amymengel´s last blog ..Six suggestions for communicating change to employees =-.

  • http://www.amymengel.com amymengel

    Yes! And absolutely yes on your second bullet – READ.

    We’re so overwhelmed with information to read today – blog posts, tweets, news articles, etc. I even feel pressure to try and keep up with all the trade books coming out on social media marketing.

    But the one thing I did over the holidays was read four novels — good stuff, not supermarket fiction junk. The best way to become a better writer is to read the work of other talented writers.

    @amymengel
    .-= amymengel´s last blog ..Six suggestions for communicating change to employees =-.

  • http://inoveryourhead.net julien

    btw, it’s all about writing every day– a blog post, an essay, part of a book, whatever… doing that and reading every day (40 pages as mentioned above, or a book a week) means i learn a ton about writing along the way.
    .-= julien´s last blog ..Reeking of Desperation =-.