Ever had to write a letter, speech, or company report and the whole time it felt like squeezing blood from a rock?
Ever had to write because your job required it, but stabbing your eyes with a fork felt like a better proposition?
Ever started a blog post and then abandoned ship because it sounded like a 5th grader’s secret journal?
Writing is hard!
Yet at some point, we’re all required to be a better writer.
You might be a nurse, used car salesman, flight attendant, senior manager – whatever. There are times when you need to put pen to paper (or finger to screen) and write.
For some, this is not a problem. For others, it’s a pain in the neck.
But trust me. As someone who has spent his whole life getting ahead by the power of the written word, being a better writer can do wonders for your life and career.
Here are 3 reasons to be a better writer:
1. Better Writing Can Move You Up
Let me tell you a quick true story.
I have an uncle who, many years ago, started out as a security guard doing thankless, 12-hour daily shifts. The kind of low-level work where the biggest challenge was swatting mosquitos and staying awake through a long, uneventful night.
But get this: of everyone who showed up for duty, he was the only one who took time to write a proper report.
He wasn’t Ernest Hemingway, but he leaned into it. And while his peers were content to make perfunctory notes in the logbook, my uncle would jot down everything relevant and write a clear report.
Guess what? Management read his notes and took notice.
He did not have impeccable grammar, nor did he write with particularly artistic flair. He simply understood the importance of written communication, even in the mundane.
And on the strength of that, he got promoted.
Until one day, after many other promotions, he became head of security for a major global tech company.
He now runs his own successful security consultancy.
All because he took the time to write a boring daily report.
Be a better writer! Take my course, Write Like a Lion, Edit Like a Wolf.
2. Better Writing Helps You Think Clearly
Ever heard of the phrase, “Writing yourself clear”?
When you think of something, it’s all in your head. A jumbled mass of ideas that kinda makes sense inside your noggin, but sometimes you need to clarify the mess.
This is where writing comes in.
Writing begins with when you process your raw thoughts and communicate them in logical, sequential, easy-to-understand words and phrases.
Once you’re done and have written yourself clear, you have gone from someone who thinks to someone who thinks clearly and can tell other people what they’re thinking about.
Why is this cool and important?
The world turns on clearly articulated thoughts.
We’ve talked about my relative who was able to capture the attention of his superiors with clear thinking in written form. Good writing elevated him, an average employee, and made him stand out.
It works in other scenarios too.
Ever been to a wedding and seen a best man stumble through his speech, clearly on medication and one too many drinks, making every guest glance at their watch in uncomfortable silence? Ever seen a best man unfold a piece of paper and, despite sounding a little nervous, proceed to slay the audience with funny stories and witty words?
Ever been to a conference and heard a speaker ramble on, but you learned nothing? And then right after him was a speaker who spoke with such clarity, passion, and precision, you almost wanted to give her a standing ovation?
The likely difference in each situation was the better speakers took time to write their thoughts.
Writing is captured thinking. Captured thinking = smart.
Write yourself clear and the better communicator you’ll be.
3. Better Writing Can Improve Reality
We’ve all had to write an excuse letter, a difficult client email, or leave a comment in a shared online document. Some of us have crafted memos to announce new policies, speeches for events, and mellifluous letters to a loved one.
Good writing, in these situations, can positively affect the outcome.
My friend’s teenaged son wanted a mullet for a haircut. He knew his parents would be against it, so he wrote them an impassioned and hilarious letter explaining “how [mullets] improve your health, how they improve your happiness and how they improve teenagers’ love for their parents.”
He got his mullet. He improved his reality.
Bad writing can have the opposite effect.
I’ve read poorly written, zero-context emails from agencies to clients that could have torpedoed a high-value relationship.
I’ve read confusing comments left in shared online documents that set projects back because the instructions were not clear.
I once read an excuse letter from a student to his teacher (a friend of mine) who concluded with “hopping for your kind consideration.” My friend wasn’t amused. Well, he was, but not in the way the student hoped.
Bad writing can undo your reality.
How much stress, miscommunication, and embarrassment can you avoid if you just take the time to be a better writer?
I work for a marketing agency and remember dealing with a client who was confused over some billing matters. Our team had not clearly explained where we stood on certain creative deliverables and outstanding payments.
The client was asking questions in a group chat and we weren’t giving good answers. I decided to write a separate email, rather than send a text message.
It allowed me to write with purpose and clarity (instead of twiddling my thumbs writing a complex answer in a small chat box). I gave context, relevant details, and outlined some solutions.
The client received my clear email, and we handled the problem.
Had I let the conversation ping-pong around in our group chat, we might have complicated the issue, lost money, and potentially damaged our relationship with the client.
Untangle your personal and professional problems with better writing. Use the power of words to improve your reality.
Stop being “above” writing, start being in control of it
If you’re the kind of person who thinks they don’t need to write or it’s something for “other people” to handle, stop.
Whatever your job, it pays to be a better writer.
Start realizing that you have power to change people’s minds, behavior, and thoughts with the written word.
Truly, better writing can take you places. Like it did my uncle who went from taking orders to giving them, and carved out a nice, prosperous life for himself.
All because he took the time to write.
Want to be a better writer? Sign up for my course, Write Like a Lion, Edit Like a Wolf.
I’m a published writer and creative director with more than 20 years of professional writing experience. From brand messaging, articles, scripts, speeches, an in-flight safety video, and marketing copy ad nauseum – I know what it takes to write good, compelling copy.
I’ll help you do the same. Sign up now!