Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Some advice on how to write

Memorandum from David Ogilvy

People who think well, write well.

Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:

1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing*. Read it three times.

2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.

3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.

4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.

5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.

6. Check your quotations.

7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.

8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.

9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

10. If you want ACTION, don't write. Go and tell the guy what you want.


1 comment:

Jason said...

I always thought writing was difficult... until I realized #2 some years ago. And #3 is something I conciously try to work on every time I write. Seems to make for a much better reader experience!

Will check out the book.