Friday, August 10, 2012

Everyone's a writer

Stop with me for a moment and look at the all the channels (beyond in-person, of course) we have at our disposal in which to communicate with one another: facebook, twitter, linkedin, foursquare, email, youtube, a phone call, a text, face time, skype, even letters written and sent via snail mail (a lost art, for sure).

With the advent of social media and especially blogs, everyone's a writer.  Everyone has a voice.  I guess that's a good thing.  But you wouldn't become a doctor just because someone gave you an office in which to practice, would you?  You'd need the right experience, the right training, the correct tools.  And even if you do have the latest, greatest tools, you'd have to know the correct way in which to use them, right?  Right.

Companies need writers.  Brands need writers.  Newspapers, magazines, ad agencies... they all need writers.  Which is why authors have editors.  To correct grammar, check spelling and ensure they  "write tight."  Not everyone is a writer, for sure.  But, if you're going to rely on the written form of communication, keep in mind two things:

1. People think/read/see/hear differently.
Case in point: a professor wrote the following sentence on the board:
"Woman without her man is nothing" and asked his class to punctuate it.
Half the class wrote this:
Woman: without her, man is nothing.

The other half wrote:
Woman, without her man, is nothing.


And #2. Grammatical faux pas can create major misunderstandings...


But I digress. Communication is vital.  To relationships. To business. To life. Not everyone is blessed with this ability.  Some excel at verbal communication, some at written, and still others speak volumes with their body language.  But I do believe that most (not all, most) problems are the result of poor communication.  Maybe it's Mars vs. Venus.  Maybe it's just lost in translation.  But if we can realize that, and learn to work with it, instead of fighting it, maybe there'd be a lot fewer fights in the first place.  More understanding.  And that's cool, no?

Happy Writing!


  1. Yes, just the placement of a comma or...some other bit of punctuation, makes all the difference in the world.

    What is "foursquare," or should I not admit I'm ignorant of it? When I was a kid, foursquare was a game we played on the playground.

  2. Yes, cool. Communication is vital. Your examples about punctuation made it so clear as to why it's needed. I'm dog sitting for my daughter... I have a pug on either side of me chewing their little chew sticks. They communicated well last night... snoring.

  3. I really want one of those lifesaving comma posters! And I couldn't believe how timely this is, because I've recently dealt with someone who calls herself a writer because she writes many, many, MANY words. I don't know what "foursquare" is, either.

  4. Great advice! Communication is the key to opening doors.