There’s a lot of angst out there about writing.
Despite the fact that I work surrounded by some of the smartest people I know, I hear it all the time, usually tossed casually into conversation as a way to apologize for a copy suggestion, like so: “Well, I’m no writer, but what if we said…” Of course you’re a writer. You write, don’t you?
I’m not saying everyone is born with the lyrical eloquence of Shakespeare, but almost everyone does have the capacity to write clearly and effectively. Writing, at its most basic level, is just communicating. It’s really no different than speaking; it’s a matter of taking what’s in your head and getting someone else to understand it.
But, on the other hand, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone. In fact, sometimes it’s hard not to get caught up trying to impress people (especially in marketing), or stumble over your own uncertainty about what you really want to say. And, on top of all of that, there are all kinds of unnecessary words that we like to get excited about and overuse (again, especially in marketing), which just make your writing more difficult to understand.
So, here’s a primer on how to tackle the job of writing when you feel like you just don’t know what to say (or when you feel like you do know what to say, but you have no idea how to say it).
Be brave, and remember this: if you write, you’re a writer.