Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Celebration of Good Writing

Corporate blogging bookI’m traveling most of this week—and still out on the road.  One of the books that I took is Debbie Weil’s excellent new book, The Corporate Blogging Book, Absolutely Everything You Need to Get It Right. While many people have launched a blog, have you launched it with a deliberate plan about what it’s going to do for your corporation? If you are a part of a larger corporation, does your company have a blogging policy? How do you get started on such a policy? This book provides a number of easy-to-understand solutions. I love Debbie’s writing and her approach to this important topic. She encourages bloggers to think about what they are doing and who will be reading the entries. It’s valuable counsel for any type of writing (audience focus).

In her chapter, Should the CEO Blog?, Debbie includes an interesting sub-section called Bottom Line: The Value of Writing. “If you accept the notion that the ability to write clearly and cogently reflects the ability to think clearly, then writing is a crucial skill for an executive. Matt Blumberg, ReturnPath CEO agrees. Writing is a lost art for top executives, he says. “When you get into business, you stop writing. You do emails and PPTs.” His blog at onlyonce.blogs.com gives him a space to work out his ideas. He told me: “To do a good job (as a CEO) you have to be very articulate. You have too be able to think clearly and write clearly. Writing helps me clarify my thinking about things. And writing in the blog particularly does because it’s so short. I don’t have time to write a 10–page white paper but I can refine my message down to two paragraphs for a blog posting. It really helps me to cut to the chase.”

It’s just a taste of what Debbie includes in her book.  A little later in the Chapter called Top Ten Tips to Write an Effective Business Blog, she says, “Basically, you just have to wade in and do it.  And keep at it. As my favorite journalism professor was fond of saying, “It’s not quality…it’s quantity.”  In other words, keep writing. Eventually you’ll improve.”

It’s sound advice and relates to much more than writing entries in a blog—but I see it as relating to any type of writing. There is a quality of persistence that you have to exhibit as a writer. There is value to repeatedly practicing your craft. It’s something I’m practicing—even after a long day of activity on the road. I’m determined to get this entry out about the Writing Life.

Keep at it—and I promise to do the same.

4 Comment:

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Debojit Chowdhury Left a note...

Hi I really liked the article and put a link to your article. http://debojit-chowdhury.blogspot.com/

At 6:21 AM, Blogger Debbie Weil Left a note...


I love what you picked out of my book to focus on (it's one of my favorite parts!). No one else has pointed out the "value of writing" point I make about CEO blogs.

Thanks for the great write up!

Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a note...

Nice write-up Terry. Gotta get my hands on Debbie's book ...

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Write It Well Left a note...

Great article, especially the point about the relationship of writing to articulating your ideas. We've always taught that unclear writing is a direct result of unclear thinking. You have to know what you want to say before you can communicate it.

Janis Chan, author of E-Mail: A Write It Well Guide, and other business writing books from www.writeitwell.com.


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