writing lessons

What Your Writing Tells About You by Diana Beyer

Emails, paperwork, notes, reports, proposals, memos, comments, complaints ... Despite the fact that we're using technology more often, our work still relies on the nitty-gritty of actual writing, and in both social and business situations we'll be judged by the quality of that writing along with our grammar, spelling, and punctuation, even if our ideas are the best.

Another fact, no matter if we like it or not, is our writing can tell a lot about the person that we are.

Profile # 1 – The Procrastinator
The procrastinator always leaves everything to the last minute, and it is easy to spot them through their writing because they rush towards the deadline. Their writing usually lacks editing and proofreading. Ideas are mixed and stuffed altogether as if there were just dropped on the word processor. As a consequence, people might not be able to understand what they actually mean - reorganizing the sentences in their own minds. Bosses of procrastinators usually think that they don’t care about the quality of their work or that they just can’t think clearly – meaning that they aren’t promotion material.

Solution: you need to start planning your schedule better so you can have enough time to review your writing. Editing and proofreading are crucial for any type of writing, and you should give them as much importance as you give to anything else.

Profile # 2 – The Perfectionist
While the procrastinator usually delivers their work on time, the perfectionist hardly does. They're so concerned about making it flawless that they frequently miss deadlines. Their goal is to polish every sentence so it will sound like they deserve a Nobel Prize for Literature.

There is a bright side to it, and it is that their writing is easy to understand. But they lack empathy, and usually don’t influence the reader at all. Plus, they're so absorbed by the writing itself, that they might not deliver the best ideas or have enough time to do proper research. Bosses of perfectionists usually agree that they think they still are at school and have no idea of what the company’s goals are.

Solution: it's great if your writing can be that perfect, but you shouldn’t put so much energy into it. Remember that your goal is to be understood, to get your work out their, and to use your writing to achieve the results that your company expects from you.

Profile # 3 – The Visualizer
The visualizer hates writing, or finds it very difficult to deal with. They would rather record a video or a podcast to answer all those e-mails. They try to add as many visual resources they can to their writing. Their e-mails are full of emojis, and their reports have plenty of graphs, tables, and infographics. In other words, they will write as little as possible, and draw the rest of the message.

Of course, visual resources are great to create engagement between writer and reader, but there is a limit to it. Sometimes, you must stick to writing only, and depending on the company, it might not be acceptable to use them at all. Usually, graphs and tables still require an explanation about them, and too many colors might even make your report looks childish or distract your audience from your message.

Solution: apply your visual talent wisely. Find out when visuals can be used and how much of it is just about enough. And don’t try to substitute writing information with them – you will still have to describe your images anyway.

Final thoughts

Writing can be a challenge for many people. Looking at a blank piece of paper, either on the table or on your word processor, can be intimidating if you aren’t used to it. The good news is that the task gets easier the more you do it, so you shouldn’t use your fears as a way to excuse yourself from preparing reports and proposals.

Just get yourself organized so you can plan your piece better. Do your research, write a first and a second draft, and then enjoy the editing and proofreading process - this is the stage to polish your work.

Just don’t overdo things, don't procrastinate, or be a perfectionist, or rely too much on visuals. Caring about the quality of your work will be noticeable to your clients, bosses, and colleagues, and it will reflect positively on you. Enjoy writing. Enjoy the process. Enjoy getting your voice heard.

Diana Beyer is an experienced self-driven media expert who is passionate about writing. Her purpose is to share values amid those interested. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth. Check out one of her posts at resume.expert.com
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