For the last year I’ve become more and more aware that my writing style is going to shit. I was never a fantastic communicator via the written word, but of late I’ve noticed that my existing skills are deteriorating. I write using too many words. I rely on commas too much. Worst of all, I’m so afraid to offend anyone that I attempt to pre-apologize for every sentence I write. Recently I’ve been doing some technical writing here at work and I’ve noticed that my style is not only a detraction from the intent of the documents I write, but it is potentially a stain on my ability as an engineer.
If I sound like I’m waffling on every sentence that I write because I don’t personally believe it one hundred percent, I sound like I don’t know anything at all and therefore why should I be trusted to author a design document in the first place? I find myself using the words “we should”, “it might”, or “I think” when I should be writing “we will”, “it is”, or “we know.”
This reason I’m dwelling on this in a post is that I somehow linked through several blogs to this post which details Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do). As I read through the various mistakes listed, I found myself saying “I think I do that” far too much for my liking. In particular I find myself included in Mistakes Two and Three especially, and Mistakes One, Six, Eight, Nine, and Ten to a lesser degree.
I need help. I want to write so people understand me. I don’t want to communicate “good enough.” I want people (in work and on whazzmaster) to say that I know how to drive thoughts and concepts into readers’ heads like railroad spikes. So here I go, on a concious effort to reduce the flowery speech and get to the heart of the matter. Let’s see if it works.
There will probably be follow-ups to this post.
–“whazz on” is probably not good English