The first audio book in my MBA on the Run series is a classic listen. This is a book that every student should have in their library. Entitled “On Writing Well“, author William Zinsser takes the subject of writing and breaks it down into four simple principles. They are Clarity, Simplicity, Brevity and Humanity. If you keep those four principles in mind, your writing will shine.
Zinsser states that “Clutter is the disease of American writing” and gives many examples of bloated and disorderly writing. Zinsser tells us that we have to examine every word that we put on the page, and try to find those that don’t serve any purpose. His quote, “Fighting clutter is like fighting weeds-the writer is always slightly behind.” is so true. Zinsser reminds us to drop the cliche’s, simplify our writing, and improve through revision.
While this is a great book in print, it really comes to life when read by the author. Mr. Zinsser adds a lot of personality and dry wit to make a compelling presentation. When I first started listening I was a little put off by his ideas. I thought the result would be 6th grade English. But the opposite was true. I found his four principles create sharp and concise prose that is easy to read and understand. This is a classic work that should be reviewed at least once a year.
As I completed the book many ideas came to mind. These concepts were new and exciting and I wanted to get a professional’s viewpoint. I decided to interview a fellow Toastmaster and professional writer Karen Robertson about her views on the subject of writing better.
Karen is a business owner, personal coach and the author of Raising Kids Right. She brings an interesting niche into the writing equation. She has been published in over 70 magazines and newspapers and has written a new step by step guide, “Do The Write Thing” about taking your ideas from creation to publication. We sat down for a few minutes and created a podcast about her book and some ideas to help you expand your writing horizons.
As a blogger I have employed many things to add traffic to this site. I’ve worked with search engine optimization, links, and word of mouth. Publishing an article in a magazine or other publication had never occured to me. Karen really got me thinking about the possibilities and her ideas that she shared should make the process much easier. Check out the 10 minute interview and you’ll be on your way to a successful publication in a magazine or newspaper you may not even know about.
Karen’s business, Giant Step Success has a great website where you can buy her books and find out how she can help you reach your Big Hairy Audacious Goals and take a Giant Step to Success.