Speed kills

Nov 7, 2012 | Better Writing

Larry (not his real name) publishes some great content on his blog. Alas, his writing is not as good as the content. I asked him about that during a Blog Analysis.

“I go too fast,” Larry told me. “But I’ve got a schedule to meet and lots of other work to do.”

I’m sure that’s true. I’m also sure that people draw impressions about Larry from his blog. His content sends the message that he knows what he’s talking about. His writing sends the message that he does slipshod work. Would you hire him on that basis?

People judge you on your content and the way you present it. If you want to make sure your writing represents you well, you must build self-editing into your process. When I write a blog post, I write a draft, set it aside for a bit, read it aloud, make changes and read it aloud again.

When I suggested to Larry that he adopt a process something like that, he balked. “I’ve got to post on schedule,” he told me.

OK, then you’ve got two options. Change your publication schedule or start your writing process sooner.

One client of mine produces a zero draft the night before he’s scheduled to publish. He says that means he writes his first drafts faster and that they need less editing.

Speed kills good impressions. Slow down and do a writing job that’s worthy of what you have to say.