For me, it begs the question, will there ever be such thing as an accomplished writer?
Do writers ever reach the point where they can say:
“I’ve done it.”
“I have nothing more to learn.”
Well, perhaps only the ignorant.
Because writing is subjective. It depends on the readership, the purpose, the format, the style.
What works in poetry has no place in journalism. And what works for print probably won’t work online.
And with the readerships and formats continually in a state of flux, we can never afford to stop learning.
Reading this article was the refresher I needed right now. We have been gaining a steady momentum of new clients here at Equinet, which means new products to learn, new subjects to write about and new audiences to engage with.
Now, I knew there were bad habits to avoid:
‘Don’t use superfluous words’
‘Steer clear of jargon’
‘Always write in the active tense, never the passive’
But this article by Doug Kessler takes that argument even further.
And what resonated with me the most was this:
‘Writing that simplifies and clarifies a complex, technical subject is hard to achieve and should be applauded.’
If we take B2B content writing, that’s just it.
It shouldn’t be clunky, shallow, blathering, arrogant, or formulaic. It should be simple. It should read like you’re speaking with your keyboard.
And the only way to do that is to truly understand what you’re talking about. Be an investigator - an explorer. Read and absorb everything you can until you can write naturally and fluently without the need for nonsensical jargon.
That’s how a great content writer should work.
They take the technical, the complex, the superfluous, and they mould, condense and format that into something readable, digestible, and engaging. They probably shouldn’t use sentences as long as that one, but hey, it’s okay to break rules now. And it’s okay to retire the ‘writing hat’ sometimes, because “Good writers recline and slouch and cross their legs and make those snow angels. Because they don’t own a Writing Hat. They just speak, using a keyboard.”
Every time I walk past Tim (our Head of Operations)’s desk, he gives me a look that says, “We need more copywriters, Doug”. He doesn’t say it (well, sometimes he says it) but I know he’s thinking it. And I’m thinking it, too. We need more goddamn copywriters and we need them now. But, while it’s really, really hard to find great account people and designers and developers and data analysts and marketing automationists (we’re hiring all of these) it’s ridiculously hard to find great B2B copywriters.