The power of the pen (or keyboard): Why it’s important to keep writing

Best-selling author, speaker and CEO Dave Kerpen wrote an article for LinkedIn last week about the power of good writing and the importance of honing that skill to gain respect and recognition in your field.  Kerpen poses the question, “Want to be taken seriously?”  His answer is simple and succinct: Become a better writer.

According to Kerpen, writing skills can make or break you when it comes to dealing with potential employers, managers, colleagues or customers.  I’ve personally been in leadership positions that dealt with hiring or evaluating others, and I’m certainly turned off by poor grammar, spelling mistakes or ambiguous writing.  Reading this article, I began to evaluate the ways in which I present myself through writing, and as a soon-to-be college graduate embarking on the daunting mission of finding a “real world” job, I need all the advice I can get.

Luckily, Kerpen laid out a few tried-and-true ways to improve one’s writing skills:

  • Practice, practice and practice some more.  Write as much as you can, whether it’s updating a blog, working on a novel, creating poetry, assisting with copy writing for your company, etc.
  • Read everything out loud before you publish it.
  • Edit your work to be more concise.  Keep your writing short and sweet when possible.
  • Spend more time on your headlines, and work to improve them.  Headlines draw readers in.
  • Read as much as you can.  What better way to improve your writing than to learn from other great writers?

Kerpen goes into more detail about each of these points, and I highly suggest you read his full article. (It’s a quick read!)  I’m personally going to try to start reading more of my work out loud before publishing it, and pay attention to keeping things concise, since I tend to get wordy sometimes.  Also, it’s my personal belief that everyone could use more reading time in their life.  Reading is far too underrated.

What do you think?  Are writing skills really that important these days?  Does Kerpen give relevant advice through his five points?  What techniques do you use to improve your writing?  Please, impart your writer wisdom upon us!

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