What do I mean by getting your writing to count? Let’s consider a few types of documents to get at that answer.
- A proposal: When you write a proposal, say in response to an RFP, your writing counts when you get selected for an interview. (Then your presentation skills take over to land that contract.)
- A plan: Writing a plan requires that readers understand your plan and everything that it entails, and then follow it.
- A report: In a manner similar to a plan, your readers understand the report and can intelligently act on it.
- A study: You writing counts when your readers see your thought process, agree with your conclusions, and accept them.
- Instructions: When readers can follow your instructions on their own, without help from your support staff, then your writing counts.
You get to decide how to make your writing count. An excellent method is to work closely with an editor, and know the tasks that editor will perform on your behalf, and on behalf of your readers. I begin to address how to get your writing count in my most recent Toward Humanity blog post “The Five Levels of Editing” (download the PDF). My goal is to help you decide how to best engage an editor to get your writing to count.
Some business writers—and really, who among us isn’t a business writer—are reluctant to work with an editor because the editor somehow takes control of their writing. I find this disconcerting. Unless there is clear direction to write or rewrite text, an editor’s job is just that: edit. And, in the process, to make the writer look good.
It helps to know exactly how an editor will work on your writing. At Solari, we’ve broken down the editing tasks into three editing levels (blog or PDF). In a Copy Edit or a Standard Edit, we edit; in a Revision Edit, we revise, rewrite, and edit. You, as the writer, choose the level. After all, it’s your writing.