To write well, play to your strengths

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Do you think of yourself as a bad writer? When I was at school I certainly thought I would never earn my living by writing. But here’s some encouragement from a writing coach whose newsletters I enjoy, Daphne Gray-Grant.

In a recent blog post, Daphne points out that writing involves many skills, not just one. But instead of making this an obstacle to success, she spurs us on.

“Surely”, she says, “you can find some part of the job that you enjoy.” You may be good at explaining technical things in simple language or describing things vividly. You may have an ear for quotes. You may be able to find something funny in almost any situation.

Daphne goes on: “There are many different skills that go into writing. Focus on the one(s) you’re good at and fake the rest. With more practice, you will get better. We all have different gifts… If we focus on what we can do, it’s easier to become better at everything else.”

I agree. Writing isn’t one skill that you’re either born with or you’re not. It’s a craft that can be learned with practice, reading and training. Do more of what you’re good at and you’ll get better at the rest.

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