“Can You Write?” She Asked.

“…not can you write, I know you can. Are you happy to?” She clarifies.

Gareth Armstrong writer

Anyone that does write knows this answer is not simple.

The first time I had to write for a newspaper I was petrified: Is it going to be good enough? What if they don’t like it? Am I going to look like a fool? Fortunately, at the time, I had an ex-schoolteacher for an editor who was running a for-profit venture and expected my writing to serve this end.

Since that bi-weekly, 2000 word column, I’ve had the pleasure of writing for a variety of different platforms and in multiple formats. 

What’s the point?

Only three things really matter when writing:

  1. It’s yours – you can write about what you like and you can write how you like.
  2. However, if you want it to be accepted (good) / published (better) / bought or paid for (best), then forget number one and start here: Your voice matters, yes, but your audience matters more. Take them on a journey, lead them down a path, and make sure you get them to your intended destination – hopefully a place of change and growth.
  3. People are not stupid – they can, in my experience, easily link fairly complex information and fill in the gaps.
  4. BONUS: Drop the jargon (aka: Don’t be a douche-bag) – allow your writing to be accessible and easy to consume.

Can I write? Sometimes. Am I happy writing? Only when I follow these rules.