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Sunday, 6 June 2010

Who else wants to write better - or knows people who do? Friday's response thrilled me to bits (with a couple of surprises)

If you follow all these disjointed ramblings you know I vented a little spleen last week about an e-mail I got, and said I would run a series of webinars on better writing.

Three things happened. First, a surprising number of people said they'd be interested, including one of the best copywriters I know. Second, the man whose firm ran the copy sent a very temperate comment whilst lolling in his second home in Italy - paid for by such seminars. And third, one of my heroes, Denny Hatch, sent a congratulatory note

Well, thank you to everyone who replied - and what can we learn from this?

1. Many people realise that bad writing holds back careers, plays havoc and bedevils business.

2. The people who want to improve are often the people who are good already. The useless carry on regardless. So, the good get better and the bad fall further behind.

3. Quality matters more than technique. If what you offer is appealing even bad writing, within reason, won't kill it as long as the benefits are clearly described, which they were in this case.

A delightful story was told by the great cartoonist and writer Thurber about the eccentric editor of the New Yorker magazine, Harold Ross.

Ross was a gloomy nit-picker, hardly ever satisfied, and with little apparent sense of humour. On the rare occasion when he saw a contribution he liked he would murmur, "I am encouraged to go on."

Well, I am encouraged to go on - I have a few other subjects that may interest you like positioning, fund-raising, briefing, research and testing, brand building, how to present, how to be a good creative director, creative analysis and so on.

Let me know if any of those sound interesting, please - or if you have any other suggestions.

I will now prepare the better writing webinars. They will chiefly be concerned with writing to persuade - but cover everything from what to do before you write and how to manage your time to how to get ideas, with advice on better writing from George Orwell and much more.

So if more of you are interested, let me know that too.

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