The Secret of Good Writing

Posted on October 27, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |


Quill Pen

In these times of blogging and content marketing we can all be looking to beef up our writing skills. In the past I’ve mentioned that I subscribe to a free vocabulary builder newsletter, A Word A Day (AWAD). I recommend that you all go get a subscription at www.wordsmith.org.

One of my favorite features of AWAD is A Thought for Today, a daily quote on communications, life, human nature and other important topics. Today’s quote really grabbed me:

“The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or a new thing in an old way.” -Richard Harding Davis, journalist and author (1864-1916)

Finding an interesting way to discuss a topic that’s been fairly well hashed out will certainly make your writing – and you — stand out.

On the other hand when you’re trying to discuss a new idea, it helps people to understand it if you couch it in terms of an idea that’s already in their knowledge base.

We in Inbound Marketing have that challenge – as you can tell from the recent contest here to succinctly define IM. Lately I’ve found myself describing it as the opposite of traditional Outbound Marketing – print and broadcast ads, direct mail, telemarketing that get blocked by modern technology like TiVo/DVR, voicemail, Do Not Call lists, etc.

Or I’ll say that Inbound Marketing is an online ‘pull’ strategy as opposed to an offline ‘push strategy’.

How are you saying old and new things in your writing?

The image is from the flickr stream of sure2talk under creative commons license.

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2 Responses to “The Secret of Good Writing”

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Ellie:

I write hybrid content. I keep a fodder file on information I believe my tribe will enjoy, retool it to an original format, but then I also write about some new ideas that pop into my head based on what I am observing. The key however for me is I have established a pipeline of posts like an editorial calendar since I believe too many bloggers wake up in the morning and say oh s**t, I haven’t posted in awhile, then they dash out some #2.

So who won the prize and what was the prize, an evening of jazz in NYC?

As a ‘citizen journalist’, I think this is a very important post. One must be able to say new things in new ways and sometimes old things in new ways if your writing is to be read by others.

This just arrived as I am writing next week’s blog about Greece. Very timely.

Peter


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