Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Art of On-the-Job Writing, Part 1

The next several installments of the WORDS ON THE LINE blog will feature excerpts of each of the seven chapters of The Art of On-the-Job Writing by writing consultant Philip Vassallo.

Reviews of the book have been favorable. Tami Brady of TCM Reviews wrote “These steps (detailed in The Art of On-the-Job Writing) not only take the writer from any writing assignment through to a polished writing product but also help the writer through common pitfalls such as writer’s block, disorganization, and wordiness. Moreover, these methods and steps explained in this book are flexible enough to be used in virtually any writing situation, be that a simple email or memo or a longer more formal report or technical manual.” Martin Levinson of ETC. wrote that The Art of On-the-Job Writing “can be profitably read by writers new to the world of work-related documents, and by experienced professionals, who will also gain from its new approach to clear and purposeful business writing.”

Here’s a brief excerpt from Chapter 1, “Being an On-the-Job Writer”:

Writing is both a process and a product. On-the-job writing success depends on your ability to manage your time (the process) en route to completing a document (the product). Mastering the writing process makes you efficient; mastering the product makes you effective.

The writing process comprises the three PDQ steps: plan, draft, and quality control. When planning, we brainstorm and organize ideas. When drafting, we create a rough copy of those ideas. When quality controlling, we protect our REP: revise the ideas, edit the expression, and proofread a hard copy.

We can assess the writing product by using the 4S Plan: statement, support, structure, and style. The statement is the purpose of the document. The support is the details supporting the purpose. The structure is the organization of the statement and support. The style is the balancing of context and content in delivering the statement and support through the structure.

You may purchase your copy of The Art of On-the-Job Writing by clicking here: