Friday, October 14, 2005

The Art of On-the-Job Writing, Part 7

The Art of On-the-Job Writing by writing consultant Philip Vassallo is featured for one last time on the WORDS ON THE LINE blog. The opening and closing chapters of this book, “Being an On-the-Job Writer” and “Staying an On-the-Job Writer,” sandwich the five other chapters, one for each step of the writing process—planning, drafting, revings, editing, and proofreading. It gives many inspirational insights and helpful points to business and technical writers from all levels of the organization and who every day face the pressures of composing purposeful, organized, and correct documents on demand.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 7, “Staying an On-the-Job Writer”:

Having read this book, you should consider now an ideal time to decide what’s next for you as a business or technical writer. No doubt about it: Whether you’re moving up the corporate ladder or growing your own business, you will have to write more as time goes on. Your writing will speak for you in your absence. It will tell your organization, manager, subordinates, clients, and vendors what you think and how you think. You will want your writing to speak as businesslike as your speaking does. This means being purposeful, clear, concise, courteous, consistent, and correct. Let’s take a few moments to recall the twelve key ideas in this book.

1. Writing is a process as well as a product. Mastering the process will make your writing efficient; mastering the product will make your writing effective.

2. The PDQ writing process comprises:

  • planning, when we brainstorm and organize ideas focused on our purpose and audience
  • drafting, when we write a rough copy from beginning to end
  • quality controlling, when we protect our r-e-p by revising, editing, and proofreading

We need to use the entire writing process for challenging documents.

3. The 4S Plan writing product includes:

  • the statement, or purpose and next steps of the document
  • the support, which addresses the reader’s concerns related to the purpose
  • the structure, or organization and format, of the statement and support
  • the style, another word for the balancing of content and context language in the document

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