Some wise words, from a great scribe

Picture of a typewriter.Some rules we should all follow when putting pen to paper (or pixels to screen).

According to one such great brain from Advertising, “Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.”  David Ogivy, the man widely hailed as “The Father of Advertising” and the founder of Ogilvy & Mather, once wrote the following tips and it never fails to amaze just how relevant they still are:

  1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
  2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
  5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
  6. Check your quotations.
  7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.
  8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
  9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
  10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the person what you want.