Language, and writing, can do one of two things, depending on how it is used: enhance a relationship or damage it. In simple terms, it can help bring people together or push them apart; it can help you accomplish your purposes, or it can hinder you. Language is never neutral.
What does this mean for you as you write? This means you have to think carefully about three issues:
1. What you want to accomplish from the relationship with your reader,
2. What you want to communicate through writing, and
3. What affect your words will have on the relationship.
The central question you are trying to answer is this: Will my writing enhance or damage my relationship with the reader?
When do you need to ask this question? Every time you write. Good writing enhances the relationship; bad writing damages it. When you look at writing this way, from the standpoint of how it affects the relationship, you can begin to make revisions that strengthen your writing and improve the results you get.
To explore this idea, let’s look at a few samples of bad writing, consider how they may affect the relationship with the reader, and then revise them to improve that relationship and accomplish a purpose. In short, let’s turn bad writing into good writing. Continue reading