Firstly, the term writing has been defined by the Oxford dictionary as the activity or skill of marking coherent words on paper and composing text.Writing is the vital means of communication within an organization. In fact, a survey goes on to say that almost 30% of our work is accomplished through written communication! Therefore, the skills of tactful writing are essential for achieving career and business goals. Apart from the workplace, writing is essential in many other areas as well.
Unfortunately, today, these skills are being neglected. If one wants to achieve his/her goals, the art of superior writing is imperative. There are a variety of methods to enhance and hone your ability to write well. A little effort will go a long way in achieving your goals. This is what sets you apart from your peers. We take a look at some instances where the art of writing is an important asset.
Importance of Writing Skills
Writing is one of the important ways of expressing your thoughts, and communicating ideas and views to others. Some have the innate ability to put their thoughts into words. Writing is more beneficial, specifically for those who are emotional, and do not express verbally. This tool allows them to express their ideas, thoughts or their existing mental condition, which otherwise, may not be possible. People express themselves by writing novels, short stories, biographies, and even personal diaries, etc.
Interestingly, 93% of teens in American schools are fond of writing, when it's not a part of their school curriculum; rather when it is for themselves. So, by proper guidance and counseling, the writing abilities of these teens can be channelized in such a way that, they could stand in good stead in the chosen avenue of their lives.
Judgment of a Person
Often, a person is judged by the quality of writing, he/she possesses. Be it a school, college, workplace or a society, writing has become a vital yardstick to assess one's knowledge, and intellectuality. When we come across a person who is prim and proper, we immediately make an impression about that person being careful, responsible, and sincere. Similarly, if the writing is devoid of mistakes, we tend to create a good impression about the writer.
Flexibility and Maturity
Writing is an art, which you develop over a period of time. This practice will make you more mature as a writer, because you gradually start putting yourself into the shoes of the reader, and express accordingly. Also, the more you write, the more flexible your vision and thought process become towards the requirements and demands of the readers.
Ability to Explain
While writing, one has to be extra cautious with regard to the tone and tenor of the language, grammar, spellings, etc., so that the reader can decipher the intended meaning of the content. When we write something, there is a tendency to read the content over and over, for possible errors or mistakes. By doing this, we thoroughly understand what we have written, and how we can improve it, to explain to the reader in a simple and concise way what we are trying to convey.
Serves as a Record
Writing skills are important to write our ideas and experiences for future references. For example: scientific and technological accomplishments cannot be communicated verbally. They have to be presented in a written format, such as scientific journals and white papers. Science would not have existed, had the scientists not recorded each and every experiment in a proper written format.
The following areas will throw light on writing as a form of communication.
- Business: It is not possible to conduct all transactions by speech alone. If there exists a business project or an opportunity, one needs to send written proposals. The document should have clarity. Electronic mail has become a very popular means of communication in the business world today. This source of communication is used to send business correspondence addressed to customers, clients, associates, business partners, and employees within the organization.
- Education: One learns the art of writing in school and college. The skill of expressing one's thoughts, and communicating ideas and views to others is developed here. Exams are an ideal opportunity to demonstrate this facet. As per a national survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and the National Commission on Writing, both the teenagers and their parents believe that "good writing is a bedrock for future success". Also, 8 in 10 parents, now, are of the opinion that writing has become more important today, than it was 20 years ago.
- Career Planning: When it comes to career planning, written communication skills invariably become the deciding factor. The various entrance exams conducted like: SAT, GRE, ACT, GMAT, etc., assess the verbal and written communication skills of the candidates. Often, candidates who are good at mathematics and analytics, but poor in written communication are also rejected, because the examiners believe that good communication skills - verbal or written - are pivotal for students opting for higher education.
- Job Application: A recruiter receives thousands of applications which he sifts through. He has barely enough time to read each individual application. If one needs to be noticed, one must write content, which is impressive and unique. Your credentials must be presented in an elegant and systematic fashion. It should create a favorable impact on the recruiting authority. There should be no grammatical or spelling errors. The content should be concise and lucid. As a matter of fact, there are companies specializing in the art of resume writing.
Tips for Good Writing
- Avoid excessive stuffing of words, and try to make sentences, simple and precise.
- Do not use complex language or vocabulary.
- Try to avoid the usage of jargon.
- Pay due attention to grammar and spellings.
- Do not be repetitive as it may put off the reader.
- Use active voice in forming sentences instead of passive voice.
There are some disturbing trends in today's generation, wherein, the youth and children prefer watching television to reading books. Their oral communication is excellent at the expense of their written communication. Call centers have propped up, whereby, more importance is given to oral communication. As a result, there has been a general deterioration in the standard of written communication.
Perhaps, the education system should be overhauled and refresher courses be introduced, to arrest this negative trend. To sum up, as Sir Francis Bacon opines ... Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.