Grammatically correct writing is a matter of professionalism. I find myself frequently puzzled and surprised by the genuinely awful writing coming from those who pride themselves on their professionalism and communication abilities.
I suppose language is like mathematics: either you get it or you don’t. Mathematics was never my language. I can analyze and interpret statistics, but I certainly can’t calculate them.
I still wonder, though, why people, especially those who are white collar professionals with high corporate status, are satisfied with poorly written content. This goes beyond the occasional typographical error into consistent misuse of apostrophes, improper capitalization, confusion as to using who and whom, and so forth–all those little things I consider basics.
Good writing distinguishes the professional from the amateur, especially for authors. The sheer prevalence of poor writing and poor grammar of indie books reveals the following:
- Too many authors don’t understand good writing; i.e., they fail to master the craft.
- Too many authors fail to edit their books before they publish.
- Too many readers don’t understand the value of good writing.
Poor execution dooms an interesting premise. Last summer I read an article about a wildly successful (read: financially profitable) “monster porn” author, who releases a new novella on more or less a monthly basis. I wondered what all the hype was about and downloaded a couple of that author’s works. Egad. I couldn’t finish them, not because of objectionable content, but because the writing and editing were so poor.
If that’s what gets the big bucks, then the expectations of modern readers are pathetically low.
So, if good writing distinguishes the professional from the amateur, then what distinguishes success from failure? Revenue.
For any businessmen or businesswomen out there reading this: Does your business produce any written content that goes to potential investors or customers or to the public at large? If your business produces proposals, manuals, press releases, blog articles, newsletters, or other materials that are seen by anyone outside the walls of your own office, then it’s best to have a fresh set of eyes connected to a professional skill set to review and edit and maybe even write those documents.
You do want to come across as professional, right?
I can help.
Every word counts.