For the next six weeks, Coles & Lopez will be the proud host of a mini-course on writing for business, led by the brilliant Desirae Roosa. Enjoy Part One, and leave your comments below!
What comes to mind when you hear “business writing”? If you’re like me, you think of a black hole, devouring creativity and sucking all that is fun out of writing. Knowing that, you may be surprised to find that I’m a technical writer. You might also be surprised to learn that business writing has a super-duper (technical term) important role in almost every line of business and, possibly, your personal life.
Business writing is writing to produce different types of technical documents: procedures, economic forecasts, test protocols, audits, handbooks, customer service letters and more. Honestly, there’s a little something for everyone in business writing. If you’re interested in becoming a technical writer, stick with me through this journey as we discuss business writing and how it can save your life (DISCLAIMER: Business writing most likely will not save your life, but it may make life easier). If you’ve no interest in becoming a technical writer, stay with us – we’re going to have fun!
Companies utilise technical writers to develop communications, procedures, and training. Some companies hire third-rate artists for these jobs (I’m looking at you, IKEA). Now that we know what business writing is, let’s discuss what it isn’t. Not only is the sweet melody that is prose missing from business writing, so are articles, full stops (in some cases), individual voice, and details, depending on the document (no room for the Tolkien-inspired here).
But why is business writing important? Because we write every single day. In a world of emails, social media, and text messages, our writing represents who we are . . . and stating something clearly and concisely can help you avoid any misunderstandings and debates with co-workers (and online trolls). Plus, improving your writing skills in the workplace may put you a wee bit above the rest.
So, impress your boss, annihilate Facebook trolls, improve your syntax . . . basically, learn business writing and become a superhero. Am I right? This series on business writing will have us exploring emails, memos, letters, proposals, presentations, and even self-editing. Whew! That’s a lot, so strap in and stay tuned!
While you wait anxiously for the next post, what do you think is the first step in preparing a technical document? First person to answer correctly gets MAJOR bragging rights.
Desirae Roosa is a technical writer by day and an aspiring author by night with an unhealthy addiction to the BBC. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.