Writing Secrets

Writing Secrets - The Secret to writing letters

I don’t have any specific writing secrets.  But I do know that the more you write, the better you will become.

It just takes practice, practice, practice.

I do know that I don’t usually sit down and write the perfect letter the first time. I write a draft and then revise it a few times.

What I end up with is usually an excellent letter - short, succinct, and looks like I've just sat down and written it.  But that is never the case! 

Put yourself into the position of the reader. What does the reader want to read?

There is a skill to learn how to write, and the more you write, the better you will be. Try to imagine that you are receiving the letter you write. What does the reader want to read?

  • If the reader had written a complaint, then the reader wants to read the solution to that complaint.
  • If you cannot provide a positive solution, then provide something that will help the reader.

Focus on the positive.  Yes, tell what you CAN do rather than what you cannot do.

Always begin the closing short paragraph of your letter with

Please contact me at … to …  

…and add a closing positive comment for the reader.Consider the benefits to the reader, and highlight those benefits - or reiterate them - in the short second sentence of your closing paragraph.


If you write a first draft and then revise, revise, revise - you will become a much better writer with a much better product.

Try to put all your letters and memos into this easy format so you can write very well and comfortably:

  • Begin with your main message
  • Close with a short paragraph that begins with a direct request for action and adds the positive goodwill comment

Writing secrets

Every memo and every letter is unique and  different from the others.

What you want to avoid is being too chatty and long-winded.

Most readers are busy and may want to skim the letter for an overall quick understanding.

Learn to format your documents so that the important information literally "jumps" from the page to the reader.

The Writing Process

When I write, I start out writing a rough draft. The rough draft is necessary.

What happens is that I generally get to the point in the third or fourth paragraph in my rough draft.   And it's always like that - strange as it seems. 

I'm sure you will be the same!

At that point, I realize what my main message is – my request for action or the most succinct message – and then I move that point to the top of the letter and try to fit everything else in.

It's only when I get through the rough draft that I can truly plan the content of the letter.  I can see what's important and what can be removed.

It’s amazing...

  • when you know what your main message is - what the most important words are
  • when you move the message – the main point – to the opening paragraph (where it should be)

...you don’t need to say some of the other things you had written earlier in the draft. 

Suddenly, everything falls into place, and you end up with a lovely, short, succinct and clear message - an excellent business writing format!

So, writing takes practice. Just be patient.  That is what writing secrets are all about:

  • Preparing a rough draft
  • Revising to put the main point at the beginning
  • Keeping the opening paragraph short
  • Keeping the body clear and succinct
  • Reviewing for excellent and correctness
  • Closing with a short paragraph that highlights benefits to your reader

Follow this plan and you will do well.  Focus on success!

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