Wed 5 Apr 2006
Let's face it: most people aren't writers and don't like to write. There's nothing wrong with that; we all have our interests… and dis-interests!
Sandra Lamb's book, How to Write It, is not something you'll pick up and read from cover to cover. It's more of a resource book that you will turn to now and then; whenever you need to write something. I keep my copy beside my dictionary and thesaurus.
The book's subtitle sums up nicely exactly what it's good for; it really is “a complete guide to everything you'll ever write.”
A brief list of some of the things covered in her book include: how to write…
1. Letters to refuse an applicant
2. Business memos
3. Agendas and minutes
4. Fundraising letters
5. Direct mail letters
6. Public relations materials
7. Credit approval letters
… and so much more, for both business and social situations(although admittedly, I don't do a lot of social writing; I primarily use it for business).
Each section is very easy to read and understand, so it doesn't add a lot of time to the process. There are examples you can use to help you, and she provides suggestions to help you eliminate wrong messages (to avoid confusion!) and gentle reminders to edit.
I only wish that the book came with a CD-ROM of templates to use.
If you buy it and use it regularly, you'll find it will pay for itself by improving the clarity of your messages (thus saving you time and effort in future memos and responses to questions).