Writing Tips

5 ways to gift wrap your words

I wanted to record something with a festive twist this week, so today’s podcast looks at 5 ways to gift wrap your words.

Now I wouldn’t normally encourage you to think about adding unnecessary extras to your writing, but if we think of our words as something of value, something that we want to pass on with due care - well maybe we should think about how we parcel them up too.

5 ways to gift wrap your words (3 mins 5 secs) includes:

1. Organise your parcels Our writing often goes wrong when we mix up too many different ideas or try and put too much into too small a container.  Spend some time before you start working out what goes where, and what you can keep for another time

2. Give generously Focus on the positive intention behind your writing, use positive language, don’t forget to smile as you write

3. Keep the wrapping simple Okay we’re not looking for elaborate twists and bows here, a nice simple, stylish finish will do - so cut out the complex fonts and colour schemes, the elaborate bullet point systems… Concentrate on a quality, error free finish

4. Make it fun to unwrap You can make your writing parcel more intriguing with a compelling headline, followed up by a punchy first paragraph to keep your readers interested as they unwrap… but then give them the chance to rip through the rest with uncluttered text, coherent structure, white space, nice short sentences.

5. Parcel it up. When you get to the end - stop.  It’s time to wrap up the parcel, to tie it up as neatly as you can - so your reader can take it away with them

Because gift wrapping isn’t something you add on to make your writing look pretty - it’s to help your readers make sense of your words.

You can listen to the podcast by following this link or going to my gcast page.

That’s my last podcast for 2007.  I’m taking the next two Wednesdays off and will be back with 5 writing tips in less than 5 minutes in early January.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

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2 Responses to “5 ways to gift wrap your words”

  1. On December 19, 2007 at 5:37 pm Sarah Stewart responded with... #

    Hello Joanne, thank you very much for dropping by my blog. I was really pleased to receive your feedback. I am also really pleased to find my way to your blog which is full of great advice and a great writing resource for the students I teach. Thank you once again and have a great Christmas.

  2. On December 19, 2007 at 11:20 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Hello Sarah, it’s great that you made it here. An interesting insight into how social media works - from Chris Brogan’s tweet, to Michele’s post, to our comments there, and then to each other’s blogs. It’s a fun way to get to know each other, isn’t it?

    I liked your approach to encouraging readers and visitors to comment. I’ve done that in the past and tried to find ways of pointing new readers to welcome posts as a reminder, but at the same time I’m trying to cut back on sidebar clutter and end up taking the links away again…

    It probably means we end up catering more for other bloggers than readers who just fetch up here and aren’t so familiar with or confident in approaches to comments. But I still think that the way you write your posts and comments, the way you encourage those who do chip in, well all of that can make a difference and help towards building a community. From your style of writing I’m sure you’ll be doing just that.



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