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Judy: Old habits can be hard to break. But you now understand how important being an effective business writer is to your career. You also know the techniques to use that will get you noticed as an effective business writer. So you must continue following the writing process and practicing those techniques to hone your skills. Remember that 4/5ths of your time should be spent planning and revising. Trying to remember everything to incorporate and checking to see if all of the guidelines were followed can be time-consuming.
However, the good news is that eventually clear, consise, complete, and considerate; correct, courteous, credible, conversational, coherent and concrete writing will become your default setting. You will be able to apply those techniques to letters, reports, emails, memos, any type of business document you have to compose. Keep telling yourself that a natural-born writer is a myth. Those writers you admire and envy? Well, the truth is, they usually draft 5 or 6 times before they're satisfied with the version you see.
So what next steps will you take to become that mythical, natural-born writer? You might want to devise a checklist with examples to look at as you write. Try comparing and contrasting your current written documents with those you've written in the past. The difference will probably be noticable. Re-write your past documents, applying your new approach. Ask those who read your business messages if they noticed a difference. Often you will receive unsolicited positive comments. You may even see others trying to emulate your new methods because they will see how much easier your documents are to read and understand.
OWL is an online writing lab that provides an English handbook and numerous grammar and punctuation exercises to practice. Other related lynda.com courses to investigate are: Writing fundamentals, the craft of story, and public speaking fundamentals. So the next steps are up to you only you know how much effort you are willing to put into becoming an effective business writer. The greater the continued effort, the greater the reward in terms of advancement, money, time saved, and confidence in your writing.
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