Why mistakes in writing matter

In this blog, I’ve often gone on about how to write well.

This month, I wanted to revisit why avoiding mistakes in your writing is so important.

Let’s leave to one side, for now, any thoughts about what we mean by good writing, or discussions about style. I’m focussing on just getting all the basics right – and avoiding errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation.

Does it really matter? Yes, for two reasons.

Firstly, it’s about credibility. Whatever you do in business, you need other people to have some level of confidence in you. But if you can’t be bothered to check your writing for errors, why should they trust you to do anything else properly?

Then, poor writing is distracting. Your reader is just getting interested in what you have to say, when the spell is broken by a clanger. You’ve lost them, and they may not come back.

Get the basics right first, then check and check again to make sure there are no howlers. Get someone else to read your work before posting or sending it, if at all possible.

You’ve got interesting things to say. But if your writing is full of errors, no one will listen.

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