Patricia Allen, Author at Craft Your Content

All posts by Patricia Allen

writing in plain english

Keep it Simple: How to Use Plain English to Improve Your Writing

We’ve seen it before. The beginning of a business prospectus that goes something like this:

No person has been authorized to give any information or make any representation herewith other than those contained or incorporated by reference in this joint proxy statement/prospectus. And if given or made, such information…

You’ve stopped reading, haven’t you? 

What if I wrote:

You should only rely on the information contained in this document. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information that is different.

You’re back…

Plain English in business writing is essential when you have a limited amount of time to engage your audience and convey a message. Plain English uses everyday words, short sentences, active voice, and personal pronouns that speak directly to your audience.

The principles sound simple, but it’s surprising how easily long-form copy can slide into the myrrh of plodding verbosity, forcing readers to cry out for something more palatable. I hear you! 

What we are talking about when we use the term “plain English” is functional writing. Writing that is easy to digest, easy to translate, and free of jargon. Writing in plain English is not always as easy as it sounds, especially in the world of business where new catchcries and the latest trends can give us all a headache while we try and work out what is actually being said.

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Marketing Storytelling: How to Build Authentic Connection

Storytelling has been part of human activity for many thousands of years. It is a fundamental part of our human condition. We tell stories every single day because they have the power to inform, persuade, elicit emotional responses, and build relationships. These are lofty achievements for any medium.

The power of storytelling can have both positive and negative effects. The stories we tell ourselves about our goals, achievements, and perceived flaws can facilitate limiting and self-sabotaging beliefs that hold us back. 

On the other hand, stories that tell of success and overcoming challenges can be inspiring. The power of a great story can be limitless.

But it’s not enough to simply tell a story to engage an audience. Storytelling is not a tool of information dissemination, rather it is a tool that uses rhetorical strategies that have the power to move people. It is in the nuanced crafting of stories where you create a willingness to receive the message. 

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To Do or Not to Do? The Art of Avoiding Procrastination

I have taught and mentored many students over the years, and what I can say in all honesty is that each one, at some point, suffered from procrastination. Suffering from procrastination might sound rather harsh, but when a student is sitting in front of you, despairing about not being able to write, it seems appropriate.

Defining procrastination is hard, particularly as we all procrastinate in different ways. Let’s just say that procrastination is the habit of putting off tasks to the last minute. It is the seemingly never-ending battle to get things done on time or completing things late and the agonizing you may go through to get them done at all.

We have all made promises to ourselves that somehow never get fulfilled. It’s the start of a new year, which means I again promise myself I am going to lose 20 pounds. As you can see, the regularity of this promise confirms that I have been repeatedly unsuccessful. 

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