Charles Dickens I fell in love with Charles Dickens during a graduate class. Up until that point in time, my exposure had been limited to George C. Scott ‘s small-screen Scrooge and my sister’s faux-cockney interpretation of Nancy in the fifth grade production of Oliver Twist. But Bleak House – with its dark sarcasm, intricate plotting, and larger-than-life characters – struck a writerly chord within me. And as I learned about Dickens the man, his life and career taught me some valuable lessons as an author and content promoter.

Lesson One: Forge new paths

Dickens started his writing life as a journalist. And like most Victorian authors, Dickens relied on the good graces and funding of publishing patrons to get his early works printed. But as his career gained momentum, he shifted to serving as editor for periodicals carrying his stories and even invested in publishing his own work. As such, he became the first successful author to control not just the content, but the form and means of its distribution. The father of self-publishing would certainly be doing some interesting things in e-pubs today.

I have worked with a number of high-level execs that are creative, passionate, and articulate about their field of expertise. And they run a meeting and present at conferences like nobody’s business. But when it comes to expressing their ideas in written form – be it a client communication, an op-ed piece, or a bylined trade magazine article – clarity too often gets lost in translation.

This isn’t uncommon. Outside of the publishing and media industries, English and communications majors rarely make it to C-suite positions. But it remains a fact that grammar errors, misused words, poor analogies, and run-on sentences make any professional look bad. And when they come from the desk of an executive, it reflects poorly on the company and tarnishes the halo of your brand.

As with most problems, acknowledgement is the first step towards a solution. Perhaps it helps to know that corporate luminaries from Warren Buffet to Mark Zuckerberg have recognized their own linguistic shortcomings and tapped editorial professionals to get their message across.

If you are involved in content creation at an executive level, the following four fundamentals are key to improving your efficiency, brand equity, and corporate communications strategy.

everything type 2 diabetes book

My latest title, The Everything Guide to Managing Type 2 Diabetes (F+W), is now available. I completed work on the book last summer, and was thrilled to work with the talented Dr. Jason Baker, who provided his clinical insights for the technical review. If you or someone you know is newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or just in need of a reboot for living a happy and healthy type 2 lifestyle, I recommend picking it up. And I encourage anyone who has read the book to please leave your thoughts, either here in comments or at Amazon. Thanks for your support.

Paula

 

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