The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well.
Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.
Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:
Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing*. Read it three times.
Write the way you talk. Naturally.
Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
Never write more than two pages on any subject.
Check your quotations.
Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.
If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
If you want ACTION, don't write. Go and tell the guy what you want.
"You begin by trying to forget for a while what the Nazi tank in an Indiana Jones film would “really” sound like, and start thinking about what it would FEEL LIKE in a nightmare. The treads would be like spinning samurai blades. The engine would be like the growl of an angry beast. You then go out and find sounds that have those qualities, or alter sounds to make them have those qualities. It makes no difference whether the sounds you collect actually have anything to do with tanks, samurai blades, or growling animals. The essential emotional quality of the sounds is virtually ALL that matters"
-Randy Thom ( film sound designer )
"...I did not go where I could do no good to you or to myself; but where I could do the greatest good privately to everyone of you..." -socrates