"Write what you think is interesting. Even if nobody else thinks it is. Stick with it. Fight for it.” Vince created Breaking Bad, so he should know. When I met him a few years ago, that's the advice he gave me. So I do it.
It sure worked out for Bryan Cranston, next to some guy shown here grinning ear to ear.
"But that's for stories," you say. "I write public relations and business and policy."
*Write what's interesting to you* is still the rule -- and in those cases it's even more important. To learn why (and for more on my experiences with Breaking Bad), click the link to ready my latest column. https://us6.campaign-archive.com/?u=0609fcd33c658d02090de606f&id=8e6279af68
When we write, we tend to focus on feelings and reactions. We list emotions and justify them. We look inside ourselves and we "mindread" others.
You're falling in the "talk trap."
Instead, observe and report. Describe what the reader would see, hear, taste, touch, and smell if he or she were there. Don't tell us what people "felt." You're not them.
Instead, describe the environment so thoroughly that whatever someone in it is feeling... the reader might feel it, too.
When you see Charlie Brown walking with his head down, you know he's depressed. Would you rather read "Charlie Brown walked away hanging his head -- again," or "Charlie Brown looked depressed"? Which is more engaging?
To ask is to answer.
I call this the "talk trap." Avoid it. Don't draw conclusions on our behalf, give us facts that lead us to the conclusion ourselves.
Writing like this is a foundational element of professional-caliber work.
Big events are *historic*... but everything that happened before this second is *historical.*
Like this: The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" was a historic re-imagining of what pop music could sound like. Pop and rock music styles are otherwise well defined, and historical examples are everywhere on the radio.
Also, this example: Historically, most people have bought cars using a loan. It was a historic shift when many gave up loans for leases, saving a little money each month in exchange for surrendering accumulated value.
The historic/historical distinction is one you want to get right because the words mean significantly different things: they describe what is notable versus what is common.
Use 'em correctly and your writing gets sharper. More important than that? Your thinking becomes more precise, and that comes out in all you do.
When you're a communicator, you avoid words that are obscure to the reader. That applies to punctuation, too.