Tips for Writers and Editors: Read and Write, Yes, But Shut Up

Writers and editors are often encouraged to read widely and deeply, write lots and variously, and then do it all some more. Like so many people today, writers and editors are urged to consume and express—copiously, volubly, incessantly. However, a greatly undervalued tip is to shut up and listen—that is, ask questions, listen to the answers for what is said and what is not said, eavesdrop on conversations, be the “sounding board,” contemplate, and indulge in silence. Ironically, simply shutting up for a while can be the best thing for a communicator.

Yes, there’s been some silence in the blog roll. However, it’s been a busy time. And much of it has been spent listening, asking pointed questions, and listening some more. Only some of it has been spent writing, editing, and reading. I believe—and hope others agree—that all this listening is to the good. Good for the work of writing and editing and good for life all round.

In coming blog entries, look for more about silence, more about listening, and more about top tips for writers and editors. Also coming—favourite books and web sites…

© Laura Edlund 2010