writing skills

Become a better writer

Read. I'm sure you've heard this at least once before: Good writers read. Well, it's true. Ask any successful author what books he or she has read, and I promise the list will be ridiculously extensive.

As the great Stephen King once stated: "If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that."

Books, articles, reports open you to worlds you may never have the resources to physically travel to, professions you may never have the time to earn degrees for, and people and cultures you may never encounter in your daily walk. Our lives and experiences are enriched through reading.

Reading helps you, dear writer, do the following:

  • Find inspiration
  • Gain knowledge
  • Learn genres
  • Improve vocabulary
  • Learn from masters
  • Better understand language

And what if you're reading this and don't consider yourself a writer? Reading is still paramount.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts report "To Read or Not to Read," reading skills correspond directly to one's ability to do the following: 

  • Be an informed citizen
  • Communicate effectively
  • Earn a higher salary
  • Succeed a chosen profession
  • Achieve personal fulfillment

Yes, Purple Inked is here to help you with grammar rules, punctuation marks, and different writing techniques. But you have to do the reading to master the words.

So tell us, what are you currently reading?

One book that should be on everyone's shelf

One of the best investments I made in 2015 was in Danny Rubin's book Wait, How Do I Write This Email? Although I've well missed the cutoff to be considered a millennial, the generation of Rubin's target audience, I am still young at heart. And this book is chock-full of invaluable templates for professionals of any age and stage. Months into 2016, I am still regularly turning to it for assistance in crafting nearly every business correspondence.

Believing that great writing skills can be the key to career success for many, Rubin has spent several years teaching millennials the power of strong writing and networking skills through workshops and his blog, News To Live By. Additionally, his first book, 25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25, provides a comprehensive list of leadership skills and tips every millennial should know to be successful in the business world. He is, in my opinion, a communications champion and guardian of the written word for this generation.

For the rest of us who can only visualize twentysomething from our rearview mirrors when we squint, Rubin's lessons are still very applicable. In more than 200 pages, Wait, How Do I Write This Email? covers writing emails, business letters, resumes, and so much more.