When you learn to write, it works everywhere. I started writing fiction, but I soon noticed that I wrote everything better. My wife would show me her tentative letter to a parent of a child in her class. Without a moment’s hesitation, I could make the letter clearer or stronger. I see a notice on a bulletin board, and I know that the author is talking down to people. I analyze commercials on TV, for they started out as writing.
This is an important thing to learn: All writing is writing. If you learn to write in one category, you can easily shift to another. If you start as a fiction writer, you can shift to brochure writing, or newsletters, or advertising or you name it.
I was amazed to discover that not everyone could write well. A business leader came to me and asked for help drawing up a letter to his employees. This is an amazing ability we have. I compare it to my visits to our family doctor. You describe a few symptoms and instinctively he knows what the trouble is. He cuts through everything and diagnosis the problem. That happens to me, too, when somebody asks me to look at some writing – I know right away what’s wrong.
And you? Are you a family doctor of writing? In your experience, is all writing writing?