By Leann Moczydlowski, Account Coordinator, R&J Public Relations
I recently read an article that helped confirm my worst fears about coming generations. They’re mistakenly under the impression that life’s completely up for their interpretation. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly spent my fair share of time combing through the rhyming dictionary to beef up my epic poetry, measuring syllables to perfect the art of Haiku, and painting a plethora of little masterpieces my parents deemed true works of art. But then I had an English professor who refused to join my fan club, and I shook the cold hand of Reality.
I remember being handed back papers, which I was sure intimated true philosophical gems, and staring down the barrel of editing marks. I was brought up on charges of semicolon misuse, comma negligence and grammatical carelessness. I spent a few nights coming up with what I thought a surefire defense; I would plead creativity. But when I entered the classroom the next day, my professor found me guilty and sentenced me to the basics. Looking back on my run-in with English language law, I attest that learning the basics only helped me in the end.
Your work can only be as good as it can be communicated. If you can’t express your thoughts and suggestions in a coherent manner, you won’t succeed in convincing others of the commendation you deserve. Don’t think of writing as a boring, dreadful task whose only place is in academic institutions. Think of writing as your chance to be heard and your means to being creative. Take the time to learn the basics of language law so you can be sure your audience understands you and your messaging successfully carries the value you’re assigning it. Words carry an important power and have the ability to earn you either a positive or negative name. You want to ensure that you’re consistently using language to your advantage, not unwittingly using it to diminish your credibility.
I would have loved to continue living in a world that gushed over my haikus and extolled my epic poetry, but the truth is that pleading creativity will only advance you so far. In order to succeed in a constantly communicating world, you need to be able to strategically position yourself in the conversation.