Four Things I Learned About Writing From Pneumonia

I hate being sick. I like my doctor, though. He has a wonderful bedside manner. He can break the news that I have pneumonia for the third time, and make me feel happy to have seen him. He has a gift.

It would be terrible to have endured this ordeal and not have learned anything. So, here’s what I learned about writing (and communications, in general) after having pneumonia for the third time.

1. Make every word count. If it’s painful to speak, only say what is necessary. Edit mercilessly until you’ve boiled it down to the bare bones and then edit some more.

2. Be as clear as possible. In the pneumonia scenario, being asked to repeat yourself is not only frustrating, it’s debilitating.

3. Get the audience’s attention immediately. Never has there been a more important reason to have a riveting “hook”. Throw a book or a shoe if necessary.

4. If the boss wants to chat, use Instant Messenger. Nothing ruins a person’s professional image more than sounding like a rusty hinge when you’re trying to sound strategic.

Thanks for all your get-well wishes, friends!

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3 Comments

Filed under writing tips

3 responses to “Four Things I Learned About Writing From Pneumonia

  1. Kathryn

    WELCOME BACK!!!!!
    Sorry to hear it was that serious–pneumonia is nothing to joke about. But I’m glad you are recovered, at least to the point of feeling able to post.

    And–yes, isn’t electronic communication a BLESSING at times!

  2. Amy Armbrjster

    Love it that you have turned an awful experience into a lesson. Hope 2011 treats you more kindly.

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