Susannah’s blog about writing and websites

To write well, play to your strengths

Do you think of yourself as a bad writer? When I was at school I certainly thought I would never earn my living by writing. But here’s some encouragement from a writing coach whose newsletters I enjoy, Daphne Gray-Grant. In a recent blog post, Daphne points out that writing involves many skills, not just one. […]

Good websites save time

I’ve just had an exchange of emails that started at the “Contact us” page on a company website. The website provided an enquiry form, I filled it in and got an email reply. I replied to their email and they replied to mine. What’s the problem? The problem is that it was all unnecessary. The […]

Could Dickens help your business writing?

At the end of our Clarity training courses we give out a list of recommended reading. The idea is that people’s writing is influenced by what they read and that a dose of good fiction may counteract the corporate drivel that they are inundated with at work. I’m thinking of adding Dickens’ novels to our […]

Nounitis on the train

Just as I had settled into my seat on the train and was looking forward to a good breakfast, a voice announced that there would be no restaurant trolley coming down the train “due to a shortfall in staffing levels”. What had happened? The announcement gave nothing away. Those dull abstract nouns “shortfall” and “levels” […]

Please, Santa, no more turd polishing

The Christmas edition of The Big Issue carries a plea from its founder-editor, John Bird, for more clarity in dealings between the public and the state. In his editorial letter to Santa, Bird says clarity in parliament and on the part of the government is in short supply. Instead, he says “One feels that turd […]

Don’t make me …

I am driven wild by websites that force you to do things you don’t want to or haven’t time to do. No wonder so many websites fail. You want to buy; they want to sell, but they don’t take the trouble to make it easy for you. For example, I wanted to buy some sheet […]

Clarity trumps persuasion

Not Persuasion with a capital P. I’m not suggesting we could outdo Jane Austen, but that headline did lift my spirits. It’s the conclusion of some research into what makes a good website, carried out by marketingexperiments.com and reported by Gerry McGovern in one of his weekly newsletters. The researchers found that it was more […]