Atrocious Copy (and What to Do About It)

The web is filled with atrocious copy.

In fact, I sometimes find myself muttering, “I see illiterate people…” (apologies to M. Night Shyamalan).

So what's the problem? Why is there so much bad copy? I think the answer is rather simple. It's contained in some advice Stephen King offers in his book, On Writing. King says that the two keys to being a good writer are, “read a lot, and write a lot.”

If you say that you just don't have the time to read very much, you're kidding yourself. You're not serious about your craft. Even more so if your excuse is you don't have time to write very much.

If you want to improve your skill as a writer, you have your marching orders: read more, and write more.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.

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  • Yes, that was one of my favorite quotes from ‘On Writing.’ “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have to time or the tools to write.”

    One of your favorites John Carlton suggests you read one fiction book for each two business/self help books you read. Do you agree with this? Thanks.

    • Yes I agree – reading fiction adds depth (if the fiction is good!) to your work.

      John Carlton is indeed one of my favorites!