Write With Confidence in 7 Steps

Seven Steps to Confident Writing Book Review

Seven Steps to Confident Writing by Alan Gelb

Everybody could benefit from learning how to express themselves clearly and persuasively in a piece of writing. Unfortunately, many of us see writing as “the thing we had to do back in school that we weren’t very good at it.”

That is were Alan Gelb comes in. He has written a book that encourages you to get your thoughts down on paper.

Jack London once said, “Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer memory.”

As writers also need to consider the contract we have with our readers. Gelb suggests that we “approach it as a kind of ‘Bill of Rights’ assuring the reader that our writing will have certain basic qualities.” Here is a brief summary of what he refers to as the 6 Cs.

Clarity – be as clear as possible

Conciseness – don’t waste the reader’s time

Construction – readers need to be able to follow your story

Color – make your work feel vivid and fully drawn

Courtesy – don’t alienate the reader

Commitment – make your writing the best it can be

Gelb is a great teacher. His passion for writing comes through on every page. His covers some of the basic errors that writers make and how we can avoid them. He gives us activities and challenges that will help us grow as writers. And best of all, this book isn’t written for writers. It is accessible for people who would never call themselves writers. Hopefully, after reading it, that will change.

He writes, “When you develop the conviction that you can express yourself clearly and persuasively in a piece of writing, then you will feel a sense of empowerment that is revelatory. You can make your wishes and opinions known without expressing anger, neediness, or any other emotion that gets in the way of your message. You will be able to concentrate on what you want to say, and you will be able to say it, which is a profound satisfying feeling.”

I completely agree! I will be adding some of his advice to the next installment of Teaching Tip Tuesday. Stay tuned. This is something you will want to start with your classes for the new school year in September.

My List of 2019 Reads – continually updated all year long