For writing to be both powerful and compelling, it’s up to you!

For writing to be both powerful and compelling, it’s up to you!

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

How do I write part 2

Forwriting to be both powerful and compelling, it’s up to you!

Thisis part two of “how I write.” It is NOT part two of “how TOwrite.”

Everyoneneeds to (learn to) write in a more compelling manner. Clear,concise, compelling writing is a rarity in our world. E-mail and textmessaging has helped with clear and concise, but it has taken”compelling” out of the formula.

Istarted last week by elaborating on the following major points:

Iwrite like I think. I write like I talk.
Iwrite anywhere, anytime.
Icollect ideas.
I collect thoughts.
WhenI get the idea, I stretch it.
Iwrite from my own experience.
WhenI write a column or a chapter, I stick to one subject, thought, ortheme.
Iwrite with authority.
Idon’t “call it” anything.
Idon’t care about grammar.
Ido care about structure. I do care about flow.
Irely on spell-check, and keep on writing until I complete thethought.

I’msharing my personal writing habits and methods because I believe theywill help you understand writing, and become a better writer. Andyes, I’ll tell you how you can get both parts at the end of thiscolumn.

Hereare the rest of my personal writing philosophies:

Mywriting voice is not PC. If I waste time with “his or her,” Ilose my thought. I don’t mean to be insulting, I’m just writingin my voice. It’s how I grew up. It’s the same voice as all theearly books I read, and continue to read. NOTE WELL: It’s a MESSAGEand a THOUGHT. It’s an IDEA or a STRATEGY. Not a GENDER.

Iwrite in the male gender because I’m a male. I never mean tooffend anyone. I’m trying to make points, generate new thinking,and help people succeed. That advice knows no gender. Read betweenthe pronouns, don’t get hung up on them.

Ido not include myself with the reader. I separate myself from thereader with pronouns. I say “you” “your” “they” “he””she” “it” or “the,” NEVER “we” or “our.” I talkto the reader, but never include myself in the thought. NOT, “Weall know…” rather, “You know.” NOT, “Our thoughts tell us…”rather, “Your thoughts tell you…”

Ibreak the rules of traditional writing, grammar, and punctuation.Teachers of grammar would not give me a passing grade. I could careless. I’ve sold a million books. How many have they sold?

Iedit when I finish, but I edit better a day later. Editing isrevealing. It tells you what you were thinking at the moment youwrote it. Editing a day later reveals, “What was I thinking when Iwrote this?” EDITING SECRET: I read aloud when I edit. And Iask others to edit when I think I’m finished. Both of these secretsmake my writing twice as powerful.

Iend my lists with .5 rather than a whole number, for 2.5 basicreasons:

1.The .5 statement at the end of each list I make is the glue thatbinds the rest of the list.

2.Ending this way makes me think deeper about the subject. Think of ahigher level. Here’s where I can add philosophy, humor, challenge,and or a final call-to-action.

2.5It makes my lists different from all other lists. It brands me, andsets me apart from all other list makers (except for the few thatcopy me).

Ilove to write. This may be the biggest secret of writing withpassion and clarity. I believe loving it makes the thoughts flowdeeper and more consistently. I believe loving it makes me consider”long term legacy” as well as “short term impact.” I believemy love of writing makes me a more complete writer. Content becomesmore relevant, and pride of authorship shows through in everysentence.

Ijust counted personal pronouns. The word “I” appears in this twopart column more than 90 times. A record. I use first person singularsparingly. If you’re a regular reader, you know I avoid firstperson plural (we, our) like the plague. It sucks the power out of mywriting. And it drains the impact by lowering the value of thewriter. When you write, you’re the authority. The reader isprobably not, don’t include yourself with them.

Lessabout me, and more about you:

Hereare 5.5 things you can do to improve your skills today:
1.Just sit down and write something. Every day.

2.Save your best thoughts and ideas the second they occur. Not on a padof paper or a diary. ON A COMPUTER, where you can re-read it, expandit, and edit it.

3.Write it like you would say it.

4.Make sure your thoughts are simple, easy to understand, and complete.

5.Edit early and often.

5.5You’re writing for the reader AND yourself.

Wantboth parts of this article? Go to – register ifyou’re a first time user and enter the words HOW I WRITE in theGitBit Box.

JeffreyGitomer is the author of The Little Red Book of Selling andThe Little Red Book of Sales Answers. President ofCharlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual salesmeetings, and conducts Internet training programs on sales andcustomer service at He can be reached at704/333-1112 or e-mail to

c2006 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing thisdocument without written
permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer andBuy Gitomer . 704/333-1112