Don’t assume …

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in Blog, Writing tips | No Comments

I used to know a guy who was always saying, “Don’t assume, as it makes an ‘ass’ out of  ‘u’ and ‘me’.” Bit naf for sure, and, maybe, technically untrue, but it has stuck with me for over 20 years.

To remember not to assume anything when you are thinking about putting together a piece of writing is great advice.

So often, I find that the writer has not, for one moment, considered who they are writing for. They have assumed all kinds of knowledge and/or opinions for the reader that they just may not have.

I am often tasked with writing a few words about bands who will be playing a forthcoming gig. And, 9 times out of 10, my only source for this, hopefully zippy, little persuasive number, is the band’s website.  Oh dear. I’ve seen sites that don’t tell you who is in the band, what instruments they play or what category of music they fall into. They assume that because you are visiting the site, you already know. I don’t. And probably many other casual visitors to the site, or people whose job it is to promote a gig, don’t know either.

So what should you do? Well it really is pretty simple: think about who is going to read your missive (and that may well be more than one group of people) and write it for them. For example, a band’s website may well be read by their fans, but it is also read by music professionals who want to find out a bit more, venue promotors who want information to help them sell the band to the ticket-buying public.

Incidentally, this rule is also good for tweeting and adding updates for Facebook. What information can you offer that will actually be useful/interesting for your followers/friends? This is one that I’m always striving to live up to …

BTW this post’s gratuitous hipstamatic shot is of the beach at Gullane just before a heavy rain storm.

Leave a Reply