Write or not write
Step 1 – Identify readers & Purpose
As you define your purpose, you may decide not to write. Instances when you should not write include:
· Not having anything to say
· Not knowing the facts
· Being the wrong person to write
· Risking too much
If you cannot identify a purpose for your document, then you are wasting your time. Journalists, bloggers, and newsletter authors have to find something worthwhile to say. If they do not, their writing is unfocused, and they will lose readership. If you do not know what to say, you too will fail to write well.
If you are struggling to clarify your purpose, a way to discover one is to identify a problem and then provide a solution. Another approach is to discuss what is new or unusual.
In addition, if you do not know the facts, you should not write. Wait until you learn the particulars.
Writing also requires having the appropriate individual communicate at the appropriate time. Perhaps a different person in your organization needs to write—one with more knowledge, more authority, or less immediacy. Select the right person.
On other occasions, the time might be wrong. If it is untimely, wait.
Last of all, there are instances when writing is too risky. A written message can be too formal, too inflexible, or too dangerous. Customer dissatisfaction, personnel problems, and criticism are best handled face-to-face. These situations need flexibility and immediate feedback.
When you cannot anticipate your audience’s initial position or their changing point of view as a conversation progresses, you will do better if you talk in person or use the phone. This allows you to modify your remarks to match the dynamics of the conversation.