Welcome to 2020. We made it through another year without flying cars or the ability to download books straight into our brains, but the future is full of possibility.
So many of us start the year with goals we want to achieve. Whether it be lose weight, volunteer more, travel or a million other aspirations, setting the goal is the easy part. No one means to break their resolution, but it happens more often than not.
As such, the CCS editors thought we’d help—at least with your writing goals—by providing a list of 10 resolutions you can easily crush, propelling you into the new year and a new you.
Top 10 New Year Writing Resolutions
- I resolve to write my executive summary first instead of putting it off until the end.
This is a great goal, not only because it means you’re not rushing through the most important piece of your proposal, but it also will help you stay more focused throughout the rest of the writing.
- I resolve to learn the difference between effect and affect.
We think you’re kidding yourself on this one, but we’ll try to help: generally speaking, effect is a noun that means “a result” and affect is a verb that means “to influence.”
- I resolve not to use five words when one will do.
2020 vision means seeing clearly, so add that clarity to your writing.
- I resolve to keep my executive summary to no more than three Word pages.
Think of how much time you’ll save in the new year not overwriting.
- I resolve to read my proposal out loud before submitting it for approval.
Hands down, this is the easiest way to find areas where your writing can be improved.
- I resolve to stop capitalizing words that aren’t proper nouns.
Someone’s title, for instance, is only capitalized if it directly precedes their name.
- I resolve to stop using quotation marks around words/phrases that are not quotes.
Stop writing “wow” factor (or worse, ‘wow’ factor). Wow is a word—and single quotes should only be used if the word/phrase is already inside quotation marks.
- I resolve to check my math, especially if financials are in more than one section.
Math is probably not a goal you wanted to make—and probably not one you expected in a list of writing resolutions—but it’s important to your credibility.
- I resolve not to repeat information (in the same section and/or throughout a proposal).
We don’t mean to sound redundant, but think of how much time you’ll save.
- I resolve to look for adverbs, adjectives and liar words that are weakening my writing.
Don’t know what we’re talking about? Stay tuned for an upcoming blog!
New Year, New You
Even though 2020 is technically Barbara Walters’ year, it can be yours, too. Just follow the above writing resolutions, and check back here every month for more writing help!
Don’t be sad. We’ll be back on the first Monday next month with a new blog post. If you can’t wait that long—whether because you have a topic you’d love us to cover, a question or you simply want to throw your two cents into the pot—we love talkin’ shop, so drop us a line.