Action not words

Action not words

When you’re writing, why should your motto be ‘Action not words’?

It might seem like a weird rule for someone like me who specialises in writing. But it’s actually very apt.

That’s because in my line of work (health and social change), writing should always be a means to an end. It may be fluent, articulate, punchy, but unless it’s seeking to effect a concrete impact (or ‘action’), it shouldn’t there at all.

The action itself might be something like this:

  • to influence policymakers
  • to encourage people to make lifestyle changes
  • to reassure people about healthcare interventions
  • to empower people to manage conditions and seek treatments
  • to demonstrate impact and raise profile among potential partners or funders
  • to embed cultural change among staff
  • to promote best practice across the sector.

 

So here’s my tip for the day: When you’re starting to write, think ‘action not words’. It will help you focus on the action (your desired outcome) rather than word (the output).

PS Confession: Not an entirely original though: ‘actions not words’ was my school motto.

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