Tag: writing

  • The Tongue and Quill

    For decades, “The Tongue and Quill” manual has been used by the U.S. Air Force to improve their written and verbal communication skills. The Air Force communication is required to be exceptionally clear and direct.

    Unclear messages can cause expensive mistakes. Simplification of information and making each word count is vital in the military environment. But this is not limited to the Air Force, most of these techniques are valuable to have in the professional world as well.

    The Tongue and Quill six-step checklist contains the six important steps for effective written communication:

    1 – The First step is to question the need for communication and the receiving audience. Analyzing the purpose of writing helps to eliminate the delivery of information that might not be useful.

    2 – This leads to properly being aware of the information being shared and having sufficient knowledge about it before sharing it.

    3 – This also includes putting the logic to work and adding your thoughts to support the idea.

    4 – Moving on to the structure, a straightforward format should be followed without any self-important words or fashionable phrases.

    5 – The writing must be aimed to inform and not to impress. The language used should be as clear and understandable as possible.

    6 – It is always helpful to take constructive feedback from others and make the necessary improvements.

  • Describing the block

    I recently came across an interesting piece of writing advice from author and essayist Kiese Laymon. In an interview with Literary Hub, he says, “With my head down, like I’m trying to concuss myself. I try to describe the “block” and once it’s described I decide what I need to go through it. Then you have to turn around and describe the feeling of running through it. We’re writers. We don’t run through anything without describing what we ran through.”

    Not just in writing, this appears to be a great problem-solving skill to have. Describing an issue leads us to properly understanding what the issue is, we discover something new in the process of putting it into words, which finally leads us to find ways to fix the issue.

    This is often in the destination – obstructions form but there several facts associated with both that play an important role in the clear understanding of the problem but go unobserved. As it’s rightly said, “a problem well stated is half solved.”