People think writing is putting ideas into words. It’s not.

Writing is using words to find out your ideas are crap – so you keep choosing more and different words and honing those ideas. Writing is trying hard to think your thoughts until you actually uncover what those thoughts are.

Writing is making ideas better.

Then you can put them into words.

This idea-having is a process. With my clients, it’s a dialogue: I ask them questions about what they want or what they mean. We hash it out together. We are writing! We improve and clarify the things they’re trying to say, and then I speak those same things back to them a few days later and they say “that’s it” or “that’s not it” or “actually, I’ve changed my mind.”

We find the right ideas. And then we put them into words.

This takes more time than finding words for bad ideas does. It means talking about strategy before you execute. It means you hire the writer not just for your video’s voiceover, but to help you plan the video’s message too. It means you get an architect, not just a builder.

Yes, refining takes more work.

But it gets you a message that’s refined.

And without that, there’s a chance ALL your company’s communications have a Stonehenge Problem. There’s a risk of paying folks to execute your first idea, the one you sketched onto a napkin. The idea that was 80% there, but still needed just a little more refining.