J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

A Dozen Do-Nots: Writing

Dozen-DoNotsA Dozen Do-Nots is part of an on-going series.  You will also find posts about the Dozen from Mike Askew at http://bit.ly/4nnOim.  The idea is to present 12 simple things to avoid in the most practical of areas.

Writing every day, I’ve learned some definite do’s and don’ts about writing.  The hardest thing is to remember what I’ve learned.  Old habits die hard.  With that in mind, I decided to post 12 things that I have learned about writing.  If any of you want to contribute, feel free to add or post.  I hope you enjoy.

A Dozen Do-Nots:  Writing

  1. Do not use anxious when speaking about something in which you are excited.
  2. Do not end a sentence in a preposition.  Really, don’t do this.
  3. Do not use three words when you can use two…or even one.  Seriously, omit needless words.
  4. Do not assume that name calling enhances your point.  It actually diminishes it.
  5. Do not use the word “we” unless you address your audience.
  6. Do not think because people are no longer interacting with you that you have made your point or won the argument.  They may just not like you.
  7. Do not hit publish the moment you finish writing.  Let it percolate.
  8. Do not make presumptions about your audience.  If it is good, people will read it.
  9. Do not hesitate to admit when you are wrong.  Then admit it in writing.
  10. Do not assume you need to produce copy.  If you don’t have anything to say, don’t write.
  11. Do not grow content with what you write about.  Look for new things.
  12. Do not lose the desire for constructive criticism.

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner.

Others in the Series:

Writing a Sermon:  http://bit.ly/2Tti6o

Parenting:  http://bit.ly/6yv8T

Running:  http://bit.ly/A6NYw

Making Your Wife Happy – http://bit.ly/Ty5OK

Marriage Communication – http://bit.ly/IERbQ

Church Planting – http://bit.ly/37hAPb

Being Civil to Others – http://bit.ly/4nnOim

Mountain Biking – http://bit.ly/vdZ6

Wrestling with Your Kids – http://bit.ly/BaQff

September 22, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,


  1. As a regular, weekly newspaper opinion columnist, I find that some of these are indeed relevant. There are many others, not necessarily in the DO NOT format, though.

    Comment by Troy LaPlante | September 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. Great site, how do I subscribe?

    Comment by Kelli Garner | September 29, 2009 | Reply

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