Good Guys Write (& Edit) Best

February 2001
by Ron Kenner, Editor, RKedit

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The idea that “Good guys write best” is not a pitch for a higher morality in the content of one’s writing. It’s a call for more effective writing by applying some practical “good guy” principles. Simply put, good guys and gals produce quality writing or editing with liberal doses of the good guy ingredients: humility, generosity, conscientious energy, persistence, reliability, courtesy, sympathy, empathy, honesty, etc.
Undoubtedly some “bad guys” write well, usually by applying—in their writing, anyway—some “good guy” principles, such as hard work. Admittedly, some bad guys have great talent, not all good guys write best, and many can’t write their way out of a paper bag. But then not all good guys put their principles into their writing practice.
Applying “good guy” principles to writing and editing would seem essential. Yet in books, magazines, seminars, classes, and newsletters, these practices typically gain little or no mention by authors, editors, publishers, writing teachers, or critics. Really! Whether it’s some kind of universal reality or not, being a good guy, or gal, seems a good policy to follow. And here’s the good part—by drawing on one’s better self, almost anyone can become a better writer or editor.
Aside from the curious and wondrous talents of certain creative neurotics, womanizers, alcoholics, druggies, blue meanies, despicables, and the like—an extremely large percentage of whom burn out early or, as…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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