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  #11  
Old 07-01-2018, 11:21 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Not clear to me what your objective is, but when I read the title of the thread, I think about how to more effectively and efficiently accomplish your objectives. Writing "elegantly", "with more sophistication", and "more artfully" has very little, if anything at all, to do with that.

I do think that the art of communication is mostly lost on actuaries, which is fine if they're in an exclusively technical position but otherwise is a problem. I write a lot - personally, professionally, journal, etc. It helps, even stuff like journaling, which doesn't seem that applicable to business writing. Nothing wrong with technical writing, but that's not going to help with elegance, nor with effectiveness. And most business writing classes I've seen, even at good schools, are very basic.
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2018, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ShivamS View Post
The most important emails, the ones that take time to craft - I take half a day minimum.
Man I'd be working over 24 hours a day. Sure not every email is the most important. But a lot of them are pretty important... and that kind of time just doesn't exist.
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2018, 11:30 AM
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OP, could you clarify what you mean by "elegant" or"with more sophistication"? Are there any examples of "more artful" writing that you are aspiring to you'd care to share?
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2018, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
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The most important emails, the ones that take time to craft - I take half a day minimum.
This is not really workable unless you want to be on call 24/7
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  #15  
Old 07-01-2018, 11:44 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Originally Posted by lllj View Post
Sure not every email is the most important. But a lot of them are pretty important... and that kind of time just doesn't exist.
Sometimes I can't afford that amount of time, sometimes I can't afford not to. Not saying that amount of time is available for a significant chunk of emails, but I probably have a handful of emails per year that I send that really, really matter for what I'm trying to do. If it takes 10 minutes or 10 days to get that email right, it's just what has to happen.

In general, when people tell me that "a lot" of anything is "pretty important", my first thought is that I don't think they know what the word "important" means. Because 90% of anything is garbage.
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  #16  
Old 07-01-2018, 11:44 AM
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I apologize for the confusion. The title and what I wrote in the body are a bit contradicting since ideal business writing (at least in actuarial but maybe in law?) don't usually go well with elegance and has concision take precedence.

With that said, I've always perceived being able to write elegantly with advanced writing techniques to be very respect worthy.
Also, personally I find it quite satisfying when reading well written English.
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  #17  
Old 07-01-2018, 11:47 AM
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I guess learning to write very well is a more personal side goal rather than a career related goal but I thought I make a thread here since it can also be beneficial at work in certain situations...
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2018, 12:08 PM
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I recommend to just get writing....and then go back later and re-read what you wrote.

FWIW, we're always looking for authors for the actuarial newsletters.... I know you're CAS, but hey, if you have something you'd like to share with the SOA modeling session, we'd be interested (because I'm one of the editors of the newsletters)

This goes for anybody on the AO -- just send me an email! (don't worry, you don't need to spend hours crafting an email to me)
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  #19  
Old 07-01-2018, 12:09 PM
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Writing well is a good goal, but I would prioritize speaking well. Especially if you have trouble with the language in general. If you could choose to be either a great writer or a great speaker, being a great speaker will help you much more in every facet of life.

I think for introverts especially, it just feels more comfortable to make a big personal project out of writing well than speaking well. Becoming a good speaker often requires putting yourself in very uncomfortable situations, with immediate and unforgiving feedback. It’s scary. But that’s how you grow.

For business writing, greatness or elegance isn’t really required. Just avoid the big mistakes. Get to the point of being not terrible (which is a higher bar than many realize), and put your energy into speaking instead.
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  #20  
Old 07-01-2018, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonlnear View Post
Writing well is a good goal, but I would prioritize speaking well. Especially if you have trouble with the language in general. If you could choose to be either a great writer or a great speaker, being a great speaker will help you much more in every facet of life.

I think for introverts especially, it just feels more comfortable to make a big personal project out of writing well than speaking well. Becoming a good speaker often requires putting yourself in very uncomfortable situations, with immediate and unforgiving feedback. Itís scary. But thatís how you grow.

For business writing, greatness or elegance isnít really required. Just avoid the big mistakes. Get to the point of being not terrible (which is a higher bar than many realize), and put your energy into speaking instead.
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