By: Jamie Leon

With our busy lives, taking a few minutes to read or even grab a newspaper is a luxury that many of us wish we had the time for. For me, the idea of curling up with a paper sounds much more appealing than quickly perusing information and current events online. In many ways, we are short changing ourselves in the long run by not enjoying that luxury. As a society, we are transitioning away from traditional news outlets in favor of sites like Facebook and Twitter. We no longer read as an avenue to expand our writing, but instead, look for the quick answer.

What we communicators are missing is the importance of reading not only for content but as a guide for becoming better writers, paying attention to devices like style and voice. This ability is often lost through constant attention to the quick writing styles of micro-blogging, for example. Users can share main news points and keep up with events in real time, but may have lost the art of writing a complete thought.

It does not mean we have to take hours out of our day, but just 10 or fifteen minutes to dedicate to enhancing our writing skills by studying the writing styles of elite journalists. We do this every time we write by brainstorming or editing, but what about continuing to find the talent in writing?

Many public relations and journalism professionals begin their careers based on a love for writing and for communicating information in a creative and artistic way. As the youngest member of the Brooks & Associates team, social media to me is what my parent’s newspaper was to them. But, I make a conscious effort each day to read a newspaper such as The Wall Street Journal for the latest energy news or our own local Dallas Morning News to find out what is happening in my community.  I encourage you to find ways to explore and expand your writing, too.

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