Few things in life make me happier than writing good copy—or teaching others how to do the same.

Just like a chef whose reward is a finger-licking eater, mine is a page-turning reader. Writing has been the best part of all my jobs, whether moving up the account ladder at two top PR firms, serving as editorial director at one of them, or writing reports for scholars at the Ford Foundation.

I founded WeltchekWrites after 18 years at Edelman, where I held various positions. Writing was their common denominator. I never felt I was in the action until I got my hands on the copy, which I usually did.

“I have trouble nailing the direction.”
“Organizing my thoughts is difficult.”
“Where do I start?”

These are just a few of the challenges I hear when I start my writing workshops, to which I always say, “You’re not alone. Writing is hard—for everyone.”

The good news is there’s a way out.  It’s a process that starts with clear thinking—particularly about what you want your readers to take away—so that’s the first thing we tackle. The next? How to start—with a bang.

Then we move through the hallmarks of a clear sentence. A natural voice is a professional voice is always the most popular. (Ditch the mind-numbing jargon.) When we talk about editing, I show chunks of unwieldy text reduced to a few powerful lines. Who doesn’t like to see their copy pop?

Our last stop is proofing and how not to rely 100 percent on spell-check. Public relations veterans like me well know that pubic is a word too.