I love a good stat. Especially about writing and communicating.

When I was writing the first Write Better book, I decided to practice what I preach and ask real people to share how they feel about writing. What stops us from writing better? Can we improve?

The 182 people who responded made it a better book by helping me decide what to cut and what to keep. Thank you.

3 important bits
Everyone can write better
Getting started is tough
We are judged by how we write and communicate


Over 70% of people wanted to write better – either to feel more confident, for their job or for their small business.

“I KNOW that I don’t sound the same in writing compared to speaking. I don’t know why I am so serious and boring when I write compared to telling a good yarn.”

“So I don’t question myself, develop a style that’s me and to help me write better proposals for work.”

“Good writing can change the world. And we can all be better writers.”

A third of people said knowing how to get started was the toughest part of writing.

“I edit & re-edit everything. I regularly get compliments for my emails, but people have no idea how much time I spend trying to get it right & second-guessing myself.”

“Sometimes simply the act of writing can seem daunting, so I procrastinate.”

Choosing the right words, worrying what others think and finding the time to right all stop us writing better.

“Adapting for each audience. I understand who my audience is but I am naturally detail oriented so I struggle to provide a succinct high level view.”

“Exactly what i should write; & short, impactful ads that regularly engage audience. I am much better at writing overly lengthy detailed missives that I spend ages putting together & refining.”

“I’m fine with clarity. It’s making my writing stand out and having more distinctive/intentional language choices where I feel weak.”

Writing can cause embarrassing situations.

“As a manager, hearing staff speak behind my back about spelling error in my emails.”

“Where what I wrote was misunderstood because I had incorrectly assumed the audience’s knowledge base was similar to mine.”

“When I’ve changed the sentence around so much then it says the opposite of what I mean (i.e. I’ve left a ‘not’ in there by mistake).”

“I avoid writing letters / memos / emails at work because I’m always worried that people are going to think I’m having a go at them.”

98% agree we can all get better at writing.

“Constant practice, plus reading good writing – slowly and with appreciation. I’ll often read something aloud.”

“The more you read, the more you explore words, the more feedback you receive, you can get better.”

“I think some people are naturally better but I also believe it can be learnt.”

“Everyone can improve – studying people whose writing style I admire, having a go at it etc, was something I really wanted to do and then didn’t give it time until last year.”

People are judging you for your writing.

“For sure. I mean, I’m a decent writer, but if I read a horrible Facebook post that I can barely comprehend, yeah, I’m judging their education, intelligence and self respect.”

“Yes. As the only person in the business I worry that what mean to say might be misinterpreted. Also very aware of the ‘trolls’ that come out online and am terrified about how to deal with them if something was not well received.”

“Yes – I work in the medical field and poor writing reduces people’s confidence in your expertise.”

Blogs and emails are where most people want to improve.

“Writing is at the core of my work, so from simple emails between clients and I, to the final product I deliver to them, it all needs to be written the best way possible.”

“Would love to write better emails, ensuring that my meaning is understood and is clear.”

I want to write better…

  • Blogs and articles (48%)
  • Emails for work or business (33%)
  • Social media posts for business (27%)
  • Headings and headlines (23%)
  • Presentations (21%)
  • Job applications (19%)
  • Apologies and managing complaints (13%)
  • Product descriptions (12%)

Ask your audience

Want to know the problems your audience wants you to solve? Ask them.


What’s your biggest writing roadblock?