6 writing quotes – and how they apply to financial services writing

There’s nothing like a good quote for sharing an insightful and inspiring message. Here are a few classic quotes about writing – and our thoughts on how they apply to financial services writing.

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” –E. L. Doctorow

This is lesson for financial services writers. It’s about evoking emotion and a reminder that writing about saving and investing doesn’t have to be dry. For example, simply saying that it’s important to save for retirement isn’t enough. It’s better to paint a picture about what a comfortable retirement looks like, and explain how your clients can get there.

“To succeed, I do not need to be Shakespeare; I must, though, have a sincere desire to inform.” –Warren Buffett

It’s nice to get a quote from someone who’s not a professional writer per se, although his writing is legendary in the industry. The Oracle of Omaha reminds us that when you’re writing for an audience that may not fully understand what you’re doing, you need to go out of your way to use language that they do understand.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” –Benjamin Franklin

We interpret this to mean that your writing, as well as your life, shouldn’t be boring. As more and more millennials become your clients, you will be faced with two options: either learn this lesson the hard way or be prepared and start building stronger relationships using engaging copy.

“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice.” –Margaret Atwood

Don’t give up if you’re struggling with what to write about or how to write it. That struggle may produce some of your best writing.

“I find I have about six bloggable ideas a day. I also find that writing twice as long a post doesn’t increase communication, it usually decreases it. And finally, I found that people get antsy if there are unread posts in their queue.” –Seth Godin

Sometimes shorter is sweeter. In our image-centric world, this message is more true today than ever before. Do you think that Seth’s strategy would work for you? It’s something to think about.

“When I’m writing, I am concentrating almost wholly on concrete detail; the color a room is painted, the way a drop of water rolls off a wet leaf after a rain.” –Donna Tartt

Details matter, just as much in a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel as they do in a portfolio manager commentary. Your readers deserve it.

Do you have a favourite writing quote? Please share them with us on Twitter or LinkedIn.