My Writing Resolution

In an effort to make it stick, I am announcing my New Year’s resolution for my own business writing:

Before I click Send, I resolve to reread or scan the email I am replying to.

I am motivated by yesterday’s embarrassment. A woman from a huge company emailed me asking for information about my services–specifically about "brown bags." (Note to readers around the globe: A brown bag is a short presentation or seminar at which participants may eat their lunch–thus the brown [lunch] bags.) To give her the right information, I needed to ask her a few questions, and I needed to do this in email since she did not include her phone number.

Among the four questions I included in my reply was one asking for her location. Only after I clicked Send did I notice that she had mentioned her location in her message–and in her subject line. 

My excuse is the head cold I have had this week. But I must admit that all I had to do was glance once more at her message before I sent mine. I would have realized she had already told me her location–twice.

So that’s my resolution. I’m going to reread or scan each original message before I reply.

What are your resolutions for good business writing in 2007? I would love to read them.



  1. Lynn:

    I think this is a good practice – how many times have I regretted not doing this! In addition, I need to check and makesure the “To” and “CC” lines are the right people. I have gotten red in the face a couple times because I replied to the wrong person in the email chain.

    Happy new year!

  2. An excellent idea to start the new year.

    I had this habit of reviewing my reply to the emails atleast thrice before I hit the “send” button. This used to annoy one of my subordinates – only till he goofed up one day sending the email with unreviewed text and spell errors. He was then able to appreciate this valuable habit of reviewing emails multiple times before it is sent.

    “A shot arrow”, “A spoken word” and “A sent email” they say -never come back.

    Happy New Year!

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