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The A-Z of writing

A mini-series that will influence and improve your words for work.

For writing to be effective it needs to be human, to connect us as humans. This is a time when we all need to be more aware of the potential of words – and to use them with greater joy.”

John Simmons

In 2020, John Simmons wrote a series of chapters based on his book The Invisible Grail from which the spirit of Invisible Grail is descended. Starting with an introduction, each chapter takes the next step along the alphabet and in the process gifts ideas that will help you find the words to motivate, inspire and engage people reading your writing.

Take a look and top up your inspiration for writing at work.

Introduction: The A-Z of writing

Two decades ago I wrote a book called The Invisible Grail. It was about writing better stories in and for organisations, because stories matter, they connect… Read more.

Chapter one

Any writer knows that it’s not always easy to get started. Sometimes the world seems to be divided into writers and people who want to be writers…

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Chapter two

Before you begin, think about how you are going to grab your reader’s attention…

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Chapter three

Coronavirus is right there at the forefront of our thinking, threatening to dominate everything we do. But can you force yourself to think new thoughts and write new words…

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Chapter four

Do this, don’t do that. Deadlines demand timely headlines. Alliteration and rhyme, the techniques of poetry, do we use them or abuse them?

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Chapter five

Eggs over easy. Remembering business trips to the US and staying in hotels where they offered that almost endless list of American ways of having eggs for breakfast. 

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Chapter six

F*** business.’ At least Boris Johnson was clear when he uttered those words…

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Chapter seven

Gotcha! is the headline many British people think of when headlines are mentioned.

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Chapter eight

How do you make a thought more vivid? Metaphors are certainly one way to do it.

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Chapter nine

I always prefer the first-person pronouns ‘I’ and ‘we’ to their third-person alternatives in the world of work.

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Chapter ten

Just as english advances, other languages fight back.

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Chapter eleven

Kilimanjaro, Kyoto, K-2, K-9. Words that release different memories.

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Chapter twelve

Let’s linger a while with the beguiling sounds of words.

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Chapter thirteen

Messages are communicated through the words that we write.

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Chapter fourteen

Nothing will come of nothing, as we know from King Lear.

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Chapter fifteen

Once I selected poems for all the members of the company where I was working.

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Chapter sixteen

Punctuation is the cause of many problems.

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Chapter seventeen

Questions can be very useful in helping you get started on a piece of writing.

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Chapter eighteen

Rise to your feet and feel the words coursing through your veins.

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Chapter nineteen

Short simple words are the demands of the modern chief executive. Short words suit swift actions.

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Chapter twenty

Talking in someone else’s voice – is it ventriloquism? Impressionism?

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Chapter twenty- one

Usually adverts come one at a time and are soon forgotten.

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Chapter twenty-two

Very few of you will have failed to notice that I like to use quotations. 

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Chapter twenty-three

‘What’s in a name?’ goes the familiar quotation from Romeo and Juliet.

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Chapter twenty-four

Xerxes is a favourite name from my childhood reading.

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Chapter twenty-five

Ending on endings.

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