I was in a project team meeting earlier. It’s a pro bono thing and during the course of the meeting, it became very clear to me that, as a professional writer, I think about projects in a very "writerly" way - and that's an important skill I also bring to my client work.
We have data - some quantitative and some qualitative - and we have a report to produce. Because I will have to write the report, I have to determine what the story is. Not vaguely what it is, not kind of what it’s about, but actual words and sentences that communicate why readers should care what that data means.
As a writer, I ask questions that are rooted in the practical act of making stuff understandable and actionable to the right people. So, I’m always thinking ahead: How does that fit? What will that actually look like? What must it do if we want to keep the report moving along?
Thinking about those kind of questions is a big part of how I help my clients to refine their thinking and create more effective content.