Give Me a Present

Writing Well by Using Present Tense

I love gifts as much as the next gal, but for this edition of 

Amy Mac’s Wonderful World of Writing Well

we’re focusing less on gifts, more on tense.Specifically, when writing, remember – the past is the past, so use present tense whenever possible.

Why? Because the present tense reads better. It’s more exciting. It’s RIGHT NOW, which has more impact than … well, any other time.

An example:

She successfully launched the ABC product.

Sounds like it happened 40 years ago.

Through her successful launch of the ABC product, revenue increased by 50 percent.

Now we’re talking. Even if she launched that product 40 years ago, it sounds current because she’s using the present tense in the hook of the sentence.

Using past tense is a frequent problem in resumes and bios. Challenge yourself to take another look at your successes from years ago, and pull every verb you can into the present tense.

Feel free to send me gifts for giving you this writers’ secret of using present-tense. What? No? Well, at least come be my BFF on Facebook.

Amy Mac


Autumn said...

I don't know why I have such a hard time with this? I am working on it! Thanks for the push.

Amy Mac said...

Autumn-I think it's just more natural for us to use past tense - when we talk, anything that happened five minutes ago falls into the "past" category. Good news is once you're paying attention to it, you'll find it pretty easy to change to present tense :-) ---Amy