Have you broken Muphry's law? These three tips can help.

3 tips to help improve your writing and obey Muphry’s law


No, you didn’t read a spelling error in the title. Well, you probably did – but rest assured it was deliberate. The little-known Muphry’s law – derived as you might of guessed, from Murphy’s law – is a rule which can be applied to any form of the written word.

The crux of it is that anything that contains criticism of a writing or editing error will in turn have an error somewhere in it – leading to somewhat of a paradox if you find yourself writing and editing all of your own work. However, Muphry’s law can be avoided. Here are three tips that can help your business writing stay well clear of it:

Proofread carefully, but don’t beat yourself up about it

Even if you’re a modern day Wordsworth, chances are you will occasionally make a mistake. Proofreading can be relatively laborious, particularly if you have to scan through page after page of your own writing that’s focused on a particularly dry topic.

Aim not to be too worried about being an absolute perfectionist , especially if you’re only drafting. Spending less time worrying about making mistakes and more on trying to be creative will ultimately benefit the quality of your work.

Keep it simple

If you use too many elongated words and jargon, chances are you’ll not only bore your reader – but you may well just fall foul of Muphry’s law, too.

Keeping things simple and concise will help you better connect with your writing, and benefit your skills in the long run.

Work on it

The old adage goes that it takes 10,000 hours of work to become a master of a subject. Whilst that may be a little bit excessive in this case, practising your writing and reinforcing the basics is a sure-fire way to better your abilities.

If you need a little more help with your writing to sit alongside these tips, you should consider the Effective Business Writing course from ICML. Not only will you become a faster, better writer, but you may well iron out those common pitfalls that Muphry’s law can present, too.

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