You cannot edit yourself any more than you can tickle yourself, and for the same reasons, Diane Middlebrook once told me. Better writers understand this.
Almost all writers need a second set of eyes to assess and improve the first four qualities in a document they compose, because they typically already believe they’ve been concise, complete, clear, and convincing enough. To assess and improve the rest often requires that second set of eyes, too.
I believe that *courtesy* comprises all the other qualities, as the basis of successful communication, of fostering and maintaining relationships.
Thank you, Bob Crockett, for suggesting numbers 7 and 8 (though I’m embarrassed I hadn’t already placed “consistency” on the list).
[Note: My list overlaps a lot with this one but was put together independently. It’s not surprising its author and I reached similar conclusions, of course.]
(photo by Bob Basil)