Following my Free Training Video on Writing & Blogging, I have received several emails from my students and readers. Many of them have shared their writing challenges, while others asked me to share my feedback on their write-ups. I read some great copies and some really shitty drafts (I am proud of you guys!).
After reviewing these copies, I am able to spot a pattern in their writing mistakes and with this post, I want to share that pattern with anyone and everyone who wants to become a ‘powerful’ writer:
The students whose articles were unimpressive used too many words to communicate their idea, and thus their sentences and paragraphs looked fuzzy, unorganized and thus – weak.
And now – here is the permanent remedy to cure weak writing.
I want you to read this snippet from one of my favorite write-ups on writing. Read it at least 5 times now and once every day until this simple idea gets hardwired into your writing brain muscle:
Business writing is about clarity and persuasion. The main technique is keeping things simple. Simple writing is persuasive. A good argument in five sentences will sway more people than a brilliant argument in a hundred sentences. Don’t fight it.
Simple means getting rid of extra words. Don’t write, “He was very happy” when you can write “He was happy.” You think the word “very” adds something. It doesn’t. Prune your sentences.
Humor writing is a lot like business writing. It needs to be simple. The main difference is in the choice of words. For humor, don’t say “drink” when you can say “swill.”
Your first sentence needs to grab the reader. Go back and read my first sentence to this post. I rewrote it a dozen times. It makes you curious. That’s the key.
Write short sentences. Avoid putting multiple thoughts in one sentence. Readers aren’t as smart as you’d think.
Learn how brains organize ideas. Readers comprehend “the boy hit the ball” quicker than “the ball was hit by the boy.” Both sentences mean the same, but it’s easier to imagine the object (the boy) before the action (the hitting). All brains work that way. (Notice I didn’t say, “That is the way all brains work”?)
That’s it. You just learned 80% of the rules of good writing.