A duckling snuggles against Mom in July at the Foote Lagoon in Loveland, Colo. Good writing helps keep the words tight and comfortable for the reader.
By Shelley Widhalm
#Writing is not easy, even for a writer, but there are some #QuickAndDirtyTips for writing that you won’t learn in English class.
Forget the five paragraphs and the introductory and concluding sentences. Go for the essential details and tell your story clearly, concisely and simply. Get in the needed transitions, or those sentences that tie together two seemingly disparate ideas, and forget the tangents.
To avoid veering off subject, figure out what you want to say or write first and identify the message from your rough notes. Otherwise, you’ll lose the #reader in your word clutter.
The Quick Tips
There are three things you should do in any piece of writing.
First, identify that main message. What is it exactly that you want readers to take away from your blog, article or social media content? What ideas, perspectives or emotions are you trying to convey?
Second, figure out your #audience. Are your aiming to reach high-end coffee connoisseurs or do they prefer a casual outing? Write in that tone? Do you want some humor? Do you want to be casual? Or is being serious more fitting?
And lastly, peg your structure. Do you want to tell an anecdote up front and then tell a story? Do you see a beginning, middle and end to what you have to say? Do you want to segment the content into topics or create a list?
The Dirty Tips
Here are some tips writers know but may not want to share (it’s what sets them apart and makes their writing great).
- Be concise and say what you want to say in one sentence, not three. In other words, know how much information is enough and what’s relevant. Cut the rest.
- Avoid writing in abstractions and using words that convey only the big ideas. Don’t generalize but be specific in what you want to say.
- Avoid using jargon and unnecessary and fanciful words. Don’t embellish your language just to sound good.
- Write in the active voice to keep the writing brief and in the present, so that it feels current and relevant.
Once you achieve quick and dirty writing and put in the time and energy to practice, you’ll be able to fit in writing between the busy hours of running a #business. Or you can hire some to do it for you and know that they’ve got the clean writing that brings in customers and clients.