Simple Writing Tips, even if You Aren’t A Writer

We are all writers. You may not feel like a writer or label yourself that way, but you write every day. Whether you’re writing books, emails, blog posts, text messages, school assignment papers, work documents, Instagram captions, Facebook statuses, or tweets. You write more often than you might realize.

And writing is a skill where you can never be the best at. You will always be able to grow and expand. Even when you think you’ve reached what you believe is your maximum, there is still room for improvement. Trust me. This is true for everything in life, not just writing. 

In today’s modern world, where information is one type of currency, and everyone writes, it’s very easy to come across useless and useful information. If you’re reading this post, you’re probably interested to be a better writer, and the simplest yet most powerful advice I can give you is this:

Less is more.

When it comes to almost everything in life, this little maxim is true, but when it comes to writing it’s double true. Good writing often follows a minimalist approach, using concise language, short sentences, and carefully chosen words to appeal to a wide audience. Your goal must be to inform a reader with as few words as possible, no matter the topic, preferred medium, or writing style. 

Simplicity and clarity are the difference between a mediocre writer and a great one. Everyone is competing for our attention, make your content so good that you win all the time.

 

I gave you the most important tip above. All others are just a cherry on top.

Writing Doesn’t Have to Be Painful

Clarity is The Key, Keep it Simple

Make sure you’re concise and clear on the topic you write about. There is a quote from Albert Einstein that sums this best: “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

  • Avoid using unnecessary words, particularly adjectives and adverbs. Use them only when they really add to a thought. 
  • Use short sentences instead of long ones. When you have a long sentence, break it up and create two shorter ones for the reader to digest more easily. 
  • Active voice in, passive out. The noun-verb-object pattern is more engaging and easier to read.

Don’t Use Big Words

A study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology found that complex writing makes you sound small-minded. Author John Grisham said: “There are three types of words: (1) words we know; (2) words we should know; (3) words nobody knows. Forget those in the third category and use restraint with those in the second.” 

Remember: Words are tools, use them to make your writing more precise. There is no need to use a ten-dollar word when a ten-cent word will suffice.

Edit Ruthlessly

Editing is a tough skill because people place immense value on the time and effort they put into writing in the first place. Use the 80/20 rule. For every 2 minutes of writing, spend 8 minutes editing. Writing truly is rewriting.

Learn to Finish

No piece of writing will ever be perfect – you have to know when it’s time to let it go.

Practice Daily

The more you write, edit, and proofread, the better you get at it.

 

 

Writing these tips for you is a good way to improve my writing as well. Now, I’m going to take my own advice and call this post done. I hope you find these tips useful, no matter how long you’ve been writing.

 

Cheers!

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