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April 28, 2018

Writing is Hard: 6 Tips For Writing Gooder

@markmotive

I find it extremely difficult to write.

Even if I can defeat the intimidating blank page staring me in the face, articulating my ideas in a sensible and comprehendible fashion is a battle. Creating an interesting and enjoyable read is even more difficult.

I'm no guru, but here are a few quick tips I've learned over the years:

1. Structure: Written content starts and ends with how ideas and supporting content flow across the page. Without structure, you are simply rambling and probably missing your objective.

2. Length: To appear smart, young writers get into the bad habit of creating overly complex sentences.  Writing is about communicating, not ego. Besides, it is much more difficult to be succinct. Try to communicate your message in the shortest way possible. This means reducing word and syllable count by using more precise language.

3. Digestion: Long paragraphs make copy difficult to digest. If you have a long paragraph, identify a separation of thought and break the paragraph in two.

4. Language: Avoid office talk. Phrases like "circle back" should never be used. These kinds of phrases are often unclear and so overused they often fail to engage the reader in the manner intended. For the same reason, avoid clichés. If you find yourself relying on tired clichés, use plain English instead.

5. Write then Refine: Despite my previous points, the goal of your first draft is to simply capture your thoughts. Don't waste energy trying to write the perfect first draft. Instead, refine the structure and language after your first draft is done.

6. Be Awake: A tired mind creates tired copy. You need tremendous energy to identify your ideas and express them through your fingers to the cursor on the screen.

I'm breaking tip #6 right now...so, later for you!

@markmotive

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