Better Writing: 3 things not to do

Mar 10, 2014 | Better Writing

Whether you’re writing a book, a blog post, or a memorandum you want to get an idea from your brain to the reader’s brain. That’s more likely to happen if you avoid these three common mistakes.

Don’t try to be creative.

Spend your creative energy on developing ways to make your point clearly. Trying to create the impression that you’re creative usually results in copy that’s hard to understand.

Don’t try to be a “writer.”

Tell your story simply and clearly. Tell it the way you’d tell it around a campfire or to a good friend over a glass of wine.

Don’t be cute.

Cute just doesn’t work in good business writing. Cuteness may make you feel good, but it makes your work hard to read and understand.

Make your writing simple and understandable.

Simple words and sentence structures are the way to go. Your writing should score 50 or above on the Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease Test.

Read your copy aloud. Your tongue will find difficulties that your eyes may miss.

Read your writing to someone else and ask them what you said. Intelligent 15-year-olds are my favorites for this.