Take a break

Take a break

Write your message and put it aside. Come back to it after a while and read it again. 

It will give you a fresh perspective on it.

Isabel G. (@isabelg) - Profile Photo

@isabelg

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Communication

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Choose your words carefully

Use words that will help people understand what you’re trying to say rather than words that are confusing or distracting.

Avoid using jargon, idioms and obscure metaphors.

The “curse of knowledge”

It is a cognitive bias that describes the fact that when you know something, it's very difficult to know what it's like not to know it.

The things you know seem so obvious to you and you assume that everyone else knows them too.

Test out your message

Seek feedback. What it's obvious to you might not be obvious to the others. 

Show your message to other people and have them honestly say how clear it is to them.

Edit savagely

The most important part of writing is rewriting.

For every sentence, ask: ‘Is that actually conveying to someone other than me what I mean for it to convey? Can I state it more succinctly, more concretely?’

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RELATED IDEAS

The root cause of bad writing

The root cause of bad writing is struggling to imagine what it is like for someone else not to know something that you know. Whenever writing is loaded with jargon, clichés, technical terms, and abbreviations, two questions come to mind:

  1. What is the writer is trying to say?
  2. How can the writer state those ideas more clearly without using confusing language?

3

IDEAS

Professional Writing: The Curse of Knowledge

The Curse of Knowledge, suffered by many authors, is the inability to think like the less-informed layperson who is going to read the content.

  • Professional writing is filled with all kinds of ‘ese’, legalese, academese etc. which makes it unrelatable and unclear, confusing or boring the reader.
  • Writers are not aware that they need to simplify, clarify and be in the shoes of their readers.
Make The Readers Feel Something

Honesty is the most important ingredient. You don’t have to be or have gone through something to write about it but you must have a heartfelt feeling about it so you can expose that emotion through your writing. 

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