Good writing evokes emotion. Good writing connects things. Good writing tells a story that the reader can relate to. Too often, writers only judge themselves against other writers. Those with better vocabularies and slicker prose seem, by all technical accounts, to be the best of the group. It’s enough to think that good writing, and becoming a good writer, requires formal education.
This is wrong.
Good writers don’t necessarily quote Shakespeare, nor do they use four- and five-syllable words. They don’t try to impress their readers with slick verses that rhyme and flow effortlessly from beginning to end. Good writers, like any good communicator, worry about one thing and one thing only: connecting their audience to the story.
Write to be understood
Good writers construct their writing in a way that’s understood by their target audience. Big words, little words, made up words and even text speak are all up for grabs. While smooth prose is certainly fun to read, it’s not always necessary to be understood.
Write in your own voice
My #1 rule is to write like Aaron Sorkin would have you talk (American President, The West Wing, Sports Night, Social Network and Studio 60). Sorkin’s style is short, sharp bursts that serve to move everything along, without the small talk that clouds understanding. Write like Sorkin would write a story based on your life.
Embrace flaws and weaknesses
The biggest difference between an okay writer and a good one usually isn’t talent, but rather an understanding of just what they can’t do. If you sound like a bumbling idiot when using big words, you probably want to put the thesaurus down the next time you write a post. If your vocabulary is limited, who cares? Just write as who you are.
Write like you stole something
Far too many blogs are safe. They talk about boring, everyday situations that in no way stand out.
Stop doing that.
Tell a story that may not have happened to someone else. Tell a story that you’ve been holding back for fear of embarrassment. Share a success that you’re not totally sure you’ve earned. Either way, stop judging writing as it’s being written. That’s what editing is for.
Tons of Page.ly customers use the service not because it’s inexpensive, looks great or has great customer service, but rather because it gets rid of previous writing obstacles like how exactly to publish online, design a blog or trudge through the tedious process that too often accompanies online services that don’t offer automatic WordPress hosting.
Now, arrange your desk, clear your mind and get to writing. Any tips that you’ve found that makes writing easier?