Many people assume they are bad at writing because it is hard. This is like assuming you are bad at weightlifting because the weight is heavy.
Writing is useful because it is hard. It’s the effort that goes into writing a clear sentence that leads to better thinking.
You are a writer.
You might be an excellent writer. You might be a dreadful writer.
In any case, you are a writer.
You may not write novels. But you compose emails, social media posts, and notes to yourself.
It’s important that what you write is clear and focused.
“But what I write isn’t all that important.”
You may not be telegraphing distress messages from the Titanic, but you never know when sloppy writing could cause significant problems.
“But I don’t write anything very long.”
Short, concise writing is the most difficult kind.
“But writing is hard for me.”
Most important things are hard. But the more we try to improve, the better we get.
Besides, writing is hard for everyone.
When we have an idea floating around in our heads, it seems profound.
But when we try to put that profound idea on paper, we realize it is vague and imprecise.
Putting it into words requires us to flesh out the concept and determine if it stands up to scrutiny.
Your writing should follow the Goldilocks principle: just the right amount of detail.
Too little detail will leave the reader confused.
Or worse, the reader will falsely believe they have understood what you intended.
Too much detail will bury the reader in an avalanche of data without any way to process it.
Your writing should avoid ambiguity, unless you are writing jokes which often depend upon double meaning.
You know what you meant to say, so your writing will seem clear to you.
But what would a reader, who is not an expert mind reader, understand?
Your writing should do its job well. Not all writing is hired to perform the same work.
Are you passing on information? Are you trying to persuade? Are you explaining how to do something?
Be clear about the purpose of your writing and make sure it accomplishes that goal.
The more you write with focused attention, the better your overall communication will be.
And your success, in every area of your life, is directly related to the quality of your communication.
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