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How Easy is Your Writing to Understand?

In a very valid post, Communication Nation asks “How Easy is Your Writing to Understand”?

Are your written messages easy to read and understand? One way to know is to look at how often people respond positively to your requests; or whether they respond at all.

Do people read your messages? Or do they skim them, save them to “read later” or otherwise ignore them? If your writing is hard to read or difficult to understand, people may not get your point, or they may decide to skip reading it entirely.

Clear, simple, easy-to-understand writing is a mark of an excellent communicator. It’s worth taking some time and effort to improve. After all, people won’t act on information they don’t understand.

The author recommends checking your writing with MS Word’s Spelling and Grammar Readability Statistics, but I think that is just a test on what you have already written, not an effort to improve your writing before and after you start.

I’ll be talking more about this over the next few months, but I want you to consider these tips for improving your writing skills.

  • Write: The more you write, the better your writing.
  • Read: The more you read, and the more diverse subject matter you read, the better your writing skills.
  • Write on Diverse Subjects: When you write about only one subject, you tend to repeat yourself, saying the same or similar things over and over. Expand your vocabulary by writing about different subjects or similar subjects in many different ways.
  • Write for Your Audience: When you think about your audience instead of writing just for yourself, your writing changes. You now think about what they will think when they read what you write. You now think about getting your point across to “them” not just making your point. The more you know, respect, and understand your audience, the better your writing for your audience will improve.
  • Play Word Games: Simple spelling games or more sophisticated word and sentence games get you thinking about words individually and as a whole. They test your vocabulary and improve it. They also get you thinking about how to make a point in the fewest words possible.
  • Edit: The more time you spend editing your work and the writing of others, the more you learn how to say things and when to say things. You learn how to cull the words to expose the points and phrases that are critical to the article, cleaning away the clutter.
  • Practice storytelling and jokes: When you practice and study the art of storytelling and joke telling, you learn about the powerful punch words can have to deliver your punch line. Literally. Storytelling, whether to make someone laugh or cry, is an art form and a skill and the more you study the art of the story, the better your writing, since writing is about telling a story.
  • Read Screenplays: There are a lot of screenplays available on the net. Read them. See how a story that eventually ends up as a highly visual display starts out with words and simple descriptions.
  • Practice Poetry: When you play with words as part of poetry, you learn the importance of every word in a phrase. You learn verbal banter, rhythm, and flow.

Do you have tips for helping bloggers write better?

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

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