Keep Your Writing Brief and to the Point

Orangeville, ON (My Corner Office) Recently, an editor told me that their magazine’s format had changed. They had to edit the article I had written after the initial go-ahead to fit two facing pages. The editor informed me they had cut five paragraphs without losing the impact of the article.

Around the same time, friend returned a chapter I had given him for feedback. He red-penciled out every fourth word or so. Rather than upsetting me, I conceded that the changes improved the quality.

These were two of the most valuable and consequential learning experiences for my writing career. In both instances, it forced my ego to admit the justification of the word slashing.

Since then, I’ve maintained the discipline to always cut non-essential elements. This applies even in low-stakes writing tasks, like tweets.

If you can cut something, cut it. Always tighten up the expression of your message. That’s my motto; consider adopting it also.

1 Comment

  1. No matter where you’re at in your writing process, you’re exactly where you need to be. Writing is a labour of love – with the emphasis certainly on the word “labour.”

    Writing is hard, and it’s important to remember that some days the words will come easier than others. Rather than get frustrated about a sticky scene or tricky passage, celebrate the words you’re able to write and get excited for the ones that will come later.


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