As a writer I am always looking to improve. That improvement happens through increasing my vocabulary, writing everyday and examining my skills that need work. Concise writing is one important skill that is overlooked by many writers, and one I am working hard to improve in myself.
Crafting a piece of writing that says exactly what it needs to and no more is a difficult process. It requires more thought, and concentration than most writing that exists online. It requires a clear vision of what you want to say, without adding anything that isn’t essential to that message. In an age where word counts are not a problem, and editorial oversight is a rarity, concise writing is a way to stand out and show that you are serious about the craft.
Concise writing doesn’t mean shorter writing. A 1000+ word blog post is still concise when each of those words has a clear purpose. It does mean removing extraneous words and sentences. It does mean writing in an active voice that pushes the reader forward. It does mean know what you want to say and how to say it.
Writers ramble. We are all guilty of talking around a subject at length, painting an interesting picture with our words without being clear about what we want to say. We pad out word counts with redundant words and modifiers which is more harmful to our writing ability in the long term than taking the extra time required to write concisely.
I’ve read a lot of books about copywriting and written communication in the last few months. I’ve learned how great copywriters distill their thoughts and clearly get their message across in a few words.
Here are 5 simple tips I’ve learned to make your writing more concise: