“Language is the source of misunderstandings.”
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery (The Little Prince)
We realize how true this is when we come across an article, a story or even an email that is too wordy, and lacks focus. Such content makes us wonder… how can you ensure that your content has enough clarity? Is your message getting through to your audience? And what is the magic recipe for creating content that others would love to read?
It is important to get your message across no matter what you’re writing, whether it’s an email, a blog post, a magazine article, or a letter to a friend. Your content will only gain in popularity when people are able to clearly understand what you’re saying. Today we’ll discuss some common issues that prevent us from writing effectively:
1: Trying to define what good writing is
Some people tend to think that using complicated words and writing with a lot of jazz makes for effective writing. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Writing is all about having a conversation with your readers, not impressing them. Good writing is about content that’s an easy to read and a message that is easy to understand. Your first priority is to communicate your ideas to your readers as clearly as you possibly can. So stop thinking about definitions, and just pour your heart and mind out into your writing. If you do just that, you stand a better chance of actually impressing your readers, because you have expressed yourself with clarity and conviction.
2: Lack of clarity
When you write, you should always focus on your core message. If you have a general idea of what you want to say, you will tend to include every bit of information that you think is relevant, and fail to address the central issue. It will turn out to be just a compilation of words, without a string of coherent thought to hold them together. It might also mean that the author is shooting his/ her mouth off without really understanding much about the issue at hand.
As a writer, you need to have clarity of thought before you implement that clarity in your work. Having the television on in the background, or people walking and talking around you, can distract you from your work. Even continuous instant messenger updates, emails or tweets can keep you from concentrating on your writing. As a result, your writing suffers.
The good news is that all these problems can be sorted out through practice and perseverance. Reading can help a lot, and it also helps in increasing your ability to convey your thoughts with clarity. So keep reading good books, articles and blog posts… and let us know your take on the issue of Content that Counts in the comments section below.