The Most Important Tip For Great Writing

Whether you’re a marketer, blogger, PR professional or all of the above your success hinges on your ability to produce strong writing.  And while there are plenty of people writing for a living, truly great writing is rare.

Written words have the ability to move us emotionally as much as any other form of self-expression.  Outstanding writing produces a similar emotional response for me as I experience from music or visual arts.

Just like a musician isn’t going to create something revolutionary every time they sit down to compose, it’s difficult to produce those results consistently with writing.  Yet some writers and musicians are able to consistently achieve amazing results.  And, the way to achieve this for your own writing is actually simple enough to say in one sentence:

If it doesn’t move you emotionally, don’t write it.

I know that sounds like I’m oversimplifying it, but the truth is you can’t force writing about something you’re not genuinely interested in and expect it to move others.  But if it’s something you are interested in and invest emotion behind it, you really can’t fail and your writing will show it.

Don’t love the subject matter or style you’re writing?  You’re in trouble, because now it’s easy to find someone who does.

Someone who throws their soul behind their writing will always be more interesting to read than someone who is just going through the motions.

Good writing is a flow experience – not forced.  It’s clear, concise and deliberate.  It’s playful or impactful.  It’s emotive and thought provoking.  To the reader, it should be an effortless experience they lose themselves in.

The funny thing about this is you never really consider any of these things during your writing you read later and are truly proud of.  That’s because your emotions took over and you lost yourself in the experience as your words became a natural extension of your thoughts.  It was as easy for you to write as it was for others to read.

There are other tips for great writing, and certainly there are times to take a more objective stance behind your writing, but this is the most important tip to follow for creating the works you’re most proud of.

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image credit:  my bloody self under CC share alike 2.0 license