Can you change writing from a chore to a joy? I think I can.

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Thinking child bored, frustrated and fed up doing his homework

I’ve always struggled with writing. I remember in early grade school having trouble with grammar and clarity. For me, I didn’t see a pattern. My prose was tedious and complex.

I’ll never forget writing a story inspired by the album “Hunting High and Low” by the band A-Ha! I had such a vivid image in my mind of story but the teacher felt I needed to simplify to let readers understand it better. I didn’t quite understand how to simplify without losing the impact of the story.

My aspiration for 2017 is to be able to write in a clear and articulate style that is both informative and fun.

Normally, I’d be very afraid of writing such a statement but I’ve found a secret weapon in the war on words.

Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace (5th Edition)
by Joseph M. Williams

I love how simple and actionable the guidance is. The book clearly articulates how to diagnose and remediate common problems that writers create.

A couple of choice tidbits are
– Don’t nominalize, or “create nouns out of verbs” such as Discovery (noun) from “Discover” verb “we made a discovery” instead of “we discovered”. There are special cases where nominalization makes sense but for the most part its a mental twist that slows down reading.
– Characters should be clear and easy to identify (along with what they’re doing). For example: “The fear of writing and the acceptance of my work caused me to avoid writing”. Instead “I feared that my readers wouldn’t like my writing and that caused me to avoid writing”.

Its a work in progress but I feel that I have some clear guidance on how to improve.

Here’s to 2017 🙂

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