Have you ever sat there, thinking “I wish I could write?” Not “I wish I could write like [Joe Schmo]” or anyone in particular, just “I wish I could write.” I think you can. I don’t mean ‘the one novel that’s in all of us.’ Believe me, not everyone has a novel in them. Just write something. Write anything.
A short story? An opinion? Opinions are good. We all have them. Done something technical? Got skills? What about a how-to. Bought something fancy? How a bout a review? More than five stars and the single word “awesome.” Maybe a poem? A haiku in response to Brexit? Go ahead, learn a new art-form…
I write a lot of words and I confess: I have followed the rules and failed. I have thrown away the rules and failed. It doesn’t matter if the first draft is no good. There’s always the rescue of good editing.
I can give you lists of attributes of good writing:
- Sincerity (remember, ‘if you can fake this, you can fake anything’)
I can give you list upon list of rules for writing most kinds of text. You know the kind of thing I mean:
- Put the reader first
- Be clear
- Be specific
- Get to the point. Then stop.
- Express one thought at a time
- Use short phrases
- Use short sentences
- Use short paragraphs
- Never use a long word when a short one will do
- Edit thoroughly; cut, cut, cut.
I know it’s difficult. If you’re online, web readers have a short attention span. Short, clear and specific is good.
I mark my own papers these days: ‘must try harder’.
Why don’t you give it a go? Any subject will do. Go ahead, write something. Write anything. AJS