8 Simple Ways to Defrost Your Writing
& Improve Its Clarity
 
by Jody Calkins
 
It's easy to rush through a writing project. Maybe we're just not that interested in the topic or maybe we're distracted and unable to focus on it to give it the attention it needs. Whatever the reason or the situation, our biggest issue is that it needs to be written. The second biggest issue is that hovering fog can make our messages unclear.
 
There are many ways our writing can lack clarity. But with a little effort, the hovering fog can be lifted to make way for a clear message.
 
Here are some simple ways to add clarity to your writing project.
 
Develop an Outline
One of the best ways to gain clarity on a particular writing project is to create an outline. This will give you a framework to use to keep your project focused on its purpose. If you have already started writing, no worries. Just take a step back and develop an outline. What do you want to say? What points do you want to make?
 
Focus On Less
Less is more when it comes to writing engaging documents such as articles. Picking one topic per article and one main point per paragraph will keep your piece focused. One of the most common mistakes writers make is cramming too much into one article. Overviews are fine, but most articles should be kept to a specific topic.
 
Order Logically
A logical order of information is from the beginning to the end. Problems arise when we switch back and forth. Flashbacks in fiction, for instance, are frowned upon because writers typically have trouble transitioning to and from a flashback. Getting the words just right so the reader understands what is going on is key to clearing the fog from your writing.
 
Clarify Your Characters (or features and benefits if for business)
A dull story is often a result of poorly developed characters. Strengthen the characters and give them more personality. Define them. What do they care about? What keeps them up at night? What makes them tick?
 
Use Relevant Titles and Headings
Relevant titles and headings help readers understand what the written document is about. Clever headings are creative, but clear headings written in your ideal client's language will get better results.
 
Find the Right Words
Choosing the right words can do wonders for the clarity of your writing. Oftentimes, we choose the first word that comes to mind. This is a faulty method, however, because the first word isn't always the best one. It takes time to come up with the words that say what we really want to say.
 
Eliminate Errors
Typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings confuse the reader. Have you ever written something and published it only to discover you used an incorrect word? That happens to the best of us. It's usually a word that sounds similar to the one you were thinking of when you wrote the piece. The embarrassing thing is it slipped past you during your editing process. Oops! This underscores the need for more time to revise our work.
 
Use a Readable Format
Making sure your written document is readable and visually pleasing increases the chances of your readers reading it the whole way through. You don't want readers to give up simply because your paragraphs are too long or because you use lists inside paragraphs rather than as bullet points.
 
See, with just a few simple tweaks to your writing, you can clear away the fog and send your intended message to your readers.
 
Happy Writing!
 
About the Author: Jody Calkins is a writer and editor with 15 years of experience. She helps businesses and independent writers enhance their writing work, and her work includes copywriting and editing business documents and marketing materials such as articles, case studies, newsletters, and reports, as well as writing and editing short stories, articles, and books (both fiction and nonfiction).
 
Writing well is all about providing professional material that offers value to readers, content that readers love or find helpful.
 
For more information on Jody's writing, editing, or copy editing services, please visit http://www.emeryroad.com or write to her here.
 
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