Better Writing Skills #3: A Good Writer Is a Superb Editor

Good writing is simple, clear and direct. Learning to choose the fewest, most accurate words to make your point should always be your goal.

Beware overused adverbs
Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs, and they can provide the colorediting and description that make your writing come alive, but in many cases, the ly adverbs are already implied by the verbs they are modifying. An example: kicked furiously—the act of kicking already suggests fury, rendering the adverb furiously superfluous.

A writer is an editor
A good writer is an even better editor; if a phrase or sentence doesn’t add value, lose it. Deleting ideas over which you’ve labored can seem counterproductive, but it’s the single most important skill that you, as a writer, will need to master. A tip: let it percolate, preferably overnight. Approach it in the morning with the objectivity that will allow you to make decisions about what adds value and what is irrelevant.

The best way to start is to start
Don’t agonize over these caveats or you’ll never produce anything. The best way to get started is to sit down and write—be creative and let your ideas flow. Remember that clear thoughts, simple sentence structure, carefully chosen nouns, verbs and modifiers will help you communicate effectively—and more important, in this era of content marketing, attract readers and position you as an industry expert. That’s the power of the written word.

Need help creating clearer communications? Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and digital media experts.

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