I need to write less. To be more concise with my words. It’s hard: all of my writing — Medium posts, emails, even text messages — skew wordy.
Me? I see no problem with it. I LOVE seeing all those amazing words from my 100% amazing totally non-egotistical mind.
I read someone else’s work this week. Very verbose. Dense. Long sentences. Paragraphs chunkier than a bowl of beef stew.
I was like, “Get to the damn point already! Cut to the chase!”
And then… a whoosh of self-awareness smacked me in the face.
That’s how my writing comes across, doesn’t it…
My boss, peers, readers, and thought leaders I admire — maybe they’re all onto something when they tell me, “Less is more.”
“Talk less, smile more.” -Hamilton
A mentor told me to cut first drafts by half. HALF!
Apparently, that edits down your work to the essentials (and makes it feel like you’ve chopped off an arm.)
This post was a lot longer. There are paragraphs and jokes on the cutting room floor I hated cutting out. Damn you, mentor.
It’s especially hard as a humor writer. So much of a joke comes to life in being descriptive and adding granular detail to a funny premise.
But I get it. As much as I hate it, I get it.
In the attention economy, conciseness is gold. And when it comes to comedy gold, Mr. Bean said a lot without saying much, so…
A good writer is impatient on behalf of the reader. They ruthlessly eliminate unnecessary information and needless words. They are respectful of the reader’s time by only including what matters. -James Clear, tweet
Maybe it’s a balancing act
There’s stripping a word-car to its skeleton. Bare bones.
And then I also think there’s a middle ground.
Somewhere between a word-car skeleton and a fully loaded word-stretch-Hummer with a jacuzzi in the trunk and Sirius XM.
The only way to find that balance?
Practice writing more (hopefully) concise posts like this. Over and over.
Funny, never thought I’d have to write more to write less.