Welcome to “Gutsy Writing” by Blake Snow—improve your writing in 5 minutes or less.
Not everyone can become a great writer, but a great writer can come from anywhere. The latter happens in one of two ways: they are naturally gifted like my wife, or they have to learn the hard way like I did.
For those like me, here are four certainties I’ve learned after 16 years of writing for fancy publications and Fortune 500 companies:
- Say what you mean. Never mask or muck up your message with buzz words, cliches, or technical gibberish in an effort to sound smart or more convincing. Readers value clarity over all else. So instead of adopting garbage speak like “transformation,” say “change” instead.
- Mean what you say. Be sincere in your writing. If you don’t believe what you’re saying, why should the reader? Secondly, use adjectives and superlatives sparingly. This builds credibility. And if you’re writing for a business (or ultimately trying to sell something), don’t hide the fact. Own it. Readers respect that.
- Compose conversations. Make your writing breezy. Use contractions 99% of the time. Keep your sentences short. Read them aloud to ensure you’re not gasping for air. Write like you would talk to a friend. Give it to them straight with informal language they cannot call your bluff on.
- Use spicy words. These little devils delight readers, give them pause, and force them to feel your sentences instead of skimming them. If you’re nervous or embarrassed to use a certain word, that’s probably the spice for you. Some of my favorites include bodacious, skedaddle, gusto, deafening, splendid, ballsy, terrific.
Be brave. You got this! 💪
Need help writing this year? If so, I know a really good guy. Thanks for reading.