Before they kill you

Kill your darlings. It’s a much-heard advice.

This old adage means that no matter how beautiful or clever you think a fragment, turn of phrase, or even a single word in your text is; if it doesn’t bring any added value to what you’re trying to say, you have to cut it.

Bad writers will make themselves believe that their favourite sentences are essential. They’re not. It is precisely when you are secretly proud of a particular phrase that you should scrap it. Your vanity impairs your judgment. Now cut it.

Take it to bed and drool over it. Just don’t publish it.

Not convinced? Then ask yourself why you are writing the text. It’s often to inform or entertain your reader. To persuade him. But never to bore or annoy, right? If someone wanted to be bombarded with fancy vocabulary, I’m sure he’d pick up a dictionary –those are much better at it than you are, and less pretentious.

If my arguments are still not hitting home, consider this: you are writing for one reason only, and that is to be read. You are simply not going to hang on to your readers if your articles are badly written ego trips.

So kill your darlings before they kill you.

Link: How to be more informative, entertaining and persuasive.

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