Good writing is a customer service

Good writing is a customer service.  I say this because it will save other people time, not you.

It takes more time to write something succinctly than it does to spew verbiage onto a page and hope that some of their meaning splatters onto your reader.

I know, that’s a gross and deeply unkind analogy. If you’ll forgive me and indulge me I’d like to describe it a different way.

When you find yourself writing something, anything at all, I’d like you imagine this scenario before you hit send (or print). Try to image the person who is about to read your work. Picture them as though your page is a pond of water and they’ve fallen in. They’re now swimming through what you’ve written.  

Are your words and sentences short enough for them to easily paddle through? Can they take regular, powerful breaths? Will they get to the edge of your page interested and inspired by the dip? Or might they get tangled up in big words and long sentences like kelp wrapped around their arms and legs?

Words are powerful. They way you put them together matters.  

You may feel like the words in your document belong to you. They come out of your brain and you arrange them on the page to impart information or make a point, but those words aren’t yours at all. Anything and everything you write is about other people, eventually.

When they come to read what you’ve written, will they grasp what you’re saying easily or will they spend time re-reading, puzzling and maybe even giving up?  Will you inspire or drown them?

Someone is going to spend more time on those words than the other. Should it be you or them?

Some people might seem more talented with words, but in honesty, it’s because we enjoy spending the time it takes and tackling the challenge of finding the best words to create a good swimming experience for readers.

Good writing isn’t a gift that some have and others don’t. Good writing is a practiced skill that takes effort and time and is an act of devoted customer service to your reader.