If you think that all you need is flawless grammar skills to be a great writer or write interesting pieces effortlessly, you couldn’t be more wrong.
What is absolutely essential is your verve or style; or your flair for writing. I think most of what we write falls flat on its face because even though we have a lot to say to our readers, we don’t know how to say it. Or say it with panache. This post is about errors we make in writing style. You may argue that the errors in style are not really flagrant, but that is the whole point! When the errors are obscure, it becomes difficult to identify or correct.
If you have experienced a time when you wrote a piece of content, checked it for typo, errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation, found it flawless and yet you knew something was amiss, then you know what I am talking about.
Here is what typically happens when you begin writing content. The sentences you write are initially extra long, round about or conveying more than one important point. So you chop the sentences to make them shorter and lose the essence of what you want to convey. Your editor finds sentences in passive voice, so you rewrite those in active voice and knock off a few more words. Upon revising again,you find some words in continuous tense and you know you have to keep it simple, so you revise it to simple tense and even shorter sentences. The content post these many revisions could be a bunch of disconnected group of words or sentence fragments, that do not make sense at all.
Before you write anything next time, reflect on the reasons why you like an author or a blog or an article. Does the content keep you engaged? Does the content ‘speak’ to you? Do you catch yourself smiling and nodding an agreement with what the author says? What about the content works for you? And then imagine yourself churning such engaging, thoughtful, super interesting content. Write like you are having a face to face conversation with your reader, across the table. The information you want to share should be conveyed in an engaging write up rather than just listless writing. And write with passion. When you do that, it shows!
Read this blog to see what I mean.