Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mother knows best

Having trouble figuring out who your audience is? Who is on the other end of your writing? Or, you know who you're writing to, but just can't get started?

Picture your mom. She’s smart, doesn’t let you get away with anything, demands accountability and has impressed upon you, roughly since birth, that you need to be responsible for your actions.

Picture your mom when you write.

She is your first and longest-running editor. As you write, keep to her expectations. She doesn’t want her time wasted, she seeks facts, and she’s more than capable of making up her own mind – as long as she’s supplied with clear, intelligent, meaningful information.

Platitudes (as in too many adjectives) don’t cut it with her. Get to the point, she’s a busy woman.

So is your reader.

Yours in Waste Management, WMW

Friday, August 1, 2008

Who needs them?

As with nails screeching across a chalkboard, so is my squirminess at the use of the words “thus” and “therefore.” If you wouldn’t say them, why would you write them? If you are saying them, what century are you from?

These two words are never needed. Put them in the word Dumpster.

They add nothing to a sentence, thus are jarring. See what I mean?? It’s stronger to say: “They add nothing to a sentence. They are jarring.” These two words just look funny and you don’t want to send your reader some subliminal message that you’re a pompous writer. One little unneeded, funny-looking word can distract your readers and they disconnect with what you poured your heart out writing and crank up the iTunes.

The life lesson here? No one has time for a show off.

Yours in waste management, WMW