The Surprisingly Simple Way to Improve Your Writing
There’s one super simple technique you can use so you write better – from the get-go.
Sure, editing is important. Editing is where you polish and shine your writing, particularly that crappy first draft.
But imagine if your writing was better to start with. Then your polishing and shining in the editing stage would make your writing truly magnificent.
TO WRITE BETTER, YOU MUST: WRITE FOR ONE PERSON
See, I told you it was super simple. And it’s the single best thing you can do to write better. Plus, you can do start doing it right now.
Writing for the masses is a terrible idea
When you write for your entire audience, you’re trying to be all things to all people. And that means you don’t end up making any connections at all. Which sucks, because that’s exactly what you were trying to do by writing to your entire audience, right?
Sounds counterintuitive, I know. You want to reach as many people as possible, yet by attempting to do so you reach no one. And that’s because people love to read stuff that’s written
And that’s because people love to read stuff that’s written for them – because it speaks to them on a level that generalised writing can’t achieve.
Writing for one person is gold
There are three reasons why writing for one person is the best thing you can do for your writing. And they’re relevant no matter what you’re writing – a blog post, an email newsletter, social media post, or anything that’ll be read by more than one person.
You can skip the generalisations because you know precisely whom you’re writing to.
You get clarity on your language and tone because you’re writing in one style, to one person.
You’re genuine because you’re not using words and a style that’s trying to appeal to everyone – you’re only trying to appeal to one person.
Not only that, but it’s easier to write to one person. You don’t have to think too much about what you’re trying to say or how to say it; you just write freely.
Take a moment to think about the differences in your writing style, language, and tone when you’re writing an email to your mum, your bestie, your boyfriend, your boss, or your clients.
Now imagine if you were writing one email for all those people (as unlikely as that may be!)
You’d probably try to come up with a mix that didn’t sound too stilted for your loved ones, but also sounded ‘professional’ enough that you wouldn’t alienate clients. Yep, it’d be a right royal mess.
Two tricks to help you write for one person
Now that you know how writing for one person will improve your writing, I’m going to share my trick for making sure you only write for one person.
Wondering why you need tricks to help you write to one person? How hard can it be?
Well, these tricks work a treat because despite what you may think, it’s harder than you realise to get your brain out of ‘writing for the masses’ when you know hundreds or thousands of people are going to read your blog post or email newsletter.
My number one trick
Open up your email program and draft your piece in an email.
“Hey Sansa, There’s one super simple…”
I love this method because it tricks your mind into thinking you’re writing directly to that person – the email is the psychological cue for your brain.
Just in case you’re not a fan of that trick, here’s another you can try
Start your piece as if it’s a letter (do this wherever you usually write – Word, a text editor, Scrivener, etc.)
“Hi Arya, There’s one super simple…”
This trick doesn’t work for me. I have to pretend I’m writing an email to my ideal client in my email program. Or, sometimes I’ll also draft up my piece in whatever writing app I feel like using at the time, and then I’ll paste it into an email during the editing phase.
Try out a few tricks to see what works best for you (until you get in the habit and no longer need a trick!)
WRITE FOR ONE PERSON
Next time you write try this technique. You’ll be amazed at how natural your writing is. Not to mention how easy it is to read.