Confessions of a selfish writer

By on March 10th, 2015 in Clear writing
Tags:

A recent blog from one of my colleagues got me thinking.

After reading this post, I started to reflect on some of the writing I’ve done in the past. I pondered on what foolish reasons I may have found to avoid writing in plain English (because you’ve got to have a good one, right?).

I was certain I’d never done this consciously, but somewhere in the back of my mind I also knew there was a confession lurking.

And then it hit me…

Write for your audience – not for yourself

I will confess that I’ve avoided using plain English – that is, writing in a way that is easily understood by my target audience – because I liked the sound of the words I’d written.

bigstock-Confession-Concept--42406879

I liked the aesthetics of the words, both individually and as a group (as in sentences or paragraphs). I liked their rhythmic quality. I liked the images they created.

A desire for poetics had led to a disservice to my intended reader.

Respecting your target audience

Plain English is all about getting your message across to your reader in a clear and straightforward manner. It means letting go of wordiness, clichés, and jargon. It also means being respectful to your reader by putting their reading needs first.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

One response to “Confessions of a selfish writer”

  1. Diana Burns says:

    Good on you for being so honest. I suspect ego and a desire to impress those around us (our bosses, colleagues and peer group) are behind a lot of overly complex and dense writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *