We’re up to Day 23 in our series, 31 Days of Writing Tips.

Which writing advice has been most helpful to you so far? Catch up on any missed posts here.

Don’t forget to visit the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes page to find more participants in this October writing challenge.

Today’s writing prompt is: NEED




The best writing advice I’ve received came from my author friend, Lisa-Jo Baker (who founded Five Minute Friday, by the way!).

When I was working on my memoir, A Place to Land, Lisa-Jo told me, “Make every word count.”

She encouraged me to read through my work and ask myself, “Has that word earned its right to be there? Is it pulling its weight? Is it serving a purpose?” If I couldn’t answer yes, I should re-work the sentence or cut it out completely.

If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know I can be rather wordy. I like words. But I have realized over time that my writing can be more powerful and effective if I take the time to choose my words carefully during the editing process and make sure every word has earned its right to be there.

As I mentioned in a previous post in this series, nobody wants to read unnecessary repetition.

By offering your reader tight, concise, clear writing, you will keep them engaged, interested, and ready to keep reading.

Did you see what I did there? I included three variations of the same word at the beginning of my sentence above, and three variations of a different idea later in the sentence.

Was that necessary? No. How could I re-work that sentence to “make every word count”?

Let’s try this instead:

By offering your reader concise writing, you will keep them engaged.

Or better yet, let’s follow our own advice from another post in this series and implement active voice in that same sentence:

Keep your readers engaged with concise writing.

That’s better, right?



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