300 Days of Better Writing

February 11, 2014

Write and rewrite until you communicate clearly.


Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure . . . it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.

(Robert Schuller)

When I write a new article for publication, for posting on our blogs, or for inclusion in our training manual, I have someone else read it. Here’s the typical scenario.

I give the article to my marketing specialist. She points to a particular paragraph and says, “This doesn’t make sense to me.” We talk about it, and I rewrite it. I give it to her again, and she says, “Ok, I get it now, but it’s still too complicated. Can you make it simpler?” So I do it again.

In the draft article, I am trying to communicate certain ideas, but I’m failing. The words are all there, and they make sense to me, but I am not communicating. I keep re-working the article until I can clearly communicate those ideas.

This back-and-forth process we use is a necessary part of the writing process. I could say, “Ok, I give up. I’m tired of re-working this piece. I can’t do it. Just publish it like it is.” Then, and only then, will I be a failure. But when I stay with the process, I will succeed with my goal: communication.


This is the strategy for day 140 in 300 Days of Better Writing, available at Hostile Editing in PDF, Kindle, and paperback formats.

For a sample of 300 Days of Better Writing and other books by Precise Edit, download the free ebook.

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1 Comment »

  1. Great advice!

    Comment by Lilian Druve — February 12, 2014 @ 5:46 am | Reply


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