When you sit to write, do you want to make your point abundantly and exquisitely clear?
Do you want to capture every detail with compelling description and paint a picture so elegantly for your reader, they may as well have been there, sitting side-by-side you, or better yet, lodged in your brain?
I rant about the power of connection a lot in here and for good reason, but there is a fine line between eliciting a connection with your reader and spoon-feeding a story with little or no room for imagination.
Your story may have a certain meaning for you, but your reader – the ingenious, unique, worldly person that they are – may have a different interpretation. It is our diverse understandings, which make the world an interesting, contradictory, curious place and while you of course don’t want your story to be misconstrued, you do want to empower your reader to come to their own realisations and conclusions.
At the end of the day, your reader will take away what he or she needs to hear in that moment to move forward and better their personal life. Perhaps you’re advocating for a cause, sharing what it means to be mindful, advising on how to run a profitable yet purposeful business or telling the inspirational story of another who changed their life around.
Declutter your words and set yourself the challenge to write your story in half the amount of words you normally would. Yes that’s right, half. You’re initial thought may be: ‘But then I’m not doing a thorough enough job’, but once you dive in you’ll find that writing less isn’t actually easier. Contrary to popular belief, writing less is a challenge because you have no words to hide behind. The essence, the crux, the core is on display for all to see.
Less is actually more.