Allergies blur my vision this morning. I’ve dealt with seasonal allergies for years, but usually the symptoms are sneezing and runny nose. This spring the problem is red, burning eyes and blurry vision.
My vision issue makes it difficult to read and write. And it makes me look like I might have had too much to drink. Make-up can cover many things, but there is no make-up for our eyeballs. The best I can do is avoid contact lenses and wear glasses in the hope of distracting others from my red eyes.
Have you ever written a piece because you had a deadline, but just didn’t know what you wanted to say? So you used several metaphors and dressed it up with flowery words in the hope of distracting the reader from the lack of content?
I’ve read some entire books that seem to say a lot of nothing. When I finish, I wonder, what was the point? How can we be certain every project we write has a core message and a strong take-away?
Planning ahead is important, and using a writing road map is helpful. We can’t lead our readers where we’re going if we don’t know where that is, or if it is a blurry blob on our radar screen.
I usually think of one thing I want to say. I put it in one sentence, using as few words as possible. Today, I used only one word. A constant barrage of messages bombards all of us, so we must be masters of targeting the message we write with precision. We want readers to be able to grab hold of it and put it to work in their lives.
I don’t want my readers to rub their eyes, feeling like I gave them a blurry picture. It needs to be clear, concise, and relevant. I don’t write sermons, but my husband is a pastor. When he preaches, he always presents a strong life application to the Bible passage he teaches. This is the goal toward which all writing needs to strive.
How can we make sure we present a clear message?
- Decide in advance what you want to say. Put it into a single, brief sentence.
- Create an outline of some sort. Make sure all your paragraphs lead down the main road and not to a dead-end rabbit trail.
- Make the destination clear.
- Ask a question or give tips to help the reader incorporate the message into her own life.
Can you identify the word I used for this article?