You get the dreaded email from a new client of yours that says:
I reviewed your post, but it’s too wordy and glides over the big message. With too many words the message is buried. I cannot post this on my site. Please do a complete re-write of this post.
What do you do?
Well, if this was MY client, I would kindly say thank you for the feedback and I will gladly re-write the post for them (only one time).
But, after that?
I would ditch the client.
This is not to say that I’m right and they are wrong.
But, I do not work with clients that don’t absolutely love my writing.
Here is what one recent editor shared with me:
I’m working on final edits now and just wanted to say I’m ½ way through your Toddler piece and it’s outstanding. Might be the best one I’ve edited yet. I’ll flip the edited piece when I’m done, but so far edits are very minor.
I take pride in testimonials like these.
I want to make the editor’s life easy or the business owner’s life easy when they get my content.
It’s properly formatted for their site, error-free and highly engaging.
But, if you’re a new writer and feel you are too wordy — or if Grammarly tells you this — here are some quick ways to cut out unnecessary words when you write.
When you finish your writing, let your writing breathe at first.
Let a day go by or at least the afternoon before you go back to your piece.
When you do, you will have a fresh set of eyes where you can start to eliminate the following words:
· In order to
Here’s an example of a wordy sentence:
“I really just wondered if perhaps you could send those receipts that I mentioned quite soon.”
Cut out unnecessary words:
I really just wondered if perhaps you could send those receipts that I mentioned quite soon.
I wondered if you could send those receipts I mentioned soon.
Cut Out Expletive Constructions
Expletive constructions are sentences with these beginnings:
· It is
· There is
· There are
Here’s an example:
There are three books that I need to renew soon.
Cut out the beginning and unnecessary words:
There are three people that need to retake the test.
Three people need to retake the test.
Cut Out Weak Messages
Some verb phrases and associated direct object weaken your message.
You’ll quickly spot these phrases because they end in either:
These endings turn verbs into nouns. Instead, use the verb form of the word to make a powerful and clear sentence.
Here is an example:
We can do an inspection at your house tomorrow.
Instead write it as:
We can inspect the house tomorrow.
Wordiness is so 2009
The best trick I can give you is to practice your writing and see if you can shorten your phrasing or ideas.
I know that sometimes I can be too wordy (hence my battle with Grammarly).
But, I’ve been writing almost every single day for the past five years.
Simply this repetitive act has helped me streamline my writing, but still get my point across.
If you need help with your writing, guess what? I have a new course called Freelance Blogging in a Weekend that will be launched in Dec. 2019! Be on the lookout over at https://elnacain.com.
Thanks so much for clapping and reading and following me on Medium!