Write It Long; Shorten It

A quick tip that I sometimes forget. Complicated ideas are often really hard to write concisely. When I try to compress an idea, I find that I start to lose accuracy, or add ambiguity. The thing that works best for me is to write it exactly how I’d explain it to someone, without worrying about it being too long, too wordy, redundant, or anything else. I just get it out on paper. Then I have something to edit. Once it’s on paper, I can start to kill off the stuff I don’t need and reword the stuff that’s awkward. This works for me whether it’s one sentence, or a whole paragraph. Does it work for you?

2 Responses to “Write It Long; Shorten It”

  1. June 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    You’re absolutely correct. If I get enmeshed in trying to write both concisely and accurately (that is, unambiguously) the first time around, it’s practically guaranteed that I will lose my train of thought, and end up with something short, yes, but that doesn’t say what I set out to make it say. And it it’s probably unrecoverable.

    So yes, get that thought recorded, *then* go back–and screen and compact it.

  2. August 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Thanks, David!

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