How to Write Concisely

"Simple means getting rid of extra words.  Don't write, 'He was very happy' when you can write 'He was happy.'  You think the word 'very' adds something.  It doesn't."
- Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert comic strips)
Obviously, if you're writing comic strips, you'd have to be careful about your words because you only have so much space.  But being concise is appreciated by everyone, whether you're writing business e-mails, blogs, or tweets.  When I had to write papers in school, my rough drafts would always be under the word limit.  I despised the process of having to go back and add sentences to each paragraph simply to meet the requirement when I had already made my point by page __.

Blogging is different.  You can write as little or as much as you want to.  I also know that you can't force people to read it or even be sure they read the entirety of the post.  Help make the process easier for readers by editing.  Since most bloggers write about stuff we are excited about, it can be easy to go on a rant if we don't check ourselves.  Below is my checklist for simple writing.
  1. Check for filler words like "very" or "really"
  2. Make sure adjectives serve a purpose
  3. Check for redundancy.  For example, "absolute favorite"
  4. As a personal choice, I avoid exaggerations.  For example, the word obsessed, is defined by Webster's dictionary as "to haunt or trouble in mind, esp. to an abnormal degree; preoccupy greatly" or adore, which means "to worship as divine; to love greatly or honor highly; idolize."
  5. Catch yourself when you go on a tangent and delete those sentences accordingly.  You can always save them for another post.

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