Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking
I started to read more about clear writing lately. As I read more, what I discovered was clear writing is mostly related with clear thinking instead of writing skills.
As the founders of Basecamp stated here, if you are trying to decide between a few people to fill a position, always hire the better writer. It doesn’t matter if that person is a designer, programmer, marketer, salesperson, or whatever, the writing skills will pay off. Effective, concise writing and editing leads to effective, concise code, design, emails, instant messages, and more.
Because clear writing leads to clear thinking. You don’t know what you know until you try to express it. When you write things down, you also think through things. It refines your idea before you even share with others. You get a feedback firstly from yourself. You polish it. Writing things down creates clarity.
Clear writing saves time (loads of time)
Instead of spending time discussing a half-baked idea, it’s better to share your thoughts as a write-up. When something’s written up, anyone can absorb it on their own time when they have the time. This will enable asynchronous communication. And it is the secret to being efficient in groups. As Jason Fried says “Real-time encourages distraction, asynchronous encourages focus” (source).
At Amazon, meetings to present ideas start not with PowerPoint slides but with narratively structured memos. Quality writing in the workplace isn’t a luxury at Amazon — it’s a cultural necessity (source)
As Bezos said in his email clear writing forces better thought and better understanding of what’s more important than what, and how things are related.
Clear writing moves the masses
As stated here Charles Bukowski had a very powerful secret about writing. It was just only these six words. “The secret is in the line.”
What’s the point of writing? To get what you’ve written read.
What’s the purpose of the headline? To get the first sentence read.
And the purpose of the first sentence? To get the second sentence read.
This may sound simplistic. Or maybe even confusing. But the secret is in the line. If no one reads, all is lost. The key to getting someone to read is taking it one sentence at a time, ensuring your readers are so compelled by that sentence that they want to read the next.
So learn how to write clearly and change your life.
If you’re interested in writing well, this is a great book to read.
I’m helping ambitious people to master how to think better so they can live their life better. If you liked this post, join me and get signals in the noise.