Rise above the din

A “din” is a continuous, tumultuous noise. Not a common phrase you hear nowadays, but a good description of our media-saturated world. I did some research and learned it has roots in the Sanskrit word “dhuni,” a roaring torrent.

Ah, yes. A torrent. That about sums up the modern experience of information overload. No matter how many meditation apps we download, getting a clear head is hard to come by these days. Likewise, getting your message heard, whether you’re marketing a product or publishing a novel, presents a challenge. 

As a writer myself, I’ve struggled to find words that rise above the torrent of words out there. But I’ve developed some strategies that seem to really help:

Stay Simple

 You might feel compelled to use the smartest-sounding words in your writing, but everyone from your grandmother to software developers prefer easy words! Yes, even engineers have a limited gigabit capacity.  People simply learn better with simple language.  

Consider James Holzhauer, who just ended a 33-game Jeopardy streak. He claims his tried-and-true strategy is reading children’s books. That’s because they teach facts in a fun and simple way, without boring the reader to sleep. If you’re crafting a story or a technical document, pretend you’re writing for a child. Turns out, adults have a limited attention span too.  

Sharpen Your Point

Maybe you already perfected the art of concise writing, but you’re struggling to make an impact on the reader. When you’re wading in a sea of other stories, it’s more important than ever to keep your message simple and impactful.

Make sure it is something you can summarize with a single sentence and that inspires you. If you’re compelled to put that idea on the page, your readers will sense your energy. If your point is vague or uninspiring to you, they will feel the same way.

Not sure how to get inspired? I believe that good research is worth far more than the time it takes. Do some internet exploration until you come across a story or idea that touches you.

For example, maybe you’re trying to expand your software company’s reach with some fresh blog content. You could interview one of your customers and tell a story about their company history or what drove the founder to get into his business. Tell their story in a human way. then tie your product’s role into their goal achievements. Your content will make people feel like humans instead of robots, and your engagement will grow effortlessly. 

Tighten Your Phrases

Many writers fall back on clumsy, redundant phrases.  In technical writing, and really any type of writing, you want to get the point. After all, your reader is probably just skimming the pages!

Examples of Wordy Phrases:

  • Able to (use “can”)
  • May actually (use “may”)
  • For the purpose (use “for”)

Keep an eye out for these mistakes next time you’re writing or editing your work. You’ll know offenders when you see them.

These tenets of technical writing can help you build a bridge to your audience, whether it be software users, sales leads, or novel readers. 

-C

 

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