Copy of magic words of the week Rest 10

Omit needless words.

“I have made this [letter] longer only because I have not had time to make it shorter.” —Blaise Pascal

It’s elegant to be both clear and brief. 

It’s also hard. 

Don’t aim for conciseness on a first draft.

Let yourself spill words all over.

Then: Revise.

As William Strunk wrote in The Elements of Style: “Omit needless words.”

Read your draft aloud and cut what sounds clunky.

Use the free Hemingway Editor app. Aim for grade 5 reading level — or less.

The app will help you cut adjectives and adverbs. And passive voice. And wiggle words, like “just.”

When you think all your words are needful, take a break.

Later, read them aloud again. 

Keep only the strongest, and your writing will pack a punch.

PS – This blog scored grade 2. 😎

This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.

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