Currently I am reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. In the current chapter I am reading entitled The High Price of Ownership he makes a fascinating conclusion to a series of experiments. You can read the book if you want to get all the goods out of it. It’s a fascinating read. However, for brevity I’ll just jump right to the conclusion. People value their own possessions much more than others do. What does this have to do with writing? I’ll show you.
Have you ever checked out a blog or even a news article where it just droned on forever, giving you way more information than you care to know? Or maybe someone wants to show you their photo album and they drone on forever sharing every detail they can possibly know about everything in the photos? Yours eyes glaze over. Maybe you even start to feel a bit resentful.
As writers we own our words. Why else would we go to the trouble of copyrights? We want credit for what we say and we want people to think what we say is brilliant. Herein lies my point. Perhaps we put a little (or a lot) more value on what we say than others. Just because you think your writing is interesting and brilliant does not mean everyone else does.
If you want to write just for you, fine. You have every right and you can write whatever you want. But if you want people to actually read and enjoy what you write then your writing is not just about you anymore. It becomes a more selfless endeavor. There are people out there who have brains and feelings and lives of their own. So ask yourself the question, why should anyone care about this?
Cure? Being aware of that fact is a step, but other things can help too.
1. Be respectful of your audience. Learn your craft.
Writing is a skill and it can be learned. Take a class, either online or at a college.
2. Find a Critique Group or Partner
This has it’s own pros and cons of which I will delve further into at another time, but for this point a good critique group or partner can point out your weaknesses and strengths, let you know when they are bored as well as cheer you on in your endeavor. Being a skilled critic can also make you more aware of what is boring or just plain unbearable writing.
3. Less is more.
4.Once you’ve made your point, stop.
(I’m stopping now.)