I've been writing ever since I can remember. I had a typewriter and would bang away at little short stories about middle school drama, fake news reports (which I would then perform with the gravitas of Diane Sawyer), you name it.
It's taken decades to embrace concision.
In one particularly poignant moment, I sat at a computer with an esteemed Texas attorney (former Supreme Court justice), working on a legal brief. He was hacking up my draft. Very kindly. And very efficiently.
"If you see an adjective...or an adverb. Take it out," he instructed.
Granted, legal writing is different than creative writing. Fiction writing is different than blogging. Regardless, my heart fell. Until I realized there's a nugget of truth in that (initially mercenary-seeming) approach.
Less words? More impact. They just have to be the right words.
St. Martin's Press kindly forwarded me a copy of their recent publication, The Best Advice in Six Words, edited by Larry Smith.
(Editor's Note: I am not being compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. I suspect they wanted this post to go in time for Christmas shopping, so, um, oops.)
A collection of six word-isms is like a plate of truffle fries. You can't blaze through them or you'll get a tummy ache. But if you SAVOR them, they're outstanding.
I have too many favorites to share, but these resonated with me the most:
Be an optimist who worries often.
-- Secretary of State Madeline Albright
For a minute, laughter cures everything.
-- Ken Stasiak
Do not search symptoms on WebMD.
-- Danielle Bitner
Good posture trumps insecurity every time.
-- Susanne Kuznetsky
Never trust a fart while juicing.
-- Julie Sweum
Nobody, nobody knows what they're doing.
-- Daniel Handler
When all else fails, start running.
-- Dean Karnazes
Hope six words liberate you today.
Ta ta for now,