I used to be able to write. No, really, I did. I even had a professor in college who many times admitted I was better writer than designer/artist…hmmm, OK, it’s just dawning on me that might have not been exactly a compliment. Anyway, I did use to write well, in clear, short, concise sentences, making strong points and avoiding all the commas I’ve just included in this one sentence. So, whatever happened to me?
It is painful, at best, to read some posts from the recent past. I still understand the general idea I aimed to convey back then. I still think I made some good points, and I still laugh at my own silly, simple jokes. Oh, because let me tell you, I have a sense of humor, too. My sister says it’s “just too smart for everyone to get it” but she laughs with – or at(?) – me every time. My problem is I do what I just did in this paragraph… TMI!
It seems these days I just type whatever comes to mind, “uncensored”. The flood of ideas invading my brain makes it to the screen all too quickly. I use too many brackets, commas, dashes and secondary ideas in between ideas. That is, I am making a point and then, all of a sudden, deem too important to clarify a certain aspect of such point or introduce a whole new idea out of fear that, if I don’t, I’ll forget it, my point will be weaker or, even worse, the world will be deprived of a genius thought… f-o-r-e-v-e-r!
Did I mention I also write extremely looooooooong sentences? oh, and yes, I add drama by spelling words with dashes, adding extra letters to words so as to evoke emotion or tone, and can’t refrain from being a little ironic on occasion. Of course you’ve probably spotted all these – and even more – offenses throughout this text because I just did it again! An almost exact reproduction of what my average, confusing, verbose post looks nowadays. I guess I could have saved myself, and you, some time and gone directly to what you should NOT copy from me if you ever dream of producing a clean, readable AND enjoyable post. So, here:
1. Avoid inserting too many ideas in one sentence. They may all be important. Then, make up your mind! choose one and stick to it.
2. For the love of God, avoid never ending sentences! At least get them shorter than mine. My excuse? I’m a native Spanish speaker; we write long. And then I am left-handed… Check!
3. Don’t try to explain it all. I do it all the time. Hence the dislike for my recent posts.
4. Avoid excessive uppercase and bold letters, signs, bracketed ideas, underlying, and other “contraptions” that rob your post of visual “cleanliness”.
5. Avoid initials and other “techy” lingo as much as possible, especially if you’re not sure it is widely understood by your readers.
6. Read and re-read your paragraphs. You might be able to make some changes and say more with less words.
7. No matter how good “that” joke would read in “that” paragraph, avoid it if it results in distraction from the main idea of your sentence/paragraph. I’m guilty as charged of this one.
There… that’s it. I could say a lot more but then I’d fall even deeper down the hole of my verbose quasi-curse. Seven is also a good number; let’s keep it at that.
(OK, OK, here I commit double or triple fault. Not only am I bracketing, but destroying it all with a point number 8 and abusing capitals:
8. “p.s.” , quotation and ellipsis marks are NOT your crutches. Stop abusing them and learn to walk, or float or slide or whatever you do, through the text. )