10 tips for more compelling writing

No matter what type of writing you’re doing, these tips can help liven up limp copy.

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My youngest sister is in graduate school, earning her Ph.D. in biology. Suddenly immersed in the “publish or perish” culture, she’s been struggling with the tiresome task of co-authoring research papers. She once sent me a text at 2:30 a.m. that said, “I don’t know how you can write as your career. I want to set my laptop on fire right now.”

Whether it’s academic, corporate, or technical text, or you’re simply trying to think of what to scribble on a colleague’s birthday card, writing can be bewildering, tedious work.

To make it less so, I pulled together the following writing tips.

1. Write first; edit later.
Do not edit as you write. Research on the lateralization of the brain tells us that editing is a “left brain” function and writing is a “right brain” function. To make your writing more effective, turn off your left-brain critic and just write.

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