7 Things Your Reader Needs To Hear You Say

time, time, time... see what's become of me.

time, time, time… see what’s become of me.

1. I respect your time.

When you spend some time with me, it won’t be wasted. The subject line in my email won’t create a false sense of urgency that leaves you feeling fooled.

If you open it and skim the content, you’ll probably want to dig in because there’s a real payoff.

Same for the headline of my article or the opening hook of a short story. If you persevere till the end you won’t be disappointed.

At the very least, you’ll know I put in the time and addressed the finish of my story with the same thoughtfulness and concentration that I applied to the opener.

To the best of my ability, I’ll make it a good experience and completely worth your time.

2. I respect your intelligence.

you've got me thinking.

you’ve got me thinking.

I won’t talk down to you. I won’t skip over something difficult because you might not understand it. If there’s an elegant way to explore the intricacy without the storytelling bogging down in those details, we’ll do that based on my best guess of how much you’ll enjoy.

Detail and nuance that lend well to the overall storytelling won’t be avoided or glossed or dumbed-down. If it’s something worth learning about, I’m willing to do my part so that the reader and I learn about it together. But I’m not writing a Wikipedia entry. I won’t explain unlimited things that you could Google on your own. The storytelling will come first.

3. I respect your imagination.

While I won’t withhold or merely dangle a topic that we should explore, I will sometimes hint at things when I know you can get it or when innuendo serves our purposes more than the broad light of midday. And to be sure, I will prefer the well-placed adjective or descriptive phrase over a laundry list of unneeded detail. I’ll delete anything that doesn’t add energy to the scene. And I’ll trust many blanks to be filled by the reader’s imagination.

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3 Mixed Metaphors Kill Your Cred

“And then it was like a light just went off in my head.”

Bright idea

Oh, I just had an idea. What if lines of chalk could represent rays of light and the whole thing could symbolize a new idea?

If you’ve ever read or listened to testimonials associated with self-help products or coaching programs, you’ve probably encountered this more than once.

Sometimes it’s part of a video testimonial and you can watch the person’s face light up with a thousand watts of energy as they pair the intensity of the feeling with an inexplicable verbal image of darkness.

I don’t know why the expunging of a light has become a dub-in for enlightenment, but it’s unholy.

Let’s not take away from those “a-ha” moments or the profound and lasting influence of having just the right coach or mentor at just the right time. I’m not going to sneer if it was Tony Robbins who helped you make a distinction in your life that has rescued you from depression while the Psy.D. psychologist you saw for three years could apparently do nothing. But what’s going on here in the language?

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