My writing is better organized than my personal possessions, so I sometimes read books about organizing. But I unexpectedly found an insight for writers in Julie Morgenstern’s SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life.
Here’s the quote that caught my eye:
Something doesn’t have to be disorganized to be clutter. A perfectly arranged dresser filled with clothes you haven’t worn in years is still clutter.
The same goes for writing. Perfectly punctuated, grammatically correct content that is irrelevant to your readers is useless. Toss it.
For example, let’s assume you’ve written a compelling, plain-English blog post about the need to use low-cost mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This post won’t benefit from a long, technical explanation of the origin of ETFs. You may be intrigued by the topic, but your readers won’t give a darn.
Yes, I know you may be emotionally attached to that content. After all, you probably slaved over it. But it’s not doing anyone any good. Not you, nor your readers.
Of course this is easier said than done. I’ve been reading books about clutter for years, and I’m only slowly seeing improvements at home. However, every little bit helps.
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