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10 ways to add personality to your writing without making anyone want to throw up.

By: Onur
  1. A writer’s job is to entertain and inform at the same time. This means our written words need to be clear and readable by a 7 year old.
  2. The most important thing is to write for YOUR audience. Everyone is different and creating audience personas should be the first thing you do. This enables you to write for a specific person and solve THEIR problems.
  3. Use sensory language to help create vivid impressions in the readers mind. Produce examples and anecdotes that liken your subjects to tastes, smells, sounds and texture. Adding sensory emotion is one of the most powerful things you can do in writing. Using “Loaded” language is like a sledgehammer in the teeth! Calling something “pallid” or “bleached” carries a different connotation than the generic “light-coloured”. Make sure your nouns and verbs are working hard. Sensory, specific, and concrete language works like a jackhammer and makes the point unforgettable.
  4. Write as you speak, use a warm and personal voice. Being Professional means that you offer respect to your audience and that you are the F**king authority! It is still possible to be professional without sounding stuffy. Remember that you are writing to an audience of people who have emotions and understand humour.
  5. Read your work back to yourself. Read it out loud, read it to yourself in the mirror. Reading your work back allows you to pick up and inconsistencies or breaks in the flow. If you lose interest or concentration whilst reading it back, chances are your audience will feel the same.
  6. Forced humour or crude jokes are bad. Stay away from forced humour. There is nothing worse than someone trying to be funny. Remember that you are writing for 7 year old adults.
  7. Avoid clichés and points that will age badly. Your writing should read just as well in 10 years’ time as it does today.
  8. Keep it succinct, Summarise as much as possible and use a human voice. You are not writing an encyclopaedia entry so stop trying to be a dictionary. Lose the gloopy porridge, Make sure all of your adjectives and adverbs need to be there. Don’t deliberately put them under the guillotine, no executions needed, just make sure they are pulling their weight.
  9. Explain numbers and data in terms of benefits and what it means. No matter how smart the audience might be don’t ever expect them to think. If data is not doing a job to enhance and clarify then it is just a distraction. Chop more than you use and only use data that lands like a sucker punch in the gut.
  10. I saved my favourite for last. Everyone is vulnerable in some way. We are drawn to each other’s vulnerabilities. That being said. DON’T write a crying ballad. No one is perfect. Perfect people are boring and annoying. Most of us are a fed up with the glossy, the over-curated, and the Photo-shopped Instagram ideal of life. To really connect with your audience sympathise and connect through your shared problems and insecurities. Open up and step into the stinky stuff. Get real and tell the story warts and all.