Until I was 23, I wrote articles for that organization Wall Street JournalHuffington Post, and Los Angeles Times. By age 25, I had signed my first book contract. My publisher told me I was the second person they’d ever signed without an agent.
What was my secret? Connections: No, my most authoritative pieces are simply sent to open editorial mailboxes like firstname.lastname@example.org. My book manuscript has also been picked up by cold emails…and I have received not one but two interested publishers. Simply put, my writing spoke for itself.
I had the “it” factor.
And I wasn’t writing about rainbows and butterflies. Most of my writing was either about Middle East foreign policy dilemmas or the mathematical statistics and probabilities found in Texas Hold’Em poker (eg 2-3% equity changes hands like King-Ten meets King-Ten against). It wasn’t a fun thing for the general public.
But that’s where “it” comes in, the unique beauty of making dense content relatable.
Here are my tips and tricks on how you can do it too.
1. Raise your voice. First order of business, we need to know the article is clearly coming you No one else could have written it. No one else could to dream using your same vocabulary, pace and voice. Overall, trust is key. Not sure what I’m talking about here? Then don’t start writing, start reading. Find favorite authors and develop your taste. You don’t even have to like their opinion. Just their way of communicating. For me, those two journalists are Derek Thompson and Jennifer Rubin. I don’t agree with half of what Jennifer says, and Derek’s economic analysis is almost always beyond me, but I like their style. I will never forget how struck I was when Ms. Rubin started Washington Post article with the word “strangely”. No matter what came next, I was already hooked. You want people to treat you the same way.
2. It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Most people have heard that when you talk to someone, 70% of communication is non-verbal. What? You say it’s not nearly as important as how you say Believe it or not, this also applies to writing. Style, flow and elegance are essential. You can’t just rest on the content of your message. you should ship it easily. Writing is like dancing. When you read it out loud, it should not have two left feet. Or two rude syllables. The superb writing is incredibly agile, a nod to literary grace.
3. Be fearless.Say what needs to be said. Say what you mean. Do not be afraid of a contradictory conclusion. people are drawn to power. It takes courage to articulate our ideas, but believe me, it’s rewarding.
4. Set boundaries.When I write, I limit my commas. I would never allow consecutive sentences to contain three or more of those little jumbled signs. I also try not to cram too many big words into each other. People stumble here because they are confused accuracy with magnitude. Just because what you say is valid and true doesn’t make it readable. In order for your shine to reach a wider audience, you need to reduce the density. Information should be delivered in a slow drip, not a dam burst.
5. Use three words. It is bigger.
6. Make “Em” laugh.It’s more fun.
7. Encourage critical thinking. We have worked hard to deliver your message. Now we need to get to the point. Obviously, the hot duration causes noise. But you don’t always need a controversial opinion for your work to sell. People are surprised by the simplicity. The bolder you can state your claim, the better. It doesn’t have to be original. You can move the masses by simply not apologizing. I don’t care if your position says something mundane like: “We have to stick to our diet.” or “Kids need to read more.” If you can express your ideas clearly and powerfully, you will definitely reach people. Most of us “overthink” things. By taking a positive stance, your writing will inspire people to think more deeply.
Turning dense content into something relatable takes practice, creativity and, dare I say it, a touch of your personal magic. You must be able to charm your reader. This includes when discussing difficult topics. However, I guarantee that if you can incorporate the above strategies into your writing, your dazzling prose will breathe new life into your most meaningful revelations. Sometimes the best way to convince someone in an argument is to show some good conversational skills.
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