7 Fixes for Common Writing Mistakes [Examples]

7 Fixes for Common Writing Mistakes [Examples] 946 521 C-Suite Network

Ann Handley says writing isn’t hard, middle school is hard.

While I agree middle school is hard, I think writing is challenging. As it’s been said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.”

Do we need to bleed when we write?

When you reframe writing as a practice, you can sit in the discomfort of knowing it’s never going to be completely easy. One of the joys of writing is that as soon as you reach the next level, the next mountain peak is staring at you. It’s like yoga, Pilates, golf, or medicine or law – it’s called a practice because when you stick with it you will improve.

But, as with any practice, there are things you can put in place to make it easier. I’m examining some techniques so you can have more writing tools to add to your toolbox.

Monkey mind of writing

Sometimes, when I sit down to write, thoughts are flowing through my head like a mighty river. But they won’t translate to the page the way I want them to. I developed two techniques to combat that monkey voice:

  • Write anyway and worry about editing later
  • Diagnose when I’m being sloppy or lazy, or using an easy technique to get out of working through the challenge

Below are seven common writing problems and the fixes I use when I can’t type the words the way I need them to be. Later, I will go back, see where I’m going with what I wrote, and fix it. Or, I’ll ask an editor to help me.

1. Burying the lede

Writers make choices. Sometimes you make outstanding choices. And sometimes they are downright bad. Here’s an example of a writer who chose to talk more than necessary before getting to the delicious meat of the blog:


Where’s the beauty in this piece? The polished gem of persuasion? In the fifth paragraph.


Fix: An excellent way to find your lede is to look at the bottom of your piece or the last paragraph before you introduce a new idea. It’s usually there, peeking out like an excited child playing hide and seek. Grab that fabulous example and paste it at the top.

Remember, as a writer, it’s your goal to give people the information they need to make decisions. Don’t make them wait for it. Otherwise, they’ll abandon your content like people in line for a sold-out movie.

2. Too much jargon or too technical

As a writer, you think everyone recognizes your ideas and your vocabulary around those ideas. But if your audience doesn’t share your vocabulary, they won’t know or want to work hard to understand what you’re saying.

Using jargon to impress does the opposite, like wearing too much cologne on your first date. You know what works? KISS – keep it simple, stupid. (You are not stupid, but all writers need a bit of humility every now and again).

This content from IBM is confusing, yucky, and doesn’t really get to the point.


Fix: Check out how KPMG does it –…