I’m trying to learn more about writing- writing for the web, technical writing.
I guess it’s fair to say I’m trying to improve on skills I already have. So far, the most repeated piece of information, which makes it probably the most important, is: Use small, non-technical words.
It’s been shared with me most often as, “Don’t use SAT words.” I can’t help myself, though. My normal vocabulary consists of these “SAT Words”, and I’m having to fight to bring it down to a level most would consider normal. I’ll admit it, it’s painful. Tossing out beautiful words that can impart so much more than a phrase, all for readability’s sake.
Of course, when I need those SAT words, I’m finding myself at a loss. Somehow, there needs to be a middle ground, a slider of sorts where I can just mentally adjust my vocabulary to the level I need.
I’ve also been told to keep it simple in terms of phrasing. This isn’t something I normally wrestle with, but when you hear it and read it several times, you add it to the mental checklist. You want to keep your writing accessible to your audience. A sincere desire to educate, to raise the bar and challenge your audience, can actually do more harm than good, especially in this age where everyone feels pressed for time with information bombarding them from every direction.