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ZEN AND THE ART OF WRITING. Are you ready to unlearn and swim against the tide?. Are writers born or made??. Can one learn how to write? Creative writing? For a living?. Some golden rules of effective writing!. # 1. Don’t be stuffy. Use language of every day speech,

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1 don t be stuffy
# 1. Don’t be stuffy

Use language of every day speech,

not that of spokesmen, lawyers and bureaucrats!

2 do not be arrogant
# 2 Do not be arrogant

When you express opinions/views

do not simply make assertions and assumptions

3 do not be didactic
# 3 Do not be didactic!

Avoid text book language

4 do your best to be lucid
# 4 Do your best to be lucid

Simple sentences help.

Avoid long winded, complicated constructions and gimmicks

Short paras.

One thought in per para

5 don t be too pleased with yourself
# 5 Don’t be too pleased with yourself

Take critical look.

Put yourself in the reader shoes

ask yourself these questions
Ask yourself these questions
  • What am I trying to say?
  • What words will express it best?
  • What image or idoms will enhance clarity?
  • Will it have a desired effect?
  • Can it be said succinctly?
  • Is there anything offensive in what I say?
avoid clich s and jargon
Avoid clichés and jargon

Simplicity is the key to good writing:

Words, thoughts and expressions

kill the clich
Kill the cliché

“ At the end of the day….”

“With all due respects….”

“Last but not least….”

“At this point of time….”

“ …. etc.”

jargon obscures meaning
Jargon obscures meaning

Complicates. Difficult to comprehend.

“These grants will incentivise administrators and educators to apply relevant metrics to assess achievement in the competencies they seek to develop.”

Invite someone for lunch

And write a profile of the person!

Write letters to editors!

On social issues that concern you, and others around you

Condense a long report to an executive summary

Edit a piece of writing, report or article

Re-write the theme of a piece

Write captions for photos

Write words in balloon in a picture

Write a small story – description/travelogue

Write a poem

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.

--Joseph Pulitzer

Google is searching for writers who choose their words carefully and relish the spirit of competition
Seen on a T-shirt:

Brain Dead

9 to 5

Monday to Friday!