Have you ever read an introduction or summary of a book or article and wondered, what the heck did the author just say? There is plenty of bad writing out there. There is even a Best of Bad Writing contest held every year. You don’t want to enter that contest and add to the collection!
In a nutshell, l bad writing happens when the writer forgets or ignores the audience. Bad writing comes across to the reader similar to an ill-mannered guest. The rude guest is the one who stays too long, tells big lies, talks only about themselves and sucks the air out of the room.
As you prepare to write think about what the audience wants to hear and then say it in language they can understand. The ever-famous example of verbosity from “The Dilbert Principle” from Scott Adams says it all:
“I utilized a multi-tined tool to process a starch resource.”
Make sure your writing has a strong purpose. Bad writing is either directionless or has too many paths to follow. The best rule of thumb is to pretend that you are at the local coffee shop with your friends and telling them your message. If you were to discuss one’s uniqueness and said this as all were enjoying a latte and a muffin:
Would your friends still listen to you afterwards or would they move their chairs as far from you as possible? Would they still include you in their circle of friends or would they tell you that you were “full of yourself”?
Write to be read. Good writing shows the reader you know what you are talking about and lets them concentrate on what you actually have to say.