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5 Bad Writing Habits to Abandon Once And For All

There is no such thing as a perfect writer. All of us have areas in which we need to develop and improve. However, there are some bad writing habits that are particularly heinous. These habits cause writers to lose readers and makes their writing appear to be very unprofessional. Take a few moments to check out the five bad habits listed below. Then, make a dedicated effort to rid yourself of them as quickly as possible. Your reading audience will thank you.

1. Not Writing For Your Audience

Successful writers are flexible and diverse. They know how to identify who their audience is, and then modify their writing style for that audience. They know that if the academic level that they write to is too high or too low, they will either confuse or offend their readers. In the same vein, they also understand that one audience will appreciate a more serious tone, while another will be more responsive to a more humorous, laid-back approach. Whether you are writing for yourself or working on a blog or article for somebody else, you must have a clear idea of who your audience is.

2. Overuse of Big Words And Complex Sentences

Ernest Hemingway was one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed writers in American history. One contributing factor to his success was his aversion to using big words, adverbs, and complex sentences. Hemingway knew that using these elements in writing was simply a tactic used to convince the reader of the writer’s sophistication, and did nothing to make his writing more interesting. Instead, Hemingway used shorter sentences, made his writing strong through the use of powerful verbs and adjectives, and he used the simplest words that he could. Try to emulate this in your writing. For example, if there is a complex word that you can replace with a simple word, do that. One common example of this is using the word utilize when you can almost always use the simpler word, use.

3. Ignoring the Need to Edit and Proofread

For the most part, bloggers and content marketers engage in a relatively casual form of writing. The reason for this is that they want their writing to be approachable, and suitable for a general audience. Unfortunately, casual is frequently replaced with sloppy. There is no excuse for this. Any piece of writing that is published and made available for public consumption should go through an editing and proofreading process. Of course, you should always avoid making spelling mistakes that make your writing appear unprofessional.

4. Using Buzzwords, Jargon, and Overblown Language

If you’ve ever looked up a topic on the internet and then realized that there were certain words and phrases that popped up in nearly everything written on that topic? This is because these words and phrases have become buzzwords and writers use them to get clicks, and to convince readers that they know everything that is hip and trending about a certain topic. Jargon is words acronyms, and phrases that were created specifically for people in a particular industry, and are usually technical in nature. Using these words may be appropriate on occasion, but they can be confusing and may serve to limit your audience. Finally, overblown language is language that is needlessly dramatic or flowery for the topic at hand. This makes the writer appear as if they are a teenager attempting creative writing for the first time. Use of jargon and buzzwords can be okay if it is kept to a minimum and appropriate for the subject and audience. Overblown writing should be avoided at all costs.

5. Writing Too Academically

This is a mistake that many beginning bloggers make. They write the way that they were taught in school. This means, long paragraphs, writing only in the 1st or 3rd person, and using a very formal tone. Unfortunately, this writing style doesn’t get and keep the attention of their audience. Instead, it makes the reader feel as if they are being lectured to, or it simply bores them to death. In order to break this habit, writers should focus on shorter paragraphs, lists, and bullet points. They should also consider using the 2nd person in their writing as a way to get their readers more engaged.

This guest post was written by:

Kerry Creaswood – Blogger from Savannah, GA. She is fond of various forms of art and thinks that everything we can imagine is real. To find more about Kerry – check her Twitter or blog

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