Thoughts on Writing Naked

Seth Godin’s most recent post is about writing naked. Taking all the extra phrases out and keeping your words to a bare minimum.

Why don’t we do that? Seth Godin says fear and I agree.  I am afraid to say it like it is.  Often.   And sometimes I don’t have an opinion but I still want to say something.   There’s a lesson in that.

However, I think there is more.  But you be the judge.

Writing on StoneWriting naked is hard

It’s hard work to pare down to the naked message. It’s easier to meander through flowery language and leave it there.  Writing naked requires severe editing.

We love our writing

Writing naked means that we have to slash our beloved words.  Writing naked means no pontificating.

Writing naked requires that we know what we want to say

Sometimes we write bunches of text because we don’t know our point. If we knew, we could be to the point.

Writing Naked can upset your client

I write content for clients. My clients expect a certain amount of text.  Here is where quality trumps quantity.  I often eliminate site text that does not add information.

One last reflection on writing naked: sometimes writing naked can shut down feedback.  And if it is feedback that you want – watch your naked writing.

So do you think fear is the only reason. Or do I make a point?

Web copywriter, lover of words, WordPress workshop facilitator. When I'm not writing, I am gardening, drinking coffee or letting my cat lounge on my lap.

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4 comments on “Thoughts on Writing Naked
  1. Ruth Maude says:

    I don’t know that fear has anything to do with it. I know I tend to be too wordy when I write. Since I’ve become aware of the need to edit down my text my blog writing has improved. Yes, it is hard. I agree that a post that is more conversational will encourage feedback. Writing naked can improve a blog post but not so that the personality of the author is stripped away.

    • Dawn says:

      In your case fear isn’t a part of your struggle to write naked. Great that you have identified your challenge though and you can address it through blogging.

  2. Sometimes when I’m blogging I have to start out by describing how I came to be writing about that particular topic. When I’m done I realize that part adds nothing to the post and take it out, but it helps me to get the thoughts flowing. I guess that fits under “Sometimes we write bunches of text because we don’t know our point. If we knew, we could be to the point.”

    My sister is a fiction writer, and she calls the process of deleting favourite phrases, sentences, characters, scenes, etc., from a work as it evolves, “killing your darlings.”

    • Dawn says:

      Thanks for commenting, Janet. The way that you begin writing a post sounds more like an exercise in focus – and a good one at that. I might try your tactic – and then delete the “idea starter” – like you do.

      And I love your sister’s description of cutting beloved text. I might adopt that too!

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