One tip on writing: be concrete

Every now and then, I set out to write an article about some Grand Idea® that just came to me. It usually happens when I read something dramatic rant on something.

I did it again a few days ago, and this time I leaned back in my chair staring at the 2 and a half pages in my GDocs and wondered: What’s wrong with this text?¹

One thing that I could quickly spot was that it was too abstract: I was trying to compare to very high-level ideas/opinions and draw some conclusion of my own, but the overall idea just didn’t seem to click.²

And then I realized that this was exactly the point: Generalizations are generally general and vague! And this is why it just wasn’t obvious what I was trying to say.

OK: without further ado, this week’s Grand Idea® is that I should stick to concrete ideas. I even made a note in my template:

Tip: Write about concrete things in concrete contexts; this makes it easier to express and understand.

This is it! 8-)

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¹ This is a trick I have recently picked from “The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking.”

² Although it was still useful to follow that labyrinth and actually see that it doesn’t lead to anything substantial. It’s then easy to let it go and tack it off my mind, which is a good thing too!