3 Ways an Eco-Friendly Mindset Will Improve Your Writing
Make a better world for your reader starting now
When I was young, my bedroom trashcan had this message printed on it:
Americans worried there wouldn’t be enough natural resources to go around. Well, we’re still here and we’re still worried about it.
But that is not what this post is about.
Waste Not, Want Not
There’s a lot of writing online these days.
Anyone with an internet connection and a way to type can share their thoughts. Some are good. And others, well, you know.
How do you write something that doesn’t add to the internet clutter?
Keep your writing lean and mean.
Fluff is for pillows.
You don’t have to pad your articles to make them bigger. Seth Godin recently wrote a post that is three sentences long. He writes long enough to make his point, and no longer.
What qualifies as fluff?
- Needless repetition
- Secondary material
- Boring tidbits
Pick one point. Stick to it. Support it three ways. Tell a story. Back it with data. Make it relevant.
When you’re done, run your draft through the Hemingway Editor. It’s free. Insert your copy and follow the suggestions.
Then start over.
Don’t throw trash on the information superhighway.
I bet we pick up trash every single day at my house.
Some local drivers can’t wait to find a trash can, so they use our yard. Part of me wants to return their empty soda cans, cigarette packs, and crumpled food wrappers.
Of course, it’s better for me to stop the waste by gathering and bagging it for pickup.
How can writers not pollute the internet?
When you get mad, write your rant in private first. Let it sit for 24 hours. If you still feel the same way, and what you wrote is helpful, publish. If not, throw it away and appreciate that no one else knows.
Sometimes you do need to offend people. With so many voices online, you have to be different to grab attention. If you must offend, make sure your controversial words move people to a better place after you “wake them up.”
The best way to recycle words.
I’ve said you shouldn’t repeat what others say.
It’s better to write something people can read again and again. Will your wisdom be useful a year from now? How about five or ten?
You can’t always know what will trend tomorrow. But you can share timeless truth that applies no matter what the circumstance.
Find that and you’ve mined gold.