“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne.
-Ain’t that the truth!
I wrote a lot of documents in my previous work as a management consultant. If you think that was boring, think, for a moment, of what my boss had to go through – she had to review all of them. From proposals to presentation decks & speech drafts; the list was almost endless. The best thing about them was the lesson on getting clarity of thought and a smooth flow: come up with one-pagers before writing the draft.
Writing one-pagers (or half-pagers, in some cases) forces me to focus on the ONE THING that I need my reader to take away from the piece. Deciding what to cut out is always tough, but think of the outcome: your reader taking that desired call to action. Worth it, don’t you think?
Go back to the last document you wrote. It could be an email, a report or even a newsletter. How did you answer your reader’s question of:
“What’s the one thing I need to know about this thing I’m reading?”