I’m always sharing books before I have the chance to finish them – I just can’t keep my enthusiasm to myself!
Right now I’m reading Dan Roam’s Blah Blah Blah: What to do When Words Don’t Work – an eBook I borrowed from PEI’s public library. Roam introduces several concepts that apply to writing with clarity, with plenty of fun doodles to lighten the tone. I’ve just completed the first section of the book, which explored how writers use varying levels of clarity to share clear, boring, foggy, or misguiding ideas.
So far, I’ve taken away the following:
“We don’t need more words, we need more ideas” – Dan Roam
If you’ve ever started to doze off at your desk after pages of jargon-loaded emails/reports/procedures, then you’re familiar with mind-numbing wordiness. The extras – all those adjectives and reiterations – are just hiding the fact that the writer doesn’t have anything to say. It’s easy enough for the reader to catch, so don’t let yourself fall into the old “word count” achievement game. Share your ideas simply and clearly.
“Pictures aren’t training wheels; pictures are front wheels” – Dan Roam
This statement is perfect for the visual learners among us. Pictures, maps, graphs, and flow-charts help writers to illustrate difficult concepts and share ideas in a way that goes beyond words. Visual media takes writing to new levels and improves audience comprehension. I can’t wait to put this practice to greater use in all aspects of my writing, particularly in the workplace where operating procedures have become bogged down with wording.
I can’t wait to delve deeper into this thoroughly-visual book. Roam’s use of imagery throughout provides lightness, while his ideas and careful wording are inspirational for any writer striving for clarity. It’s in interesting read that’s sure to inspire a greater use of media on my blog.